Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in everyday Personal Care Products

Read about the ingredients to avoid in our everyday personal care products.

For the past month or so I have been attending various seminars, discussions and group events held by The Big Carrot, all related to health awareness. Some of the events allowed me to gain valuable insight to products and ideas that I never knew existed and also educated me on topics that I knew little about, but, wanted to expand my knowledge on. So far, I’ve attended a movie night which featured a documentary called, Living Downstream on cancer survivor and ecologist Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.. This documentary outlined topics related to cancer and its environmental links. I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who wants to know more on the effects of chemicals in the enviornment. Did you know that there are certain chemcials in our environment, like in trees and soil, that are unable to be broken down by natural means because they are so potent and keep accumulating over time? Well, that’s not all, there are many issues that our enviroment is facing thus, ultimately affecting us and our well-being.

Another seminar I am hoping to attend is on how to change the brain while allowing new chemicals to be formed to help produce healthy thoughts. This is especially important to me because this is something I am working on personally. The most important discussion I did attend to date, is on the Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products. After learning about this, I knew I had to share this with you all. Basically the most important thing I took away from all of this is, if you can’t pronounce it, it doesn’t belong on or inside of you. Take a look below at the list of all the chemicals that are used in every day products that we should avoid in order to live a healthier life. READ ALL YOUR LABELS!

  1. PARABENS – METHYL/PROPLY/BUTYL – Parabens are the most widely used preservative in personal care products, they stop fungus and bacteria from growing in creams and cosmetics. Especially if kept in a moist environment such as a bathroom. You will find them in almost all products such as shampoos, conditioners, mascaras, foundations and body lotion.
  2. FORMALDEHYDE – OR FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING AGENTS DMDM HYDANTOIN DIAZONLIDINYL UREA, METHAMINE, QUATERNUM-15 AND MANY MORE – These ingredients are a concern because they are a slow release formaldehyde which continously release small amounts over time into the product.
  3. PHTHALATES – Are a group of chemicals that are used to make plastics but is widely used in perfumes and nail polishes as well. These perfumes can also be used to scent body care products such as lotions, deodorants and body sprays.
  4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL – Is an ingredient widely used in products from brake fluids to snacks. It is commonly used as a solvent in most body care products mostly found in lotions and deodorants.
  5. ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL – Is used in many products as a solvent in perfumes and many other personal cosmetics. It can be used as an antiseptic and in oils to make them quick drying and fast absorbing.
  6. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE – Used as a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier in shampoos, body wash, face wash and toothpaste, a variety of personal care products.
  7. PETROLEUM – MINERAL OIL AND PARRAFIN – These all come from petroleum and fall under the same umbrella. They are widely used in many personal care items along with cosmetics.
  8. ALUMINUM – ALUMINUM COMPOUNDS – Found mostly in deodorants and cosmetics where it could become a potential health risk.
  9. OXYBENZONE-OCTINOXATE – Most commonly found in sunscreen and moisturizers that contain a sunscreen.
  10. ARTIFICIAL COLOURING – Widely used in cosmetics and nail polishes, or any personal care products that add artificial colouring to help with the cosmetic appearance of a product.

Here are some additional great links to look at for more detailed information on these ingredients and certain products;



My intention for this year is to try as many new things as humanly possible.  So, two weeks ago on a Monday night, I tried something totally new and different (for me), I tried “floating”.  Floating is a new age therapeutic meditation or stress release technique or procedure that helps a person achieve sensory deprivation while floating in salt water in a dark tank or pod.  The object of “floating” is to achieve complete sensory deprivation while becoming connected to ones self.

You can attempt active or passive floating depending on what you wish to achieve.  If one wants to achieve relaxation, one would simply be passive and float and attempt to clear the mind.  Active floating is different whereby one can perform different techniques.  A person may perform meditation, mantras, self-hypnosis, or make use of educational programs to help achieve a certain state of awareness.  Active floating allows the body to be in complete relaxation, thus, allowing the mind to become highly suggestible while taking in information into the sub-conscious and retaining it.  This relaxed state can help in the healing process for many conditions such as stress, anxiety, pain, swelling, insomnia and jet lag.

A sensory deprivation pod/tank is about the size of an oversized bathtub or jacuzzi which closes and seals out sound and light.  The tank is filled with water and uses epsom salt and magnesium sulfate in high concentration so that you achieve a complete weightlessness or “floating” sensation while in the tank.  It is supposed to mimick the dead sea.  There is roughly 1200 pounds of epsom salt in the tank, thus, creating such density that the entire body is floating with ease while keeping the head buoyant so not to drown.

