Detox Your Life, Epic Health

My clean green beauty routine. By chemo-free survivor Cortney Campbell.

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Step 1: Steer clear of the colorful body chemical aisle.

An important aspect of preventing and healing cancer is to reduce your body’s toxic load. Many of us are unknowingly poisoning and polluting ourselves with what we put IN and ON our bodies. Simply put, the less toxins your body absorbs, the less work it has to do to detoxify. Make sense?

Besides processed food, another often overlooked source of chemical toxins is in the body care products we use daily: soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, make-up, lotion, toothpaste… it all adds up.

Today’s post is a guest blog from my friend and fellow natural survivor Cortney Campbell of
Green Drink Diaries. I asked her to share her clean green beauty routine and favorite non-toxic personal care products, and she said yes, because she’s awesome.

Enter Cortney.

When I began healing my cancer naturally back in 2008, it was a bit overwhelming. This new territory I ventured into came fully loaded with lots of vegetables I never knew existed (in a giant 64 ounce veggie smoothie), and tasks that I could never have imagined doing as a three-month newlywed (“Honey, it’s time for my enema. I’ll just be a moment!”)

But along with the nutritional and detoxification protocols I adopted, came the realization that I had to stop using what seemed like 99% of my beauty and hygiene products due to their potentially toxic chemical ingredients. These chemicals were being directly absorbed by my skin and into my bloodstream. Since I was working so hard to cleanse myself of anything that would hinder my healing, it didn’t make a bit of sense to continue putting chemical-laden products on my skin.

Keep in mind, I didn’t switch from my old products to these newer methods and products overnight. Some of this stuff I even figured out after I was in remission. This post is simply a list of the products I’ve found to be the least toxic but still affordable options for cleansing, moisturizing, and all of the other stuff that goes in with our bathroom routines. This is especially beneficial if you have cancer.

 

SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER

nopoo

FAVE: “No ‘Poo” Hair Cleansing Method (baking soda and white or apple cider vinegar method) It’s really not as weird as it sounds. In the shower, you mix a small amount of baking soda in water and apply it to your hair to absorb the oils and neutralize stinkage. Then, you mix a small amount of vinegar with water and work it into your hair to “condition” and clarify your hair. And you’re done, that’s it. In the year that I used the No Poo method, I received more compliments than I had ever received about my hair, ever. This method would be hands down the least toxic method of cleaning your hair (and also the cheapest!) You may have to give it a few weeks for your body’s oil production to adjust to this method, so ladies- you may need to sport a ponytail or cute hat until things regulate.

RUNNER-UP: Hugo Naturals Volumizing Shampoo Vanilla & Sweet Orange I really like this for my dry, long hair. It scored a 1 in toxicity (the lower the number, the less toxic) on the Environmental Working Group rating scale. The Hugo Naturals accompanying conditioner is also safe and smells yummy.

 

SOAP

drbronners

FAVE: While healing from cancer, you can use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap, Unscented Baby Mild for almost anything. It’s also a 1 on EWG. You can mix it with essential oils for even more healing properties and scents.

RUNNER-UP: I have loved Grandpa’s Oatmeal Soap for YEARS and have never switched. It doesn’t dry out my skin in the winter and has a low rating on the Skin Deep rating scale.

 

SHAVING CREAM

oliveoilshave

FAVE: While healing from cancer I used olive oil to shave. Here’s a great explanation of how to do this, but be careful if shaving in the shower. It can make the floor VERY slippery (not that I experienced this or anything.)

 

FACE WASH

oil_cleansing

FAVE: My absolute favorite way to cleanse my face is the Oil Cleansing Method. I wrote a blog post about it several years ago, and the science behind it is solid. Many store-bought face washes strip your face’s natural oil, dry out your skin, and can lead to an overproduction of your body’s natural oils to compensate. The cleansing oil I use (castor and olive oil) dissolves excess facial oil, but it won’t overstrip your skin of its moisture. You finish by steaming your face with a warm cloth. And yes, it also takes off my makeup.

