After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer about five years ago, Alyssa Pereira, who lives in Del Mar, began researching the ingredients of hygiene products and their effects on health.
“I was very intrigued by how we can use nature as mouthwash, floss, and basically our oral care,” she said. “And it doesn’t leave any waste.”
That interest led to a company, Selflyss, offering waste-free floss made from compostable materials, coconut oil-based products for oral health, and other environmentally friendly options.
Pereira, who is originally from the East Coast and has lived in California for about six years, said the goal of the business is to help people “get back to a sense of health in our routines”. She was also motivated to “find an alternative that is free from cruelty to the environment, animals and our bodies”.
“I forgot everything I had already learned in my life,” she said, describing her research, including studies examining the effects of aluminum on antiperspirants and related topics.
“I was really shocked to see how many bad ingredients are essentially in every product we have in our home,” she added.
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Pereira added that there was no family history of breast cancer, which prompted her to investigate possible external factors. She was also influenced by a trip to India where she studied Eastern culture, herbs, and other practices.
“I hope to inspire people to minimize the products they have on their bathroom shelves and just remind them that we don’t have to generate waste,” she said. “We don’t have to put harmful chemicals in our mouths either.”
Your mother is now cancer free too.
“We see her trip as a blessing in disguise because it really made us evaluate our lives and how we treat our bodies and the planet,” said Pereira. “It’s been a great journey of expansion and compassion for ourselves with the products we use.”
In addition to promoting awareness of ingredients in commonly used products, Pereira encouraged consumers to use more environmentally friendly products instead of single-use plastics and other items that land in a landfill. She wants to expand her brand to stores as well.
“My dream would be to be as big as Listerine and Colgate,” she said. “I want to make nature the new conventional mouthwash.”
Visit selflyss.com for more information.