The Hippie in Me Part Deux

I have a Keeper convert! Okay, well I didn’t actually convert her, she’d been thinking about it for five years, she says. It was at work yesterday, I was waiting for her to take over the floor for me so I could eat. I went up to the office to fish her out and she had a tampon in hand. I made some remark about toxic bleach in her whoo-haa and she asked if I was a Keeper user.

“Why, yes!” I confirmed. “Just finished my second cycle with the Keeper. I can’t believe your hippie ass doesn’t use it!”
This girl is a hippie. A big hippie, bigger hippie than I. When I say hippie don’t confuse the regular Portland, Oregon granola eating, non-bathing hippies with the fresher, hipper New York Hippie. Yes, we eat granola but we bathe. That was a jab at my Mirs. There’s nothing wrong with Portland, OR, except that the Ex lives there and therefore, I am determined to disdain anything and everything about the damned city. I’m sure it’s a great city and I’m super looking forward to going there this summer-to retrieve Mirs stuff. Seriously, I do want to go. I’ve seen pictures and it does look really pretty and nice and rustic. I’m working on being positive.
ANYWAY, New York Hippies are neo-Hippies. Everything we’re doing here; using canvas bags for grocery shopping, eating organic, farmer’s markets, biking are pretty eco-friendly. The West Coasters, I’m sure rock the Prius, but most New Yorkers don’t drive, therefore we don’t need a Hybrid car, we have our bikes. Mirs says that the West Coast has always been Green and it’s us East Coasters who are finally jumping on the band wagon. She may have a point. But New Yorkers go big or go home, so we’re going big. It’s not just the food thing, a lot of my co-workers are very product conscious, they buy things that are paraben-free, locally produced, and organic. This girl, my co-worker has an added dimension to her Hippie. She’s a crazy animal lover. Not in that weird 100 cats way, but in the chic, rescue a turkey from being Thanksgiving dinner way. Yes, she really did rescue a turkey, her name is Whisper, and she lives on a farm in upstate New York. There’s a picture of Whisper in the management office at work. How they got that turkey to stay still for the shot is beyond me.
So this girl, my co-worker, is pretty Hippie, very Green, and an animal advocate. Why she continues to stick bleached cotton in her na-na is beyond me. She told me she was having Keeper anxiety. She’d heard that it was uncomfortable and hard to use. I just finished my last cycle with the Keeper and am in no way an expert on the situation. I did tell her that it was pretty easy to get used to, and in my case, wasn’t that uncomfortable at all. The girl is really tall, really, really tall. Therefore, she has really big feet and hands. With big hands come long fingers. Long fingers make getting the Keeper in it’s proper place easier.
She’s just a bit nervous. It is unnerving to take your first look at the Keeper. It’s definitely not as slim, white, and as prettily packaged as your average tampon. I told her, bite the bullet, visit Whole Foods and take the plunge. You won’t regret it. She said next cycle she’d get on it.
In my switch to green living I’ve started seeking out products that are better for my body and the environment. The hair products are still a bit more difficult for me, but my sweet girlfriend is off to the post office now picking up some natural black hair care that she found online. I’m sure it’s the first time this company sent their products to a Jewish girl. It could be a new angle for them, you never know. I’m pretty excited to give it a try, although I’m skeptical.
Deodorant had been very difficult for me in my quest to be green. I used that natural crystal stick for a while, and in the summer it’s my stand-by. Because I turn into a hairy beast in the winter (yes, oh so Hippie and Lesbian of me) it’s not as easy and doens’t seem to work as well. I started borrowing Mirs Tom’s of Maine deodorant. It’s unscented, and in my opinion unscented is not an option. We went to the Fairway and browsed around on their organic floor. Side note, if you haven’t been upstairs to the Organic Section at the Fairway on 72nd, what are you waiting for!? The products there are relatively cheap, in comparison to places like Whole Foods. It’s a lot saner than the mad house down stairs. Go, if only for the bulk foods and personal hygiene products.
At the Fairway, I bought this delicious smelling deodorant stick by Nature’s Gate. The bottle says, “Paraben-Free, No Aluminum” I chose the Organics Fruit Blend, Persimmon and Rose Geranium. Despite it’s name it smells more citrusy than rosey, which is perfect for me. I hate the smell of Roses. On the back of the bottle it continues to list all of the attributes I’m looking for, “Paraben-Free, No Propylene Glycol, No Aluminim Chlorohydrate, With Baking Soda to help neutralize Odor, Gentile, effective protection, Hypo-Allergenic…Produced without animal testing and with no animal by-products. Perfect, right? Wrong. After only 4 hours with this stuff on, I have the worse BO you can imagine. It’s like it produces BO. I mean, with Mirs unscented Tom’s I never smelled, bad, I just smelled like you smell when you have on unscented deodorant. Do you know that smell? It’s not funky, offensive, or stinky, it’s just the way that your body smells after 8 hours. If you always use products like Degree, Soft and Dri, Suave, or even Dove you have no idea what I’m talking about because those products are so full of shit that you never really smell yourself. Some people like that, I don’t . I don’t, however, like BO. BO is not acceptable. This shit, this fruity smelling Organic wonder by Nature’s Gate gives you BO. It’s horrible. I had to apply it 4 times yesterday! FOUR TIMES! And when I woke up this morning, my BO was so gross that I couldn’t even hug my girlfriend I was that embarrassed.
