How to Shop for Healthy, Alternative Personal Care Products
If you don't already shop at a health food store, you need to locate one that is convenient to either your home or work. It has to be a place that you can incorporate into, if not weekly, then semi-monthly errands. It needs to become part of your regular shopping routine.
If there are more than one in your area, you can find a great deal of difference in selection. Price may not vary so much, but layout, personnel, even parking lots, all may be factors that will cause you to either like or not like the store. If you have access to more than one, try them all.
Next, go to the personal care products section and start reading the labels. There are some well-known brands. Tom's of Maine does a great job with toothpaste, deodorants and mouthwash. Aubrey Organics is well-established, with high quality organic ingredients, though the packaging is not exciting. You, however, will learn to look past the packaging. There are dozens of reputable companies making these products.
With all of them, you need to start learning to read the ingredient list. What are they made of? What you're trying to avoid is petrochemicals. Remember that your skin is permeable. If you apply chemicals to your skin, they end up in your bloodstream. You want plant substances, organic if you can get them, because that means you'll get a pure substance that is not adding toxins that your body's detoxification processes then have to eliminate. Remember the goal is to take the load off your liver. All of them will contain small amounts of petrochemical preservatives. This seems to be a necessary evil, but the amounts are very small.
You don't have to become a chemist to understand which things you want to avoid. All you want to know is which ones are the most natural and which ones aren't.
Most of what you find in the health food store is going to be fairly nontoxic and natural, but if you're having trouble, ask the store personnel. Ask them which one they would choose, ask them which one is the biggest seller? Finally, ask if you can return the product if you don't like it. Most stores will say yes. If they don't, check out another store.
If money is not a major consideration, you can obtain very high quality, totally plant-based products from Aveda salons. They have shampoos, conditioners and cosmetics, all formulated with very pleasant scents. They also have perfumes that are entirely based on essential oils.
Another concept you may want to incorporate into your personal care product search is what are called "cruelty free" products, that is products that are neither made with nor tested on animals. Generally, natural, nontoxic products incorporate cruelty free aspects.
More information on personal care shopping: