Olivia Cattabriga / Art Director

Angelique Inchierca

Social Media Director

While in Thailand, I learned a ton of information about permaculture, natural products and healthy lifestyles that are not only beneficial to the human body but also help our earth one toxic-free habit at a time.

My last column explained why I chose to no longer buy shampoo bottles and have begun only thoroughly-washing my hair once a week or less. I have just purchased my first all-natural shampoo bar, and fell in love with the idea of bars for the same reason why I’ve begun creating my own toothpaste and face masks. Little-to-no plastic waste!

I no longer purchase plastic shampoo and conditioner containers, toothpaste dispensers or toothbrushes. The first investment was a little costly but bamboo products are sturdy and biodegradable (if you buy the right ones). My face masks and toothpastes are stored in small glass jars that I purchased, but can usually be found in most cabinets or fridges; just wash out that tomato sauce container and you’ve got yourself one giant toothpaste container!

Aside from lessening my carbon footprint, using all-natural products are healthier for the environment. While at the Mindfulness Project: Thailand, we were asked to not use chemically created products because all of our resources recycled into one another.

We slept, ate, showered, cooked, worked and learned our lessons outside at The Project. The water from our bucket showers and kitchen sink went right into the ground, which ran into the neighbor’s vegetable farm.

Of course, on campus, our water goes straight down the drain. We don’t need to think about where it’s going as I did at The Project, but I believe it’s important to know what you’re putting into the world and what you’re putting on your body.

It is no secret that the human body is complicated and absorbent to all of the most dangerous things: harmful sun rays, toxins found in water, chemically processed foods or unwashed non-organic fruits and vegetables. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the epidermis is an organ. It also absorbs!

The American Journal of Public Health conducted research and found that “The skin absorbed an average of 64 percent of total contaminant dosage… and an absorption rate of 100 percent for underarms and genitalia.” They also found that the face is extremely sensitive.

An article on Downtoearth.org responded to this research: “If the products you use contain harmful ingredients such as harsh, toxic chemicals, colors, and fragrances, those ingredients make their way into your body, your blood and lymphatic system. The majority of mainstream body care products contain a cocktail of carcinogenic chemicals, allergens, and irritants.”

This is terrifying! I always knew my skin was sensitive, but I find that these back thoughts are more important than we may think. In an effort to keep my skin happy, I’m finding the balance between what I use to wash myself, how often and what I do to protect it throughout the day.

I suggest turning to natural soaps, shampoos and toothpaste. It’s not only healthier for you, but can be extremely fun! I feel like a pseudo-chemist and can now share my message with actual changes in my life.

Angelique Inchierca can be contacted at ainchierca@kscequinox.com