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Cleaner and Greener: A Guide to Choosing Earth-Friendly Hygiene

HannahWhittenly

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Next time you brush your teeth, wash your hair, or apply deodorant, think about where and how those products came into your home. Many companies will make sure that their products meet basic safety and cruelty-free standards before putting them on store shelves, but few will think about the broader environmental impacts. In response to consumers who are pushing for a greener lifestyle, that standard is changing and buyers who want to stay clean and go green have more options than ever before.

Chemical-Free Deodorants

Skipping deodorant is a social no-no, but few people can even understand the ingredient lists on the most common deodorant brands. The majority of them prevent odor by filling in underarm pores and stopping your body from regulating its heat through sweat. Some people with certain allergies cannot use the major brands because they contain aluminum, which irritates the nervous system and can trigger a reaction. Natural deodorants can be found at specialized beauty stores and natural food stores. They use a blend of natural oils derived from plants to reduce body odor without resorting to harsh chemicals. The best part for many consumers is that the names on their ingredient lists are all much easier to pronounce.

Earth-Friendly Hair Care

Hair care products are often made from complicated chemicals blended together and marketed as "healthy." These products are safe to use but frequently have a negative impact on the environment. Companies require a lot of energy to manufacture, bottle, and ship these products. A few weeks later, the bottles are emptied and thrown into a landfill. By switching to more natural hair care products people can reduce the environmental damage that shampoos, conditioners and other hair treatments create. Also, there are many simple recipes for homemade hair care solutions.

Skin Care for the Earth and You

Acne and skin blemishes can severely impact a person's self-esteem. Puberty makes the condition worse for teenagers than adults, but people of all ages find themselves needing to use skin care treatments to hide blemishes and blackheads. Fortunately, there are easy ways to go green and improve skin tone in your home's pantry. Homemade acne treatments include lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and many other simple recipes using ingredients found in any kitchen or grocery store.

Dental Care Goes Green

Brush your teeth. That simple command, used by parents and dentists every day, is an essential part of staying healthy. We all know that brushing prevents plaque, keeps our gums healthy, and makes our teeth shiny and white. Yet many people do not know just how many chemicals are in a bottle of toothpaste: parabens which impact the endocrine system, titanium dioxide for whitening, and fluoride, a chemical known to have health effects in high doses.

If you want a more natural toothpaste, you can create your own using a solution of baking soda, salt, peppermint and water. You can also buy natural toothpaste at health food stores. Even your toothbrush can become greener. Each year, 50 million pounds of toothbrushes go to the landfill. A Salt Lake City dentist says toothbrushes should be changed out every two to three months to ensure optimal cleaning, but this doesn’t mean you have to contribute more waste to the world’s landfills. By finding ways to reuse your brush, buying a recyclable toothbrush, or choosing one with a replaceable head you can reduce waste and still have a pearly white smile.

Going Green on Hygiene

Whether it is dental, skin, hair or underarm care, people can choose to avoid the chemical soup in most products and find organic or all-natural options at health food stores or from basic ingredients in their own homes. This sustainable approach to hygiene allows us to have a healthy lifestyle both for ourselves and the world around us.


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