Updated: Jul 6
My favorite scent as a high school sophomore was Calgon's "Island Breeze." My girlfriends and I would spray it all over our bodies before we went out for our long track runs. We would also rub body oil on our arms and legs so we could tan while we ran. We would return back to Garces High School from the bike path with tiny gnats gnarled up in our arm hair, reeking of chemicals and sweat. Consequently, this is when I began shaving my arms. It was to trap less bugs.
I can't even. At that point in my life, I was using dollar store anti-perspirant, cheap chemical scents, and toxin-laden oil. In the name of beauty. Always, darling.
So it was no big surprise to me when I recently ran a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis on myself and found toxic levels of both mercury and aluminum.
Aluminum is in the tin cans that I drank Diet Coke out of, three times a day, for years of my life. It is in the antiperspirant I rubbed under my arms and sometimes on the palms of my hands before church because we always had to hold hands with strangers during the "Our Father" and this terrified me to a physical level that my doctor diagnosed as hyperhydrosis- excessive sweating.
Mercury is in the vaccinations I received regularly throughout my life. It is in the amalgam fillings put into my teeth by well-meaning dentists. It is in the gas that permeated into my brain after I asked dentists to remove said fillings without knowing that I needed a biological dentist to take the proper precautions so that the mercury gas did not settle in my body's tissue.
Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include the following:
-Unexplained and unresolved fatigue
-Digestive issues like constipation, gas, bloating, indigestion
-Migraines or headaches
-Depression or anxiety
-Numbness, burning, tingling
-Infertility, miscarriage, and menstrual problems
(List from naturalliveingideas.com)
I will be working on a protocol to combat this heavy metal toxicity, and I will be exploring this further with most of my clients. This is functional nutrition- diving deep into some of the "upstream" causes. Yes, you are fatigued and hormonal- but why?
What is a girl to do?
It is easy to feel powerless against the onslaught of environmental toxins, but I always remind myself that the Lord put us here, at this time, with the bodies we have, knowing full well our environment would be as toxic as it is. Therefore, He would had given us ways to deal with this burden.
And one of those ways is the ability to choose inexpensive, chemical-free alternatives to skin care. Trader Joe's to the rescue!
Let's talk about some of my favorite ways to reduce your chemical load, courtesy of your local Trader Joe's.
1. 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil
This is from Trader Joe's Spa line. The only ingredient is Tea Tree Oil, or "melaleuca". I like to use it on my face to kill acne-causing bacteria. It has been shown in clinical studies to kill different strains of bacteria, virus, and fungus. I usually just rub a bit on acne-prone areas of my face, four to five times a week. This study shows that tea tree oil is as effective as benzoylperoxide in treating acne.
Dr. Axe recommends mixing five drops of tea tree oil with two teaspoons of raw honey and rubbing on the face to kill acne. Check out his article that gives nine other uses for Tea Tree Oil.
2. 100% Organic Argan Oil
Do you know some of the things that are lurking in your moisturizers? Many ingredients that will mess with your hormones and your endocrine system, some studied to promote breast and uterine cancer.
No, thank you.
I found 100% organic Argan Oil at Trader Joe's a year ago or so, and I buy it in mass quantities when I can. My sister-in-law buys it for me too. I love her.
I use this stuff on my face, my body, and my hair as a wonderful all-purpose moisturizer. One $7 bottle lasts me for a month. It is non-greasy, absorbs quickly, and is part of the rotation in my moisturizing regimen. It comes in a glass bottle with a dropper and smells lightly delicious. Try it and let me know what you think.
3. Blueberry & Acai Facial Scrub
This product smells like dessert. I usually don't intermingle my beauty products and my desserts (because chocolate), but just opening the jar makes my heart skip a beat. And it works well, too. I use it maybe once or twice a week. It has amazing ingredients like extracts of blueberry, carrot, rosemary, and lavender. Yes, it has some guar gum as a filler but I feel like the benefits outweigh the guar gum.
Another wonderful gift from my sister-in-law.
4. Apricot Honey Sea Salt Body Scrub
I wasn't sure if I would like this when (oh my goodness, this is from Staci, too!) I received it, but I use it all of the time. The scent is light and soothing and stays with you for a few hours afterward.
Scrubbing your body with salt will help move lymph fluid around, which helps the body detoxify. I like using this in the bathtub because the oil gets into the water and moisturizes your body as you soak.
Pay special attention to elbows, knees, and feet with this product. The coconut oil moisturizes as the salt scrubs. Good stuff.
5. Enriched Intensive Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer.
I don't use suncreen very often. I know that is heretical to say considering the fact that I live in a desert, but I also have dangerously low vitamin D levels. I bought a few adorable hats from Target and I wear them as often as possible in the summer.
There are whispers that sunscreen can have the opposite effect, anyway. I would rather use it as little as possible. Did my great great grandmother use sunscreen? Or did she wear linen and hats? Linen and hats = chic.
If I am going to wear a facial sunscreen, I like this one from Trader Joe's. Its first ingredients are pronounceable and also include Aloe Vera. And it is less than 10$.
What are your favorite spa products from Trader Joe's?
Don't worry. We will do a separate post on food. And chocolate.