Survival Guide to Toxic America

By Nina Schottenhaml
In the world we live in today it has became increasingly apparent that the ingredients in our personal care products, cleaning products, and the food we eat are not as good for our bodies as we may have originally trusted them to be. In fact, they are worse than just 'not as good as we trusted them to be', many of these ingredients are proven to be deadly carcinogens. 

When I first learned that our products are filled with harmful chemicals I slowly began moving towards a more holistic, natural health and beauty approach. It has been nearly 3 years detoxing my body off of harmful chemicals, learning about natural living, and perfecting my own personal routine so today I want to save you time, research, and trial and error by sharing with you my most valuable recipes, tips and information about my all natural personal care routines and remedies:

Essential Oils

You will come to find out that essential oils will be your best friend throughout this lifestyle change. An essential oil is the pure concentrated extracted oil of various plants in nature. Natural concentrated oils have been trusted and used medicinally throughout the ages in older eastern medicine practices. I use them in just about every product I make, they are just great! 
Some of my must-haves :)

Hair Care Routine

This is probably considered the most undesirable part of going all natural because our hair actually begins to freak out a little bit as our scalp works to regulate and produce the proper natural oils to maintain clean and healthy hair. Many people don't realize that when our hair gets oily within a day or two of washing it is because the body is working hard to balance out the oils of the scalp with the harmful chemicals within shampoo that are unnatural to the human scalp. That being said, there is a detox period that may leave your scalp feeling greasier than average for about a month or so but during that period many people rock hats, head bands, bandannas, and try out new hair styles to make up for the undesirable look, but personally it wasn't a big deal at all. Here is a look into my hair care routine:


There are many different recipes for natural shampoo but it is important to note that most of these recipes call primarily for baking soda. Baking soda works great for many types of natural care however the pH levels of it are slightly too high for our bodies pH regulatory system so while baking soda cleans really well, it will only do so for an indeterminable amount of time. After long term use this can cause the hair to resort back to it's unnaturally greasy ways so to avoid this I have stuck with a store bought formula known as Dr. Bronner's. This brand is the most common all natural, multi-purpose cleaner. Dr. Bronner's is a necessary product in my supply closet because it is a pure organic castile soap that can be used to clean the body, hair, teeth, and every version of general household cleaning as well. You can find this soap at your local health food stores in the body care section or online here


For conditioner I simply use Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. I add half parts ACV and half parts water into a spray bottle and spray it thoroughly into the ends of my hair, leave in for about 3 minutes and then rinse this step leaves the hair feeling soft and vibrant.

Deep Hair Rinse

Once a month I like to do a deep clean hair rinse. This is an extra step to the hair care routine but once I tried it and saw how absolutely healthy and strong it made my hair, I just simply couldn't forget about it. This hair rinse works good on every hair type and works wonders on dreadlocks. Here is my favorite deep hair rinse recipe:

You will need to soak your hair in this solution for 30 minutes so first you'll want to get a bowl or use a clean sink or some other vessel to hold your hair in for the duration of this process.

Distilled Water
4 drops tea tree oil
4 Tbsp baking soda
Half a lemon (or sea salt)
Dunk for 30 mins, rinse with apple cider vinegar and warm water


Moroccan oil with lavender essential oil

Personal Care Routine

Face wash

The good thing about natural soaps is that they are not harsh on the body like the alternative so they tend to be safe for an array of personal uses. When I need a face wash I tend to use whatever natural soap I am currently washing my body with. In most cases this is Dr. Bronner's soap but the wonderful thing about being all natural is that even our faces begin to produce a more natural oil so in a lot of cases I will only need to rinse with hot water and exfoliate with a towel, but when I do have a break out or oily skin i tend to use a neem and tumeric face wash that you can buy Here, after using neem face wash I always moisturize thoroughly.

Facial Moisturizer Recipe

1 cup coconut oil
1 Tbl carrot seed oil (natural spf)
1 Tbl raspberry seed oil (natural spf)
5 capsules vitamin E
8-10 drops Frankincense
5-8 drops Rosemary
Blend or stir mixture together


1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shae butter (perferably raw, organic, unrefined)
3 capsules vitamin E
5-7 drops Frankincense
3-5 drops Lavender
Blend or stir


1/4 Cup Coconut oil
1/4 Cup Bentonite Clay
1 Tabl Baking soda
10-12 drops Peppermint essential oil

Do the earth walk...

Taking a holistic path can be a dive into unfamiliar waters but nowadays our environment, our bodies, and our health truly needs this change. I hope you are inspired to try out some of these simple natural products or even get creative concocting your own lotions or other products


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