Making the switch natural products is a life-long journey. My journey started in 2010 when I noticed the media attention given to sulfates and parabens. Now it's 6 years later and I'm pretty proud of all I've accomplished. I learned how to make natural skincare products, the cleaning products in my pantry are incredibly safe and simple and I even found biodegradable zip baggies for my kitchen. But if I've learned one thing on my journey to a more natural lifestyle it's that I am never done learning!

Wherever you are on your journey, remember to be kind to yourself and know that each time you learn something new, it gives you the opportunity to take a step in a healthier direction.

I used to get so mad at myself when I realized a "natural" product I used wasn't actually all that great. I felt like I hadn't done enough research or hadn't paid attention well enough to realize what was in the ingredients. But the more I learned about hidden ingredients in packaged food and cleaning and personal products and how to watch out for them, the less I blamed myself.

Some companies go to great lengths to hide preservatives and fillers under inconspicuous names. Learning to recognize these sneaky ingredients takes time and a lot of googling while you stand in the middle of a store aisle, but it's worth it! I found that I can save time looking up ingredients if I start at the bottom of the list - that's usually where the preservatives and artificial colors are listed. Then I work my way up to look for irritating fillers in the middle of the list. You have to be careful, because the name listed isn't always what it seems. For example, I recently did a presentation comparing my tinted lip balm to others available in local stores. One tinted lip balm from Boots, which markets themselves as a natural company, contained an ingredient listed only as BHT ... BHT turned out to be Butylated Hydroxytoluene, a toluene based chemical that serves as a preservative. (Toluene is a chemical used as an additive in paint thinner and jet fuel.) Seriously - why would anyone want to put that on their lips?! 

If that makes you mad, I don't blame you, but remember to get mad at the company using deceptive advertising and labeling, not yourself for being tricked. Above all, make the switch to natural at your own pace, one product at a time. And remember that I, along with lots of other creators like me, am rooting for your success!