I'll probably come across a little snarky or sarcastic in this article. It's just the decades of research and experience that have depleted my patience with this issue...so here goes.
And it begins with acknowledging that there is no such tree as a 'Palm Olive'. There are palm trees. There are olive trees. Olives don't grow on palm trees.
One of the biggest detergent companies in the world has dressed up a dirt cheap formulation and promoted it as natural and botanical. But look a teensy-weensy bit deeper (like, flip the friggin bottle over and read the ingredients) and you'll see what is in it. Tap water, toxic chemicals, more chemicals and little bit of botanical extract. Even the company promotes itself with a tagline reading 'We put a drop of nature in every bottle'. Yeah. I reckon it is about a drop...
So you may contest that, 'but it's a cheap way to keep clean!', or 'my budget won't stretch to eco-friendly alternatives', or even, 'pure naturals are waaaay overpriced'. It's a standard routine. Shower, use bodywash, rinse off and tah dah, I've done my bit to be a part of society. I'm 'clean'.
To all of which I say 'Hmmmm. Bullshit'.
Cleansing yourself is not routine. It's RITUAL.
A symbolic act that has consequences, hopefully positive ones.
Using purely botanical (plant, seed, nut and fruit oils) and clean mineral (clays for example) cleansers enhance your skin's biome and create a strong matrix for your barrier function to er, function, optimally. That means less dry skin cracking, letting in bacteria and viruses. Less pollution of any kind accessing your subdermal layers. Less premature ageing. Less outbreaks. More supple skin. More smooth complexions. More smiles from you...
If you look for a clean, safe and effective way to be hygienic you cannot go past the simplest of ingredients, formulated well, that will last or outlast their mainstream (toxic-a-f) comparatives.
Cheap products by their very nature will make you use more of them. A liquid bodywash is diluted to 90%+ water, because marketers found that if it was really cheap then people weren't concerned with over-using it and buying more in a week or two. As long as it smelled nice and bubbled up well, most consumers were ok with purchasing it every fortnight or each month. Hey, it's only $2.99 or $7.99... I can afford that...right?
Yes, you can, you can probably afford 5 of each style!
... until you're at the doctor's surgery,
having them examine this rash that keeps coming back or trying to find out why your child has eczema, or why your headaches just won't go away/stop, or why your nose and eyes are constantly running, or why those moles have gone all red and itchy.
These are all common side effects that can be caused by the chemicals in cheap personal hygiene products.
Super clean and deep green formulations may cost a bit more up front, but it's the long term goal of better health, happy skin and an intact, functioning endocrine system that you want to be more focused on.
Concentrated products, made with care and distributed with enough backup education about 'how to use', can and will, clean and maintain you to an acceptably high social standard, provide you with nothing more than a good side effect of less toxic intake, and hopefully, in the long term, help you come to the realisation that caring for yourself naturally is how to care for yourself at all.
I'm not here to demonise any company or any ingredient, or any formulator. I just know that a carcinogenic compound does not belong in personal care products. I know that soap chemicals dry out skin and promote the other half of the industry selling you cheap moisturisers (that'll be another article) that deteriorate your skin so you'll end up needing 'specialist care' treatment products laced with highly reactive compounds that will lead you all the way back to the start...and around again.
Wouldn't it be good to begin a new way of doing something?
Wouldn't it be great to just be clean, smell nice and have great skin?
Wouldn't it be lovely to have your skin strong, supple and smooth as you mature?
All of this would be wonderful. It can only happen if you take action asap.
First step. Throw away the supermarket bodywash, replace with a natural cleanser.
The difference in your skin within a week will help you acknowledge the need to do this. Within a month you will not go back to a bodywash bought from a supermarket. You'll definitively understand what a 'moisturising cleanser' feels like and know that the cheap versions can't compare.
Check out MEM's range of pure, synthetic-free and botanical BodyWash Powders and Scrubs, or MultiPurpose Body Oils (yes, you can clean with oils...) here.
If you're really determined to clean up your skincare act, there's no better place to begin than the Skincare Basics booklet. It's a handbook for making your own simple skincare products. View it here.
"Apart from being a great opportunity to learn a little more self-sufficiency, this ebook introduces the youthful or mature to the advertising techniques used to market commercial products, how to navigate the world of ‘company speak’ when it comes to choosing self-care products, and how to avoid potential toxins through education, awareness and personal research."