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Chemical-free living?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by kristysmiles, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. kristysmiles

    kristysmiles

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    I'm looking at making my own cosmetics to avoid some of the harmful chemicals that manufacturers put in their products. I'm wondering if anyone on here has done this before and if they saw a difference in their symptoms? Primarily looking at making my own shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, deodorant, and chapstick. The ingredients for most of these items are similar and very basic, so I'm not flooding my body with lots chemicals it may not be able to process. Open to suggestions on ingredients that may provide some symptom relief or other cosmetics that would be helpful to create (I don't wear makeup).

    Thanks!

    Kristin
     
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  2. Valentijn

    Valentijn WE ARE KINA

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    @kristysmiles - I use Hugo's Naturals for my hair care and body wash. They use very gentle ingredients for everything, and most of their products have great ratings at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ The biggest factor for me is avoiding sodium laurel sulfate or similar ingredients, and artificial fragrances.

    For hand soap I like Dr Bronner's Magic Soaps. They do a conditioner, but I haven't tried it, and I found the soaps to be too squeaky for a shampoo, if that makes sense :p

    I'm not sure regarding chapstick and deodorant ... maybe the ewg site has some good results for that as well. A chapstick primarily using beeswax might work well ... the Burt's Bees options look like they have pretty good ingredients.

    Regarding symptoms, these just seem to help me with local itching and redness. My scalp would get very itchy, but the shampoo switch has largely resolved that. And normal soaps would give me dryness and a rash on the back of my hands. Using hypoallergenic dishsoap and laundry detergent has also helped with that.
     
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  3. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    I use baking soda for my hair and it works great. My hair stays clean way longer and has more body.
     
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  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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  5. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    There's a ton of products you can use that are good.

    I used Desert Essence coconut shampoo and conditioner and Nubian Heritage shower gel and lotion. I use crystal deodorant. I think Rachel Perry cosmetics but don't hold me to that

    I forget the toothpaste I use but you want no SLS.

    One place to look is Etsy. Lots of stuff.

    My observation however is that if someone boasts no parabens there is probably something as bad as a preservative, usually phenoxythenol

    There is a book I got years ago called Gorgeously Green and she lists what you don't want it prodocts and what prodocts are good.

    I'm sure there are tons more now. I use nothing that has chemicals.
     
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  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I've been reading Daniel Permutter's 'Brain Maker' on the microbiome and he's recommending staying away from various stuff because it affects your microbiota. I need to read it properly!
     
  7. kristysmiles

    kristysmiles

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    Yeah, I saw the baking soda shampoo and it definitely didn't seem like something I would want to try. Reading those findings does keep me better informed though.

    I'm not looking for products to buy, because I've noticed that minimal ingredient /non-chemical products are a lot more expensive. I am looking at taking raw unrefined (non-gmo) ingredients to make my own supplies in bulk (so I don't exhaust myself everytime I need more). Things I plan on using at this point include arrowroot, food grade DE, beeswax, shea butter, essential oils, raw honey, coconut oil, etc. I would be interested in the coconut milk shampoo product, but everything I find for coconut milk is highly processed. I grow my own aloe vera (I have a black thumb and it's easy to keep alive), so I can use that in some of my products. I recently learned that aluminum is found in almost all deodorants, so I want to avoid that, the silicon in shampoo, and the fluoride in toothpaste. I love burt's bee's chapstick, but it's way to expensive when I can recreate it simply enough.

    If you can think of any other health beneficial items to include, please let me know. I'm hoping that I'll have more energy if my body doesn't have to process all the chemicals included in modern cosmetics.
     
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  8. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Kristy, I am very interested in this topic if you can ultimately PM me what you learn that would be great. I have severe MCAS and mold exposure and not able to use any products right now.

    We found a crystal deoderant but am afraid to even try it. Am still using my facial moisturizer (fragrance free) and 7th Generation Free and Clear hand soap.

    Cannot find a toothpaste or shampoo & conditioner or shaving cream so still using Toms natural toothpaste and Whole Foods Natural mint shampoo. No longer wear any make-up but Eos lip balm has been okay.

    Am just trying to eat one meal per day until I see MCAS specialist and use as minimal products as I can. Do not think I will ever be able to use body lotion, perfume or nail products ever again.
     
  9. kristysmiles

    kristysmiles

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    @Gingergrrl

    I'll try to keep you informed. I'm learning a lot about the chemicals used in everything around us, so I am slowly trying to reduce the environmental chemicals to reduce what my body has to process. Like today I just learned that BPA-free plastic could be just as harmful through the use of BPA- alternative plasticizers. I'll probably look into switching to glass/mason jars for food and cosmetic storage.
     
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  10. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    What do you guys use for laundry soap?

    @kristysmiles be careful making products in bulk, many things expire extremely quickly without preservatives... That would be expensive!
     
    SOC likes this.
  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I made myself really quite ill last year by regularly eating coconut meat, until I read that it (and the oil) can give you problems if you're sensitive to certain things (sulphites? can't remember).

    I don't know if that's an issue for topical application.
     
  12. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Right now for laundry detergent am using (liquid) Method detergent from Whole Foods and have no problem with it. My mom and I just called the homeopathic (natural) pharmacy to get some product suggestions that I am going to google.

