You can’t open a newspaper or turn on a TV these days without hearing about the latest greatest wellness trend
However if I’m honest, when it comes to health it frustrates me that we focus so much of our time and attention on what we put into our body with minimal awareness or understanding about what we are putting on our body!
I have seen people turn into freaks about food. They ask a million questions in restaurants and cafes and read every tiny detail of every food label in the supermarket. Then they return home and spray toxic deodorants, shower and lather themselves in perfumed products.
The fact is if we really want to empower people to live healthier lives then their environment must be taken into consideration. According to US research one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in our personal care products are industrial chemicals. (source EWG.org) So what are you really putting on your skin? Could your hormonal issues actually be down to your choice of cleanser, deodorant or even cleaning product? Could your skin rashes or allergies possibly be caused by the ridiculous amount of toxins we ingest topically and in the air each day?
I’m not going to lie it’s a minefield trying to sift through what’s actually safe and what’s not. My product philosophy is similar to my food philosophy – Keep it simple & keep it real. However, some experts are now saying that what we put on our skin can actually be more harmful than what we put into our mouth.
In simple terms our skin is our largest organ and recent studies show that
- the skin absorbs more than 60% of the toxic chemicals in our cosmetics.
- The average woman uses about 15-20 products each day totaling about five pounds of unnecessary and unwanted chemicals each year.
It’s simply impossible to eliminate all toxins from our lives because today we live in a toxic world plain and simple, however what we can strive for is balance.
We can’t control the air pollution in our cities and towns but what we can control is what comes into our homes and what we use for our own personal care. Our bodies are incredible machines that are capable of detoxifying very efficiently but it comes down to toxic load. These days our bodies are consistently exposed to toxins in many forms whether it is environmental toxins, pesticides, food additives, heavy metals, household products and wireless technology. We are already fighting against so much so really what I’m asking you to do here is really think about the how hard you want your body to work unnecessarily.
So what’s in our products?
There is everything from skin irritants in our body wash to hormone disruptors in our moisturizer. Ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sulphate (SLS), which is a foaming agent found in industrial cleaners, engine degreasers, car wash products and in our make-up and skincare.
Formaldehyde, considered to be a human carcinogen, is found in carpet cleaners, paint, dishwashing liquid…and body soap and baby shampoo!! Octinoxate is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and can disrupt thyroid function.
Parabens, used in a wide variety of personal care products and foods are in fact endocrine-disrupting chemicals which can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system.
Phthalates pronounced THAL-ates are more chemicals, which are linked to endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and even cancer. They have been banned from cosmetics in the European Union, but you need to watch out for them in U.S. products.
The list goes on and on and at risk of it becoming overwhelming I have a simple guide and some top tips about what you can do to get started:
I have personally pared down my cosmetics cabinet and cleaning supplies to more natural alternatives over time and I encourage people to do this in stages or it can feel too overwhelming.
Since taking a Full 360 approach to my personal wellness my health has improved enormously. I live medication free from illnesses like depression, anxiety and asthma and my quality of life is far better too.
- As your products run out replace them with more natural and chemical free alternatives. There are so many fantastic and affordable brands out there now that there really is no need to use the toxic ones.
- Start with switching your deodorants to natural ones. Anti-perspirant’s have come under the spotlight because there are concerns about the negative effects of aluminium. Aluminum essentially plugs your sweat ducts and stops sweat flowing, which I used to think was amazing but is it coming at a cost? The less favourable ingredients in deodorants may be absorbed and cause estrogen like hormonal effects and could contribute to breast cancer.
- Next move to your largest surface area, which is the skin on your body, and look at switching up your shower gel and body cream or oil. Look out for plant-based products, as they are more effective and nourishing. At home I add some essential oils to some coconut oil for a quick and inexpensive moisturiser. I use Dr. Hauschka, Phyts, Anu, Human and Kind.
- Next try and switch all your cleaning products as they run out. I love Ecover and bio and Lily’s
- Great websites include www.lovelula.com, www.drbronners.com, www.safecosmetics.org, www.ewg.org, www.theorganicpharmacy.com.
I hope this helps and I promise you showing some love to your awareness of your environment will pay off. Lets face it if we are going to work on our internal happiness then surely it would be a crime not to keep your face and body happy too.