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“Aromatherapy” might be a term you are familiar with thanks to the humans’ orientation towards nature, especially after the pandemic. For those who don’t know, it is the use of natural plant extracts like essential or fixed oils to promote health and well-being and enhance both physical and emotional health. 

So, in a way, when we choose aromatherapy, as well as applying the power of nature to our bodies, we also support an eco-friendly lifestyle. How? 

Some everyday products like shaving cream, shampoo, sunscreen, toothpaste, mosquito repellent sprays and deodorants etc. contain many harmful chemicals. Europe is said to have the most extensive regulation on cosmetics in the world with a list specifying the harmful substances that are allowed to be used, banned or restricted. However, some substances still allowed may cause some harm to our health and nature at the same time. 

Oh, and there is this “greenwashing” that many brands use in labelling. Even if the label says “this product contains %97 natural ingredients” at that point we need to question the %3. Because if that “mostly” nature based product contains some preservatives or a perfume formula, it means that it might contain things harming you and the environment. That is why, many people show allergic reactions towards these products every day. Even if you don’t see the harm in the short term, in the long term it may trigger some serious cases like skin cancer. How does this affect our planet? 

Infographic: Sunscreen Chemicals and Marine Life. Source:

Oceans are life. If the oceans die, we die as well. They are the air we breathe. They are the regulators of our climate and our weather patterns. They are home to many living beings like whales,sharks, algaes, and corals that play an important role in the protection of the ecosystem. 

When we use these everyday products and wash them off while swimming, taking shower or cleaning our face, the journey of the harmful chemicals starts through our sinks. Through the sewerage systems, these chemicals are released into our seas and oceans. They might lead to damaging the growth of the coral reefs by causing bleaching, which are highly important in terms of protecting the coastlines from storms and erosions, being a source of food and new medicines. Did you know that over a half billion people depend on reefs for food, income and protection? They also might lead to decreasing the fertility of the marine animals and causing female characteristics in male fish. 

What kind of substitute can we use for cosmetics and cleaning products? 

In our local activities and projects, including Operation Blue, we proudly prepare one session for eco-friendly lifestyle and aromatherapy. We provide our participants some essential and fixed oils and the recipes so that they also have a chance to prepare their own home-made natural care products! 

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is quite beneficial when it comes to boosting skin and body health. Of course it is not enough on its own for sun protection. You also need to combine it with some other oils such as lavender, seabuckthorn and add non-nano zinc oxide. Coconut oil is a great cleanser when used as a toothbrush as well. You can mix it with some clove & peppermint oil. 

Shea Butter: It serves well as a lip balm even during the winter time. It’s a great moisturiser for your whole body as well. 

Lavender Oil: As well as smelling nice, promotes relaxation and is believed to treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps. 

Citronella Oil: If you suffer from mosquito bites during the summer time, mix citronella with some eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, and tea tree oil. Of course, remember to dilute it with some water. 

Vinegar: It is a perfect substance for cleaning your floors and tables. Also pet friendly! I personally use apple vinegar as a hair conditioner.

Warnings: Even if these are plant based oils, some people might show some allergic reactions. You need to be careful and apply them on a smart part of your body first. 

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