Hair Care

Going Through Cancer: Toxin-Free Products on a Budget

+ Pamela Friedman

Dealing with cancer can not only be emotionally devastating, physically exhausting, and spiritually overwhelming, but it’s darn expensive, too! Every penny counts in a tough economy and unfortunately, many cancer fighters find their paychecks going to treatment plans, medications, and insurance bills. How can you possibly choose toxin-free products with organic ingredients, when the cost of natural brands may sometimes be more expensive?

Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice safety, because there are many clever ways to save money while still using non-toxic, safe products. (For more on why it’s important to choose chemical-free ingredients, please read “Toxins and Skincare 101.”) Whether or not you’re a cancer fighter, survivor, or caregiver, it’s important to research the products you expose yourself to, so you can help prevent future cancers or negative reactions from dangerous carcinogenic ingredients. (Read more about navigating packaging labels here).

Fortunately, as chemical awareness and organic exposure continue to increase, a variety of wonderful brands are becoming available to the public at extremely affordable prices. We love Burt’s Bees, which range from $3 to $25 for lip balms to anti-aging serums, and Avalon Organics for hair care, which carries terrific volumizing products for fine hair at only $8.95. Calming and soothing creams for dry, sensitive skin can be found at California Baby. These come in the $10 range and can double for face and body.

You can also find a large variety of natural products under the “Green and Natural” section of  The Nature of Beauty Blog suggests buying shampoo and conditioning products from companies like Sante  Natural (averaging about $8 per bottle), and adds, “You will likely go through the less expensive products (particularly shampoos, shower products, and lotions) faster than you will their higher-end counterparts.”

Even if you’re actively choosing healthy brands for your skin, body, and hair, it’s just as important to pick toxin-free makeup for your face. Although many cosmetic brands are extremely expensive, Physicians Formula has recently released a line of certified organic, paraben- and preservative-free makeup, including bronzers, eye shadows, paraben-free mascara and mineral foundations. (Read more about mineral foundation and cancer here.) Best of all, they’re using ecologically friendly packaging, which means less exposure to dangerous plastics or packaging chemicals, and you can find them at nearly any drugstore around for equally simple prices.

Then again, many cancer fighters and savvy shoppers prefer skipping “toxin-free brands” in favor of completely natural ingredients that can be found right in the comfort of their own homes. A green consumer from Divine explains, “To me, the best green beauty routine is to go without makeup, creams and goops whenever possible. Water is a great beauty product. I do use castille soap and the occasional lotion for dry skin, and of course an earth-friendly shampoo.” She adds, “I’m very interested in making my own face masks with oatmeal, olive oil, avocado, or lavender oil.” For more information on creating your own beauty products from home, please read “50 Health and Beauty Products You Can Make At Home” or check out “How Can I Make Beauty Products at Home?”

* We want to hear from you: Do you prefer all-natural beauty products, or would you rather make your own from home? How do you save money on organic brands?

Photo courtesy of Snap Village

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