Natural Inspirations

100 Self Improvement Tips to Better Yourself

Brooke EkelundComment


Healthy Body, Healthy Life ✌🏼

  1. Create some sort of meal plan. Planning out your meals ahead of time will help you spend less money and make healthier food choices.

  2. Stop eating fried food. Fried food makes you feel absolutely terrible for at least 24 hours … definitely not worth it.

  3. Don’t go more than 3 days without exercise. Exercising gives you life, helps relieve all that nasty stress, and helps you get fit. We know sometimes it’s “too hard to squeeze it in every day,” but don’t go more than 3 days without it.

  4. Eat less dairy. If you have a sensitive tummy, try cutting out dairy. I know it’s hard. But for some people this can eliminate digestive problems. Try some vegan cheese! We’re big fans of Daiya.

  5. Cut out one, more or all of the following: pop, coffee, alcohol, or sugar. Not sure if we can cut coffee out, but we’re starting with eliminating alcohol for a while!

  6. Get enough good sleep. Is 5.5 hours enough for you or is it 8 hours? Whatever it is for you, make sure you get it. The quality matters just as much as the time spent sleeping. Good sleep allows your body to regenerate and allows for better concentration. Not to mention, better skin!

  7. Focus on being physically strong more than on being thin. This will create positive goals that are attainable and healthy for you. All shapes and sizes are beautiful 💪🏼

  8. Make sure you get enough Vitamin C, D and all the others you may be missing. Essential vitamins like these can impact your health in a positive way if you get enough (and can have negative effects if they’re low). Try an at home test like LetsGetChecked or go see an Integrated Medicine Specialist.

  9. Drink more than enough water every day. A good trick to figure how much to drink is to divide your body weight by 2 and that’s how many ounces you should consume. It’s tough, we know.

  10. Stay on top of your annual, routine appointments and stop putting them off! Put a recurring reminder on your calendar for things like dental checkups, mole checks and physicals so you don’t miss any. Take your preventative care seriously. We mean it.

  11. Take a new group fitness class or hire a personal trainer. If you struggle to stay active, classes or a trainer are great ways to get going. Just make sure you can fit it in that monthly budget of yours.

  12. Subscribe to a health blog, or three. Learn about healthy living as a lifestyle practice little by little every day. Here’s a list of the best of 2019.

  13. Smile. It releases endorphins 😁


Work on the relationships you want to last. 👯‍♀️

  1. Be your own best friend. Learning to love yourself will create a feeling of being centered. Something that everyone deserves to experience. You’ll be happier in all areas of your life.

  2. Set #relationshipgoals. How do you want your friendships to be maintained? Start small and come up with goals together.

  3. Put as much effort into your relationships as you do into your everyday work. This is absolutely necessary. People matter the most in this world. Prioritize your people.

  4. Give people the benefit of the doubt. If you make this an everyday practice, trust us … you’ll be happier. You won’t question others as much and you’ll find that you’ll become less judgmental.

  5. Have “family” meetings. Whether it’s with your roommate or your partner. Discuss how things are going, including your personal goals, financial goals and anything else. It’s good to have a scheduled time to check-in with each other.

  6. Call one friend or family member once a day. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the need to stay in touch, simply call one person you care about every day. Do it when you’re walking the dogs, while you’re on your way to work, or even on your lunch break. This way, over time, you’ll stay in touch with everyone.

  7. Stop being a victim. Whatever your circumstances are, take ownership of every single one of them. Then, take action.

  8. Learn to argue productively. Arguing is part of any healthy relationship. Learn how to do it constructively and respectfully. Don’t just argue for arguing’s sake.

  9. Say sorry the right way. Don’t use “ifs” in your apologies (ex: “I’m sorry if I upset you). Address your apology head-on and take responsibility for your actions. Try “I understand how you feel and I’m sorry that I upset you.” Validation is also key.

  10. Don’t put your partner down in public. This is one of the worst things you can do. It’s disrespectful and harms the relationship. How do you want to live and be perceived by others?

