Twenty-Something & Toxin-Free

How a Millennial with a limited budget and time went chemical free


Many of you have read my health story. After 10 years of mysterious symptoms, and repeatedly receiving prescriptions for birth control from my MD without even an examination, a two-hour session with an osteopathic specialist identified the source of my illness: a dairy allergy. Since then, I’ve become a devoted advocate for my own health and have learned to research, ask questions, and seek more natural options.

That’s how I went chemical free.

I used to look at people who lived in toxin-free homes and assume they 1) had obscene amounts of money, 2) had unlimited time to experiment and research, or 3) used products that didn’t work (like deodorant that doesn’t do its job). As I slowly began weeding toxins and chemicals out of my life, I found that none of those assumptions were true.

I work hard at a job I love. I am not, however, rolling in great troughs of disposable cash. I pay my bills, save for my future, shop at thrift stores, and go on a vacation or two. And yet, switching out my toxic home and beauty products didn’t kill my budget because I was swapping out one purchase for another. I don’t have a lot of extra time because I’m working full time and running a small business on the side. With just a few hours on the weekends to stock up my house with chemical-free products, I’m set for weeks. And do these products work? YES. They do. My toxin-free deodorant stood the test of a Caribbean island in mid-August. It works. They all do, and I tweak the ones that don’t wow me.

Now for the good stuff….what have I ditched and switched?

  • Shampoo:
    • Ditch: A lather laced with sodium laurel sulfates (foaming agents used in cleaning commercial garages and linked to eye problems, labored breathing, skin irritations and cancer),
    • Switch: Young Living’s toxin-free hair products. You only use a little bit so it goes a LONG way. There are no parabens, SLS, or chemical fragrances.
  • Makeup:
    • Ditch: Cosmetics loaded with parabens (hormone disrupter), BHA/BHT (a carcinogen proven to cause cancer in animals and used as a preservative in makeup), and FD&C Color Pigments (derived from coal and linked to decreased oxygen absorption, cancer in test animals, and death).
    • Switch: Pure Haven makeup. All natural ingredients that anyone can pronounce. The mascara is just as good as the Maybelline I was using for years, and the blush is one of the best I’ve ever used. Also, its cheaper than Beauty Counter.
  • Perfume:
    • Ditch: This was painful, because I LOVE my perfume, but not what’s in it. Acetone, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, camphor, ethanol, ethyl acetate, limonene, linalool and methylene chloride. Not to mention that ambiguous label of all labels “fragrance (parfum)”. Companies are NOT REQUIRED BY GOVERNMENT to disclose what chemicals are in their fragrance.
    • Switch: I put Young Living essential oils on like perfume. No one has ever complained that I smell like a field of lavender, like fresh lemon, or (my favorite) a grove of Jasmine trees. There are no chemicals; just pure plant extract. I also wear diffuser jewelry – beads made of porous lava stone – and place a drop of oil into the stone so it rubs off against my skin for hours.
  •  Hand Sanitizers and Antibacterial Handsoaps
    • Ditch: The FDA just placed a one-year moratorium on all antibacterial products containing Triclosan because it has been linked to cancer. This chemical will slowly disappear from our antibacterial products. Go FDA! Will it resurface? You will never now because companies are not required to disclose what slips in under certain labels. Products banned in the 70’s have been found in TODAY’S products because they slip in under FDA loopholes, or aren’t disclosed.
    • Switch: I wash my hands with Thieves foaming soap, and use Thieves hand purifier. Research for yourself what Thieves can do…its mind blowing.
  • Toothpaste:
    • Ditch: Twice a day, you put a product in your mouth that contains Triclosan, SLS, Fluoride (toxic when swallowed) Propylene Glycol (used in antifreeze and plane de-icers), Diethanolamine (DEA), and Carrageenan. No wonder it says on the back of the tube “call Poison Control if more than used for brushing is swallowed.” What the cuss are you putting in your mouth?!
    • Switch: Thieves toothpaste which cleans your teeth with baking soda and essential oils.
  • And I make my own
    • Deodorant: using benzonite clay, baking soda, and essential oils
    • Lotions: using Cypress and Grapefruit oils with Coconut oil as a base.
    • Toner: using Myrrh, Frankincense, and Lavender oils
    • Hair oil: using Ylang Ylang and a carrier oil on my scalp
    • After Gym oil: using Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Panaway oil
    • Foaming Body Wash: using Coconut Milk, Vegetable Glycerin, and Grapefruit oil.
    • Sunscreen: using different carrier oils, shea butter, and zinc oxide.
    • And so much more…
  • How I can Improve
    • I’m learning to not use a microwave (the U.S. is one of the only countries to use these things). They break down the healthful enzymes in your food, making it less nutritious.
    • More organic fruit and veggies. Period.
    • Keep Monsanto products out of my home. The crap this company pulls…

I’m still learning guys, but its so encouraging to know we have options. The government is also slowly learning, but until the special interest lobby groups die down, we have to lobby for our own health by refusing to purchase products that are loaded with toxins, and opting for more natural products.

Be well, ya’ll.


Samantha Bossalini