Each and every day we make choices that will not only affect us in the moment, but which will influence our lives as a whole. We have all types of choices to make from what we eat, the clothing we wear, what types of products we use in our home, and what types of products we are putting onto our skin. All these little daily choices add up to make a big impact on our health. There are so many options available to us that it be hard to know what is beneficial for your life and which could be potentially harmful. At the end of the day, the choice is ultimately up to us. Sometimes we find it may be easier to continue using the same products and eating the same foods, because we are all set in our ways and making the switch to natural might be inconvenient. Be that as it may, when it comes to living a natural lifestyle, the benefits far outweigh the hassle.
There are several reasons why people shift into a more natural lifestyle. Some may be looking to reduce their exposure to harsh synthetics, toxins, harmful chemicals or substances, while others are looking for eco-friendly, biodegradable, and cruelty-free products from a sustainable source. Making the switch to living a more natural lifestyle should be a personal, careful, and well-informed decision.
Once you have made the choice to live a more natural lifestyle, the process of making the switch to your everyday life may feel overwhelming at first. Where to begin, how to go about it, what to keep, what to get rid of, and which products are actually really natural… so many questions! Oof!
Making the switch one step at a time will give your mind and body the time it needs to adjust to your new way of living. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make the switch everything overnight, as the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day!”. Seriously, do not be too hard on yourself. Silence your inner critic and replace judgmental self-talk with kind, encouraging and gentle words to yourself. Some of the changes you make are going to be easy peasy, and some of them are going to be more difficult- taking more time for the mind and body to catch up, adjust, and carry on with your new lifestyle.
Take a moment to think of all the things you have ever put into your body. Foods, drinks, stimulants, chemicals, drugs… the list could go on. It’s something pretty amazing that regardless of what we are putting into our mouths, we expect our bodies to process it, use what it needs, and get rid of the rest without any troubles. Is your mind blown? After years of fueling your body with refined, processed fast foods, sugary drinks, and chemically-laden ingredients, it will warmly welcome proper nourishment.
It all begins at the farm. In our modern times, it’s no secret that many companies take on a “kill the invaders” approach, using pesticides and herbicides to grow their crops, with comparable practices used in the animal industry with antibiotics. The remnants of the substances sprayed onto crops and injected into animals are now a part of our food chain. Yuck! Instead, choose organic foods and find yourself a local free-range, organic and ethical farm for your meats and eggs.
For us as consumers, it begins at the grocery store. Going up and down every aisle at the grocery store is daunting. Thankfully, they have a lovely little trick for shopping that will help you keep focused. All the healthy good stuff is (usually) positioned around the perimeter of the store, meaning that for the most part, you can skip the aisles where the processed, refined, sugar filled foods are located. Shop only the perimeter of the grocery store, where fruits, veggies, fish, and meats are located. Choose organic and local (whenever possible) fresh foods, eliminating processed fast foods from your diet completely. Making good decisions while grocery shopping is imperative to living a more natural lifestyle. And a great tip…never shop when you’re hungry! Make sure your stomach is full and satisfied before you hit a grocery shop. It will avoid any temptations to stock your shopping cart full of quick sugary snack and salty processed craving foods.
Second to what we are putting in our body when going natural, is what we are putting ONTO our body. Personal care products can be tricky. Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and oral care, deodorant, cosmetics, and of course skin care. When deciding on natural products you are going to switch to, education is key. Many companies claim to be natural, but are they really natural? Not always. Reading the label is the best place to start, more so, reading the ingredients list. Do not rely on the front of the label to give you the information you are looking for. Many companies will smack a leaf on the front of the bottle with an “All-natural!” sticker. And the term “natural” isn’t regulated, so anyone can make that claim. Just because they do this, does not mean that the product inside is good for you. We explained this in-depth in a previous post you can check out here .
Lucky for you, we have done the research for you, and here is a little list we’ve compiled of our absolute favourite Natural Personal Care Brands.
Our Favourite Natural Personal Care Brands
1. For Hair Care products including shampoo, conditioner, and styling products we recommend Kavella Hair Care. Based in California, USA, Kavella was founded by a friend of Heather’s named Ashley Feinberg, a licensed cosmetologist and animal rights enthusiast. She developed Kavella as a collection of vegan, nontoxic, professional hair care products using the highest quality ingredients. The ingredients are good and the hair products deliver. Kavella products are pretty much the only hair care products that Heather from Huna uses!
2. When it comes to Oral Health, we reach for Desert Essence. An effective natural toothpaste that is fluoride & SLS-free. It is available at Superstore in the natural aisle – One of the only times we will ever recommend shopping the aisles at the grocery store is for the natural and international aisles! If you are looking for a charcoal whitening toothpaste that is natural and effective with healthy ingredients, My Magic Mud is highly recommended. Bonus, if you are a Manitoba local My Magic Mud is available at Vita Health Markets!
