Liberate Your Loveliness: BIY (Be It Yourself) Health & Beauty

Beauty products are alluring. But also expensive and also wrapped in layers of plastic and cardboard and composites of plastic and cardboard and aluminum.

And often times swimming with chemicals, allergens, and irritating perfumes that seem to only feed bacteria, turning your pits into a sickening-sweet layered cake of body sweat, bacteria, and stale perfume.

But then imagine all your pores as little breathing mouths that allow for the transfer of air through your skin (much like stomata, the little openings on leaves take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen) , and then imagine these pore getting clogged up with foreign compounds of perfumed chemical sludge. The natural happy release of toxins and dirt can’t take place because of this bacterial barricade. So you put more good-smelly stuff on, and then your breathing pores try to expel those toxins, but they still have the other layer to deal with. So now, it’ just a stack of flapjacks. A stack of stinky, bacteria-plagued, microscopic flapjacks smothered in sweaty syrup.

Yum!!! Not! This is the exact opposite of what real health and beauty is – isn’t it crazy that we are still buying into this?

I’m not in the product-testing industry, but I’m also no dummy… and I’m also obsessed, smitten, and simply fascinated by the genius of pure nature. How I see it, your body can’t breathe (remember- a breathing body naturally perspires; sweat is the condensation that forms on the surface to cool a hot body down)  rubbed in muck that smells nice but is really just teasing you, tricking you into putting more on when the best thing to do is refrain from it’s usage completely. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle- not to mention an expensive and wasteful one (did you know how long it takes to break down plastic, or what is released once it does finally degrade?). Beauty products comprised of litanies of  “un-natural”  and odd ingredients don’t allow your body to breathe. Bottom line. No need to get into all of the scientific lingo- these ingredients simply don’t serve your body, so why are you spending money on them? Many of the toxins found in beauty products act as preservatives. Their sole purpose is to prevent the product from molding or going bad – not to make you look/feel/be pretty. That is YOUR job, along with the help of some lovely, nature-based allies.

So how to deal when you want to smell good but you just stink?

First things first: you must detox from all those chemical-laden products or else your all-natural results will be all-smelly. Your detoxification from artificial perfumes, harsh cleansers, and polluted air must come from the outside-in and the inside-out. Being clean, healthy, and all-natural is a way of life. It takes maintenance and practice to live (and think) healthfully. Every now and then you may slacken on your good habits, but the key to health resides in adaptability and resilience- one’s ability to bounce back with energy and strength after an upset. Which bring me to my second detoxifier: cleansing your mind from all those nasty notions that you need tons of money, persnickety products, and intense workouts to achieve your ultimate beauty. It’s a commonplace phrase but it’s complete truth: beauty comes from the inside. My favorite author Roald Dahl couldn’t have set it more poetically: If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. So eradicate all those demoralizing thoughts and start achieving your easy, perfect, attainable self.
Wahoo!

About the Writer

My name is Eileen. I work for Urban Green Lab as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Communications & Community Engagement. Urban Green Lab is Nashville’s only nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our city through sustainability. We fill a gap by offering programs that inspire people of all ages to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives through workshops and school programming. I have a B.S. in Ecology & Biodiversity from Sewanee: University of the South and my Permaculture Design Certification through Ashevillage Institute in Asheville, NC. I live with my parents on a chunk of land in Leiper’s Fork called Beebeard Farm. We are NWF certified and love all the creatures around us. A perfect day is spent in the garden, in the woods, sipping tea, drawing pictures, and being creative and silly with family and friends. I am passionate about creating ecological landscapes in human-inhabited spaces, plant medicine, and closing the gap between health, food, and medicine. I’m grateful to be a part of Urban Green Lab through the AmeriCorps VISTA program, and I am really invigorated by all the sustainable living programming we are bringing to the blossoming city of Nashville. We host several workshops a month, take part in various local events and festivals, and are working on our Mobile Laboratory to bring sustainability curriculum to middle and high schools. If you are interested in any of our programming and/or getting more involved, check out our website, Facebook, or email connect@urbangreenlab.org. Now go play outside!

 

 

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