Natural healing, natural wellness

Safe Homes

Home Made Cleaning Products

When I clean, I like to use products which are safe as well as effective. Unfortunately, most commercial products are toxic to people and the environment, as well as harsh on the skin. The fumes and artificial scents are also harmful. In addition, many household products contain carcinogens as well as xenoestrogens and endocrine disrupters.

There are more cleaning and other household products available today which are safer for people as well as the environment, such as Neways household products range. If, for some reason, you do not have these safer cleaning products at hand, here are some home made cleaning products you can rustle up yourself.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Mix 1 cup of white vinegar and I cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray on surfaces like sinks and kitchen countertops and wipe clean.

Tile Cleaner
Use a damp sponge to rub in bicarbonate of soda, then rinse. For tougher stains, wipe surfaces with vinegar first, then follow up with bicarbonate of soda.

Furniture Polish
Mix two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice. Put a small amount on a clean cloth or paper towel and apply evenly over furniture surface. Polish with a dry cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda into the toilet bowl then add a small amount of vinegar. Leave for at least 15 minutes before scrubbing. To clean the rim, spray undiluted vinegar directly on it.

Window, Glass and Mirror Cleaner
If the glass is not too dirty, rubbing it with a crumpled up ball of newspaper may be sufficient. Otherwise, mix 2 teaspoons of white vinegar with 1 liter of warm water. Dip crumpled newspaper into the solution and wipe the glass. Use another sheet of newspaper to wipe dry.

Chopping Board Cleaner & Disinfectant

Pour boiling water over the board to kill the germs. You can also rub a slice of lemon or pour some vinegar over the chopping board. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot, let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe. Alternatively, soak the board in vinegar for 5-10 minutes.

Odor Remover
A classic trick is to put a small bowl of bicarbonate of soda in the refrigerator or cupboard. To remove stale smells from food containers, soak the container overnight in a mixture of baking soda and water.

Carpet & Rug Deodoriser
Mix together 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 cup flour and 3/4 cup bicarbonate of soda. Sprinkle the mixture on the carpet, rub in lightly, and let it stand for 15 minutes before vacuuming.

Safe Sun Protection Which Nourishes Your Skin

What was I thinking? I was out of my Neways moisturiser with SPF15 protection (True Touch Protect AM) the other day so, being in a hurry, I decided to slap on a well-known, expensive brand’s “Cyber White” SPF 50 / PA++ formula. It was a sample handed out at a beauty workshop organised by the local cancer centre. As it was a sample, no ingredients were printed on the tube.

I thought it should have been relatively safe, as it was distributed through that particular workshop. Will I never learn? The cream was thick, white and pasty. It left me looking like a ghost and suffocated my skin. It was difficult to clean off thoroughly too. Uggh! What did they put in that stuff? My poor skin!

My True Touch Protect AM (or PM) SPF15 moisturiser is velvety and absorbs super-fast, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth. It has no questionable ingredients and is safety-tested and dermatologist-approved. The fragrance is fresh, natural and EU allergen-friendly. Zinc oxide acts as a sunscreen while liposomes assist with photo protection. Vitamins and antioxidants nourish and protect the skin. Key ingredients include:

Zinc Oxide, a natural mineral which provides SPF15 with complete UVA and UVB protection. This is an ideal sunscreen for sensitive skin.

Photosomes, light-activated enzymes from plankton which support sun-damaged skin’s natural repair and renewal processes.

Jojoba Oil, a natural, non-irritating oil which moisturises and conditions.

Meadoowfoam Seed Oil, an oil from a grassland wildflower which also helps to hydrate and nurture the skin.

Vitamins C & E, powerful antioxidants which defend and protect the skin against the harsh effects of the environment. Vitamin E also helps moisturise the skin.

Pea Extract, a skin conditioner with antioxidant properties that also supports the skin’s firmness and elasticity.

Walnut Seed Extract, an ingredient with antioxidant properties which helps support the skin against environmental stress.

True Touch” by Neways International is a range of skin care products which avoids using at least 3,000 questionable ingredients, including known carcinogens. What was I thinking of using some other inferior and potentially harmful brand of skin care?

Prevention – Always Better Than Cure

When I was growing up, I drank either fizzy drinks or beverages made from cordial with every meal. The kitchen always had crates of aerated water lining one wall. We never drank plain water. At best, we would drink sweet tea heaped with sugar, the way our mom liked it.

My family was well-to-do, so we indulged in anything we liked. The dining table groaned with meat dishes, the larder was well-stocked with snacks, chocolates and other confectionery – you get the picture. As for personal care and household care products, we had all the well-known brands. Nothing but the “best” for us. What ingredients went into those products? Who knew and who cared? We were washed and powdered, and we smelled nice. That’s all that mattered.

From my teens, I bought lots of beauty products. They were a mix of unknown brands as well as famous brands. Skin care, hair products, cosmetics, I had the works. All I cared about was whether they made me look and smell good. In those days, what did anybody know about harmful and even carcinogenic ingredients in personal care products? We believed that well-known brands would only be made of the best ingredients, certainly nothing questionable or damaging to health. We never realised that the personal care and beauty products which we used daily could potentially harm us and make us sick.

We’ve come a long way, baby. Consumers today are better-informed about the dangers of common beauty and personal care ingredients such as:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Propylene Glycol
Ethanol / alcohol
Fluoride
Mineral Oil
Petrolatum
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
Retinoic Acid
Avobenzone
Homosalate
Benzophenone
Formaldehyde
PEGs
Parabens
Ceteareth-20
Diethanolamine (DEA)

There are many more toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients we are exposed to at home which can cause illnesses like cancer, respiratory problems, eye problems like cataracts, liver and kidney ailments, Alzheimer’s Disease, and allergic reactions. Many of these harmful ingredients are in products we love to slather on our skin, apply on our eyes, put in our hair and clean our mouths with.

Had I known years ago what I know today, I probably would have avoided using most kinds of commercial skin care, hair and other beauty products, and gone natural as far as possible (safe personal care products were virtually unheard of until recent years). Had my parents known what many people know today, I’m sure they would have made better dietary choices.

Today, half my siblings – including myself – have been afflicted with cancer. One lost the battle. My other siblings grapple with a variety of health problems. My father spent the last 30 years of his life fighting a host of medical conditions. My mother has been in poor health for many years and her memory comes and goes. Sheer coincidence?

Prevention is obviously better than cure. We cannot undo the damage that has already been done, but we can do our best from now on to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This is particularly essential for those who are already dealing with health conditions like cancer. Boycott personal care and household products which use inferior and potentially harmful ingredients. Choose brands which avoid using questionable ingredients. Safety-conscious Neways International avoids using more than 3,000 questionable ingredients, and counting. What about the brands you use? What poison are you putting on your skin today?