This has been on my mind for a while. I put off blogging about it, but it keeps slapping me in the face every time I browse through message boards and Facebook groups. Let me start by posing a question.
“I’m looking for a natural facial cleanser and exfoliator. What would you (the natural community) recommend?”
Seems innocent enough, right? But then the responses start rolling in.
“I sell *insert MLM company*, and we have the best! PMing you!”
“You can order *insert $47 3oz cleanser* at this website, and shipping is only $12.”
“I will only ever use *insert product claiming nonGMO, certified organic, soy-free, vegan, sustainably sourced, cruelty free label*”
“Have you tried blahblahnaturals on Amazon? Target has so-and-so brand. Earth Fare also carries the blerbidyblerb brand.”
The same responses get doled out for body care products, hygiene items, household cleansers, and almost anything else. And nine times out of ten, these suggestions are quite pricey.
My beef with this particular outlook is that it seems to totally circumvent the whole point of trying to live more naturally. I understand the convenience factor. I understand that it’s sometimes easier to just go out and buy what you need rather than make it at home. But the consumerism in the natural community is getting to a near overwhelming level of unnecessary… Maybe even to an exploitative degree.
This brand obsession is what makes people believe they can’t afford to live naturally. They ask for suggestions on replacing their $3 Johnson’s Baby Wash, and they get rushed with brand names sold hundreds of miles away at double, triple, or even ten times the cost of their original item.
The pressure to not “use poison on your family!” is so blindly powerful that many of us succumb to the fear and start throwing dollars and sense to the wind. My baby NEEDS this special soap-free soap!!
You know what you can use to wash your kid AND yourself?
Need a facial cleanser?
Try the oil in your spice cabinet.
A wash rag.
Clean with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Bulk shea butter for moisturizing. Shampoo your hair less frequently. Grow your own food. Upcycle your old clothes into cloth diapers, menstrual pads, family cloth, kitchen rags. Learn to love your face without makeup. Nourish your body with food, exercise, water, and sun. Rid yourself of excess stuff and get with the multipurpose life.
I’ll continue to buy a couple of my favorite products. But my goal is to decrease my dependence on brand names. Let’s face it. A good chunk of the costs involved with these big, natural brands is not the value of the item itself. Often times, we’re just paying these companies to do the research and thinking for us and then have them hand us a simple, safe product.