 

TOOTHPASTE

jasonstoothpaste

FAVE: Jason PowerSmile Whitening Toothpaste. With a 1/ 10 on EWG, you can’t do better for the price. I also like how it whitens my green tea stained teeth.

RUNNER-UP: This homemade toothpaste

 

HAND & BODY LOTION

Organic Coconut Oil and Olive Oil (Mix them together in a 1:1 ratio) Super simple and super cheap. Next.

 

DEODORANT

deodorant

FAVE: My Homemade Coconut Oil Deodorant. Coconut oil, baking soda, and corn starch. I know it sounds weird, but read my detailed post about it, and you will understand my love for this deodorant method. No stink, super cheap, and it let’s you sweat, which is critical because that is how our body naturally detoxifies!

(Chris says: Straight coconut oil works well too. It passes my after-the-gym sniff test)

 

HAND SOAP

soappost

FAVE: I LOVE making homemade vanilla foaming soap made with Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castile Soap. I empty out an old foaming soap container and then add about 1/4 cup Dr. Bronners, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract and then fill to the top with water. We walk around sniffing our hands in our house.

 

FOR CLEANING NIGHTGUARDS & RETAINERS

GFSE

FAVE: I use warm water with 8-10 drops of Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract This disinfects, deordorizes, and is WAY healthier than any store-bought denture cleaner. You can also use it for disinfecting your toothbrush.

 

SUNSCREEN

sun

FAVE: The Sun! 15-30 minutes daily for the best Vitamin D around.

RUNNER-UP: On days that we are out in full sun exposure for longer than 30 minutes, we use Alba Botanicals Very Emollient Sunscreen. It’s affordable compared to most non-toxic sunscreens and it works really well! For my daughters, we use Alba Kids. Both are rated 2/10 on EWG. The only con is that they can get a little pasty if you put it on too thick.

Chris says: Sunscreens and sun exposure is definitely something you need to learn more about. See my post Do sunscreens prevent cancer or cause it?

 

BLEMISH CARE/ FACIAL MASK:

evanhealy

I rarely need this, but if I get a small blemish, I use Evan Healy Green Tea Clay Mask. Let it sit on the affected area overnight and wash off with a warm wash cloth.

 

HAIR COLOR/ DYES

ombrehair2

This was by far the hardest thing for me to give up while I was treating my cancer with natural therapies. What kept me motivated was reading studies linking lymphoma with excessive chemical exposure (and a really cute haircut too.) I knew that there was no way getting around going blonde without exposure to ammonia to bleach my hair, so coloring was a no-go for me for almost a year.

Shortly after being declared in remission, I decided to search for safer options for hair color and write about my discoveries here.

CortneyCampbell_HeadShot

Cortney Campbell authors the holistic cancer blog, Green Drink Diaries, inspired by her experience healing from cancer using a non-toxic, holistic approach. A former elementary school teacher turned full-time mom, she dedicates her spare time to educating and encouraging others to prayerfully consider their options for healing from cancer.

What are your favorite natural non-toxic body care products?

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8 Comments so far

  1. kitty godfrey says:

    It is always great to know what they used before your mother was born, (“though she was born a long, long time ago, your mother should know”!). I only know what I know, and I know that a few of the commercial, personal care brands recommended here in the same thread have been involved in a legal class-action about “overstating” their claim of organic ingredients; and, to me, that’s good enough reason to avoid those brands at all costs…..State law requires that cosmetic products sold as “organic” must contain at least 70% organically produced ingredients, and the class action claims The Hain Celestial Group misrepresented its Jason and Avalon Organics brand “personal care products” as organic, when they actually contain less than 70% organic ingredients–a lot less! Since 60% of what you put on your body gets into your blood, I would make certain the brand that a cancer patient uses is really organic by making certain the organic ingredients are clearly marked with an asterisk, and that the certifying seal on the bottle is one of a certifying body that can be trusted, like Neal’s Yard Remedies, certified organic by the Soil Association. I recently posted a great guide for my followers, regardless of the brand under consideration, that I feel is well worth studying and using as a guide in choosing a personal care product that can be trusted: https://www.facebook.com/NYROrganicUS/photos/a.233676933392562.53539.230198297073759/503423559751230/?type=1&theater

