Our bodies. They house so much that we cannot see, cannot grasp. A system so utterly complex and yet so simple. Sometimes maybe too simple; so that we find ourselves seeking complicated answers to simple and plain questions. What is good for our bodies? Sometimes the simpler is the better, sometimes less is more.
My body is my temple- it is a complex network of systems, allowing me to pursue my everyday activities and so much more. To ensure the health, longevity and upkeep of these systems I am continuously trying improve my own behavior. Yes, it is a long and most likely eternal journey of evolution, however, an accumulation of small steps and actions are necessary to get the ball rolling. One of these steps, other than curating and using my green make up collection, is what products I use for the upkeep of my exterior shell. For my body care I opt for organic, healthy and sustainable options that are ideally vegan, plastic free and produce zero waste. Let me take you through my five essential body care products and regimens:
An organ often disregarded and not given enough credits to, despite it being the largest. It is one of the main players when it comes to detoxifying- our skin. If however, our skin is flooded with toxins and dead skin cells, it cannot do its job properly and rid ourselves from all the waste and toxicity housed within. We always take good care of our faces- masks, exfoliants, face wash, moisturizer…the list goes on and on, but we often neglect the rest of our skin. Dry brushing, ideally in the morning and 3-5 times a week, has a multitude of benefits for your inner and outer beauty. Let’s start on the inside, because that is where real beauty comes from, right? Dry brushing improves your vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage (make sure to brush along those lymph nodes) and thus the skin is able to detox and discharge metabolic waste more effectively and it stimulates your metabolism and digestion- a healthy gut is always something to strive for. Also, it reduces cellulite and is an effective method of exfoliation, allowing your skin to rejuvenate and “breathe“ properly by clearing clogged pores.
When picking out a dry brush, make sure it is kept very minimal and natural- ideally wood without any plastic! Also, the linked dry brush is NOT VEGAN, as I owned it before going vegan. This Agronauti or Aromatherapy Associates brush are, however!
BODY WASH SOAP
Despite the fact that I opted for organic and natural body washes, I still couldn’t get around some ingredients I did not necessarily want to put onto my skin; therefore I switched to a bar soap for my face and body. The soaps I use are cold process soaps that consist of natural oils only, do not clog your pores and are lipid regulating. Despite the amazing ingredients I had some tribulations at the beginning- my skin was always very dry and itchy after usage. This made me realize that my skin’s natural oils must have been partially removed. Now, after my natural oils have been restored and not washed away with every shower I take, my skin is in perfect condition again and feels moisturized and hydrated.
These soaps can become very slippery and dissolve quite easily, due to the gentle cold process. Therefore it is advisable to keep them in a travel soap box or a cotton soap bag to get the most out of your bar soap. Even though a very natural bar soap first seems to be very expensive it is actually cheaper in the long run as it lasts you longer than a regular shower gel would AND you reduce your waste!
Only very late have I realized the immense plastic consumption and waste production when it comes to razors. Re-purchasing the 5-blade razors is a very expensive and also environmentally unfriendly business in the long run. So I made a one time investment into a proper razor, with actual blades (that can be collected and then discarded at a special recycling facility). Even though you might have to spend more money at once, it actually is cheaper seen over a longer time period. Yes, adjustments are necessary- the razor can be very weird in your hands at the beginning and the sharpness of the blades can be underestimated at times, leading to some cuts here and there. But hey…practice makes perfect, right?
For roughly three years now I have been using Organic Lifestyle products exclusively. Ever since my hair has been as healthy as never before- I do not get split ends as fast as I used to, the structure of my hair feels much better and they are voluminous. It feels free of which is also the slogan of the brand:“If you love it, free it. You hair.“ Free of parabens, sulfates or anything else that weighs down your hair. The products are mainly made of vegetable and plant extracts, nothing unnecessary is added. The only ingredient that I would criticize is palm oil, but maybe they will find a way around that as well…or even a bar soap shampoo? Nonetheless I would never let any other products touch my hair!
To compensate the packaging I always buy the biggest bottle possible and then refill the smaller ones I already have at home.
I have always been one to battle dry skin, especially in the colder seasons. Usually I turned to body lotions, sometimes the ones that come with perfumes, which were seemingly luxurious and good. After checking the ingredients online it turns out it is especially these lotions that have carcinogenic ingredients. I definitely do not want to put that on my skin! So…I invested in a very luxurious and admittedly expensive body oil. If there is one thing I do not mind investing in it is my health and my body. The oil is entirely made from cold pressed oils, its main ingredient being marula oil. Marula oil „contains powerful antioxidants, high concentrations of nutrients and essential fatty acids that protect against environmental aggressors, help reverse photo-damage, boost cellular activity, hydrate at the deepest levels and repair the skin“ (africanbotanics.com). Also, the brand African Botanics supports a fair trade production, ensuring a synonymous support for land and people, providing remote areas of the country with economic opportunities and permitting women to support their families.
TOOTHPASTE AND FLOSS
I have this pet peeve (one of them)- when I go over my teeth with my tongue I need my teeth to feel smooth. To achieve this finish I do not want to sacrifice the health of my body and teeth, therefore I always go for a natural toothpaste. My favorite is the“Weleda Sole“ toothpaste, where salt acts as a natural defense against cavities and preventing the formation of plaque. It does not contain foaming agents or fluoride, which has been proven to damage the central nervous system.
In case my teeth decided to save some food reserves in case of starvation, I always use floss. It comes in a refillable glass container and is 100% biodegradable and compostable. The floss itself can be refilled. It is unfortunately made of silk and coated with beeswax, so the ideal floss for me would be made of cotton and soy wax. Nonetheless, it is already a one step in the right direction of producing as little waste as possible.
Shot by Sarah Johanna