OK, I decided it was time to go through my cabinets, drawers, showers, and closets and take inventory of my families personal care products. We truly have too many. My family has over 80 different hair, face, body, and teeth products…and that’s not including perfumes, colognes, and my daughters personal makeup case. And each of these products have a long list for ingredients…..names I couldn’t even begin to pronounce much less know what they are. Yet, daily my family and I spreads them from head to toe without much thought.
The big question is how safe are these products when used on a daily/weekly basis? Chris Prelitz (Green Made Easy: The Everyday Guide For Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle) suggests using the Skin Deep Website (www.cosmeticsdatabase.com) to compare personal care products. The site takes into account the various chemical ingredients in over 79000 different products included in its database. It then gives each product a rating with regards to toxicity, carcinogenic properties, and the like. The scale is from 0 through 10. Zero to 2 are considered low risk, 3 to 6 are medium risk, and 7 to 10 are high risk.
To save myself from going through ALL of my products, entering them into the website, and receiving a rating, I just focused on the most used products. So how do we fare:
- Sadly, my favorite hair care product (Biolage) received a 6. Other shampoos (Pantene, Suave, and Avon) received scores of 4 or 5. Trying to keep it local and easy to shop for, I headed down to Walgreen’s and browse their (small) natural product section. I walked away with Yes to Cucumbers Shampoo, which has a rating of 3 on the Skin Deep scale. Trying it once, it had a decent lather for my medium length hair. Curious how other’s work, particularly Burt’s Bees which makes a bar shampoo which received a rating of zero. Maybe that will be on the next shopping trip….
- Happily, all of our toothpastes are within an acceptable range, with Tom’s of Maine of course at a solid zero. We have the usual toothpastes Crest, Colgate, and Listerine and all are either 2 or 3. Nothing there to change.
- We also have the usual suspects for body deodorants (Secret and Axe) and they range between 3 and 4. Could be better. Of course, there are obviously brands on the market to try, including Crystal deodorant which I picked up to give a try.
- Body soaps also pass the test with a 1 for Dove and an acceptable 3 for Irish Spring. Shave creams also not too terrible, both Skintimate and Barbisol run about a 4.
- For my face, I knew there was a reason why I like Nu Skin. It isn’t on the website so I entered each ingredient in to see how each fared. For the Rejuvenating Cream, out of the 36 ingredients, 26 were either a zero or a one. Seven more fell in the 3-4 range, and the final three each fell in the 6-8 range. Not bad.
I thought I would try to make something homemade so I decided on shaving cream. Several sites used a variety of ingredients. I wanted something simple with limited ingredients. I love this website (http://www.littlehouseliving.com/easy-homemade-shaving-cream.html ), with pictures and recipe included as well as other areas of interest for future chapters. So off to Walmart I went, and bought Lou Ana Pure Coconut Oil, 31.5 ounces for $5.98 and Burt’s Bees honey and shea Body Butter 6.5 ounce for $12.97. I already have olive oil, so the cooking began. I should note that after purchasing and mixing the ingredients, I noticed that my shea butter was not the same as the littlehouseliving website’s shea butter. I stuck with it anyway and tried out the mixture. One leg with the homemade recipe, the other with Skinimate lotion. Results:
- Melted onto my skin as I spread it
- A little rough to drag razor, but still able to glide
- Legs were shaved well, no stubble
- Afterward, smooth feeling
- Approximate price: $6.00 for 7 ounces (as made with Burt’s Bees shea butter)
- Spread well
- Easier to glide razor
- Legs shaved well, no stubble
- Afterward, my skin felt a little drier than the homemade
- Approximate price: $4.88 for 7 ounces (if not on sale)
Convincing my boyfriend to try the homemade as well, he felt satisfied with the results. Interestingly, he felt that after shaving by spreading a thin layer on his skin seemed to calm razor burn. He also recommended aloe in the mixture, which we’ll try next time.
My mistake in purchasing the wrong shea butter made it originally pricey. I purchased from amazon the correct shea butter which was significantly cheaper. I’ll be back to revisit this recipe when my shipment comes in…..