Another benefit one gets from the tank/pod occurs because high concentration of magnesium helps enhance the therapy.  Magnesium is absorbed through the skin due to natural molecular diffusion and plays a major role in correcting magnesium deficiencies in the body.  Typically, magnesium is absorbed from the diet but in many areas of the world, over-cropping and other processes depletes necessary content of magnesium in our foods.  The body naturally balances the levels of magnesium so there is no overload effect caused by the “floating”.

After trying “floating” I can honestly say I’ve already booked my next 5 sessions in advance.  I plan to do this once a month for as long as I possibly can.  I achieved such a state of awareness and connectedness with myself that I can’t even describe.  I was able to hear myself, my true inner voice, calling me and guiding me.  I was able to make definitive decisions that I wasn’t able to make prior to my session.  I gained a confidence about myself after my session and I can’t even explain why, other than, it really helped me get inside my head and tell myself things that I already knew, but, avoided.  “Floating” has definitely helped me open my mind and soul and I am looking forward to my next float session to uncover even more greatness trapped within myself.,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNH45azQ3LgI2cq3g-K7AertVJAO5w&ust=1421768383047451

“When I first tried a sensory deprivation tank, people thought I had lost my mind. In fact, I had found it.” ~ Ryan Lilly


What is the meaning of detoxification?  Well, it’s sort of like a cleansing of the body from inside out.  The scientific explanation is the removal of toxic substances from a living organism.  Detox occurs when the body tries to eliminate and remove toxins produced in the body from foods, the environment and our genetics.  We are all relatively clean people whereby, we shower, keep our bodies and hygiene clean, brush our teeth, and etc..  However, rarely do we clean ourselves from the inside.  The reason being is we are not educated on the proper methods for detoxification.  Most of the time we aren’t even aware when our bodies require a detox.  So, I want to share with you all some symptoms that you should be aware of to determine whether or not you may benefit from a detox.

If you experience any one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to consider researching detoxes particular to your health needs.

  • Allergies
  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Dark under-eye circles
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Poor concentration
  • Skin issues
  • Sluggish digestion

Here are some tips on how to minimize your toxic load and help keep your liver (your detox organ) clean.

  • Drink lots of WATER!  Stay hydrated.  Drinking good quality water daily helps flush out toxins.
  • Eat foods that contain high fibre such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts and seeds.  Fibre helps to eliminate toxins by stimulating bile flow.  Also, the more regular and better your bowel movements are the more toxins you release.
  • Eat organic and avoid foods that use artificial ingredients, chemicals, pesticides, additives, and preservatives.
  • Eliminate anything that hinders your detoxification such as caffeine, alcohol, white sugar and bad fats.  Chemicals are also absorbed through the body and this means you should avoid certain beauty care products that contain harmful chemicals such as perfume, antiperspirant, makeup, soap, cream and etc.
  • Exercise!  Try to move your body everyday!  Incorporate effective breathing as well to help reduce stress and help blood flow to all the areas of your body to keep it limber and flexible.
  • Eat more detoxifying foods.  These foods can stimulate the liver to detox, purify the blood and promote bile flow and regular bowel movements.





So there is a trend going on with the youth these days.  Actually, it’s not just the youth, it’s pretty much anyone who owns a phone with a camera on it.  This trend started once camera phones came into existence.  The infamous selfie!  What is a “selfie” you ask?  Well, it’s a picture that a person takes of him/herself, particularly focusing on a close up of the face.

The reason why I am writing about this trend is because I was driving down my driveway about a week ago and noticed a young girl (probably about 14-16) stop right in the middle of the driveway to take a “selfie”.  This didn’t bother me in the least, it was just something that I noticed and was aware of.  The following day, I was again driving back home and noticed the very same girl stop in the exact same position as the day before, to take another “selfie”.  This time, however, it did bother me.  It made me wonder, what is the need for this young girl to take the exact same picture of herself, in the exact same pose, with the same background, just with a slight different look (as in different clothes), again.  It then made me think how many other pictures of herself did she take in the exact same position.  What is this obsessive need that people have these days of wanting to look at themselves over and over again? I mean carry a damn mirror if that’s the case!

I then started thinking about this trend that everyone is following.  Taking pictures of themselves looking exactly the same way they did in every picture they took.  This trend promotes low self-esteem and a heap of other negative things.  I am all for taking nice pictures and wanting to feel and look good.  I myself am a “selfie” taker when I feel I look extremely attractive or I want to show off.  But, what bothers me is that this trend is creating obsessive characteristics in people.  People are becoming vain, obsessive and needy for attention.

