During the winter, when most of the garden is quiet, I keep my brain stimulated by turning my attention to my household and the products I use within. Many products are carryovers from habit. Since I make every attempt to live lightly on this earth, I decided in 2018 to look more closely. Yes, I use vinegar, baking soda, and other benign items, yet scrutiny was necessary for other areas. Fortunately, I discovered early on www.ewg.org. Do you know it? Hands down, it helped me rule out many products from kitchen, bath, body, dental, cosmetics, laundry, dishwasher, and window categories. Below are some winners that I tested personally and highly recommend. Many were recommended by my dermatologist, and although they are not all rated A, they are rated higher than most. And as a mature gardener, I must pay more attention to my skin, as you will discover below.
Go ahead, have a look at the products and see if they make sense to you. Do you use them already? Of course, every decision is yours. I just make every effort to respect the earth and reduce my carbon footprint. Furthermore, I will make clear that I do not profit by mentioning any products. This blog is solely intended for education and inspirational purposes.
Finally, a laundry detergent that delivers. My clothes have never been cleaner. Even my garden togs appear like new. I was happy to discover this jug at Walmart after finding a smaller size at Whole Foods Market at a much higher price.
Another fantastic find thanks to EWG. I found this at Whole Foods Market, fell in love with the cleaning power, then found this 45 tablet pack on AMZN for waaay less money. Go figure. Please note, I run my dishwasher at least twice per week, and NEVER rinse anything before loading…rinsing wastes incredible amounts of water folks. Not necessary with this product. No rinsing aids needed either. Glassware, flatware, pots, pans, you name it, all come out sparkling.
OK, now for the bath & body part of this report…
Normally I take five minute showers, but once a year I will splurge and fill the tub with bubbles, hot water, all my body brushes…dim the lighting, play a favorite CD, and off I go to blissville. Once I made an effort to carry the gray water to the yard, but my back later said “nah.” At least my septic drain field will be happy.
This bath pillow is a must. It came from the Body Shop years ago and is always ready when I take the plunge. Nearby is a bar of locally made soap. Ahhh.
I never used Herbal Essences (bio-renew) products until now. Thanks to EWG, I now know about Procter & Gamble’s efforts step up and clean up their products. When reading the fine print, not only are the ingredients 87-90% natural origin, P&G partnered with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for their endorsement (www.kew.org) and a portion of proceeds support the efforts of this grand historic English garden. Win, win! These products hit US shelves in 2018 but I bought from AMZN. FYI, the fragrance is mild/pleasant too.
Now to the nitty-gritty. As I age, I am always on the hunt for skin moisturizing products that deliver. I have returned buckets to BBB that failed my tests. The products seen here made the cut. The brands were both recommended by my dermatologist, and the specific types match my needs. So far so good. Just remember your coupons if you shop at BBB. I love that store!
First I began with the SA Cream in 2017, then when I faced skin cancer on my right hand this spring, I learned about the Healing Ointment. Now I mix the two…ointment into the SA Cream...great for dry legs, feet, hands. The EO bubbles came from WFM years ago and it is pleasant… with long lasting bubbles.
BEFORE PHOTO: Do you see the weird node between my two knuckles? It came up in early April 2019 and I just thought it was a thorn from the garden. When it failed to heal, I checked with my dermatologist and yes, indeed. The first biopsy revealed skin cancer! GULP! HOW??? I wear garden gloves and attempt slathers of sunscreen, but nope, the doc said, ” this is squamous cell carcinoma from cumulative sun exposure” … from driving the car to whatever else I did from childhood on. Growing up, I never wore sunscreen while horseback riding, swimming, mowing, or the like. And oh, that time I was badly burned when collecting clams during low tide while in Puerto Vallarta in the early ’70’s. Yes. My. Dears. UV rays are cumulative.
DAY AFTER MOHS SURGERY: This is the result of my brilliant surgeon who does nothing but MOHS cancer surgery. I was nearly bonkers by early November when the surgery day finally arrived. How much skin? How much loss of use? How much down time during my wreath/holiday season? I nearly needed anxiety medication. These questions could not be answered until biopsies were examined after each excision at the appointment. Thank angels, the doc removed all affected tissue the first round. After an hour, I was sent home with a bandage. And this is how I learned about the Healing Cream, as the wound was not stitched, just a daily bandage change with Healing Cream for six weeks while the area slowly healed from the edges. Today, I have no loss of use, no pain, just a small scar that will improve over the next year. In closing, let me be an example for readers…see your dermatologist annually for a full body check, and research/WEAR sunscreen. I was lucky this time. Melanoma (the worst skin cancer) will kill us if not discovered early.
The jars of ointment, salves, serums, and lotions will not only improve my overall skin appearance; I already see a difference. My hands appear years younger/smoother than these earlier photos. 😉
So dear followers, when you have time, please visit EWG and see if your current products/cosmetics/home products stand up to environmental scrutiny. Let’s all pay attention and do our part to ease the pressure on our beloved planet.
Since publication I learned about juice BEAUTY (www.juicebeauty.com), an organic fruit stem cell skincare technology that received high ratings. I am trying their mascara, foundation, and dust. Jury’s still out.
Go lightly into our tomorrows.
Are you inspired by this post? Comments are always welcomed. Cheers!
Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved
home, garden, life said:
Joe, Both Cetaphil and CeraVe make numerous types of products geared to particular skin. Your daughter may want to choose which ones. I also love the CeraVe hydrating facial cleanser, and it is OK around eyes too. If you cannot find at BBB, try AMZN for shampoo.
And PS: men need skin products too.
Joe Koller said:
Good evening Diane, Thank you for the Ecos detergent information. I don’t normally shop at Walmart but I will try to track that down (possibly Costco) Congratulations on the successful Squamous tumor removal. Good dermatologist’s are worth their weight in gold & mine recently retired. I’m going to show the skin care products to my daughter, or better yet buy them for her birthday. Also that’s good news about P&G getting on board with their products.
Good luck, Joe
home, garden, life said:
Thanks Kevin. Yes this aging gardener will never die, I will just spade away.
I know what you mean about planning for death. Still not sure who I will donate my 10K photographs to and other intellectual property. My executrix will figure that out, but I leave her plenty of notes and update my will every few years.
Good luck in your new abode. I toyed with going south, but VA is hot, humid, and buggy enough for me now. And I dont need to worry about what will crawl out of the swamp!
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Hey there Diane. I’m so glad you caught that skin cancer. My partner and I see the dermatologist twice a year. He’s had several things biopsied and removed with Mohs. It’s so important to get checked regularly. All too often, what concerns us on our skin is not what concerns the doctor.