Day 8: Read Lables on Products You Use #30DaysofGOOD

For October's challenge, we're asking you to get healthy, from your feet to your teeth to your brain.

t Welcome to The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD). Each month, we challenge our community members to do something that will improve the world around us—and our own lives. The challenge for October? To get healthy. In an effort to help us all rise to the occasion, we're going to assign one small task every day. Each morning, we will post the challenge on and Twitter, along with a testimonial from someone on the GOOD team who's already completed it. We invite you to complete all 30 mini-challenges with us! Today, we challenge you to:

Read the labels on the products you use.

Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C12 15 Pareth 15 Sulfonate, Salicylic Acid and Linoleamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate. Those are just a few of the ingredients found in Neutrogena’s Acne Wash, which prides itself on being “oil free” while simultaneously containing several impossible-to-pronounce chemicals. In January of this year, prompted by the GOOD challenge to swear off soap for a month, I stopped using soap, body wash, and shampoo on my hair, face, and most of my body. My armpits and crotch still got lathered, but the rest of me was free of all the lab-made junk that goes into our hygiene products nowadays. Eight months later, I’m still not using soap, and my skin and hair have never felt or looked better. The moral of the story: You don’t need a bunch of nonsense dreamed up by chemists to stay healthy and be happy.

Though most people eat, drink, and use dozens of foodstuffs and products per day, the vast majority of us never actually look at the labels and ingredients lists on most of our products. We’ll read countless blog posts, but not the little square on the back of our face wash that tells us we’re rubbing acid on our cheeks every morning. This isn’t to say that you should renounce all your shower products today—though that might not be a bad idea—but rather that you should seriously consider what goes into all the stuff you consume.

Look at the labels on everything you use today. Do you need that extra serving of corn syrup? Do you really wanting to be drinking red dye? Should you actually be putting salicylic acid near your eyes? If the answer to these questions is no, try going a day without that product and see how you feel. If the answer is still yes, that’s fine, too. At least you’ll be far more aware of what it is your putting in and on your body day in and day out.


- Cord Jefferson


Ready, set, go! Good luck completing today's challenge. Share your experience on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook by using the hashtag #30DaysofGOOD, or let us know how it went in the comments section below.

Tomorrow's challenge: Make a big batch of healthy soup.

Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

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