October 5, 2012 by hightideanddusk
I began today with a lot of correspondence and have a feeling today’s agenda is mainly made up of words. I used a totally idiosyncratic phrase in reply to a friend’s comment today on facebook. I’m just in that kind of mood.
Sometimes I feel like writing a lot, and other days I can barely string a sentence together, audibly or on paper. Today though, I am determined to write about cosmetics, beauty and social justice.
I can’t even remember how I first ended being so passionate about social justice and buying items that helped rather than hindered other humans but it was a while ago and now social justice is a solid part of my life. One of the ways that this subject really raised its head in my life this year was to do with cosmetics and what I put on my skin. I have to say that I’m super skeptical of the ‘organic’ brands and ‘100% natural’ labels on products in the supermarket and even NZ Made beauty products like body butters, face washes and shampoos have some question marks hanging over them.
What I found most interesting in my research into what was put into beauty products and where ingredients were sourced was the lack of awareness on the impact of sourcing ingredients in human terms. There was a massive amount of information on the environmental impact products have, and even more on environmentally sustainable ingredient sourcing, but nothing on the sustainability of the human labour used to attain these ingredients.
So why is this? I don’t know. I’ve emailed people, companies and either have replies stating that they hope their ingredients are from places where the workers are being looked after, but more often I’ve had no reply. And hope, while essential, is not all there is to living. There has to be more substance to hope than wishful thinking.
Hope is the backbone to our greatest actions.
So my solutions were:
– Buy fairtrade products from overseas (Lush makes a fairtrade foot lotion and toothpaste and nothing else as of yet http://www.lushnz.com/shop/product/product/path/154_162/id/69/skin-hands,-feet-and-body-fair-trade-foot-lotion but they are fabulous). However, most fairtrade online stores would not post to NZ. And buying items from so far away doesn’t help supporting New Zealand’s economy or the global footprint or carbon wah wah wah.
– Make my own. Orrrrrr. Buy from a company that provides ingredients from here in NZ or from places around the world that are better than most (in fact some are even fairtrade! Check out their website here: http://www.gonative.co.nz/)
And I did! I bought the body butter base and the light moisturizer base and both smell weird (BEWARE – if you are sensitive to smell you probably won’t like it!) and though I don’t like how they smell they work really, really well.
I feel like I’m a step closer to finding a solution, but social justice is a tricky old beast and there are a million different aspects to consider without even digging right into the core of the matter.
One last solution is using ingredients from the cupboard to wash your face/hair/exfoliate/etc. and so below I will list a few things I do each day to keep me looking lovely:
Face: This one is bizarre but AMAZING! Morning and night I wash my face with honey and since beginning this ritual my skin has been so much smoother and clearer. (The only thing it doesn’t do is take off eye make-up). Every now and then I throw in a sprinkle of cinnamon and voila! I have an exfoliator! I just rub the honey on and then rinse it off.
Hair: Again, sounds like the weirdest stuff to be putting in your hair but it works a trick. Baking soda (about a teaspoon for short, thick hair and a tablespoon for longer hair) moistened and rubbed through your hair is a great shampoo. Your hair will feel quite squeaky clean, but if you rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar and water afterwards it becomes silky soft.
And finally for a nice moisturizer exfoliant, mix together 1 part oil to 2 parts sugar (any sugar and any oil will do) and you have a sugar scrub ready to go!
Well, I think that’ll do for my second ever post haha! Stay cool and peace out.