Of course, you want to feel good, and so do I. A fantastic starting point for achieving that is by reducing the number of toxins we encounter daily. Allow me to guide you in the right direction and provide you with the tools to make informed choices when it comes to your skincare and body care routines. By doing so, you’ll not only enhance your well-being but also effectively reduce your toxic load, helping you on the path to a healthier and happier life.
Top Tips For A Less Toxic Body
1. Ditch the fragrance – Did you know that companies are not required to tell you what ingredients they use to create their fragrance? Whether it be in perfume, washing powder, lip balm or toilet spray, they can simply list ‘fragrance’, ‘aroma’, ‘parfum’, etc., and that’s it.
Fragrance has been linked to headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, and irritation of the skin, eyes and throat. Some fragrances even contain chemicals that are known to disrupt the way our hormones work. So the best thing you can do is avoid it. Read more here.
2. Simplify your beauty routine – The average woman uses close to 200 chemicals on her skin daily; the average male uses under 100. The personal care industry is not required to test their products prior to putting them on the market. That means that we are largely unaware of how chemicals react with each other – especially dangerous when women are applying so many different products and chemicals to their skin on a daily basis.
Despite companies claiming that they are using chemicals at ‘safe’ limits, this limit may be exceeded if you apply that product twice in a day, or in a thicker layer than recommended, or if you’re applying another product that day with the same chemicals. It’s worth simplifying your routine and using less in the first place. Ingredients like coconut oil (the type that solidifies) and shea butter make excellent body moisturisers; jojoba and apricot kernel oils are beautiful facial oils (and make-up removers); sugar and olive oil together make for an effective exfoliator; and there are plenty of reputable brands out there making safer hair care, and make-up. Some of my favourite places to shop include: Biome and Flora & Fauna.
3. Avoid sprays and aerosols – Not only do many mainstream personal care products present us with the issue of too many toxic chemicals, the addition of butane and propane, and the ‘convenience’ of spraying (think hair spray, sunscreen, body mists) means tiny airborne particles are inhaled directly into our lungs and absorbed directly into our bloodstream. Limiting your use of these products is another great step towards an existence with fewer toxins.
4. Become familiar with ingredient panels – I have some very useful information for you here and here, aimed at empowering you to make the right decisions for yourself. To start with, some key ingredients I would encourage you to look out for are:
These ingredients have been linked to hormone interference, toxicity to organs and aquatics, persistence in the environment, skin irritation – just to name a few.
5. Start with ONE little swap – This is especially important if you feel overwhelmed. I don’t recommend going through your cupboards and throwing everything out! Look at the products you use the most, check out the ingredients and decide if this is something you really need, and whether a better alternative exists. If a DIY option is available (and there are plenty available here!), you might like to have a go at making it. Then, once you have the hang of that, find another product you use a lot of and work on swapping that. Now, that sounds achievable, doesn’t it?
Just remember to take it one step at a time, especially if the concept of a less toxic lifestyle is super new to you.
It is physically impossible to remove all chemicals from your life – IMPOSSIBLE. So, striving for the forgiving 80/20 approach will ease the pressure and stress, and allow you to make small changes, when YOU are ready to make them. The most important thing is to not create a stressful situation out of something that is meant to make your life healthier, happier, greener and cleaner. Eventually, you will get to a place you’re happy with, whether it be DIY, or finding honest, transparent brands to shop with that have your best interests at heart.