It feels as though I have hibernated for most of my adult life and until recently been awaked to discover a whole new world. It was not until after my firstborn came into this world, that I really started to think about being and staying healthy. These days it’s more difficult getting your hands on healthy food and products, when there are too many choices on the shelves and the packaging / advertising is often misleading rather than informative. Although the bio / organic movement has been around for a while, the Czech Republic had to go through its initial bouts of consumerism before people began to question the quality of the products that flooded the stores.
Initially I thought that being healthy would only require exercising and eating healthy (little junk food - OK, ok..I do occasionally slip-up on the sweets and junk), which is what I have been doing for the past 15 yrs. However, it didn’t really hit me until recently that the quality of the food I eat and the products I use make a big difference. Focusing on the products, rather than food for the moment -I started researching cosmetic products trying to figure out what makes some products safer than others, when I came across a few handy websites that highlight the fact that many products contain preservatives and other chemicals that disturb our bodies one way or another (from being carcinogenic to disrupting our natural hormone levels).
As I continued my research, I learned that there are many companies that produce and offer good quality natural cosmetics which omit the use of harmful chemicals – mainly omitting preservatives (parabens), petroleum products (PEGS), allergens, dyes, etc. These companies offer products ranging from face/body/hair care to toothpaste, lip balms, deodorants, makeup and so on.
In the Czech Republic you can purchase natural cosmetics via many different channels, one being the drogerie DM – where you will always find a natural cosmetics section that will offer brands like Weleda, Lavera, Alverde to name a few. At DM you can also purchase natural/safer cleaning products which tend to be cheaper than your regular brands and better for your health.
Another great way is to check out a store called BIOOO.CZ, which is an online as well as a physical store that is located in the Kotva shopping center. The benefit of going to the store is the fact that their sales staff is well trained and can help when you are not sure what to choose. Here you can find a wide range of products from an array of brands that are represented here (even food for your pets!).
Another good local option for body care is a Czech company Manufaktura that has excellent bath products for adults and children – and they make wonderful presents.
I know that avoiding chemicals in today’s world is simply impossible, but it feels good to make educated choices when purchasing products that we consume or apply onto our bodies. With natural products it takes a few tries to find what works for you, and some time getting used to a different feel, consistency and smell than what you are used to, but I think it’s worth a try ;)