This week I am continuing with the Low Tox Living topic and am going to focus on the toxins and chemicals we put on our skin, in our hair and how to reduce the toxic load from these products on our bodies and how to avoid them as much as possible.
Did you know that women expose themselves to over 200 chemicals a day just through their personal care products alone?
When you look at what is in a body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair-care products, deodorant, body lotion, face creams, makeup and perfume you can see how it adds up.
In the USA alone there are over 80,000 synthetic chemicals with over 1000 each year being added in. Many so-called experts say these chemicals are in small doses, within ‘safe’ limits and cannot hurt you. Research to date shows otherwise.
As a nation, we are fatter and sicker than we have ever been. Approximately 35% of people are considered obese (usually defined as a BMI over 30%) as opposed to 13% some fifty years ago. Sadly childhood obesity has trebled in the past three decades. There are a further 34% who are considered overweight. Just looking at these figures means over 70% of our population is struggling with weight issues that simply were not there three or four decades ago.
Emerging evidence suggests that a more sinister reason than food and activity could be contributing to weight problems and that so-called ‘chemical calories’ lurking in everyday beauty products such as shampoo, body lotions and soap could also be blamed.
The term for these chemicals that cause weight issues are obesogens. They have the ability to alter fat metabolism and promote fat retention. There are twenty classified obesogens including Bisphenol-A (BPA’s), dioxins, fructose, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFA’s or Teflon), nicotine, Atrazine (herbicide/pesticide), MSG, parabens and phthalates.
Sadly we cannot avoid all of these chemicals completely but we can reduce our exposure to them. Eating as much real and organic food will help reduce your chemical intake but choosing your personal care products carefully is also very important. Anything you place on your skin is absorbed so make sure you choose chemical-free. The science against them is strong.
Ten Ways To Drop The Chemical Calories
- Eat and juice more organic fruits and vegetables – especially green leafy vegetables.
- Keep the home well ventilated allowing any polluted air to circulate and leave the home.
- Connect with nature. If you can’t get outside and walk barefoot on the grass, walk the beach or in a forest then increase your use of essential oils as these help soak up airborne chemicals and increase negative ions.
- Keep the bathroom, laundry and kitchen as chemical-free as possible. Check the ingredients. Use things like bicarb soda, vinegar and essential oils as your cleaning products.
- Avoid as much plastic as possible. Use glass or ceramic to store your food and drink from. Or at least go BPA free.
- Use flowers from your garden as opposed to bought ones as many are sprayed with herbicides and pesticides.
- Store foods (particularly fatty foods) in glass or ceramic as fats act as magnets for chemical calories.
- Avoid using microwaves especially with plastic containers or wraps.
- Eat more good fat like butter, coconut oil, cold pressed vegetable and nut oils. Without these fats the skin may feel challenged and many end up lathering (unknowingly) more toxins onto the skin with chemically laden skincare products.
- Avoid products with these ingredients – perfume, fragrance, parabens, DEA, PEG or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Click here to download my questionable ingredients card as a handy reference for your kitchen and handbag.
My Top Products NOT To Avoid
Some brands and products I use and recommend to avoid chemicals in my skin care include –
- Wotnot sunscreen
- Eco Tan self tanning cream and sunscreen
- Everscents organic shampoo, conditioner and hair spray
- Makeup – Inika, Adorn Mineral Cosmetics and Lavera
We stock some of these products in the Twenty8 online store and I use the beautiful Eco Store products for household cleaning items which you can buy online from the Eco Store website.
You can also read my article on ‘Which Cosmetic Brands are Natural” to find out more about cosmetic ingredients and what to avoid.
Take care, be kind