From the moment that we’re old enough to think for ourselves and make decisions based on what we know, we’re bombarded with two choices – good or bad. Some are more extreme than others. Daily battles include everything from, do I have a banana or that half tub of Ben and Jezza’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream left in the freezer? Shall I ‘alf inch that fiver on the side before someone notices its gone or shall I just wait for my pocket money to build up? Do I layeth the smack down on Kirsty because she’s really pissing me off, or do I just put up with the bullying because, ultimately, she will end up on Jeremy Kyle (true story – she did, so I’m told.)
But with many of these choices, it really is down to knowledge and educating ourselves on what is good, what is bad and the consequence of our choice. How many of us were dished up a plate of cheap chicken nuggets and chips for tea as kids? I know I was, but I’d bet a weeks wages that had my mum known what was in them, before Jamie Oliver exposed it to the world, she’d have probably made better choices. I’m not obese or unhealthy because of it, but I’d imagine that had I continued a diet of a similar nature into my thirties, I’d look and feel a lot different to what I do now. But then how are we expected to know if nobody tells us right?
Sometimes, they don’t want to tell us, and they shield us from what we should rightly be told. This isn’t The Hunger Games, there’s no Katniss Everdeen leading the rebellion against the likes of Unilever and Loreal, there is no band of superheroes taking on the world one bottle of SLS laden shampoo at a time. But what there is, is a fight and a goal, and something that I am so proud to be a part of.
Anyway, soapbox rant well and truly out of the way – this week I conducted a little experiment to just see whether a chemically infused bath time made much of a difference. The results rather surprised me!
I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for a quality brand – I wear a Barbour coat, I buy the best shoes and I don’t put anything less that sterling silver through my earlobes. I’m not a snob, I just prefer to buy stuff that’s going to last. ‘Buy cheap, buy twice!’ sustainability is always at the core. So I was gifted a lovely set of Molten Brown bath products and rather than re-gift or bin them, I thought I’d try them out and see if they made much of a difference to my skin after one use. I’m a sensitive soul and my skin doesn’t like being in contact with anything too harsh (grab an eyeful of me after a swim and you’ll have a giggle at my dot-to-dot impression on account of my countless hives! Gorgeous, I know! So I’ve always gone with a lighter and kinder high street brand when my usual no-poo products have not been readily available (Simple, Sanex and the like). As a brand used in spas and a name associated with quality and luxury, Molton Brown was as good as it gets – so I thought.
One lazy Sunday evening I poured a bit of Japanese Orange body wash into the bath – oodles and oodles of bubbles; I know where they come from so I knew straight away that I was already asking for trouble. The smell was delicious though and chemicals aside, I felt like I was bathing in silk. Wet my hair and rubbed in the Indian Cress (the f*ck is that anyway?!) shampoo – didn’t need much rubbing mind, it lathered up almost instantly. Then I smoothed over the accompanying purifying conditioner which, really did slide through my hair wonderfully. It was quite difficult to sit there and enjoy it fully because despite these products being so lovely and luxe, I knew what was in them and I struggled to get past that.
The real test always is when I dry off, and straight away I saw the red marks coming up. The itching followed moments later and before long I found myself scratting at my body searching for painful relief. This could have happened with absolutely any high street brand, any premium brand, or any cheap supermarket own-label product but it certainly put into perspective exactly what this switch has meant for me. After over a year of ditching the bad stuff and enjoying the fruits of nature instead, it’s clear that my body doesn’t want it and can’t handle artificial additives. It’s like a lot of things, give up something that’s no good for you, when you try it again you often wonder what was so good about it that you couldn’t live without. In my case, it was absolutely nothing.
There is a silent superhero out there and she’s called clarity – she’s waging a bloody difficult war against the cosmetics industry and all of the legislation that protects it, but she’s getting there in her worthy cause. I’m just pleased that I know about her and I’ll do my best to help her as she continues the fight.
She is good, and she’s calling evil out on being a bit of a dick to us for so long.