BO doesn’t bother Mirs as much…read the first few paragraphs, she was a Portland Hippie…(oooh, burn.) She tends to say that she likes my smell, which I think is a mix of sexy and bizarre. But, I know what she means, I like the way she smells when she’s wearing her unscented Toms. It’s not BO, but the way her body smells. I like it, so I get it. This morning, though, she said oh so pleasantly, as pleasantly as you can say with morning breathe, “baby, you kinda smell.” and then giggled. I even applied more before going to bed and STILL SMELLED BAD!
Ugh. Being Green, though, I can’t throw the shit away. That’d be wasteful. So I keep it in my purse and keep applying it over and over and over again throughout the day. So, after the gym (and smelling) about a week ago I went back to Fairway to get a new deodorant. I opted for Tom’s of Maine in the Lavender scent. At this point, super wary of these Hippie deodorants and really wanting to shave my pits and pull out my crystal. But it’s not summer yet, so the pits are hairy. Luckily, Tom’s has a few products that say “Long-Lasting Natural Care” right along with “Aluminum-Free” and all that other good stuff about not hurting animals. To three-up the Nature’s Gate people, Tom’s tells you right on the label how it prevents odor naturally in Three ways, “it uses Botanical Hops to inhibit growth of bacteria, zinc ricinoleate to absorb odor, and encapsulated natural fragrance.” Upon examining the ingredients side-by-side Tom’s contains Propylene Glycol as its first ingredient, whereas Nature’s Gate omits it completely. What is Propylene Glycol??
Funny you should ask. I had no idea so one little click to my Google browser and I found this on the website http://www.natural-health-information-centre.com
Propylene Glycol
“A cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. In the skin and hair, propylene glycol works as a humescent, which causes retention of moisture content of skin or cosmetics products by preventing the escape of moisture or water. The Material Data Safety Sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.”
Great. What else does Tom’s of Maine’s deodorant (which works better) have in it?? Umm, Glyceryl laurate! According to another website I found, http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com Glyceryl Laurate is a skin irritant but has a low, according to their research, level of it to be harmful. Hmmm. What to do? I’m in a serious conundrum here. I mean, Tom’s of Maine has a half dozen products outed on that second website and the Nature’s Gate folks, not mentioned at all. In reviewing this new site I found that many companies that market their products as “Natural”, Aveeno, for instance, aren’t natural at all. Aveeno products are some of the most hazardous, according to cosmeticsdatabase.com
I suppose that’s how the Tom’s folks slip by under the radar with in Organic sections of grocery stores and health food stores. When I look at the label more closely, it doesn’t say organic anywhere-it says “Natural.” The word natural, though, causes the consumer to assume that the product that they are purchasing is just that, natural, when, in fact, it is not.
So let’s think about this for a moment. I’ve been using deodorant since I was, what? Nine years old? And I’m twenty-nine now. For twenty years I have been poisoning my body with Propylene Glycol, the first, therefore most concentrated ingredient in a product that I used daily. Think about it people, most women I know shave their armpits on a pretty regular basis. And then we cover this newly shaved area in a filmy substance that is basically poison.

When I was rushed to the hospital about 5 years ago because of kidney stones the doctors really had no idea why or where they came from. They asked me about my calcium consumption, my water consumption, how regularly I peed. They did not ask me if I used deodorant because the Western world uses deodorant faithfully. Could it have been the deodorant this whole time

When I told Mirs my findings she sort of laughed at me and said, “I don’t think people need deodorant anyway.” Maybe the hippies had it right? Or the smelly French. Maybe the time has come to embrace your inner hippie and enjoy and appreciate your natural scent. I’m no so sure that I will take it that far. The only ingredients in my Crystal is Mineral Salt. Last I checked, that wasn’t bad for you. I’m not ready to shave my pits though, and refuse to waste products like the Nature’s Gate. The Tom’s, well that is getting thrown out. I’m sorry for not recycling. They’re also getting a little e-mail complaint from one Ms. Erika K. Davis from New York, NY. Those folks in Maine should be ashamed!

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