Newbie links, Shawna asks: Is there a post on how/why you started making your own beauty products? If not I was just curious as to what started your journey. Just because... or did you want control over the ingredients in your skin care? I've noticed that you include some ingredients that are included in 'naughty/bad' lists out there. (As a newbie I have no idea what's hype and what's good information.) You seem to be well informed, educated, and logical, how do you decide/learn what products are safe to include? So overwhelmed and frustrated by all the contradicting views!
I find almost all of us start out on this journey of making our own bath and body products wanting to make something more natural, and a lot of us change our minds when we see that we can't get the skin feel we want using the narrow field of ingredients available with the descriptor "natural" attached to them. I didn't really get into it because I wanted to control the ingredients; I got into it because I wanted to control the product. I couldn't find a good greasy hair shampoo anywhere I went, so I had to make my own. I started off with a good recipe from the Dish forum and tinkered from there.
I don't frequent sites like EWG, Skin Deep, The Suzuki Foundation, and so on because their opinions are rarely based on current studies or data. When I want information, I turn to the EBSCO search at my school or the library to find studies, or turn to my textbooks. I feel very comfortable using these peer reviewed resources to make decisions about what I'll use.
It's hard to avoid the hype, but I have a few rules about it. If someone uses the word "non-toxic" - run! They're implying everything else is toxic! If they use the words "chemical free" - run again! Everything on the earth is a chemical, so they have a very poor understanding of the topic. If they make claims to cure something, run away. And be cautious about the term "derived from..." because everything is derived from something, but it says nothing about the process or how far from the original ingredient it might be. (And I find natural products are filled with that term, but they really aren't that different from the "non-natural" products. Seriously. Go look at some labels...)
I was listening to CBC recently and an oncologist commented that we are so worried with not getting cancer that we obsess over minutiae and forget the big stuff like eating right, exercising, not smoking, getting enough sleep, maintaining a good body weight, and so on. I think of this when I think of our use of alcohol. There's a link between alcohol consumption and some cancers, but you don't see huge warning labels on the bottles or in the bathrooms of pubs. I don't understand how we can ignore something that has serious data behind it like this link, but we worry about parabens, the fear of which is based on one so-called study that has been discredited repeatedly. (Click here for more on that...) I'm not saying people shouldn't drink, but I don't understand how we can have a glass of wine with reckless abandon yet stress out about the possibility there might be propylene glycol in a lotion.
But here's the great thing about making our own products - you can make whatever choices you want based on any reasons you want. If you want to avoid any oil costing more than $10 a litre, leave it out! If you want to avoid something because it doesn't seem natural to you, leave it out! If you want to include the most man made products ever, then do it! It's up to you. All I hope is that you're making those decisions based on your own thoughts after doing your own reading!
If you want to know more about my background, click here! It's an exciting read filled with pirates, monkeys, and advice on how to take a chemistry class! And if you're interested in learning more about researching ingredients, click here!