    What do you guys use for actual cleaning supplies for household (vs. Body products?). Prior to severe MCAS I could use just about anything so am in all new territory. I cannot use stuff with fragrances and dyes.
     
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  13. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I am doing this in order to avoid further sensitizing as, at this point, though I react to perfumes, I am not highly sensitized. I use white vinegar and water as a general cleaner and then there are two scouring powders that most (many?) find safe: Bon Ami and Bar Keepers Friend.
     
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  14. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    White vinegar and baking soda. Here we have naturally soft water, so I actually can easily get away with a sponge or damp cloth so I don't use hardly any cleaning product of any kind. Lemon juice is also very good at cleaning.

    I will definitely try the Method! That is amazing with how sick you have become that it works for you. Must be good (and natural) stuff!
     
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  15. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Strawberry even though I have been deathly ill, the triggers (for me) of MCAS reactions are all food or food dyes or weird fillers in meds and supplements and things that I eat or ingest.

    Even though strong smells or things I put on my skin can make it worse, they do not trigger the reaction the way that things I eat do. So I am trying to be extra careful to lower the histamine burden for all products to hopefully allow me to eat again if that makes sense.
     
  16. South

    South Senior Member

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    if you live near a whole foods, they have their store brand lip balm for around 1.49, and every ingredient in it is something I understand and that I see as natural. (beeswax, and similar natural things).

    Also, Iherb routinely has Sierra brand lip balm, all ingredients are natural real things I recognize, for 95 cents, so if you are doing an order there anyway, it's a cheap way to get it.

    Perfume is simply evil - even real plant essential oils can set off allergies in some people, so i respect that and don't wear any.
     
  17. ahimsa

    ahimsa Sick since 1990

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    Good suggestions on this thread. Here's one more that might help.

    It's wise to avoid anything with plastic "microbeads." Bad for the environment, obviously, but also probably not a good idea to have that plastic on/in your body. I think most folks here are already avoiding these products but I thought I'd mention it.

    Also, I thought these microbeads were only in face soaps (for exfoliation) but I discovered they are also in some toothpastes! I can't imagine brushing with abrasive little plastic beads.

    More info:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/05/microbeads-exfoliators-plastic-face-scrub-toothpaste

    http://www.beatthemicrobead.org/en/product-lists

    As for other chemicals, I'm lucky that I don't have MCS so it's not a huge problem for me. But I still avoid scented/dyed products whenever possible.

    I also avoid SLS in toothpaste because for some it is irritating and can lead to canker sores. I believe SLS ia not actually a cause but simply one factor making you more susceptible.

    Many of Tom's of Maine toothpaste formulas do contain SLS. There is a "clean and gentle" version (or something like that) which does not, and perhaps there are others.

    For a list of SLS free products - http://slsfree.net/

    PS. I only skimmed through the earlier posts on this thread so I may have repeated a few things already posted. Brain fog, hope that's okay!
     
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  18. Vasha

    Vasha Senior Member

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    Hi @kristysmiles, @Gingergrrl and all,

    I've had a lot of trouble with MCAS and other sensitivities, too, though they are MUCH better with the medicines. In case it's useful, here's the list I've come up with at this point:

    -plain old tallow soap for hair and body (you can find it on Etsy, but it varies in quality. I use Safe Skincare, made by a woman in Australia who also has an autoimmune disease. http://www.safeskincareforme.com/). I'd like to try the baking soda thing, but have oily hair. @helen1 do you have a link to how to do this? It's mysterious to me. :confused:

    -I love Dr. Bronner's too, in general, but can't tolerate all the different oils they use, which is the reason for the tallow soap. Sometimes I use the gentle/unscented version, but it does cause some itching.

    -I used the crystal deoderant for a long time, but MCAS medicines have left me more tolerant and now I use a baking soda + aluminium antipersperant (I know this is not ideal. Sometimes my discipline deserts me :grumpy:

    -toothpaste is hard! They all have so many chemicals. I react to mint, which is doubly annoying :mad: but have been doing ok with "Peelu" Mint-free toothpaste. It's expensive though. :( I'm the only person in the house who uses it, so at least it lasts a long time.

    -Not using make-up, hair spray, or similar right now. This disease sure challenges the old vanity! ;)

    -We also use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. I react to _every_ laundry detergent, so just have been sucking that up. I would be grateful for any ideas there! Maybe just go back to Borax??

    Vasha
     
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  19. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Vasha thank you for all this info and I have a long list of products to google! I no longer use hair spray, make up, lotion, hair dye or anything that I did pre MCAS. It is a totally different world.

    Vasha also thank you for your lovely and very thoughtful & practical PM's while I was in hospital. I plan to read everything you wrote me especially re: that dietary website. I plan to get back to everyone who sent me a PM at some point in the future.

    Vasha, is mint bad for MCAS b/c right now my toothpaste and shampoo are mint and I can't tell.

    But don't want to detract from Kristy's Thread which is super important and relevant to so many of us.
     
  20. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Some use baking soda to wash their clothes. @Dreambirdie might have some good ideas.
     

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