3. From your mouth to your pits! We’re talking about Deodorant – because no one likes to be stinky! We recommend Heather’s personal favorite- SoulDeo. SoulDeo is a Manitoba-based natural deodorant brand, and the founder is a friend of Heather’s. SoulDeo’s products are very effective. They have a smooth and creamy application, are entirely natural & healthy ingredients, and huge bonus- they are local.
We feel like it’s important to note that when you’re making the switch from your regular deodorant to a natural one, you may experience the dreaded “pit-detox”. This is actually a good sign- it means that your body is getting ride of the pore clogging toxic bacteria that has been building up on your skin over time. You may actually notice that your pits have never smelled worse! You may also notice that they’re more wet too. Think of it as if your underarms are crying tears of joy! Don’t despair. We promise you this too shall pass. Keep on with the natural deodorant and once your body has completed its pit-detox, you’ll be feeling fresher and healthier than ever!
4. Our obvious choice for natural skin care would be HUNA! Huna Apothecary creates natural and organic high-performance Skin Nutrition that feeds, nourishes and protects skin with moisture-rich, vitamin-packed, antioxidant-loaded, and phytonutrient-stacked ingredients, respecting and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier function. Huna Skin Nutrition is uniquely formulated to treat, protect and improve your skin’s health and nutrition to bring out your natural radiance and healthy glow. All Huna products are handcrafted in-house at the Huna Lab at the University of Manitoba, made from entirely natural, minimally-refined, and botanically potent and fresh ingredients. Huna grows over 30 different plant species in our Skin Nutrition Gardens on our family farm in southern Manitoba, and we use those as our active botanical ingredients. Skin Nutrition: Scientifically proven, Organically grown.
A simple 3-step daily skincare routine includes: Revitalize Cleansing Creme. This cleanser is buttery soft, smells divine, and removes every bit of dirt from your face. Even stubborn eye makeup and lip stain! It leaves your skin feeling and looking incredibly clean, revitalized, hydrated, soft, smooth and fresh. It’s our favorite way to start and end the day. Follow that up with Nourish Botanical Face Mist designed to instantly hydrate, refresh, perk-up, revive + nourish skin. A light spritz adds an epic hydrated and healthy-looking glow. To finish, a light layer of our top seller – Revitalize Age-Grace Face Serum delivers deep hydration and effective antioxidant protection. It is a lightweight yet ultra-deeply hydrating power-packed serum that nourishes and protects with a potent antioxidant + polyphenol-rich formula. It is quickly absorbed by skin to revitalize, renew, protect, and leave skin glowing with nourished health. If you’re looking for an extra boost, we recommend you exfoliate your skin once a week with the Clarify Sandalwood Microexfoliator + Mask. 100% natural, gentle + extremely effective exfoliation. Deeply cleanses pores to remove impurities while sweeping away surface dead and dry skin cells. Leaves skin looking clear, clarified, even-toned and radiantly glowing. Skin feels super-smooth and soft. Sandalwood is an astringent that effectively minimizes the appearance of pores.
Green-Clean Your Home
Now that we are done cleaning your body, let’s start on cleaning your home. Ahh yes, a trip down the household cleaning products aisle. Aren’t we so lucky to have bottle after bottle filled with harmful, toxic chemicals you get to pay money for, bring home, and spray all over the house that you live in, breathing it all in, laying your food on it, putting our health at risk? No we certainly are not.
Using these harmful cleaners in your home really is affecting your health, and the health of others living under your roof (ahem, kids and pets!). Almost 70% of store bought cleaners contain harmful chemicals. Dish detergent that you wash the dishes you eat off of, and laundry detergent from washing your clothes can be absorbed through your skin, while the air fresheners and cleaners you spray are being inhaled. Just because you are not eating it, does not mean it can not cause your body harm. Toxins are not only consumed, they are inhaled and can even be absorbed through skin. Ready-to-use green cleaners are widely available at most stores neighboring the traditional chemical-ridden cleaning products. If you prefer to make your own cleaner at home, there are many “recipes” available online depending on what you are cleaning! Madeleine Olivia has complied a wonderful list of DIY cleaners for all types of household cleaning.
All it takes are some small changes in our daily choices to see some big monumental changes in our overall health. Remember, don’t stress over how many changes you can make at one time. One of the only things worse for your health than chemicals is stress. So be kind to yourself and keep moving forward. Progress, not perfection natural beauties!
This blog post was written by Brittany Hay, Holistic Beauty Expert & Retail Specialist from Team Huna.