Natural Living

Natural Living Journey

Looking to find products that are clean, safe and effective? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the wording on the labels? Unsure of where to even start on a natural living journey? In this post, see how I started and what to look for to find non-toxic, clean and safe products.

Beginners guide to natural living with clean and safe products

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Before I dig in, I want to be very clear, this is an ongoing process for me. The term natural living has no precise definition that I can find and therefore can be misused by many and confusing to most. This is about my journey to decrease the toxic load for my body, my family and home. My goal is to exchange the mostly used products first and continue replacing products with cleaner, safer ones as budget allows and I find better options.

The journey is about progress over perfection.

My natural living journey back story

I started using essential oils over 5 years ago because I was in search of a natural remedy for my sons warts. After many visits to the Dermatologist to “freeze” the warts, we were told they could not do that anymore. The dermatologist wanted to refer him to another specialist to have them surgically removed. My gut instinct was NO! That’s when I did my own research on warts and came across essential oils.

Oregano Oil in particular for warts because of its active ingredient carvacrol, and the amazing wide range of health benefits that it offers to kill viruses and infections. I ordered the Oregano Oil and it totally worked to get rid of the warts!

This started my love of oils. You need to be cautious where you purchase oils too. I personally use Young Living. Fakes are made too.

I liked the idea of a nice smelling home without the use of candles or plugins. The headache is almost immediate when I walk into a room with a strong fragrance. The stronger it is the worse my headache will get. It’s not just candles. Everything that was made to “smell” good, harmed me. Once I started diffusing essential oils, my home smelled great and no more candle headaches. Now I use oils for many things.

I highly recommend starting with a kit. It’s a great value and offers enough oils to let you try to see what you like and works best for you. That is what I did. This is the kit I ordered in 2014. I still have and use that same diffuser now.

Earlier this year I had a small rash on my neck. It itched, looked like hives in some places and eczema in others. It lasted about 2 weeks then went away. It returned about a month ago even worse. On both sides of my neck, wrists and hands. Of course I googled pictures and it appeared to be eczema.

After a trip to my Internal doctor then a referral visit to the dermatologist 3 days later, eczema was the diagnosis. He called it an explosion of eczema. Interestingly, I’ve never had eczema. At least not that I was aware. The dermatologist immediately said to remove all products containing fragrance. I was given a steroid shot, and a prescription for steroid pills and cream. I used the cream once and of course it stung as the label said it would.

Before I ever saw the doctors I had reached out to a friend who I knew advocated for safer products. I decided to take her advice and go the natural route instead of using meds. IT WORKED! She had me wash the eczema areas twice a day with Beautycounters  Charcoal Bar and then apply Baby Balm to it. The charcoal bar immediately lessened the redness and the balm was so moisturizing. I ended up using the balm other ways, I loved it so much.

That’s when I went down the research rabbit trail. Fragrance is an ugly word in the clean living industry. Even today, Michelle Pfeiffer was in the news telling what she thinks we should all know about perfume. She has been in the trenches for many years regarding fragrance, it’s a good read.

Tips for transitioning to Natural Living

  • Start with products you use daily and switch those first. (This was laundry detergent for us)
  • As you empty a cleaning or personal care product, replace it with a safer one.
  • Use The Never List™ for ingredients you want to avoid.
  • Reference the Environmental Working Group website for safe product recommendations.
  • Be very careful about terms used to make you think a product is chemical free. Read the ingredients!

Top things I’ve learned so far:

  • Unscented does not mean fragrance free. Look for brands who list the actual scent ingredient.
  • Just because one product from a brand is safe, doesn’t mean all products from that brand are safe, unless that company has committed to only clean ingredients. Check the labels.
  • Find a brand that is committed to ONLY providing safe, non-toxic products to simplify the process.

Switching to safer cleaning products as part of my natural living journey.

Cleaner products I can recommend as of now:

Personal Care

Cleaning

After clearing my eczema with non-toxic products, I decided to join the mission with Beautycounter. I had been with another company in the industry for 2 years where they did a great job with the skin care. It was actually the reason I joined them in the first place. However, I wanted to replace my makeup and other personal care products that voided  The Never List™ of ingredients and that company didn’t have that option. To me, it’s more than selling products. It’s about living a healthier life for me, my family and all of you. It has become personal.

I hope this post helps you in moving towards a cleaner, safer lifestyle. If I can do anything to lessen my chances of so many sicknesses and disease I have to try. This is a huge topic and too heavy for one blog post. As I learn, I will share more here on the blog. In the meantime, what questions do you have about starting your own natural living journey? Send me an email at sonya@athomewiththebarkers.com and I will direct you as I can.