  11. Stop negative thoughts about other people when you begin to think them. This practice can become an easy habit, and when it does, you’ll get out of a negative mindset. You’ll be happier overall and less judgmental in the long run.

  12. Commit to playing with your kids and/or pets regularly. It’s not enough to provide for them financially. They need your time (and quality time at that). 🐶🐱

  13. Prioritize your kids and/or over your work. This is hard for the workaholic of the family, but it’s worth it. Your regrets at the end of your life will be about the individuals in your life – not work. Prioritize your people and your pets.

  14. A compliment a day … Makes people very happy! You never know when someone is feeling down or needs a little pick-me-up. Who knows, it could even open up a new relationship.


Money doesn’t make you happier, but it makes your life a little easier. 💰

  1. Check your bank accounts daily. This habit will keep you informed on the reality of your financial situation. It will keep you aware of what you’re spending each day. It’s a simple action that can pay off in the long run.

  2. Spend less than you make. This rule is super simple, but so hard to follow. If you live by this rule, you have a shot at building a stable (and even dreamy) financial future. Learn how to set a budget and then how to follow it.

  3. Save a 3-6 month emergency fund. Because emergencies happen to everyone and having cash will lessen the stress. Layoffs happen. Emergencies happen. Life happens.

  4. Get out of debt. Debt holds you back from doing a lot. It requires you to be a “slave to the lender” as they say. Get out and stay out.

  5. Pay off your credit cards in full every month. If you don’t, you’ll be paying interest that compounds over time. Spend only what you can pay off.

  6. Make more money. If you have an income problem (meaning you don’t make enough money to reach your financial goals), then find ways to make more money.

  7. Pay yourself first. You’re always going to find ways to spend your money, even with pay increases. To make sure you’re saving, auto-deposit money into a savings account immediately when you’re paid. Increase the amount when you get a pay raise. Weekly transfers are a good choice.

  8. Put more financial margin in your budget. Find ways to cut spending and make more money so you have more money left at the end of the month as a buffer. All those subscription boxes you have? Get rid of ones that aren’t fulfilling your life. Social media sites and streaming services? Cancel the ones you use the least.

  9. Spend money on experiences. Research shows spending on experiences results in living a happier, healthier life. You will remember the experiences you had, not the stuff you bought.

  10. Save for retirement. If you want to retire one day, you need to plan for it. The earlier you start, the more you benefit.


Commit to a career you love, but doesn’t consume you. 👩🏽‍🔬

  1. Do work that fulfills you. This will make every day fly by. Not that you want it to fly by … but you won’t be bored. You’ll be happier and more content with your life. Don’t give up until you find your (career) happy place. And don’t forget, culture has a big part to play.

  2. Quit your job if you hate it. Life is too short to spend it doing something you dislike.

  3. Find ways to work from home. There are so many ways you can make money from home. If you can with your full time job, that’s great. Dog sitting? Driving services? Sell personal art on Etsy? You decide.

  4. Get a mentor. A mentor is a coach of sorts. Having someone you trust who is helping you figure out what you want to be doing with your life can pay off big time.

  5. Dress for the job you want. It pays to be well dressed for the job you want. Co-workers will see you in that role. This advice is super worth it if you actually do it. It’s too easy to get comfortable and “let yourself go.”

  6. Remember that like-ability totally matters at work. There are studies that show like-ability is one of the most significant factors in getting hired and even promoted. Again, make sure the culture is right for you.

  7. Take constructive feedback in a positive way. This can help you grow and become even better at your job. Constructive feedback is never personal, so don’t take it personally.

  8. Give praise to people you work with. Doing this publicly will make people feel appreciated, and they’ll like you more for it, too. Again, validation is key.

  9. Develop leadership skills. Learning how to be a good leader will prepare you for your career and for life. Meet with your manager on how to create goals to become a better leader. There is no goal too big or too small.

