We all want to be the healthiest and happiest version of ourselves, don’t we? Reducing the number of toxins we expose ourselves to on a daily basis is a great place to start to achieve just that!
These 5 tips will help to guide you in the right direction and empower you to make better choices concerning skin and body care, and in turn, reduce your toxic load.
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.
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, Flora & Fauna and Nourished Life.
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.
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.
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 at TILP!), 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.
Author, Advocate & Founder
Krissy wants to see a world where people make conscious, educated decisions that honour both humans and habitat. With a background in education and health promotion, she devotes her time to passionately increase awareness on common and avoidable toxins, in everyday items like washing powder and deodorant, and to educate individuals on how they can easily reduce their daily exposure, through simple and realistic do-it-yourself ideas and recipes.
Krissy has sold over 30,000 copies of her natural DIY recipe books, including her latest, award-winning book, Naturally Inspired - Simple DIY Recipes for Body Care and Cleaning, and offers honest and gentle guidance, education and 100+ natural DIY recipes on her website The Inspired Little Pot.