What’s the big deal? Why should I even care about the ingredients that are in my skincare and household products? It’s not like I’m going to eat it! And, if it’s on the shelf at my local big-box retailer it must be safe, right? I mean, they wouldn’t have it on their shelves if it wasn’t safe for me and my family!
As simple as it sounds, these are questions that we are often asked. And these are questions that we also asked as we were beginning our journey to a healthier, more natural lifestyle. The answers are startling and one of our goals is that you will never look at your personal care or household products the same again.
Skin is our body’s largest organ and acts as a protective covering. It protects us against microbes, helps regulate body temperature and allows the sense of touch. The average adult has over eight pounds and twenty square feet of skin. This amazing covering for our bodies is permeable as well. In other words, what you put on your body can make its way into your body. Think about the medications that are delivered into the body by patches, creams, or roll-ons applied to the skin. In addition to skin absorption, the products we use on our skin can make their way into our bodies when we lick our lips, rub our eyes, or pick up our food with bare hands. Toxins from skin care products and household chemicals have been found in tumors and otherwise healthy tissues of men, women and children. As a result, it just makes good old-fashioned common sense to reduce the toxic chemicals that come into contact with our bodies.
Well, that’s a great idea, but it can be a daunting to task to find natural and healthy products for our skin that are honestly natural and healthy. The personal care industry is not highly regulated and many chemical ingredients have not even been tested for safety. To further complicate the issue, manufacturers are not required by regulation to list all of their ingredients on the label or to disclose to the consumer if any of their ingredients are potentially harmful. There are over a thousand individual ingredients that are banned from use in cosmetics in Europe but are not prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration and are routinely used in America.
Think about the personal care products that you use every day. An average woman uses twelve to fourteen different products each day and men use an average of six to eight. Consider the following list of products; how many of these commercial products do you use on a daily basis? Shampoo, hair conditioner, styling products, hair spray, shaving cream, bath soap, lotion, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, makeup items, fragrance, etc. Now think about the detergents and fabric softeners that your clothes, towels, and sheets are washed in. If each of these products has an ingredient list as long as your arm and filled with words that you can’t pronounce, things start getting pretty complicated. Now, just imagine that each one of these products has just one or two toxic chemicals each. When you think about the fact that you use these products every day, 365 days a year, year after year, you see that your exposure to potentially toxic chemicals begins to really add up.
So, what is a person to do? How can we take control of our lives and reduce or eliminate the chemicals that we are exposed to? It’s time to get back to the basics. Research and find companies that share your values for a cleaner, simpler, healthier lifestyle. Purchase 100% natural products from companies that list 100% of their ingredients on the label. A good place to start is with the products that you have the most exposure to. We consider these to be the bath soaps, body lotions, deodorants and laundry detergents that we use every single day. We cover every square inch of our skin with bath soap; body lotion and deodorant are designed to be absorbed into the skin; and commercial laundry detergent and fabric softener leave behind residues in the clothes that we wear. As a family-based company, we at Back to Basics Naturals share your desire to protect your family from unnecessary chemicals in every day products. We are focused on providing cleaner, healthier, 100% natural products for our families and yours. While it may not solve all the world's problems, it’s a step in the right direction on the journey towards a healthy, natural lifestyle.