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Why You Should Ditch the Toxic World of Beauty Products

Why You Should Ditch the Toxic World of Beauty Products

What’s really in this?

That’s a question the majority of the population don’t ask when shopping for cosmetics. They read the labels claiming “Natural”, “Sensitive”, “Anti-Aging” etc, and they buy it. And the horrifying thing is, these labels actually mean absolutely nothing—little did we know that companies can legally put just about anything they like on the label and there’s very little regulation on this. In fact, the FDA itself states that it does not screen cosmetic product labels and that there is no approval process—it is purely up to the manufacturer to put whatever it wants on its labels.

Even the words “For Sensitive Skin”, “Hypoallergenic” and “Fragrance-Free” mean nothing. They are completely unregulated marketing gimmicks! Pick it up and read the ingredients, research what the long words that you may otherwise skip over mean, and you’ll see for yourself that it still contains fragrance (often disguised as other names) along with all sorts of other harsh ingredients someone with sensitivities or with acne should NEVER put on their skin. But the ingredients in your cosmetics can cause things much more sinister than acne.

You can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth on FDA.gov, “Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA.”

You will also find a statement on that page proclaiming that the FDA does not approve cosmetics to be fit to sell before hitting the stores, nor do cosmetics need FDA approval…ever. Oh, and by the way, next time you’re shopping at a natural store and think you’re safe while in the beauty aisle there, think again. Even the word “Organic” on a cosmetic label requires only 10% of the ingredients to be organic, and the product likely still contains synthetic chemicals that can cause bodily harm.

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Many widely-used ingredients in mainstream cosmetics (both for women AND men) are much worse than “bad for your skin”.

They have been proven to cause cancer. And they cause reproductive harm, organ toxicity, and so many other things it would make your eyes glaze over to write them all out. So the number one concern you need to have with most of the cosmetics you see on the shelves, and almost all of those brands masquerading as “All Natural” too, is cancer. I could go through all of the ingredients you need to avoid and why, and you could try and remember all those long, tongue-tying words and spend hours at the stores reading all of the labels (which trust me I’ve done), only to have wasted your time. Alarmingly, all the toxic ingredients proven to cause cancer and poison your body are in almost everything in the cosmetics aisle—carcinogens, which are substances that can cause cancer, are on the labels of products you probably trusted up until now. So instead I’m going to introduce you to a discovery of mine, that may very well change your life.

So what to do?

If anyone has researched natural, organic beauty products the most, it’s me.

I have a plethora of sensitivities and allergies and have been researching natural alternatives for all of my adult life. I can’t even count how many “100% natural” and “uber sensitive” products still gave me reactions, and how many “green” products still had harsh, dangerous chemicals in them. I eventually gave up on the world of cosmetics and about 6 months ago had to ditch everything entirely. Though sometimes I would still get a burst of motivation to do a bit more research (in addition to the 1,000 hours I’d already done).

One day, I stumbled across a blog about the oil cleansing method (oil is your new best friend by the way), and from there stumbled onto a website called Primal Life Organics. I found out that the company was founded and owned by a nurse and Eco-mamma, and all of the products were homemade fresh to order, non-GMO, organic, wildcrafted, contained no preservatives or any additives of any sort, and were all vegan, Paleo and gluten-free. Everything was made purely from oils, food, and clay. Including the makeup, which was far from your typical “mineral makeup” (which by the way is actually toxic), instead, they’re made from clay and colors from food like beets. This company was as natural as you could possibly get without making it yourself from scratch. NO chemicals? I was amazed. I decided to try a bunch of products, and with low expectations just in case, because this was probably too good to be true. And then a miracle happened.

I didn’t have any allergic reactions, not any skin irritation in the least. What?! That was unheard of for me. And my skin drastically improved in appearance. I was shocked. I had finally found products that not only agreed with my skin but that I could trust to be natural, safe and healing. I needed to share this.

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Find a truly natural and organic product.

Primal Life Organics (PLO) makes everything you could possibly need, from face washes and serums to soap and shampoo to shaving cream and deodorant. And everything comes with a guarantee to being as natural as nature makes it. And how did I not know this, but PLO has even appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox on “Health and Wellness Today”. Who is behind this amazing company?! I found out her name was Trina, and she fascinated me so much I had to learn more about her.

I found out that the inspiration for her products came from a terribly traumatic event in her life. When she was pregnant with her first child, she was devastated by a miscarriage. Trina and her husband were so shocked because they were so healthy, or so they thought because they ate healthily and exercised regularly. So Trina started to look into everything about her lifestyle and environment to make sure this would never happen to her again. She and her husband tried to get pregnant again, and they got lucky.

