Have you ever wondered about healthier personal items to pack in your purse, diaper bag or suitcase? It’s easy to add more natural items to the home, but taking them on the go is a little more difficult. Here are some things I keep in my purse as a Health Coach, as well as when I am traveling.

Lip Gloss & Chap stick: This is a simple swap. If you are already purchasing lip gloss or ChapStick, especially for your kids, make the change to an organic one without the chemicals. You probably wouldn’t eat petroleum, so why put it on your lips? Even though the healthier version may be twice the price, it’s really only $1-$2 more. That’s worth it since it will last for a while.

Lotions: There are so many healthy options for lotion out there. The skin is the largest organ in the body. This is one of the most important items to purchase (or make) naturally and organically. An easy option for something more natural on the go is an organic lotion free of parabens, synthetic fragrance and silicone. These are readily available at most stores and will only cost a few extra dollars if any.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has many great traits. You can cook with it, mix it in smoothies and coffee, use it on your skin as a moisturizer or to help with eczema, as an ointment on diaper rashes, or even in your hair as a treatment mask. The downside to traveling with coconut oil is that it is greasy and messy. You don’t want that spilling all over your purse or suitcase. To travel with it or use it daily on the go, a great way to take it with you is to purchase small travel packets of the oil available online or to carry it in a small glass container. Use a small spatula to scoop it in.

Deodorant: You can find an effective natural deodorant that suits you well with a little trial and error. Many do contain baking soda which is an irritant, so if you have sensitive skin this may something you want to avoid. A few good ingredients to look for in your natural deodorant are arrowroot powder, magnesium hydroxide, coconut oil and tea tree oil. Also be sure to exfoliate your underarms a few times a week to slough off the bacteria and skin. If you aren’t ready to make the switch to natural deodorant, avoid using an antiperspirant (vs deodorant) as it typically contains aluminum and, most importantly, doesn’t allow your body to eliminate the toxins it needs to. This can not only be damaging to your health, it can change the bacterial microbiome and make you smellier. It’s a vicious cycle.

How do I know if my items are healthy and good for my skin and body?

With so many products in the store, and even more online it can be confusing and overwhelming to know what to select. A few easy items to avoid are synthetic colors, parabens (a preservative) and formaldehyde.

A great resource is the Environmental Working Group, EWG. On their website you can look for the product you are interested in and get a safety rating. If it’s full of chemicals and toxins it won’t make the grade and you will know not to purchase that item.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness www.idealwellnesswa.com located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at info@idealwellnesswa.com.

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