All Natural Makeup (Amy - New York, NY)
I'm allergic to the preservatives in makeup and lotions and have found a wonderful website that sells all natural beauty products. These products are wonderful. I was experiencing red, itchy eyelids and cheeks when I used makeup and had to stop wearing it altogether. Now I can wear cosmetics again! The site is easy to use and they even sell samples for about $1 each. The products are somewhat pricey, but absolutely worth it if you have sensitive skin.
Here's an example of the ingredients in typical drugstore loose powder:
Talc, Kaolin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Methylparaben, Silica Silcylate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Propylparaben, Mica, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines
And in one of the powders from allnaturalcosmetics.com:
Organic Arrowroot, Iron Oxides
What a difference!!
Buy White (Jennifer Jackson - Boise, Idaho)
I've been sharing this story everywhere, because it was such a hassle for me and because the solution was so obvious.
About a year ago, I started to have incredible vaginal itching problems. The doctor I saw told me I had some kind of infection, but no tests could pinpoint the cause.
Then, after I went back several times, his nurse asked me about the toilet paper I used. As it turns out, we had recently repainted the bathroom, and I started buying a colored toilet paper to match the new decor. When she mentioned that possibility, I realized that the burning, itching symptoms came soon after we painted the bathroom.
So, I switched to a soft white non-scented toilet paper. Within a week--relief. The message is say "no" to designer toilet paper.
Crystal Deodorant (Gina - Moscow, Idaho)
For the last ten years, I have used the amazing crystal deodorant. One rock lasts me about two years and costs about eight bucks. Plus, I don't get all the throwaway packaging, funky perfumes, antibiotics and whatevers that are added to commercial deodorants.
These unscented crystals (about the size of a tennis ball) are made from mineral salts that destroy odor-causing bacteria. I just moisten the rock with water and apply to my underarms for a whole day of protection.
Sometimes I get extravagant and buy one with a wooden handle to make it easy to hold. If you want to try this, check out your local food co-op or order on-line from Nature Mart (www.naturemart.com, 1-800-668-9363).
Deodorant Without the Odor (Taylor Barrett - Moscow, Idaho)
I always have to put in my two cents. My boyfriend got me hooked on this product years ago when we were hippie sorta-wannabes at the University of Montana. Itís called the Thai Deodorant Stone, and itís basically a hunk of crystal that you dampen under the faucet and then rub onto your underarms. I have never been one for conventional deodorants. Iíve bought them, yes, but they slowly creep to the back of my medicine cabinet, where they remain until I canít remember how old they are or if they are even mine, and invariably throw them out. The truth is, I canít stand the smell of deodorant or antiperspirants, and I think it is odd to want to smell like baby powder long after the diapers have come off, and spring fresh smells more like the perfume section of a department store than a meadow in bloom. Frankly, I prefer my own smell. The great thing is that the stone doesnít plug up your pores or mask odors ó it simply stops the bacteria that makes body odor from growing. The downside is that though this product is completely natural, it does still contain aluminum. The crystals are potassium alum, but it is aluminum sulfate, not the synthetic aluminum chlorohydrate used in mainstream brands. Also, you avoid all the other chemicals in your typical stick of deodorant/antiperspirant and thereís hardly any waste ó the stone comes in a little cloth sack. (You can also buy it in a stick or spray.) The other thing to consider is that after using the stone daily for a couple weeks, it begins to neutralize your sweat glands and you will notice that you wonít have to use it as often. Sometimes I can find this product at Army Navy, but you can also find it at the Allergy Relief Store online at www.onlineallergyrelief.com.
P.S. Customer Annie Wendel recommends making your own! Mix equal parts cornstarch and baking soda, store in a jar and apply with a rag. She swears that this works as well as the top-rated deodorant brands.
Diva Cup (Lisa Kuhlman - Middletown, IL)
In my youth I lamented the fact that I "had" to use paper or cotton menstrual products. When I had children and started using cloth diapers, I converted to reusable cloth pads (a slightly inconvenient, but worthy choice.) I believe I have now found a product that blends the best of both worlds. The Diva Cup is a reusable menstrual cup made of medical grade silicone that is good for at least ten years. Ten years! Imagine how much landfill space that would save if women switched to a product you don't throw away! The Diva Cup is convenient, discreet, sanitary, comfortable, and environmentally friendly. I can't say enough good things about it!
The Diva Cup is quite affordable, paying for itself in a couple of months. The company offers a one year satisfaction guarantee. The instructions for the product tell you that it may take a cycle or two to adjust to using the Diva Cup. Frankly, it only took me about two days to decide that the Diva Cup is indeed the best thing to come along since sliced bread. For more testimonials, instructions for use, and to order, visit www.divacup.com.
Eco Toothbrush (Amanda Thompson - Bozeman, Montana)
I just found a neat product on the Internet recently. A company out of Massachusetts that sells recyclable toothbrushes called Recycline. Apparently, if you followed the doctorís orders for how long you should use a toothbrush, there would be about a billion toothbrushes thrown away every year!
