"Going green" is an extremely popular movement, and rightly so - working towards improving the "health of the environment" is something that will benefit us all. Many people try to incorporate the idea of "going green" into their lifestyles whenever possible, not just for the sake of the planet, but for their own health.
"Going green" with your food, clothing, and self-care products can be easier said than done, though! Oftentimes time, money, and availability of products can stand in the way of going 100% green. Looking at self-care products alone, the idea of going green can sound impossible, especially if you work out daily. No one wants to "go green" if it means smelling like a locker room because you only used a deodorant crystal and then worked out for a couple of hours!
Melody, from Whole Body Health Solutions, has begin a "Self Care on a Budget" series on her blog. She approaches the topic sensibly, and provides a wealth of tips for choosing self-care products that you can easily obtain, but won't cost a week's paycheck. Her suggestions and recommended products can be an excellent resource for the CrossFit athlete who is looking to incorporate "green" products into their self-care routine. Melody even offers an excellent solution for those of you who are concerned with the ingredients found in traditional antiperspirants, but who feel that a deodorant crystal just won't cut it for your day-to-day use.
If incorporating "green" products into your self-care routine is a topic that interests you, read on to learn more! We have included links for each specific product that Melody recommends, too.
I shop on a budget, yet always make the attempt to purchase products that will nourish, rather than pollute my body. Over the years, I have developed a fairly strict set of criteria that guide my buying, and have hit upon some affordable, yet quality products and routines that I think everyone should try. Are you ready?!
Here are our priorities for body care:
1.) It is gentle.
For example, if a product contains alcohol, surfactants, or other drying agents, it will not be my first choice. Anything containing drying agents should contain them for good reason (ie: a spot treatment for blemishes), and should also boast a hefty dose of moisture-imparting ingredients, such as lanolin, glycerin, aloe, etc.
2.) It is chemical and dye-free.
Unfortunately, that pink or blue bubble bath isn’t very good for you. I steer clear of anything which contains more chemically engineered than naturally sourced ingredients, and I avoid parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben) at all costs. This is doable.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find completely natural products on a budget plus busy schedule, and completely natural products don’t always function as well as their conventional counterparts. Nonetheless, you can still vote with your dollar, and practice naturally-based self care.
3.) It is nourishing.
Every product I utilize is with good reason. It serves a purpose. Otherwise why would I use it?
As an analytical person, I take this pragmatism a step further, realizing that the component parts, or ingredients, in the products I use for self-care can function either with or against my body. Rather than fight an unfortunate breakout with aging chemicals, I choose to support the production of healthy skin. Rather than apply moisture that will sit outside my skin, waiting to be washed away, I choose a product with moisturizing ingredients that will absorb deeply.
Now, on to every day skincare:
- First things first; you’ve got to get clean.
I typically use a bar soap that is vegetable glycerin or oatmeal based, but I’ll also go for Olay’s age defying bar; it lathers up in a loofah rather nicely, and leaves skin feeling soft. Rarely, I will happen upon a body wash that I find acceptable and affordable, such as Pure & Natural’s Rosemary & Mint cleansing body wash, but typically liquid body wash is just too drying, chemical laden, and expensive for me to mess with.
I live in Arizona, people. I never had dry skin, dry hair, dry anything until moving out here. Moisture is VITAL, especially in an arid climate. The best lotion I have happened upon at the grocery store is Aveeno, more specifically their positively nourishing formula. I had a hard time choosing between fragrances when I found this product on closeout, but opted for the lavender + chamomile. Water, glycerin, shea butter, petroleum, dimethicone, and flower extracts; it doesn’t get much better than that.
But who has the time to put lotion on every day? I mean, REALLY. Not me. I’m way too lazy and pressed for that.
So I started searching for an after shower body oil that could be applied quickly and easily. Only one problem; they all contained horrid, pointless ingredients, and were nothing I’d put on my skin.
Enter Dr. Teal’s. This company makes a more affordable, much better version of the product than their big-name competitors. This soy, olive, shea, aloe, vitamin E, sweet almond and jojoba based moisturizer even contains grape seed oil! You can add it to your bath water for quite the luxurious experience, or simply use it afterward for everyday moisture. I cannot sing its praises enough. Seriously. Buy this.
Did I say I live in Arizona? I did, didn’t I… Speaking of:
- What about that sun?
You have GOT to protect your precious skin from the aging, carcinogenic sun. Seeing as we need a certain degree of exposure, but too much will hurt us, let’s talk sun block. I recommend Neutrogena’s wet skin, SPF whatever-you-please (mine’s 85+).
Everybody hates a sun burn, and I am no exception. This amazing product is sweat and waterproof, so it lasts and lasts. Greatest of all, it boasts moisturizers and antioxidants, without a lot of added, unnecessary crap. It’s oil-free and hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores and can be used safely on faces. And it is a spray, enabling you to achieve all over coverage.
So, now we’re clean, moisturized, and protected from the sun.
- What about odor?
I’ll be honest, this is the most challenging aspect of natural self-care.
Antiperspirants and deodorants are the subject of much controversy, but have become an expectation of American society. Armpit sweat and the odor that come with it are considered unacceptable, yet our sweat glands are very much meant to do what they do best. This is an area in which I compromise.
In public, during the day, I use conventional antiperspirant. But at home, on weekends and in the evening, I use a natural deodorant crystal, to give my pores and axillary lymph nodes a teensy break. In this department, I personally find that Degree MotionSense and Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal work best.
You can go cheaper, you can go more natural, but in doing so you risk losing the desired effectiveness. I think the most important aspect of antiperspirant use is to make certain when you bathe or shower, that you are actually washing all of the product away. It really likes to cling, and if you are not aware of this, you end up placing layer upon layer of it atop your sensitive armpit/breast region. Try a good loofah and soap, try exfoliating the area with your fingernails; try to be sure it all comes off, and then give your pits a breather.
So to sum it up, remember:
Gentle, chemical/dye-free, and nourishing. Those are our priorities for everyday skincare.
Join us again soon here on Box Stalker as we continue to share WOD and home workout tips, Paleo and CrossFit-approved recipes, and more!
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