My Natural Journey

6 years ago when my ME relapse began and I was getting all kinds of digestive symptoms as well as the nasty fatigue, headaches, dizziness I started altering things with my diet to try to reduce my symptoms – that was a long still ongoing process which I won’t go into today. A few people said I should also look at my cosmetic products, shampoos, etc to try and reduce toxins. I laughed, getting my head around cutting out food groups was hard enough, there was just no way I could look at my bathroom cabinet too!

However as the years have gone on, my health has settled down into an almost manageable rhythm, my kids have grown into slightly more self sufficient beings and the cosmetic industry has grasped the natural approach by the horns! Finding natural toxin free products has never been so easy so it felt like a good time to begin.
A year ago I started my journey…
I had never heard of shampoo bars until one of my friends shared a post about how much better they are for the environment, less packaging, easy to travel with, so that’s where I started my search.
I have short hair so I figured it would actually be a pretty straightforward switch.
The first one I bought was from Lush, it was yellow, round and had a slice of lemon on it (I love lemons). It worked great as a shampoo, no residue, left my hair a bit dry but then I hadn’t also bought the conditioner bar. However, it didn’t smell of lemons and after closer investigation still had all the toxins in that I was trying to avoid.
That’s when I delved a little deeper and found the Friendly Soap company. I first ordered a shampoo bar a face wash bar and a standard soap bar. I thought well if I’m doing this I may as well cut out my face wash and shower gel packaging too! (also the more you order the more you feel you are getting for your money with the p&p charges!).
All of them smelled lovely.
The shampoo took a bit of getting used to, it leaves my hair feeling a little sticky and after a while can leave quite a residue build up on my scalp. But I’ve cut down on washing my hair to every other day and once a week use a liquid shampoo – Faith In Nature, also toxin free – which makes it use able.
I don’t think my shampoo bar journey is over, there are quite a few more brands I would like to try but for now I have enough bars in the cupboard to last me at least a year!

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The face wash I was dubious about at first, it felt quite oily and my usual face wash was an exfoliant, so I wasn’t sure it was going to be for me at all.
But I love it!
It makes me feel nice and clean and a good scrub with the flannel is just as good – if not better – than all those microbeads heading down the drain!
And the standard soap bar in place of shower gel?
Again, love it! I’ve tried many different flavours from the friendly soap companies range and love them all. Way way way cheaper than all the bottles of shower gel they have replaced and far easier to travel with, especially if you like their all in one travel bar which works as shampoo and body wash.
I should say here that I also tried Faith in Nature soap bars for the same purpose, but did not get on with these at all. They made me want to tear my skin off… I have no idea why, all the ingredients are natural, it is a mystery.
Deodorant –
I used to use the nastiest 48hr deodorant aerosols, often in the summer reapplying a couple of times a day. I knew these were bad for me for so many reasons but was really scared about how bad I might smell if I switched!
I had also been warned I would likely go through a detoxing stage…
So this put me off for quite some time.
However my eldest daughter started needing deodorant last year and I was keen to not start her on the journey into toxic deodorants and knew I must lead by example.
So this year I decided to bite the bullet and just try it. In my search for shampoo bars and soaps I came across a natural deodorant in stick form, so would be applied in a manor which was not unfamiliar. I ordered 3 sticks of Kutis in different scents.
I started in February which I thought was a fairly safe time of year, not too hot, and I don’t go out much anyway!
I was so nervous, it’s ridiculous really, but there was nothing to worry about. I mean, 100 years ago no one wore deodorant anyway!
A week into my trial we were going away for a weekend and I was already so confident with the product that I didn’t even pack my old one as back up.
They smelt nice yet not overpowering. Were easy to apply and at the end of the day I didn’t smell!
It took me quite a long time to feel confident enough not to put it on the second I got out of the shower in the evenings but wait until the morning. This was helped by a reaction that occurred as I was applying it straight after shaving.
When it says don’t apply straight after shaving it actually did mean it…
I’ve now tried 3 or 4 different brands in different formats, some in sticks, some in tubs, pots or jars that you simply scoop up and rub on. My current one is Fit Pit – Peppermint – and is easily coping with the current heat wave!
I did also try a Salt Rock one, which I had previously looked at and thought, naaaa. But I needed something without baking soda after the shaving incident…
It was alright but didn’t quite keep me smell free all day, however it is my daughter’s preferred choice and the stick lasts for agggggggggges!
I still haven’t quite gotten used to actually sweating, but I guess that will come in time, after all I have spent 25 years trying to stop myself from sweating!
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Photo by Jorge Fernández

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