Hereís how it works: you order your brushes in bulk from their website. After youíre done with them, Recycline has you mail your toothbrushes back to them, where they will turn them into plastic fencing materials. I think it is great that more companies are thinking about the entire life cycle of a product and are working to extend the lives of the materials those products are made from. Their website is www.recycline.com.
Essensial Oil of Rosemary (Randi Poland - Elkins Park, Pennsylvania)
I have been using essential oil of rosemary to brighten my dark brown hair for a few years as an alternative to chemical coloring. One of my perimenopausal symptoms was falling hair. I also feared the toxins of the dyes. My hair is in great shape now. All you need is approximately 8-10 drops diluted in a few tablespoons of water. After shampooing, apply with conditioner (rosemary first), comb through, leave it on for a minute and rinse well.
Healthy Changes (Pamela Palmer - Moscow, Idaho)
Last summer, under the care of a nurse practitioner, my 12-year-old daughter and I stopped eating sugar and yeast products. We focused on lots of fresh vegetables, farm eggs, organic chicken, and nuts and seeds. We cut out all sweets (including fruit juices, honey and maple syrup) for about three months. Both of us experienced improvements in our health. My daughter didnít have headaches or tummy aches anymore. I experienced fewer symptoms of PMS, and the small cracks on my heels and fingers healed. (I had always been told I had dry skin, and there didnít seem much I could do about it; now I know otherwise.)
Since then, weíve started incorporating certain foods back into our meals, but we still stay away from processed sugars, purchasing jam sweetened with fruit juice only and looking for molasses or honey as ingredients, rather than the many forms of processed sugar. We also avoid chemical sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin.
What amazed me most is how willing my daughter was to eat healthy foods with me, turning down popsicles and sodas at her friendís house and giving away all her Halloween candy. I think we all have children who want to be healthy and what they really need are people at home to support them eating well.
Massage for Health (Evelyn Chaudoin)
Sixteen years ago, while visiting our children for our 40th wedding anniversary, our daughters arranged for appointments with a massage therapist for both my husband and me.
After years of living in the city, it was the first time we had ever had massages. When we went back to the city, we visited our food co-op to find a recommendation for a massage therapist. We found that occasional massages had immediate benefits. We started scheduling massages once a month, and have since moved to once every three weeks. Since retirement, we moved away from the city and live in a small community that boasts its own massage school.
A lot of older people seem to think massage is a frivolous thing. They are really missing out! It is part of our health care regimen, along with occasional chiropractic and acupuncture treatments, as well as regular visits to our family physician.
I am 76 years old, and have osteoarthritis. Massage helps my joints, particularly my neck and low-back area. Our therapist also does lymph gland work, so she may work on specific problems when one of us is starting to come down with a cold or flu. Massage has also helped my gastroesophageal reflux problem (heartburn).
The benefits of relaxation we receive from regular massage also keep us in good humor as we age. The only negative thing I remember about my massage appointments is getting stuck in the elevator one afternoon. Since then, Iíve decided to exercise my knees more by taking the stairs!
If I had the money, I would have a massage every week. My husband says he would have one every day!
Organic Shampoos (Carol Hill - Moscow, Idaho)
Since my organic conversion at MaryJanesFarm (www.maryjanesfarm.org/About/farmlife/healthy-eater/), Iíve been trying all the organic shampoos at our local food co-op. I used to be a bargain shampoo buyer ó mostly on-sale shampoos or cheaper brands. I did have a list of animal-friendly companies, and stuck with those. But considering that I rarely spend money on any kind of hair treatment (including cuts or color), I decided that for less than $15 a month (shampoo and conditioner), I was going to splurge on the wonderful organic shampoos I found there. There are some really fabulous organic brands, and Iíve enjoyed almost every one Iíve tried. My current favorite is Natureís Gate Organics. Their line includes these yummy-smelling blends: Lavender & Aloe (nourishes and moisturizes), Lemongrass & Clary Sage (volumizing), Tea Tree & Blue Cypress (dandruff and dry scalp treatment). They give me the daily satisfaction and sense of pampering myself that the co-op handmade soaps do. Weíre lucky here in Moscow that our co-op carries a really nice selection of those too, as well as the shampoos and conditioners. Find these and other natural products on the Web at www.shopnatural.com.
Super Sunscreen (Becky)
I just thought Iíd share one of my favorite companies with you. Their products are made from all natural ingredients with the harsh climate of the Southwest desert in mind. They are called Super Salve Company. They make the greatest sunscreen in the world. It is all natural and doesnít burn your eyes and enriches your skin in the process. Their lip balm has natural sunscreen in it and feels wonderful. Now they have started a sister company called Sister Creations. They have a face cream (Power Repair, about $20) that rivals the $60 a bottle stuff at department stores. They have a lighter cream called Mimosa Blossom Dream Cream, which smells divine. I have not tried any of their products that I donít just love. You can contact them at 505-539-2768 or online at www.supersalve.com.
Vinegar (Randi Poland - Elkins Park, Pennsylvania)
Apple cider vinegar is wonderful to clarify your hair. Just dilute approx. 2 Tbsp. in 2 oz. of water. After shampooing and conditioning, squeeze exceess water out and apply. Then rinse well. I use Eden's organic.