With so much attention on eating right, staying active, and looking for more natural ways of living, we often neglect one major health hazard that is lurking about in our homes: Toxic chemicals. Makeup, sunscreen, cleaning solutions, and all the other array of “products” that we use on a daily basis may help us feel beautiful and clean, but at what cost?
Hidden toxins are hurting our health!
Despite the many “natural,” “herbal,” or “organic” claims that are plastered over many of today’s top brands, most of the thousands of products available to us are full of harmful chemicals. There is very little (read: all but zero) regulation on these products, but there is a growing amount of research that has linked many of the common chemicals used in these products to cancer, infertility, and other health problems.
Most people wouldn’t buy food with words like ethoxylated nonyl phenols, trisodium nitrilotriacetate, or ammonia listed in their ingredients. And yet we sometimes forget that the products we use in our daily life do find their way into our bodies.
What to look for when purchasing products
While trying to dump your chemicals may seem a bit overwhelming at first (and unrealistic), even taking small steps can help. Here are a few ideas to guide you as you choose your products:
- Consider your daily routine and ask yourself if you really need all those products. While we sometimes believe there really might be some “magic” formula for perfect hair or a glowing complexion, paring down to a more basic routine is really the best beauty regiment out there.
- Consider the safety of the products you do purchase. The Environmental Working Group has several databases showing the best products to buy in terms of their toxicity and harm. Check out their lists to buy the products that are safest.
- Read the directions. We may not be able to decipher all the chemicals on our bottles (and there are some that aren’t necessarily bad), but we can get some hints by reading over the directions. For example, if a cleaning product tells you to rinse your countertop before serving food after you’ve used it, it’s probably a good sign that it’s not the best. Another great hint: if you see a skull with crossbones: Ditch it.
When it doubt, do without (Or make it yourself!)
We often forget that nature has some pretty impressive products of her own. Not only is it less expensive, but you will be doing your whole family a favor by switching out your chemicals with some of these homemade solutions:
- Make your own natural and safe cleaning solutions. Check out earthjustice.org for some great cleaning recipes and other helpful information.
- Consider making your own deodorant! Here’s a great recipe.
- Raid your kitchen. Use coconut oil instead of lotion (great for babies!) or as a natural de-frizzing hair serum. Oatmeal can act as a facial mask. Check out these other great pantry beauty “products” that come with no toxic harm.
- Embrace your natural beauty. This one can be hard in a world that tells us we need a cupboard full of products to make us beautiful. But as we come to term with our own natural beauty we can say goodbye to toxic makeup, save money (and time), and find a new confidence that is truly beautiful. Talk about freedom!
Want to learn more? Check out this video: The Story of Cosmetics