A picture is supposed to capture a moment in time that you want to remember.  How many times can a person look at themselves being captured in the same moment every moment?  It just doesn’t make any sense.  Once in a while, I understand.  Even every week I understand.  But taking a “selfie” every day, multiple times a day?  Is that even healthy?  If you are a notorious “selfie” taker, I suggest you get some help.

I think you may need to look into your soul and ask yourself a series of deep meaningful questions that require honesty about why you have such a need to take selfies.  This is not to insult you or make you feel like I’m judging you, it’s simply to bring awareness to a deep seated issue that maybe you’re not seeing at the moment.  I find people who are constantly taking selfies are trying to fulfill something that they are unaware of.  That is why I suggest, you ask yourself what it is you really need and want out of your life.  So, I end by saying, I cannot wait for this trend to be over, because I think many of us can be using our minds and talent for much greater things than taking “selfies”.


“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously.  A person may be proud without being vain.  Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us”. ~ Jane Austen


Hair loss

Hair loss for both men and women is hard to deal with.  Psychologically and physically it can take a toll on a persons emotions and well being.  Often genetics, stress, and lifestyle resort to hair loss.  Many people assume that genetics is the only factor involved in hair loss but in today’s fast paced life of stress, fast foods and improper diets, and beauty enhancements it is easy to succumb to hair loss even if genetically you’re not inclined to lose hair.

Both my parents always had full, thick, lush, silky and beautiful hair up until their 30s.  But something transpired chemically in both of them that resulted in hair thinning, loss and almost complete balding as they hit their 40s and 50s.  As I watched both my parents deal with hair loss I started freaking out and thinking, is this my future?  I do not want to deal with this problem at least not until I am in my 60s or 70s.  I needed to first figure out what caused their hair loss in their 30s and what I could do naturally to prevent it from happening and progressively getting worse.

After researching I came to realize that stress was the leading cause of hair loss for my parents.  Both my parents are entrepreneurs and work 7 days a week.  My mom works full time in the day for the government but goes to the office in the evenings to handle all the finances.  Constantly working combined with poor dietary habits and lack of water created a lot of stress that ultimately affected their health and immune systems.  As their immune systems were being destroyed because of poor habits and prescription medication, they were unable to produce proper hormones or chemicals necessary for the natural regrowth and replenishment of hair.  This cycle continued and as the years passed, both my parents continued losing their hair.

Doing just one thing won’t change the problem of hair loss.  Combining a few things such as including a proper diet, taking in proper nutrients and consciously taking care of the hair can lead to hair growth and prevention of further hair loss.  Take a look at the information I  gathered regarding hair loss and some of the tools I apply and some products I personally use to help me deal with this.  Try some of these tricks to help you, but remember, doing just one thing won’t change your problem.  Also, make sure you’re not allergic to any of the products I mentioned below before trying them.

Causes of hair loss

  • Stress
  • Immune dysfunction and auto-immune diseases
  • Trauma to the scalp
  • Side effects of chemotherapy or other prescription drugs
  • Hormonal imbalances such as – thyroid gland dysfunction, pregnancy, menopause, excessive male hormones
  • Hereditary factors in men
  • Ageing
  • Overdosing with vitamin A
  • Fungal infections of the scalp

~ Proper diet and consciously living healthy can drastically affect hair loss.  Here are a few things to note about useful foods and supplements and natural remedies that can help you deal with problems of hair loss.

Foods & Juices

  • Cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onion and garlic are high in organic sulphur, which stimulates hair growth
  • Alfalfa in its sprouted form is a valuable source of phyto-estrogens which help to counteract the effect of excessive male hormones on the hair follicles
  • Silicon rich foods such as alfalfa and onion help the growth of strong and healthy hair
  • Carrot, broccoli and beetroot contain beta-cerotene essential to reduce inflammation in the scalp
  • Garlic contains selenium, which reduces inflammation in the scalp
  • Ginger can help speed up hair growth and reduce dandruff and inflammation as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent

~ By combining these items in a juice smoothie or eating them raw you ensure a healthy diet rich in proteins and necessary nutrients to help improve the circulation of oxygen rich blood to the scalp.

