You might want to read the labels…
My lucky friends won vacations, VIP packages to sporting events, and money. Luck was relative for me. My major award of BBQ sauce, apron, and oven mitts meant I had to cook dinner to “enjoy” them. The bottle of dear urine, won at an outdoor show, made my husband happy when I gave the bottle to him. I needed to frequent events that offered better prizes.
When the school held its basket fundraiser, I scrutinized the possibilities. Baskets of booze at school fundraisers were non-existent. All my chances went into a basket of handmade soap. The soap smelled good, wasn’t a knick knack to dust, or a basket of pasta that needed cooked.
Winning the soap changed my life. For years, my skin was plagued with eczema, a condition with an intensely itchy skin rash.
I begged my husband to let me borrow his palm sander so I could run it over my legs.
“Give me the finest grit sandpaper you have.” I dumped a fortune into creams and cures without success.
“Are you nuts? It’ll take your skin off.” He said.
That’s what I was hoping would happen. The itch was unbearable.
When I started using the handmade soap, the rash improved then disappeared when I forgot to moisturize. I compared the ingredients in handmade soap, goats milk, olive oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, Shea butter, oatmeal, and lavender oil to the ingredients in body wash.
Of the forty-four ingredients listed in body wash, I could pronounce three. The moisturizer contained thirty-seven ingredients, shampoo and conditioner nineteen each. It took twenty-one ingredients to shave my legs.
Bathing had become like a dip in the river located next to Chernobyl. An internet search of personal product ingredients found Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, used in soap, deodorant, and shampoo, was a skin irritant. Propylene glycol was also an ingredient in wallpaper stripper. Ethylene glycol was in antifreeze, smoothing lotion, and firming moisturizer. I guess that’s so you could look good in your casket before the cremation.
Most disturbing was diethanolamine (DEA), a carcinogenic ingredient, according to a government protective agency. DEA, while on your shelf, reacted with other ingredients to become NDEA which was linked to certain cancers.
It’d be healthier to consume fruit cake with red and green plastic looking cherries or to lick lead paint off window sills than to bathe in a sludge of one-hundred-forty ingredients. At least my digestive juices had a chance to counteract poison. Whatever I put on my skin absorbed straight into my tissue and organs. Ignorance may be bliss, but ignorance could be deadly.
Knowledge encouraged change. Though the new soap didn’t dry my skin, colder weather would. Instead of antifreeze on my skin, I tried organic coconut oil. I was a walking tropical beach, aroma therapy on non-rash legs. Until my skin absorbed the oil, the dog licked me like a popsicle. The cat even sneaked a few licks off my ankles. Other than my pets trying to eat me alive, coconut oil worked as a moisturizer.
Coconut oil as a deodorant was okay if you wrote stories all day, but add strenuous physical activity and my co-workers would tell you it didn’t work. I promised them my pits would stay toxic until I found an acceptable deodorant replacement.
I tried coconut oil as a deep conditioner and slathered a generous amount into my hair. I washed the oil out with natural soap. The towel was greasy.
I washed my hair again with wallpaper stripper, but skipped the carcinogenic conditioner. My hair was hay. I applied a small amount of coconut oil as a conditioner and tried a curling iron. Cooking my hair with coconut oil didn’t net the same results as sautéing shrimp. My hair looked like it did at fourteen, styled and stringy.
I washed it again with wallpaper stripper and was almost tempted to try coconut oil again, but that would’ve been insane. Copping out, I opted for carcinogenic conditioner.
Determined not to experience death by beauty products, I tried baking soda, water, and vinegar as shampoo, and vinegar as conditioner. My hair smelled like salad. I’m a walking experiment with good skin, and frizzy hair that smells like lunch.
I sometimes wish I’d got lucky on a basket of booze. Oh well, when I feel the need to de-stress, I smell my arm.