  10. Read books, take classes, watch tutorials! Keep working on that career development. Enhance your skills by reading, watching or experiencing things related to career development. This will help you excel faster because you will grow faster. Use sources like Lynda, Skillshare, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning … there’s enough resources out there for everyone.


Spiritual growth is important too. 🙏🏾

  1. Find a way to express gratitude daily. Tell someone why you appreciate them. Write down what you’re thankful for each day before bed. Get it out of your system, it will make you feel more fulfilled.

  2. Stop trying to be a perfectionist. It gets in the way of your happiness, your success, your everyday life (and it annoys other people)!

  3. Get comfortable saying “no”. Say “no” to what you don’t want to do, so you can have room for what you do want to do. You’ll be happier in the long run.

  4. Talk with a therapist. If you have past issues to work on, take care of them now. If you have current issues to work on, take care of those now too.

  5. Forgive regularly. When you forgive, you set yourself free from resentment and pain. It’s not about the other person. It’s about you. Don’t forget to forgive yourself too.

  6. See the world with a glass half full mentality. You can learn to train yourself how to be happier and have a positive attitude. Others will enjoy your company more too.

  7. Listen to podcasts during your commute. One great way to learn while you’re wasting time is during your commute.

  8. Evaluate your experiences. You don’t learn from your experiences. You learn from evaluating your experiences. So, evaluate yours to change and learn from them.

  9. Start a blog about something you love. Blogging is a great way to focus on personal development. Too scary? Start with writing down thoughts. Write short blogs. Eventually you’ll get better at it, and you’ll enjoy it too.

  10. Stay motivated. Enough said. Try new things

  11. Implement supportive habits. It’s not enough to rely on motivation. You need to implement habits into your life. Learn how to implement better habits into your life.

  12. Limit your TV to less than 30 minutes / day on average. TV is such a time suck and it’s completely passive.

  13. Start meditating. Meditation can be one of the most useful ways to relieve stress and find inner-contentment. It also helps with anxiety. Feeling stressed? Try a meditation app to get started. We like the one called Pause.

  14. Get out of your comfort zone. Personal development means growing as a person. And the only way you’ll grow is from new experiences, which often require you to get out of your comfort zone. The more you get use to this, the easier it becomes.

  15. Have faith in something bigger than you. Believing in God or another higher power can make your life more meaningful. Decide what you believe in and commit to that.

  16. Know what you want from your life. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll wander somewhere you may not like. To avoid this, set visions in each life category (more on visions here) so you know where you’re headed.

  17. Set goals. Goals will help you create a roadmap of how to get where you want to go.

  18. Create a mission statement for your life (or one area of your life). Using a mission statement can help you focus on your number one priority. This helps make decision-making easier.

  19. Have a go-to activity to get you out of a funk. Whatever works for you – do that. Whether it’s going for a run, taking a nap, painting, etc. Find an activity you do that helps you clear your mind. 🎨

  20. At the end of the year reflect on the prior year by going through your calendar. Something I learned from 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth by John Maxwell and have been doing for years. It helps you prioritize your time and money by looking at what you did the year before.

  21. Journal regularly. Journaling is a way to express your thoughts in writing. It will bring you clarity in various ways. A side effect of journaling is documenting life events, too (which is almost never a bad thing).

  22. Read at least one book a month. Reading will help you grow and develop. This month, our obsessions are Jodi Picoult and Lisa Scottoline.

  23. Wake up early. You can seriously benefit from starting an everyday morning routine. Push your alarm clock time back one minute every day until you’re waking up early enough to do your planned morning routine. ⏰

  24. Create a morning routine that you do before work. If you prioritize going what’s important to you (personally) before you start work, the day won’t escape you and you’ll actually do these things (and hopefully get them done too).

  25. Keep notes in a digital folder. Notes of everything you want to remember for the future. Podcasts, reminders, grocery lists, movies to see. It’ll help remind you to do these things later on.

  26. Unplug from technology. People are looking down at their phones so much that they often miss what’s happening in the world around them. Keep your head up. We live in a beautiful place.

