Feb 10, 2017
Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and for those who celebrate by buying gifts for the one we love, the options can sometimes seem...uninspired. While it's easy to pop into a drugstore featuring an aisle of chocolate in heart-shaped boxes and colorful perfumes and lotions, so many of these items don't give our bodies any love. In fact, conventional chocolates are so processed and made with sweet and fattening fillers, that most of chocolate's purported health benefits are lost. And the majority of perfumes and conventional skincare products contain chemicals that can pollute our bodies and lead to serious illness, like breast cancer and reproductive issues.
Instead of contributing to your loved one's chemical load this holiday, why not show how deeply you care by considering an option that contains less chemicals, and more health benefits? Some healthy gift ideas are below for inspiration!
1) Instead of perfume, give essential oils.
"Fragrance" is what gives perfumes their alluring scents, but its chemical makeup is complicated. Scents can be concocted from any combination of thousands of chemicals that companies can use! Since the specific chemicals in each are varied, health concerns can vary, too. However, common health concerns include biological mutation, reproductive issues, tumors, and skin and eye irritation. The best way to avoid these exposures is to stop using fragrance, so avoid giving it to the one you love for Valentine's Day!
Instead, give essential oils, or consciously-crafted perfumes made from simple ingredients you can understand-- like pure essential oils, and nontoxic carrier oils like coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba. Look for these in local boutiques or markets carrying items from small-batch producers, or even on Etsy.
If you are going to give essential oils to your partner, please note that not all essential oils are made the same way, and therefore, their quality and purity may differ. Be sure to offer oils that are truly made with pure, organic ingredients. We use DoTerra, which even has a blend that's just so appropriate for Valentine's Day: Passion!
2) Instead of a box of chocolates, give raw dark chocolate.
Chocolate is a classic Valentine's Day gift, but not all chocolates are created equal. Many conventional chocolates are so processed that they lose most of their nutritional value, and milk chocolate tends to be high in fat and sugar. Additionally, many chocolate varieties contain heavy metals, such as lead and cadmium!
To choose the best types of chocolate, choose raw varieties, because they are the least processed, and the most likely to deliver the purported health benefits of chocolate, including stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Dark chocolates will also offer less fat and sugar than other types. Keep in mind, though, that these chocolates can also contain traces of heavy metals, so while it's perfectly fine to periodically indulge in healthy chocolates, moderation is good for health!
3) Instead of spa treatments, gift health-centric experiences.
Spa treatments are wonderful Valentine's Day gifts in that they help us feel relaxed and pampered. However, many products that are typically used in spas--including creams, scrubs, and refreshers--contain toxic ingredients that could contribute to serious illnesses.
To avoiding gifting this dose of toxicants to your loved one, consider more truly natural and health-centric experiences. Our favorite picks include lymphatic-draining massages, ayurvedic facials, and private health classes--like yoga or SoulCycle!
4) Instead of conventional lotions and creams, give organic beauty products from trustworthy brands.
There is little regulation of toxic chemicals when it comes to cosmetics, including creams, lotions, and other skincare products. Mercury, phthalates, glycols, preservatives, nanoparticles, and coal tar only some of the ingredients that are typically found in conventional skincare products--and the list of associated health effects are even more diverse!
One of our favorite skincare hacks is to make DIY lotions and moisturizers, by mixing organic sesame oil with essential oils, like lavender. However, if you're not interested in giving your loved one a DIY kit, healthier skincare products do exist. Do be sure to buy only from brands you can trust--"natural" and even "organic" labels can be misleading! Two of our favorite trusted brands include RMS Beauty and Tammy Fender.
We hope that you gained inspiration from these healthier Valentine's Day gift swaps! Note that we don't have arrangements or interests with any of the products or brands mentioned, they're just what our team and Toxic Exposures Expert--Sophia Gushee--love to use! Do you have a healthy Valentine's Day product to share? Tell us about it by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- The Practical Nontoxic Living Team
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