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Clean Living

Clean Living

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It has become a priority at home to attempt to implement more of a clean living approach to our everyday lifestyle.  For the past few months I have been making a lot of changes not only within our home but also with my personal skincare routine.  

Clean Living

What does clean living look like of us?  It is a life style choice that includes healthy habits from the way we clean our home, to eating better as well as taking better care of ourselves.  I have always paid great attention to the food we put into our bodies, and try to live by the motto of “you are what you eat”.  Personally, we do not feel like our government has our best interest at heart when it comes to how our food is produced.  This is evident in how obese America is, as well as how much sicker people are getting.  

When it comes to food, I do what I can and try to buy organic products, as well as meats that are humanely raised or wild caught fish.   This is something I have been passionate about since I was in my 20s.  There are times we slip up, over indulge with a fast food burger or take out;  we are human too.  

I never gave much thought to how our house was cleaned or even the products we put onto our bodies.  That is until I had some medical issues that my doctors attributed to environmental causes after analyzing my lifestyle choices (food we ate as well as how active we are).  After further research as well as talking to other friends who also had unexplained health issues I decided to make more changes within our home.

I have eliminated as much plastic as I can, that is hard because a lot appliances that are used in the home are made from plastic.  I no longer use plastic storage containers for leftovers and definitely not to reheat food in.  I got rid of all pots and pans that had Teflon coatings, and switched to carbon steel and copper.  

I have also switched out the cleaning products I use in the house.  I ran all the products that were in our house through the EWG site and tossed 95% of them.  Though I had a feeling our government was not watching how our food was produced, I had thought or at least hoped it wouldn’t be the case with household products we used at home.  I was wrong – it was a toxic wasteland.  

I have always taken good care of my skin and have never had any big issues with acne or aging. When we moved to Oakland, I noticed a big change and blamed it on the water. I had also started to sway from my normal routine. I started getting suckered into those monthly box subscriptions and yo-yo-ing around with different skin care products. I started noticing a lot of changes with my skin from dryness, loss of tone and crazy breakouts. The breakouts were stressing me out more than dryness or a few wrinkles here and there. I consistently keep slathering on whatever came in those monthly boxes with hopes of it getting better, while blaming it on the water and stress.

Fast forward to almost two years ago when I sought help from a dermatologist. The breakouts were no longer there instead there was a crazy rash. At times I hated being out in public as the rashes were so red as well as painful. I was sure I had the beginning to skin cancer. 

My doctor said some of the issues were aging (tone, dryness) and the other big issue was that I was developing adult-onset Rosacea. It was not acne nor was it cancer.

She gave me four options:

  • She could write a prescription for a product that would be loaded with chemicals.
  • I could take a steroid which was more chemicals. 
  • I could figure out what was triggering the flare-ups and then avoid them (stress, foods, lifestyle)
  • Or find a product that worked for me.

I pay a lot of attention to what we put into our bodies so the first two options were not going to work for me.  I try to avoid medications unless completely necessary, and I was sure these would wreck havoc on my skin even more. Plus, our environment plays into more chronic diseases and I did not want to subject my body to even more trauma and/or chemicals.

I love to eat so giving up a food that I might enjoy was not an option unless it was something I did not care for. I started limiting foods to figure it out and was happy that it was not tomato based, dairy or red wine. Instead, it is Cruciferous vegetables which are all the ones I love; but, I can still enjoy thanks to the solution I found. 

The last option was to find a product. I continued to yo-yo between a few different brands that were natural and safer, which were Juice Beauty, French Girl Organics and 100% Pure. They were okay but not great. Juice Beauty actually made the flare-ups worse. I definitely was not 100% happy with any of the products from either of those skincare lines.

I mentioned my issues to my friend Alexis Davidson, and she introduced me to Beautycounter. I started with a tinted moisturizer and lipstick as I wanted to finish all of the other products I had just bought – even though I hated them, and they didn’t make me happy I could not think of being wasteful either. 

After using the tinted moisturizer for a couple months, and enjoying the minty lipstick which I got tons of compliments from, I was feeling pretty good about me. In September I went full speed ahead with a new cleaning regime and started seeing results within 8 weeks. My skin is now the best it has been in YEARS. I still have minor breakouts when I eat a trigger food but the Beautycounter products control these breakouts, and it has not been as bad as it was when I first asked for medical attention. 

There are decades of studies that serious health issues, such as asthma, cancer, and infertility are on the rise due in some part to ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals. My GYN has been telling me this for years.  We are exposed to chemicals in the shower, on our commute and even when we clean our houses. More than 80K chemicals are on the market today, and many do not have safety data. The FDA does not have the authority to remove these harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies every day. 

The EU has banned close to 1400 chemicals in personal care products and the US has only banned 30 to date. WTH??

For the past ten years, every doctor I have talked with has said the same thing that we as a global presence, need to start paying attention to lifestyle and environment issues as these are some of the main causes to fertility issues and cancers. 

I would rather pay more for quality food and products that are safe than treatments which will out weigh those costs. I think of the choices I make as you are what you eat – and same applies to what goes onto our bodies.  Our skin is our biggest organ, and everything that touches it eventually is absorbed by our blood stream. 

What I love about Beautycounter besides making my skin wonderful again is that they are committed to health and safety and have prohibited over 1500 harmful chemicals in their products. 

Products that I now use and trust – I have partnered with these brands and can offer a small discount for Chez Us readers.  

Household:

Branch Basics – this women owned business were on a mission to make homes a healthier place by creating products that removed toxic ingredients while still cleaning the house.  I have used their laundry products forever, and recently started using their complete line throughout the house from washing dishes to cleaning the BBQ.  It is amazing at how clean everything becomes when using their products, as well Branch Basics is highly concentrated and a little comes a long ways, which means I am saving money as well as cleaning my house.  $10 off your first order with BB – I think you will love them!

Force of Nature – I discovered this brand during the pandemic and it has become a great add-on to eliminating germs while not using toxic products.  In a nutshell, it is a cleaning product that covers water, vinegar and salt into a powerful all-in one disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs.  The EPA recently approved it for use against Covid 19.  For the month of April 2022 use the code:  EARTHDAY to get 40% off and Free Shipping on Bundles.

Brooklyn Candle Studio – I love this woman owned business, and have been supporting Tamara since she started the company.  They hand-pour each of their beautiful candles.  Their candles are dreamy, and they use 100% soy wax from American grown soy beans that are eco-friendly, clean burn as well as lead free cotton wicks.  As well their candles are cruelty free, phthalate free and petroleum free.  Free Shipping for orders over $50 +

Skincare:

Beautycounter – I believe so much in the mission of the company as well as the products that I have signed on as a consultant with them.  We are using all of their products in our house from shampoo to sunscreen and everything in between that goes on to our bodies.  If you are new to Beautycounter or have a friend who would like to try, I can offer you a discount code for 20% off your very first order.  Shoot me an email and I will send it your way!  Or if you have questions or would like a sample to try a product out before purchasing, let me know!

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