  27. Identify and quit a bad habit. We all have that one thing that we want to do less of.


Make time for the fun stuffs. 🥳

  1. Make time for fun if you’re an overachiever. Fun is absolutely necessary to your health and happiness. For the type-A, the overachiever, put fun in your schedule. You’ll enjoy life more. And people will enjoy you more.

  2. Cut back on fun if you’re an underachiever. The opposite is true if you tend to spend all your free time having fun. If you are disorganized, haven’t cleaned in a while, or have no idea what your goals are – cut back on the fun (don’t get rid of it completely though) and spend time thinking and working on personal development.

  3. Pursue a hobby that you love – just for fun. This will give you ownership of something you do just for you. Try some new ones while you’re at it 😜

  4. Find creative ways to have fun without spending loads of money. Getting creative with your fun on the cheap will push you outside your comfort zone and into new experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have.

  5. Laugh, be silly, and find your inner child. Play (anything for the joy of doing) has the power to significantly improve everything from your brain power to mental and physical health to relationships to your ability to be creative. Remember those days when we’d call our friends to see if they wanted to come over and play? Yeah, just like that.

  6. Get outside and play. The outdoors allows you to explore and take adventures in a way you can’t get otherwise.

  7. Laugh as much as possible. Laughter is good for the soul. Laughter gives you a jolt of happiness instantly. If you can increase how much you laugh, you can increase your overall happiness.


Feel good in the space around you. 🏡

  1. Create a vision board for motivation and inspiration. Having your visions and goals in front of you is a great way to stay on track with where you’re headed in life. It helps to keep you motivated day-to-day.

  2. Stay organized. Keep as much as you can organized; including your home (every room and closet), your office, and anywhere else you spend time. An organized space will help you clear your mind.

  3. Plan your weeks and weekends ahead of time. Use a calendar (digital or manual) and keep it in the “month view”. This will give you an overarching view of the month so you can plan your week and upcoming weeks ahead of time. We like printed calendars for our personal schedule and online calendars for our work schedule. There is no wrong way to do it.

  4. Keep a to-do list. Alongside your calendar, keep a list of actions you want to complete. Check or cross off each item as you complete it and add to it as you have more things to get done. Knowing what your priorities are will help you accomplish your goals without getting distracted.

  5. Purge anything you haven’t used or worn in over a year. Go through every item in your closet that you haven’t worn in over a year and yourself if you love that item. If you don’t love it, get rid of it. 👚Try donating to ThredUp - that’s our favorite.

  6. Do your most important task first every day. Make a list of things you want to get done for the day. Start with the most important tasks. This will help you feel accomplished right away and help to set you up for a day of success.

  7. Commit to one cleaning or organizational task per day. Small tasks compounded over time lead to great results. This will keep your house nice, clean and tidy!

  8. Read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book can change the way you organize forever.


It feels good to give back. 💸

  1. Practice generosity. Instilling generosity as a way of life can impact the world in a huge way. And as a side effect, you’ll be happier, too.

  2. Appreciate where you are in life. When you are thankful for your circumstances, you are stronger because you’re not a victim.

  3. Practice mindfulness. Learn to be present and mindful of the moment. While planning ahead is good, don’t let that detract from being present and centered.

  4. Create a gratitude jar that you put one note into every week. Expressing thankfulness on a weekly basis will help you be aware of how lucky you are in addition to give you something at the end of the year to look back on. I’m doing this now and it’s really fun!

  5. Practice gratitude. The more you express how grateful you are, the happier you’ll be. You’ll also attract more positive things into your life.

  6. Be a mentor. This is a rewarding way to give back to the younger generations whether it’s through career mentoring, school mentoring or life mentoring. Take your pick!

  7. Volunteer and give your time. Giving your time (your most precious resource) is the most profound way to give back.

  8. Commit to donating a specific percent of your income every year. This is the best way I know how to practice consistent financial generosity.

  9. Say thank you.

Go forth and improve yo-self!