Juice smoothie recipe for Hair loss

  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 cabbage leaves or 2 brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 1 medium beetroot and tops
  • 1/2 to 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 2 slices of watermelon (to sweeten if desired)


  • Essential fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, salmon oil and evening primrose oil
  • Vitamin E to reduce scarring of hair follicles and improve circulation
  • Silica is one of the most essential nutrients our bodies need for healthy functioning and can drastically improve skin and hair growth – comes in the form of a pill or gel -bamboo, horsetail and collodial silica
  • Red palm or coconut oil

Natural remedies & preventative measures

  • Red palm oil or coconut oil – heat oil for 20 seconds, massage into scalp and run through hair, leave in for 2 hours or as long as desired, wash out oil with SLS and paraben free shampoos and conditioners (twice)
  • Red palm oil – also helps reduce greys while promoting healthy hair growth
  • Ginger – rub the juice from ginger roots onto balding or thinning areas of hair, let it sit and wash out, it allows stimulation of blood flow to the scalp
  • Silica gel – add 1 tablespoon of silica gel to smoothies, water, or consume it directly, or take 1 silica capsule a day
  • Avoid blow drying – avoid blow drying your hair after washing it, try to naturally dry it using a towel or air dry it
  • Avoid brushing hair while wet – brushing the hair daily while dry makes you lose 50-100 strands on its own, but doing it while the hair is wet causes breakage and damage directly to the hair follicles
  • Avoid chemical products whenever you can or use organic products free of parabens and SLS – styling the hair daily with harsh chemicals and products can lead to hair loss and damage to the scalp
  • For women: avoid hair extensions – constantly wearing extensions adds weight to the hair follicles and causes pulling, this slowly damages the roots and creates balding in the areas that have constant pressure or tightness


Natural is the way to go

For the past few years I have been on a health kick.  Dealing with the pressures of society to maintain health, youth and my image forced me to think of ways I could deal with this.  The internet is plagued with information on surgery and unnatural ways of healing and changing yourself and your image.  You have cancer, use chemotherapy to kill your cells.  You’re overweight, don’t exercise instead take diet pills.  You don’t have hair, get extensions or plugs.  You don’t have breasts, go buy and insert them.  You don’t have a butt, get injections.  You have wrinkles, freeze your face and inject it with unnatural compounds.  There is a surgery or evasive treatment for almost everything out there now.  Not only that, but most of us are unfairly pressured into believing that, in order to maintain health and youth, we all have to eventually resort to this unnatural way of living.  The general population is then made to feel inadequate and inferior to others while being compared unrealistically to societal standards based on extreme and unnatural enhancements.

Women and men have spent thousands upon thousands trying to perfect their image.  We can all stand to go for a tune up now and then.  We all want to and deserve to look our best.   However, at what cost?  The amount of money one could save by doing things naturally is astonishing.  The personal health risks one takes while experimenting with foreign objects in his/her body is mind blowing.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not judging nor am I being critical of anyone who has undergone surgery to correct their image.  We all have a right to choose how we want to live and we are the rulers of our own body and image.  Furthermore, there are certain diseases or health issues that require surgery or evasive treatments because it is the absolute last resort and the only way to cure it.  I myself have even considered rhinoplasty for years but just can’t seem to convince myself to go ahead with it.  I personally feel that a person should educate him/herself on alternative, natural or holistic treatments before resorting to evasive treatments.

Many people are not educated enough on natural remedies or natural beauty products that could help you retain youth while keeping you healthy internally as well.  We live in a time where we are all looking for a quick fix.  We have an endless amount of resources for unnatural ways to change, but very few resources for natural cures and remedies.  But, in order to be truly healthy, youthful and energetic we need to maintain our health internally and externally.  Going natural is NOT a quick fix.  The biggest let down for most people looking for a quick fix while trying things naturally is the expectation of immediate results.

But, if we are all taught about natural ways to heal, fix and correct from a young age, we learn to develop positive habits that reinforce health and youth.  The problem is most people are not provided with enough guidance about products or specific natural plants, foods and formations such as sand, rocks, stones, and etc. that help with the aging process.  How do you think people 3000 or 4000 years ago maintained health naturally?  They didn’t have large pharmaceutical companies shoving pills or cosmetic surgeons sucking out fat or injecting the body with chemicals.  They must’ve done things naturally that still worked.  How else could the human race have evolved to where we are now?

In the very near future, I will dedicate a few blogs specifically related to natural remedies.  They will outline some key natural ingredients that the human body requires to maintain good health.  I will also outline alternative medication or ways to solve common problems such as the cold or skin disorders and etc.  Hopefully, by writing and sharing enough information I can help others avoid resorting to unnatural ways of curing their problems and thus help change their perception on quick fixes and what it really means to be healthy.

