Week 3 & 4: The Oil In Our Suds

Here in it’s finality, the palm oil challenge was possible¬†with a little love, a little coconut oil, and a lot of yoga!… Yoga does wonders for my thinker ūüí°

This weeks palm oil post was difficult to write. Not because I didn’t have something to say… rather, I had too much to say and my words read like I had thrown a palm oil manual at my computer screen… Thus! I struggled to make my thoughts resemble something of sense.¬†To alleviate the word-jam in my brain, I am releasing a second post to discuss in depth: the chemical names of palm oil, and the argument of¬†whether truly ethical production is possible. If you have time and are interested in taking the palm oil challenge, I highly suggest reading this post once I release it later this week.

The Dreaded Bathroom

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 In week 1 and 2, the pantry and fridge are an annoying hurdle like peeling sheets off in the frigid morning hours. By simply avoiding chain restaurants, eliminating anything processed, and preparing homemade meals, nearly all sources of edible palm oil can be eliminated. The complex issue of consumer palm oil begins in week 3 of the challenge, the bathroom.

The bathroom, laundry, medicine cabinet, and dish soaps present the greatest challenge. Nearly all cosmetics, toiletries and soaps come with a chemical derived form of palm oil. Look for names like sodium laureth (lauryl) sulphate, vegetable derived glycol, and glycerin.

So, how do we avoid it? The first question:

Where do you live?

Your country of residence greatly impacts your ability to access palm oil free products. If you live in a country with reliable postage you can have ethical products delivered straight to your door step. One really great website for buying ethical products is Mountain Rose Herbs¬†for all you herb and essential oil needs. Also¬†Thrive¬†(But many of their products contain Palm Oil! Always check the ingredient list!!). Ano¬†if you live in, or within shipping distance, of the UK checkout this great website¬†Palm Oil Free¬†for food, cosmetic, and cleaning brands.¬†ūüõĀ

For those of us who don’t! There are inherent challenges living in Chile that I may not have experienced in the United States. Namely, the postal system in Chile is very complicated. Packages are lost and some never surface at all… So! If you cannot easily access these products and sites, there are many¬†simple recipes to replace ¬†household sources of palm oil.

Two products that can transform your bathroom!IMG_0475

I eliminated a lot of my palm oil needs with two unconventional additions to my bathroom: coconut oil and baking soda. Using these products, I replaced my facewash, moisturizer, conditioner, deoderant, chapstick, and I plan to make a toothpaste using baking soda and calcium tablets!

Skin Care and Deodorant:

I have struggled with acne since the age of 12, and after replacing my skin routine with baking soda and coconut oil I have seen better results than I ever saw with my conventional face wash.

But Why? Baking soda can act as a buffer, stabilizing the pH on your skin preventing the growth of the bacteria responsible for break outs. This is the same property that allows baking soda to work as a deodorant stabilizing the pH of your underarm and wicking up the moisture to prevent bacterial growth responsible for body odors. Mix baking soda, with a touch of coconut oil, shea butter, and a little lavender, you have your own deliciously hydrating deoderant for happy underarms! See the whole recipe at WellnessMama.

In addition, baking soda acts as a mild exfoliant leaving the skin clear of dead skin. After exfoliating and rinsing, I apply a small amount of coconut oil to my skin before bed.

This is not a treatment I use every night. I do not leave the baking soda on my face for more than 1 to 2 minutes. And, if you read my post The Ideal Shower for the New EcoAge: you know I only shower 2 to 3 times a week for less than 5 minutes. These face and shower routines allow my skin to maintain healthy natural oils preventing dryness that can lead to redness and break outs.

In summary, my bathroom routine consists of  major water savings, no palm oil, and healthier skin!!

PLEASE keep in mind, everyone’s skin is different and I am no expert in skincare. If you want more material check out the amazing posts on Everyday Roots with natural recipes and remedies for acne, shampoos, and even treatments for lip sores. Her site and Wellness Mama have pages dedicated to the applications of¬†¬†coconut oil. Coconut oil is a bomb plant with thousands of health benefits including the ability to convert bad cholesterol to good when ingested! Organic Facts goes into the many applications and accompanied health benefits. So lather up because coconut oil has inumerous applications!

Hair and Moisturizer:

Speaking of coconut oil, it is a perfect oil for moisturizing skin and hair. At a price of no more than “nice, store-bought” conditioners and lotions, a jar of coconut oil can¬†last just as long. A little bit of oil goes a long way. I also have a small container of 100% Coco Oil that I use for my hair about once a week.

Any Lover’s of Makeup?

See this post by Good On You: Everything You Need to Know: Palm Oil and Make-up.

The Power of Essential Oils:

In addition to beauty recipes, Everyday Roots and Wellness Mama both contain hundreds of natural recipes that remove the toxic chemicals and deforestation from the products that clean our homes!. Simply adding two essential oils, (lavander & tea tree) and vinegar to your cabinet a range of doors are opened. Here in Chile on a quser, for a natural way to clean my yoga mat and house I have struggled to find tea trea oil. But, my search continues because tea tree oil in combination with lavender is a powerful and natural surface cleaner.

Why? Because both of these oils have occurring antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and beneficial¬†aromatic¬†properties [Tea Tree¬†&¬†Lavander]!! Talk about POWER… Here is a great recipe on Lorna Jane¬†for a yoga mat cleaner. And check out Apartment Therapy for recipes including:¬†all-purpose cleaners, air purifiers, laundry cleaners, soap, and EVEN bug spray!

Here is a great educational site!

In addition to Everday Roots, Palm Oil Investigations (POI)is a great site for material regarding palm oil. POI is raising awarenss in the coming month with a campaign “EAT PALM OIL FREE TO SAVE A TREE.” Check out there website for additional¬†material about the chemical names of palm oil, websites that sell palm oil free products, and DIY tips to make your toiletries at home. Here are a couple of POI ¬†recipes for shampoo, laundry softner, and toothpaste:

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A Mini-Summary of my Palm Oil Evation Tactics!

  • I prepare breakfast smoothies or oats (with yogurt and fruit) the night before.

  • I make my lunch nearly everyday and pack it to work in my Monsterbox!

  • I devour¬†delicious after work snacks! I will¬†often¬†pair¬†local bakery bread with frambuesa marmalade or my homemade pesto.

  • When I eat out or blog over coffee, I take my business to¬†local restaurants.

  • And finally in these last two weeks, as my cosmetics, toiletries and detergents¬†run out, I replace¬†them with natural and easy alternatives.¬†

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My 28 Day Palm Oil Challenge has come to an end, and my life without deforestation has only begun! We can live without Palm Oil, through simpler and healthier life practices… Now it is Your Turn!!

Are you ready to make life changing practices?! It is important to remember, if you take the first stride towards a life free of deforestation, you are not alone. Feel free to send me your questions! I am so happy to answer them as best I can and provide support through the transition.

As with every post I write, I am so grateful to you. You are so so lovely! Thank you for supporting me in my journey. Have a wonderful week, starting with this beautiful and early Monday. I hope to find you in the journey to a life without palm oil soon!

-LL (P.S. I sincerely adore my monsterbox!)

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