Why I Happily Practice Natural Living
Natural living is an integral part of my culture. My parents had me using cocoa butter at a young age and lavender oil was a staple for its relaxation properties. Most African American skincare products, whether for body or hair, contained those skin nourishing ingredients such as shea butter or aloe vera. My first essential oil was tea tree because it was promoted for being beneficial to my teen skin. In my maturation, I’ve learned more about product ingredients to say no to (sulfates and parabens were the main ones) and I’ve slowly learned how to weed others away through trial and error. As I struggled, I was in the process of embracing my natural hair and developing a more consistent skin and hygiene routine. I’ve done quite a lot. I used to use extra virgin olive oil as my body moisturizer then graduated to extra virgin coconut oil. I used raw lemons as a deodorant and would make an exfoliating face mask with honey, ground cinnamon, and brown sugar. I believed (and to some extent still believe) that many elements gifted to us from the Earth are meant to work in tandem with our bodies.
Before I venture more into the staples of a relatively natural lifestyle, I want to impart these two nuggets: 1) always do what is best for you, this includes time, accessibility, finances, and legitimacy and 2) greenwashing is a true and detrimental marketing tactic, please learn to recognize it.
So, why did I start with that first tenet? Because it’s too easy to believe you’re not doing well if you purchase a natural face mask instead of making it yourself or didn’t purchase the $200 fresh from the celestial waters facial mist. This lifestyle can be “boujie” and it can be “affordable” and unfortunately, it can be totally judgmental. Know yourself and trust that you have your best interests.
The second tenet is a bigger problem. Many companies are losing money due to us. We vote with our dollar. What types of products do you want to see on store shelves? Which products are you bringing into your homes? These companies want it to be them. So they slap some green and trees on their packaging. They weave in words such as “natural,” “pure,” “free from ____,” or “formulated with essential oils.” The latest I’ve been seeing is “plant-based” on everything. Cue my eye rolls.
My pursuit of a mostly natural lifestyle is essential to me because, as egotistical as it is, I don’t wanna be the black that cracks. I’m not joking. I’m trying to be on Halle Berry’s and Angela Bassett’s level of “how old is she?” I’m also pretty confident that Bianca Lawson is a new class of vampire. But, I digress. Since engaging in a natural lifestyle, I’ve strengthened my intimate relationship with myself. I want to put quality in and on my body. It’s a journey. What isn’t, though? But it’s something that I will constantly vote for when it comes to myself and my eventual future family.
So, let’s get into some of my favorites, shall we?
Skincare: Orange Blossom Charcoal Bar Soap, Rose Water Spray, Mirah Cleansing Oil, Caudalie Brightening Essence, Art Skin Serum, Caudalie Beauty Elixir, Witch Hazel, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil
Haircare: Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo, Vanilla Copaiba Shampoo and Conditioner, Shutran Beard Oil, Lush R&B Moisturizer, Mirah Hair Oil
Bodycare: Native Charcoal Body Wash, Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap, Shea Moisture Honey Yogurt Moisturizer, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Sensation Body Wash, Shutran Body Wash, Native Charcoal Deodorant, Cell-Lite Massage Oil, Sensation Massage Oil
Makeup: 100% Pure, Savvy Minerals
Essential Oils: Young Living
Part of my desire to continue pursuing a natural lifestyle is also because of how fragile the human body can be. According to the National Cancer Institute, about five to ten percent of all cancers are hereditary. Therefore, the remaining 90-95% are environmental, something that we can seek empowerment over. We can make choices that promote our well being. We can invest in ourselves in a way that promotes self-care and healing. I’m going to safely assume that at this stage in public dialogue you’ve heard about how our skin is our body’s largest organ. I would love to challenge you to think about what foods are best for you to eat to nourish your beautiful body. Now think about those similar items being ingredients in your skincare, nourishing your external and moving towards your internal self. Our skin absorbs what we put on it and I know for certain that my blood is not going to be absorbing the same ingredients that can be used to preserve bodies and scrub cars. You as well as I deserve better and we’re worth it.