Trina says, shortly after she found out, “I happened to glance down at my moisturizer, and I think this was the first time that I literally read the ingredients because it was from a natural organic company that I trusted. And what I read astounded me. I identified that there were chemicals and toxins in my moisturizer and I knew that these ingredients could cause harm not only to me but to my baby. These chemicals could cross the placenta and affect the development of my little girl, and I was devastated, so I literally completely unplugged from Big Cosmo.”

“I started researching, looking for products that were safe, and when I couldn’t find what I was looking for I decided that I would make my own. I was 39 and I had acne, very oily skin, and psoriasis on my legs. When I started putting my own skin care products on my face, my acne disappeared within about 2 to 3 months. My oiliness went away, and my skin condition completely cleared up. Then I started to send them to my friends just to see what they thought, and I got the same feedback. I started to think, ‘Gosh, this is really amazing.'”

Trina’s handmade products have become so widely loved she has a team of 15 people now making the products and she ships out over 4,000 packages a month.

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She’s also written an international best-selling book called “Beauty’s Dirty Secret”. And she’s committed to educating the world about the toxic dangers of mainstream products and hosts webinars and podcasts where you can learn anything from the dangers of mainstream toothpaste to healing skin conditions. But most importantly, why you need to stop using commercial skincare and what it is doing to you.

“When you absorb something through your skin, it doesn’t get metabolized the same way as when you ingest it. When you ingest something it starts to get broken down through your saliva, traveling to your stomach where your digestive juices continue to break it down, and then it’s sent to your liver so you can excrete it in your urine. However, through your skin, ingredients or toxins can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream, and travel throughout your body before they even get to your liver, so there’s a possibility that these fat-loving toxins can migrate into your tissues before they get broken down if they ever reach your liver. These toxins can mutate your cells and can cause cancer. They can be neurotoxins. Endocrine disruptors. They can affect your entire being.”

What comes into contact with your skin is so earth-shatteringly important.

What you put on your skin should be as safe and natural as something you would eat (and don’t think processed foods, which just slowly make you sick on the inside. Diet plays an equally huge role in your health). Would you eat something, say broccoli for example, if it was 12 months old? If a beauty product is over 12 months old the only reason it’s not riddled with bacteria and mold is because it’s riddled with preservatives. And there’s an easy solution to this; if you use only fresh ingredients, and use the product while it’s still fresh, then you don’t need all of those toxic preservatives.

But human beings have evolved to desire convenience and let that desire outweigh their logic and regard for their own health (think fast food chains for example). So we speed faster and faster towards a completely convenience-driven and vanity-obsessed race where health is of little consequence in our continued search for “happiness”, ironically while focused on having no wrinkles and taking the perfect selfies, instead of awakening to higher consciousness and healing our bodies and our Earth. True healing will come from within, from remedying at the source, not smothering ourselves with temporary fix-alls. Informing yourself and taking a stand for your health and the ones you love are going to be the only ways to get there.

“It’s very easy to do the things that we routinely do, and through education and opening your eyes, increasing your awareness is really the only way to change a bad habit. And one of the worst habits that I have found is that people don’t read their labels.”

Trina speaks wise words—most people aren’t concerned enough about what’s in the products they use, and that’s mostly because we trust these companies to have our best interests in mind. But they don’t. Money is their main interest. And the sicker and more in need of these products we feel the more they are raking in. The government does not prohibit the use of dangerous chemicals in personal care products, and ingredient safety is not regulated and neither are cosmetic marketing claims. Federal law actually allows companies to leave some chemical ingredients off their product labels, many of which are hazardous chemicals (you can read the EWG’s cosmetic myth-busting article citing all of these facts here).

It’s up to you as an individual to take a stand for your health, because no one else will.

Going 100% natural, and I mean natural, which excludes most cosmetics you can buy on shelves, is going to make a huge impact on your health. And it’s going to change your life (and may very well save your life). The only way to stop the penetration of dangerous chemicals into your skin is by ditching the toxic world of mainstream beauty products and cosmetics completely (including mainstream household products). Buy only handmade products from a person or company you know and trust, which has a face, is a human being, and not a money-hungry corporation. Or, make it yourself from organic, wildcrafted ingredients. Never again will I put commercial lotion onto my skin or brush with commercial toothpaste, because I want to live a full life, free of cancer and illness. And I refuse to feed money to companies so greedy that they will shamelessly pull the wool over the eyes of the world to make as much profit as they can.

Together we can build awareness, snap out of our dreamlike state of consuming, and start making a difference in our lives, our health, and the world. The first step starts with you—in a decision to make a change.

More by this author

Chloe Spencer

Online Marketing Specialist, SEO Expert, Millennial Entrepreneur and Professional Writer and Speaker

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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