When I started this business with my husband, I didn't use any natural skincare products, and I hadn't even considered using any natural household or cleaning products. It was at the encouragement of our four grown-up and independent children who practice a natural and sustainable lifestyle that I decided to buy what used to be NuNatural Beauty.
The Mockingbird Apothecary is almost 4 years old and I often think back to the time when my children would bring their own shampoos, soaps, and even laundry products whenever they would come to visit. Of course now they visit with enthusiasm!
Wanting to honestly advocate for the products in our shop, I found myself spending hours reading labels, studying ingredients, and feeling overwhelmed by all the available information. I felt defeated by how many toxic products I was surrounded by at home, and it took me a while to find a place to begin with both my personal and household detox.
I used to never be able to justify spending more or breaking a long ingrained habit, I learned quickly that the short and long-term benefits of switching to natural products for my health, skin, hair, body, and overall well-being far outweighed any possible cost.
The first thing I did was look at my daily routine - soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and makeup. Anything with a phthalate or paraben had to go. Ingredients I didn't recognize were outta there. We took it slowly, and soon everything in our home was replaced with products with natural ingredients. I consider myself fortunate that I was able to detox and to replace our skincare, personal-use products, and household products with alternatives that have proven to be better for me and my family. Better late than never!
If you are just beginning the journey to use natural ingredient products, I encourage you to take your time and to pace yourself. Start with something quick and painless, like soap or shampoo, and you can go from there!
Making the transition to a natural routine is a lifestyle choice, and giving yourself time to adjust is extremely important. Here are a few things to remember:
- Take the time to read labels, and learn what’s what. I recommend beginning with the ingredient database at Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep —where you can search an ingredient or products safety based on scientific studies.
- Take the time to familiarize yourself with the ingredients in all the products you use every day. Just because something is labeled “Tea Tree Oil”, does not mean other ingredients in that product are good for your skin. Read the fine print of your most beloved products so that there are no surprises that show up on your skin or in your body later (not in a good way).
- High quality natural products are not always easy to find. It may take experimentation, and products may be expensive, especially if they are more commercial. So don't just toss your favorite mascara, or begin judging your friends and family for using "bad" products. Start slowly by swapping out items as you use them up, and purchasing easy to replace products like makeup removers, moisturizers, and scrubs for natural alternatives.
Lastly, while you try out all the new natural products that will change your life for the better, enjoy the great sense of empowerment you will experience. Take ownership of your journey! I know I do. I love the fact that what I put on the outside of my body has become as important as what I put inside my body.
Take care, and see you at The Mockingbird!
Saima & Yousuf