Time to reflect:

Do you feel pressure from all around to be a certain image?  Have you considered going under the knife or doing something evasive to correct a problem you currently have?  Body image is a delicate subject and everyone has insecurities.  We all want to change certain things about ourselves but how far are we willing to go?  Look at what you wish to fix and instead of resorting to a quick fix, try looking for alternative ways to improve those qualities you feel you lack.  For instance, if you have dry skin, look for natural products to help relieve dry skin without using lotions with chemicals.  Once we start being truly healthy, our minds will also become healthy and not be consumed by the pressures of society to do things unnaturally.  


“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha 

Consciously living healthy

Over the past few years I’ve been gravitating toward subjects related to health and wellness.  I particularly had an interest in holistic medicine, meditation, yoga, raw food diets, healthy living, self healing, and consciousness; just to name a few.  Around the time of my quarter life crisis, I realized that I was quickly approaching my 30s.  So, I went on a frenzy to gather any and all information that would help me age gracefully.  Living in a society where women are constantly judged on their appearance and pressured to stay looking young by any means, made my paranoia, with aging, grow exponentially.  I wanted to target specific areas that I was having trouble with.

For the past 5 years I’ve been trying to live healthy, but failed to maintain that lifestyle.  Today, I have made a conscious decision.  I am going to live a healthier life by consciously changing my habits and lifestyle.  This is a bold statement considering I have a lot of bad habits that, some would say, are hypocritical of living a healthy lifestyle.  I binge eat and prefer junk over healthy food, I drink and smoke, and finally I don’t get proper sleep or exercise.  But, if I aspire to accomplish this conscious choice, I have to declare my intention and follow through with the appropriate actions.

The first step to consciously living healthier is to acknowledge the flaws.  I know personally, I lack a proper diet and don’t exercise regularly.  I have wrinkles, grey hair, hair and bone density loss because of stress and my constant binge eating, drinking and smoking and lack of sleep and proper exercise.

Becoming aware of the problem will force you to do something about it.  The very fact that you are consciously aware of your problem creates a moral obligation to change yourself.  Once you’ve acknowledged the flaws honestly, you then have to choose what to do and how you can change those flaws.  I personally gathered information on raw food diets in an attempt to eat healthier.  I researched specific at home workout routines targeting my weak areas to avoid paying costly membership fees at the gym.  I then researched holistic and natural remedies  to help improve my overall wellness without it costing an arm and a leg and resulting in evasive surgery.

The next thing is to stay true to yourself and try what works for you.  We’re constantly surrounded by people on Facebook or Instagram taking millions of pictures of their weight loss or success.  It’s easy to get mixed up in the hype of doing what every body else does.  So, you have to consciously choose who to follow as your role model.  Choose someone with similar features or body type as you, or someone who dealt with similar bad habits as you and overcame them.  Follow those who are striving for similar goals as you.  By doing this you can learn their techniques and apply it to yourself the best way that suits and helps you achieve results.  Remember, you were born original don’t die a copy.  Don’t copy others, make up your own rules by learning from others while making it work for you.  By applying these techniques you finally get to address the problem, face it, come up with a plan to fix it and then follow through with actions that ultimately help change it.

Here is a list of things I am consciously choosing to work on in my life:

  • Eating healthier – focus on raw food diets, avoid foods that contain GMO’s, avoid junk food and consciously choose a healthier option by making my own smoothies and meals
  • Exercising regularly – work out 3 times a week and incorporate one activity such as yoga, pilates, kick boxing, or etc. in addition to working out
  • Cutting out my bad habits – stop drinking alcohol, only on rare occasions, cut out smoking, only on weekends never during the week, eat smaller portions more times throughout the day to avoid binge eating at night
  • Using natural remedies to improve my health – use red palm oil for hair loss and reducing greys, ginger to improve blood flow and increase hair growth, add silica, cinnamon, lemon and honey in tea and other foods to help build my immune system, use almond and castor oil for my dry skin and to naturally reduce wrinkles, do facial yoga and try acupuncture to improve blood flow to the face for a natural facelift, incorporate meditation in my daily life to naturally reduce stress without resorting to western medicine (ie. pills)

Time to reflect:

Have you consciously chosen to do something?  Maybe you too are trying to live a healthier life.  Are you on a budget and looking to not spend a ton of money to change?  Are you looking to cut out some of your bad habits or maybe incorporate new good habits?  Whatever you wish to achieve, once you’ve chosen to consciously do something, take the time to reflect on what that something is.  Be honest with yourself and stay true to who you are.  Focus on the areas you are concerned with and research your options.  Look for role models with similar goals as you so you don’t get caught up in the hype of achieving results not intended for you.  Once you’ve consciously chosen to do what you want, following through with the appropriate actions to achieve your results becomes very easy.  Do you have any tips for living a healthier lifestyle?  If you do, please share!


“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”. ~ Buddha