Around the time I was planning on becoming pregnant, I started to think about what I put in and on my body. I was mostly a healthy eater, but I had started to avoid ingredients like sugar, sugar substitutes, preservative, artificial colors, and so forth. Around that time, I also started to look at the ingredients in my make-up (not that I wear a lot), my soap, my shampoo, my deodorant, and my toothpaste. I started reading blogs and websites that provided information about harmful ingredients and gave me ideas about purchasing safer products or making you own. It was overwhelming to learn that almost everything I used contained harmful ingredients. I decided to make a change by starting with one of my most frequently used beauty care products-my deodorant. At first, I did not consider making my own deodorant, so instead I went to my local health food store and purchased several "natural" deodorants that did not contain antiperspirants. Chemicals in antiperspirants have been linked to certain types of cancers and Alzheimer's Disease. I felt better knowing that I had changed just one of my "bad" body care products. But I quickly came to realize that they simply did not work. As a teacher in a school with out air conditioning, I was able to put my new found purchases to the test. But at the end of a long day I would smell like the scent of the deodorant and b.o.
In 2007, I gave birth to my son and I continued to use those "natural" deodorants, with the thought that I was doing the right thing for my body and that these were the best options on the market. I would simply have to deal with their short comings. In 2010 I gave birth to my daughter and continued with the "natural" deodorants, while becoming more frustrated with the fact that they just did not work. By 2012 I started to look deeper into various resources to see how to make my own deodorant and began to experiment with different ingredients. It took several months to find the right ingredients and develop a recipe that I loved. My new recipe worked by killing the bacteria that causes the b.o.
Local friends knew what I was brewing in my kitchen and wanted to try it. I purchased sample size containers and passed them around to get feedback. All the feedback helped me to improve my recipe. Eventually two friends asked for full size containers. I purchased a small pack of containers, thinking that they would last forever, but before I knew it, word got around and I was actually selling deodorant!
On the business front- here it is the end of 2015 and I have an official business! My deodorants are available in 3 stores with a 4th one planning to sell in the New Year. I have expanded from one single deodorant to 5 different options, a 3-in-1 Facial Oil, and a Facial Exfoliant (coming soon)! On a personal note, I am more aware of what ingredients go onto my body. I have changed all of my beauty care products to ones that I am comfortable with or I have made my own. I am teaching my kids to be aware of harmful ingredients. In this coming year, I urge you to pledge to look into one of your daily beauty products and know what you are putting on your skin, which happens to be you largest organ. There are many resources that will help you find healthy alternatives (see below for some of my recommendations). Be good to yourself, be your own advocate, and do not trust labels. Here's to a happy and clean 2016!
Think Dirty - This is an amazing app and a great website that rates products on a scale of 0-10, while letting you know how clean or dirty products are. You will be amazed with what you find once you start to use the app.
Environmental Working Group - This website has several guides that help you understand what type of ingredients are in your foods, make-ups, etc.