4 Skin Loving Benefits of Coconut Oil

Julie Ekelund1 Comment

Coconut oil is one of Mother Nature’s best kept beauty secrets.  It has long been touted as being one of the healthiest foods on the planet helping with weight loss, heart disease and the immune system. What you may not know is this tropical trooper is also a miracle ingredient for natural beauty treatments. The coconut tree is considered the “tree of life” in much of Southeast Asia, India, the Philippines and other tropical locations.  There are over 1500 studies proving the health and beauty benefits of coconut oil. 

Here are 4 ways coconut oil can leave your skin baby soft and beautiful!

1. As a Natural Moisturizer for Dry Skin 

No one likes dry skin and that’s where coconut oil comes in! Medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) provide humectant properties for the skin. What does this mean? MCTs in coconut oil help to hydrate while preventing moisture loss through the skin, since coconut oil helps to provide a protective barrier on the skin's surface. Once you’ve tried a lotion with coconut oil and see what it does for your skin, it’s pretty hard to ever look back!

2. As a Natural Moisturizer for Problem Skin

Coconut oil may provide intense hydration to very dry skin, but it can even be used on acne prone skin without causing further breakouts. This may seem confusing as we’re often led to believe that oil will only cause more oil! The fact is, though, that coconut oil contains Capric acid, Caprylic acid and Lauric acid, all of which offer powerful antimicrobial properties. This simply means they help to heal wounds quickly as well as keep the skin clean and disinfected which is very important when dealing with an inflammatory skin condition such as acne.

3. To Naturally Fade Scars and Stretchmarks

Let’s be honest, scars and stretch-marks can make any woman feel self-conscious! The truth is that all of us have them, even though some are more visible than others. They can be hard to prevent and may seem even harder to treat. What’s your best defense? Vitamin E! This powerful antioxidant rich vitamin is essential for tissue repair and will help to both prevent and fade scars and stretch-marks so that they are hardly noticeable. Coconut oil is a great source of Vitamin E and the best part is that it’s completely natural! Thank you Mother Nature!

4. To Keep Your Skin Young and Radiant

Model, Miranda Kerr, swears by consuming a tablespoon of coconut oil every day for a keeping her skin youthful...and it’s easy to see why! Antioxidants in coconut oil help to fight off free radicals, which are the main cause of aging. Free radicals come from many sources, most notably unhealthy food and environmental pollution. Vitamin E helps to fight off those free radicals by repairing skin and restoring collagen which keeps your skin plump and glowing. Coconut oil is the consistent ingredient in all our hand and body lotions at Natural Inspirations, alongside Shea butter for an intense moisturizing boost! We do not believe in chemicals or synthetic ingredients, but rather providing you with natural ingredients compliments of Mother Nature. Coconut oil and Shea butter form the perfect hydrating base that will leave your skin deeply hydrated and silky to the touch. 

Our lotions come in 4 unique, fresh essential oil-based fragrances with a fragrance free option for sensitive noses. 

Eucalyptus Rosemary Mint is perfect for waking up the senses and leaving you feeling super refreshed!

Apply our Lavender Ylang Ylang lotion at night and say goodbye to a stressful day as you drift off into dreamland!

Fragrance free option for those with sensitive skin. The moisture you want without the irritating scent.

Feeling a bit low? One whiff of our Grapefruit Bergamot lotion will instantly lift your spirits.

Our Orange Ginger lotion is perfect to start your day as it stimulates the senses and gets you ready to go!

These are a few of the wonderful ways coconut oil can make your skin simply gorgeous. Beautiful skin makes us feel more confident, and that confidence will shine through!

Linking Breast Cancer & Hormones

Julie EkelundComment

breast cancer

If you’ve watched any of the NFL games lately, then you know from the pink shoes, pink socks and pink ribbons that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Some people are tired of all the pink. I’m not. For me, it’s a reminder to be diligent in choosing a healthy lifestyle, and an opportunity to continue my ongoing discovery on how to do that. So, during this month of Pink, I’ll share with you some of the things that I’ve learned about how to reduce our risk of breast cancer.

