The story begins, with my own experience of developing a chemical intolerance. Especially of the fuming, off-gassing, fragrant kind. The cause can be multi-faceted and the exact mechanisms at play are still emerging. For me, a toxic mold exposure 6 years ago triggered this condition. One explanation is the TILT phenomenon, or Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance. Various causal toxic exposures lead to the inability to tolerate what you once could. Like perfume, car exhaust, dryer sheets, and cleaning solvents. Even in small doses, they become overwhelming and cause a variety of symptoms like anxiety, nausea, headache, and dizziness.
Here's a great paper on it if you'd like to read more.
This forced me to become very particular about the products I use in personal care and around the house. I started investigating the world of ingredients because I wanted to know exactly what I was sensitive to, and why. The safety profile of everyday products, especially 'fragrance' ingredients is pretty dastardly. Fortunately, essential oils and plant botanicals read as safe and enchanting to my overly-sensitive smeller. This is the heart of my curation process here at Haskill Creek. I'm passionate about finding safe products to be an ally for people wherever they are on their wellness journey.
Here are 10 things that are ingredient-approved and are helping along the way on my wellness journey:
1. David’s: Toothpaste w/ Hydroxyapatite- The superstar ingredient in this toothpaste is nano-hydroxyapatite- or n-HA. Developed by NASA to help astronauts that were losing mineralization in teeth and bone, it’s bio-identical to our own teeth. As a fluoride alternative n-HA helps protect and remineralize the teeth, and can help make teeth less sensitive.
2. Osea’s: Vagus Nerve Oil- I use this for an afternoon pick-me up, or whenever I need a chill out. Gently massage into the back of the neck and behind the ears (this is where the vagus nerve branches out to). The vagus nerve activates the body's relaxation response and helps regulate stress. Think aromatherapy notes of juniper, rosemary, and lavender.
3. Nopalera’s: Cactus Soap- featuring the nutritive Mexican botanical: the nopal cactus. Coming in different natural scents, like sweet jasmine and invigorating lemongrass. The nourishing botanical oils make it a lovely addition to a shower.
Bonus: It’s shaped like the rounded leaf of the Nopal Cactus, so it’s ergonomic too.
4. Matcha.com’s: Match Kari- It can resoundingly be said that not all matchas are created equal. This is a superior and high quality matcha, denoted from its vibrant grass green hue. I went for the "starter kit" to get the appropriate preparation tools. Whisk it and mix it with oat milk over ice for a matcha latte. I substitute it in the late a.m. where my second coffee would go.
5. Routine's: Deodorant-The Class- I have been using this stuff for years, and haven’t met a scent blend I didn’t like. This pair of sisters from Nelson, BC really know how to dream up some signature scents using essential oils that will compliment your pheromones. The Class has a special rose quartz stone embedded to infuse additional good vibrations.
6. Living Libations- Mint + Myrrh Oil Swishing Serum- This alternative mouthwash is based on the ancient Ayurvedic practice of Oil Swishing for Oral Health. With a base of coconut oil and enlightened with essential oils like frankincense, peppermint,thyme, and tea tree. It is a delightful refresher and sure to become a morning ritual. Recommended swishing time is 10 minutes, but don’t sweat it to work your way up to it slowly.
7. Wholier: Night Minerals- Part of my nightime ritual, this powdered supplement combines a calming blend of magnesium and calcium. It's made without mysterious "natural flavors" and with a real superfruit berry blend. Drank warm, it’s as enjoyable to drink as it is effective.
8. Branch Basics: The Concentrate- Along with one of their cute glass spray bottles, I whip up a diluted batch of this fragrance-free concentrate for a multi-purpose clean. Prefect for cleaning countertops and all-over dusting. Gentle, human-safe, and biodegradable.
Bonus: Developed by a fellow environmental sensitive- I’m thankful products like this exist!
9. The Apollo Neuro- No ingredients here, but pure concept. This cutting edge device wears like a watch and works by creating vibrations that directly communicate with your nervous system. This provides calming, reassuring messages of safety, improves sleep, and recovery. It's like a loving hug for your fight or flight response! With different programs to run like Pre-presentation, or Post-workout. My favorite is before bedtime, to lull my brain into a calm state, ready to succumb to a peaceful rest.
10. Dram- CBD Drinks- CBD-Infused sparkling water, is my new go-to jam instead of an alcoholic beverage. I crack into one of these calming botanical (and sugar-free!) beverages and a gently sedating effect pours over me. They may not get you buzzed, but they will chill you out. Delicious flavors include Sweetgrass, Lemongrass, and Gingergrass.
Find out more at:
As of writing this, we carry 8/10 of these products in store at Haskill Creek Farms. The other two (Wholier and Apollo Neuro) may be coming soon!
Sarah is a HCF Buyer and specializes in Product Research and Ingredient Safety.