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What's Your Number? An Easy, First Step To Living Chemical-Free

Chemical plant Shades of Chartreuse ~ Freshly Green Tips™

In Real Estate, the value of a property is determined by three words, "Location, location, location." When it comes to living chemical-free in a chemical laden world, the three words that reflect the value of a product are, "Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients." No one wants to live next door to a chemical plant, so why put those same chemicals on your body? Colorful labels, beautiful packaging, and expensive price points mean nothing if a large portion of the ingredients are synthetic chemicals.

In January, the Shades of Chartreuse series was introduced to deliver practical, simple, inexpensive, and do-able ways to live greener. In an effort to live a healthier lifestyle, some of us try to buy organic, clean green, walk more, etc. While these are all valid choices, first, you must get naked. Got your attention? Studies show that the skin can absorb small to large amounts of topically applied product. This matters because what goes on the outside ends up on the inside.

What to do about it? The initial step - to decrease the amount of chemicals you expose your body to on a daily basis - is to take a COUNT. As you get dressed one morning, look at the chemical ingredients in each of the beauty and personal care products you put on your body. Be sure to make notes of the amount in each product (don't list the ingredients, just count them up). The biggest offenders will be obvious.

This simple, free, and do-able task might seem impractical, BUT it will become a mission once you begin... I guarantee that your eyes will pop open when you add up the chemicals from your shampoo to your foot cream (and don't forget the lip balm, hair gel, nail polish, hand soap, and so on). When you look at everything that touches your body, you will be amazed and stunned at the total number. This number will cause a shift in your viewpoint, and be a constant reminder from that day forward, in your approach to living well. Say goodbye to buying a product just because it smells good.

I did this exercise about a year ago. I counted every label, including my make-up (that stuff on your face goes into your body, too). Surprise!... Even with some natural products already in my beauty supply kit, my number was 632! And this didn't include hair coloring or the occasional self-tanning application. In a year, I've reduced my number to about 380 (and I'm still working to decrease it). I've had to eliminate a few creams that I really liked and non-essential items; but with some trial and error testing, I've found new ones that I love. You can, too!

Awareness is key to making healthier selections. Keep only the items you absolutely can't do without (there are very few that truly fit that category; for me, it's eye-liner), and start cycling out and replacing the rest with natural based products. It may take a while, but you can get dressed with confidence knowing you are living a cleaner, greener lifestyle, plus, you'll look and feel good doing it! Count them up and let us know your number!


[The claims made about specific products or procedures on or through this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. The reviews and opinions provided on this show are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. Please consult with a health-care professional before taking or administering any new product or treatment to yourself or anyone else.]


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Luci Weston

@Marie Linn: Ahh, the food list... I keep getting surprised by odd ingredients. And why does everything seem to have some form of soy in it? Let us know what you discover on your beauty "inches." Thanks!

Marie Linn

What a great idea. I do this with food all the time. Always paying attention to the first ingredient, and then how many that follow. If it's more than about an inch long (I don't always have my glasses to see each ingredient) then it goes back on the shelf. I'm interested to see how many "inches" my beauty products are.

Luci Weston

@DebbieWWGN: Thanks! I understand the overwhelming feeling of where to start. The more we become aware of all the toxins that surround us, the more it feels like we can't escape! Especially with plastic, ugh.

Definitely do a count... Then let us know, I'm curious as to what numbers other women come up with in their search. Be warned, it's scary when you finish reading all the labels.


I really love this post, Luci! As a breast cancer survivor, I am increasingly aware of the toxins in my life, but overwhelmed as to what to do about them. You've offered a very straightforward, doable way to tackle this issue head-on. I'm going to start counting, and then I'm going to start subtracting. Thanks for the great advice and keep up the good work!

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