As we live our everyday lives, chemical toxins enter our body through food, beauty products, household cleaners, water, and air. We are exposed to numerous toxins without even knowing it. Many of these chemical toxins can be and should be avoided.
With a little education and awareness, you will be on the right track to reducing your chemical intake for a healthier life.
I read somewhere that a person puts on an average of 150 chemicals getting ready for work in the morning. This doesn’t even include the food that you eat or the air that you breathe. This made me take a step back and do my own investigation. I wanted to know how many chemicals I put on my body while getting ready on an average day. I have done many food journals in my time, now it was time to do a chemical journal. Did I even know what exactly I was putting on my body, besides what the fancy label on the package told me? Knowing that the skin is the largest organ of the body, I was definitely curious.
I set aside a pen and notebook in the bathroom since that is where the bulk of my chemicals come from. This should be interesting.
I began my morning ritual by brushing my teeth. I checked the Colgate toothpaste ingredients. I counted 16 ingredients. Most of which I had no clue what they were or how to pronounce it. I just knew that the label said “Cleans teeth by removing plague and tartar”.
But how toxic are these chemicals to the body on a regular basis? Enough to put a warning label on the package! I knew I wasn’t going to overdose on tooth paste but the warning label is there for a reason. Hmm.my wheels were turning. Well, a tooth brushing isn’t complete without rinsing with mouth wash. So, I chugged my shot of Listerine and counted the ingredients as I swished the liquid chemical cocktail that fried the bacteria in my mouth. I counted 13 ingredients and another warning label. Ok, I was up to 29 chemical ingredients just by brushing my teeth! Maybe there was some truth to it.
It was time for a shower. I opened the shower door and looked at all the bottles of beauty products I used on a daily basis to clean myself. Ok, this was quite an arsenal of “beauty needs”. I knew this was going to be the bulk of my chemical ingredients and I was scared to turn over the bottles. But, I had to know. Bottle after bottle, I logged and counted. My basic hygiene list of products looked like this from brushing my teeth, showering, putting on lotion and a touch of scented body spray when I was dressed.
5. Face soap- 14
6. Body soap-14
7. Shaving Cream-11
8. Body lotion-19
9. Face lotion-22
11. Body spray-17
WOW! The grand total was 173 chemical ingredients and I haven’t even put on my make up nor did my hair yet. And to think I was worried about what I ate! The light bulb in my head definitely went off. This brought on a whole new perspective of being healthy. Now this was scary! Did I need all these chemicals to clean myself? Uh.NO! It took me all of two seconds to want to do something to change this.
I started researching some of the chemicals I had used on a regular basis and found out at least 4 of them had a really bad rap. I also learned that putting chemicals on your skin is far worse than ingesting them! When you eat chemicals, you have saliva and stomach enzymes that will help aid breaking it down, but when you put it on your skin (the largest organ of the body), the chemicals are going straight to your blood stream.
Here are some of the main chemicals that have had controversial debate that have been studied all over the world. Some are approved by the FDA and some are not.
Problem: FLOURIDE– is a dangerous chemical in toothpaste that is an unapproved drug by the FDA. It is made up of byproducts of aluminum and fertilizer manufacturing. It has high concentration of toxins and heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and chromium. It is in many of our food, beverages, and products (like toothpaste) in the US. Europe got rid of it. Why are we still poisoning America with it?!
Solution: Look for toothpaste, water, and other products that are “Fluoride-free”. Some of my favorite brands are Jason and Kiss My Face toothpaste. Do not drink tap water or water that has fluoride in it. Remember earlier when I said that your skin is the largest organ of the body? Well, you do not want to take a shower in it either. Invest in a good home water filtration system. That will minimize the daily dose of fluoride you get through your shower.
Problem: PARABENS– a class of chemicals that have become extremely controversial these days which is not approved by the FDA. They have been found in breast cancer tumors. Parabens mimic estrogen that plays a role in the development of breast cancer. They are found lotions, shampoo, shaving gel, spray tan solutions, cosmetics, and tooth paste.
Solution: Make sure to look for paraben-free products. Some great ones are Aveda, Pure & Basic, and EO products. They use natural oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter than harsh chemicals. You can get these at your local health stores like Whole Foods or order online!
Problem: MINERAL OIL– coats your skin like plastic and clogs pores which creates a buildup of toxins over time. It slows cellular development (not good for anti-aging!)
which causes cancer and disrupts hormones. Found in many lotions, lip balms, make up, Vaseline, and baby products.
Solution: Look for products that say “Contains no mineral oil” on the label or read the list in ingredients on the back. Olive oil and coconut oil are better alternatives. Some great brands that I recommend are Aveda, Kiss My Face, and EO products. All available online.
Problem: ALUMINUM CHLORIDE– A dangerous chemical in deodorants that plug the armpit glands from excreting liquid or bacteria that produces smell. The constant use of this chemical is linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer. The FDA warns people with renal dysfunction not to use this product because you are at higher for taking in more aluminum in this product. Found in most antiperspirants and deodorants.
Solution: Look for an antiperspirant or deodorant that says “Aluminum Free”. There are some great brands out there like Kiss My Face, Crystalux, or the good old fashion mineral salt crystal.
I find that the combo of Kiss My Face Deodorant stick and the Crystalux Spray deodorant work the best together.
In today’s information society, you can Google home remedies in place of your chemical ones. You can also go to http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com to see what is in your current personal hygiene and beauty products. This is a very informative site. You can get any of the products I listed in my solutions online. Gotta love the internet!
Want to get rid of the chemicals that you have been dousing your body with for years? Do a chemical detox. A great detox I personally like to use is Ann Louise Gittleman’s 11 day Fast Track Detox Diet. It is a combination of clean organic food, eliminating your regular chemical hygiene cocktails, and detox baths. This is a great book if you are a beginner or just want an awesome kickstart to a new body!
Tips To GoGreen
Next time you brush your teeth or take a shower, glance at the list of ingredients on the back of the label. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t use it. Instead of worrying about how many toxins are entering your body, take some simple steps to reduce exposure.
1. Educate yourself by reading the labels. Know what you are putting in your body.
2. Eliminate your regular chemical cocktails and replacing them with eco-friendly product with natural ingredients. Not only will you benefit health wise, you will be lowering your carbon footprint in today’s environment.
3. Do a detox to rid your body of years of chemical buildup.
Did you know that Aveda is the first beauty company to manufacture their products with 100% wind power? Go Aveda! Way to lower your carbon footprint!
Did you know that there are over 80,000 synthetic chemical that are currently registered in the US? Many of them have not been adequately tested. About 1,400 of these chemicals have been studied and are linked to cancer, birth defects, and health issues. We are human guinea pigs without even knowing it!
The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O’Brien (great for moms!)
Guess What Came to Dinner? by Ann Louise Gittleman
Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call by Dr. Doris Rapp
The Fast Track: Detox Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman
Toxic Beauty by Dawn Mellowship