Is there a link between hormones and breast cancer?

Yes, there’s a link between hormones and breast cancer. High amounts of estrogen in the blood may increase a woman’s breast cancer risk*1. The hormone estrogen is created naturally in a woman’s body and is essential to the development of the female reproductive system. From our first menstrual period until menopause, estrogen stimulates normal breast cells. It has many non-reproductive functions as well. For example, it helps lower cholesterol, regulate mood, and keep our bones and heart strong. Most estrogen is produced in the ovaries, but smaller amounts are produced in the liver, the adrenal glands, and the breasts. After menopause, estrogen is produced mainly in fat tissue. According to the National Cancer, elevated estrogen levels are a risk factor for breast cancer.*2

How do hormones contribute to breast cancer?

Many of the cells throughout our body – both healthy cells and potentially cancerous ones – contain hormone receptors. These receptors stimulate cell growth when they come in contact with certain hormones. For instance, as estrogen circulates through our bloodstream, it attaches to the estrogen receptors in cancerous cells, causing the cancerous cells to divide and accumulate in our body. In the absence of estrogen, these same cells would stop growing and eventually die. That’s why we need to limit our exposure to hormones. The amount of time our body is exposed to these hormones may increase our risk of breast cancer, as the increased hormones can help cancer cells grow. Circumstances that raise our estrogen levels may include:

  • Early menstruation – before age 12.

  • Taking oral contraceptives in the past 10 years.

  • Giving birth to your first child after 35, or not having children at all; because pregnancy suppresses estrogen levels.

  • Not breastfeeding, since breastfeeding, like pregnancy, suppresses estrogen levels.

  • Late menopause – after age 55.

  • Taking hormone replacement therapy in menopause.

  • Being overweight, especially after menopause. The body makes some of its estrogen in fat tissue, so higher weight means more fat tissue and higher estrogen levels. In fact, some studies suggest that being overweight in menopause can increase your risk by 30-60%.

  • Environmental or artificial estrogens – synthetic substances that behave like the hormone estrogen when they’re absorbed by your body. You may be exposed to these environmental estrogens in some plastics, certain skin creams, some cleaning products, pesticides and weed killers. It’s not yet clear what role these artificial estrogens play in the development of breast cancer, but there is evidence that it is a negative effect.

What can I do to limit my exposure to excessive hormones?

Think Twice

Consider how your non-medical choices can also enhance your overall health—and your personal risk of breast cancer. Every time you eat, drink, or use products, you have an opportunity to make healthy changes in your life.


It’s best to avoid exposing your body to extra hormones, such as estrogen, which are contained in medications such as birth control pills and menopausal hormone replacement therapy. Consider non-hormonal solutions, such as an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception, lubrication for vaginal dryness, and meditation and acupuncture for hot flashes. If you feel that you require hormonal medication to improve or maintain your quality of life, talk to your doctor. You can limit your risk by taking the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.

Choose Safe Personal Care Products

It’s best to buy products that are made without toxic chemicals. What goes on us can go in us. Ingredients including hormone extracts can be absorbed into the body. Avoid parabens, sulfates, phthalates, petrochemicals and artificial dyes. Some of these chemicals have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. Instead of a moisturizer with ingredients you can’t pronounce, choose products that have natural ingredients, such as coconut oil or shea butter and botanical extracts. For information on safer ingredients and product options, visit

Change is a journey. You have to start somewhere. Whether it’s making the choice to avoid unnecessary hormones or rethinking your personal care product choices, roll up your sleeves and get busy. Some changes may be easy to make. Some may feel out of reach. You can only do the best you can—and you should feel good about your efforts. Whatever first step you take is one in the right direction. One step leads to two steps and then more. Small changes can make a big difference!

1 Susan G. Komen “How Hormones Affect Breast Cancer”

2 National Cancer Institute

Exfoliating the Facts About Body Care Products

Julie Ekelund2 Comments

Why Should I Use Natural Body Care Products?