  2. Crystal Joplin says:

    I use several of these! I LOVE my homemade deodorant which is similar to the above recipe, except I use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. I have a mix of lemon and lavender essential oils in there, too! Smells heavenly! We also do Dr. Bronners for bath and hand soap. I have tried the no ‘poo method but my hair is just too greasy. I can’t get through the ‘transition’ period… considering I do like to get out of my house every now and then! I use straight jojoba oil on my face for cleaning and moisturizing (both face and body). For acne, I use tea tree oil and lavender, alternating them every few days has helped the most. We use Tropical Sands sunscreen when we are going to be out in the sun for longer than 30 minutes in the heat of the day. The have 3 varieties, two of which are a 1 and another a 2 on the EWG rating.

    One thing she didn’t mention is make up. I’m gradually learning to go a little more natural but I still like make up and would love some recommendations. I’ve been looking into Beeyoutifuls makeup. I can’t spend a fortune! Inexpensive is a necessity! :)

    • Cortney Worrell Campbell says:

      Hi Crystal- because natural makeup is so expensive, for a long time now, I’ve just stuck with what I wore before cancer, which is Bare Minerals. If you look on the EWG’s Skin Deep page though, you will find that some of their products are extremely toxic and some are not. They also apparently change their formulas up frequently and their current formulations are not on the EWG website (frustrating!) So- I admit that when I wear makeup (which is only a few days a week)- I have stuck with Bare Minerals because it is a mineral makeup which lays on the skin more so than is completely absorbed. Anyways- if I wanted to be super adherent to my natural beauty philosophy, I would ditch the Bare Minerals and try 100% Pure Cosmetics…http://www.100percentpure.com/. I need to make time to do this…and spend money trying to find the right shade foundation (which is what mostly concerns me.) As most women know, once you find a beauty product you like, you never switch. But this one definitely needs consideration from me.

  3. Tina says:

    Hi. These are all great tips, going to start the “no poo” method today! I’ve had a difficult time giving up the make up and I found a great idea on the web: BEETS! I use a sliver of beet on my cheeks and lips everyday, they work better than any makeup I’ve ever purchased….. :)

  4. candi says:

    Love the article. I love to use Henna, cassia, or sometimes chamomile flowers for my hair to color it naturally.

  5. Christopher says:

    Great idea to use Grapefruit Seed Extract for cleaning retainers! I love that idea! Here’s my question – if you wear the retainer during the night, would you soak the retainer in the GSE with water during the day and let it soak for a while? or just for a few minutes before or after using the retainer? In other words, I’m wondering about: specifically the length of time that you would soak the retainer with the GSE Solution… Thanks!

    • Cortney Worrell Campbell says:

      Hey Christopher!

      I take my nightguard out in the morning and rinse it off. Then, I put it in the cleaning container and put 10 drops of the GSE on to the groove side (where your teeth go) evenly, pour about 1/4 cup warm water in and shake it for about 3 seconds. I make sure that the night guard is lying flat and soaking in the mixture and leave the lid slightly open to allow air in. (:

  6. Embarck says:

    I use baking soda for deodorant, sometimes toothpaste, and for my face when it is oily, followed by olive or coconut oil to moisturize. I am just about out of shampoo and am going to try the baking soda/ vinegar again, I did it once years ago, but missed the smelly stuff! Great article!


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Hi there!

My name is Chris Wark.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2003, at 26 years old.
I had surgery, but refused chemo.
Instead I used nutrition and natural therapies to heal myself.
By the grace of God, I'm alive and kicking, and cancer-free!

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