As a co-founder of Natural Inspirations, I'm asked this question all the time. In fact, it was the question I first asked when a friend's cancer diagnosis made me acutely aware of what we put in and on our bodies. It prompted an appreciation for the shift in body care products to natural. From her diagnosis to treatment to recovery, I learned many eye-opening things, including that up to 65% of what we put on our skin can be absorbed into our bodies. Yikes!

Now, think of how many body care products you use a day -- everything from cleanser, moisturizer, body wash, to lotion, deodorant and toothpaste.  Mine totals up to 11 products; how about you? Well, research shows that the average woman uses nine personal care products a day, with 126 chemicals.*  Think about using these products every day. For years. The toxins can build up in our body and can have a negative effect. So the chemicals in our products matter and can make a difference in our health!

My friend's cancer diagnosis served as a catalyst for trying a whole range of natural products. While I felt better about what I was putting on my body, the products themselves weren't as pampering as my then go-tos. The body washes didn't lather, the lotions were runny, the body crèmes didn't sink into my skin, and everything was sticky! I wanted products that had the "good" ingredients with an equally good (read: luxurious and indulgent) experience. It seemed like eliminating the "bad" ingredients in my body care products was going to force me to use products that I didn't like as well. Instead, I put my skin in the game, so to speak, and devoted my days to creating what I couldn't find: natural body care products that pamper.

How Can I Find the Best-For-Me Natural Body Care Products?

Through our Natural Inspirations blog, we'll help you wade through the pros and cons of the choices we have when choosing body care products.  Hopefully the information shared will help you begin to make healthier choices!

Our mantra at Natural Inspirations is "Indulge in the good...Eliminate the bad." What exactly does that mean? It's pretty simple. Use products that contain the fabulous botanical ingredients that nature has to offer, and eliminate the harsh toxins. Here is a list of the top ingredients to avoid in your body care products, and why:


A stabilizer used in cosmetics to prevent ingredients from binding with other ingredients to cause unwanted changes to a product's texture, odor and consistency. Though clinical data indicates that disodium EDTA is not well absorbed by the skin, it has been shown to enhance the dermal penetration of other ingredients contained in the product making it easier for undesirable ingredients to enter your body.


Often shown on an ingredient list as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, or butylparaben, parabens are a common synthetic preservative in beauty products.  Continued use of parabens as preservatives has been linked to hormone-disruptive activities, breast cancer, and skin irritation and there are studies that suggest possible carcinogenicity.


The abbreviation of polyethylene glycol is a mixture of compounds. They function in three ways: as emollients, emulsifiers, and as vehicles that help deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin. Because of this penetration enhancing effect, PEGs make it easier for undesirable ingredients to enter your body.


Petroleum based substances covering a wide array of chemicals. Some of these chemicals can cause photosensitivity and skin problems by creating a chemical barrier that prevents skin from "breathing."  This leads to chapping and dry skin.


These chemical plasticizers that soften plastics are also found in beauty products (shown on the ingredient list as diethylphthalate (DEP)) where they stabilize the fragrance, increase spreadability and enhance absorption of skin care products.There may be a relationship between phthalates and adverse effects on human reproduction or development as well as cancer.


Also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), these chemicals dissolve the oils on your skin which can cause a drying effect. Used for their foam-building abilities, they cause eye irritation, skin rashes, and allergic reactions.


Labeled FD&C or D&C, they are used to make a cosmetic “pretty”, synthetic dyes are linked to skin allergies and sensitivities.

To learn more about body care ingredients, check out our Ingredient Glossary.

Every week, I hear a new story from a friend, customer or retailer who has chosen to make the change to natural ingredients by trying Natural Inspirations. I'm amazed at the positive impact the right ingredients can make in how our skin reacts.  Small changes can make a big difference! To see for yourself and inspire others, be one of the first 10 people to share this post on Facebook and I'll give you a sample to experience the Natural Inspirations difference!

*2009 Environmental Working Group Study