Chemical awareness and how it all started – A while ago I took a course called Nutrition and the Environment. It was from that course, that I began to make changes in the everyday toxins that were surrounding me. I replaced my aluminum filled deodorant with natural deodorant, my perfume with essential oils, my moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and facial cleanser with natural ones and opted for an every day mascara free from toxins. Throughout the course I had the opportunity to write a paper that looked at all of my personal homecare products, the chemicals in them and the health impacts. It was one of my favorite papers to write and I gained invaluable insight that will last me a lifetime. I had no idea the number of chemicals I was putting onto my skin daily! I hope to now share some of this insight with you and inspire you to make some positive changes too.
What worked for me – This may seem like a ton of changes at once and the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you! So, instead I wanted to share with you what I did and am still doing. I have by no means eliminated everything from my environment yet, as it truly is a process. But, I am in the midst, and am getting closer and closer every month. I made a goal that I would pick one thing a month that I would replace and that anything purchased in the future would be free from toxins!
Dirty Dozen – David Suzuki was one of my favorite resources to use as he has a ton of information on the toxins that exist in our products. There is a list of “Dirty Dozen Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid” and they include BHA, BHT, coal tar dyes, DEA related ingredients, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde releasing preservatives, parabens, parfum, PEG compounds, petrolatum, siloxanes, sodium laureth sulfate and triclosan. Basically, these ingredients are potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) and highly toxic. Check your products for the dirty dozen! You can find the link here at – www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/
Daily Exposure – Just think for a moment… how many times a day do you use toxin filled personal care products? Let’s map it out; your toothpaste twice a day, perfume once a day, makeup once a day (including mascara, foundation and blush), shampoo and conditioner once a day, mouthwash once a day and hairspray once a day for example. That means your body is coming in contact with at least 10 different personal care products a day and not to mention each product contains thousands of chemicals. This is called your barrel effect. I hear so many people say, “well, it is just a small amount, it’s not going to kill me.” However, this small amount is in hundreds of products you put on your skin or that are stashed in your home emitting dangerous chemical compounds into the air. You’re coming in contact with these daily! That is NOT a small amount anymore, now is it? Each of these “small amounts” adds up to your total barrel effect. The higher the barrel effect the higher the health risk.
Environmental and Health Impact – The impact is not only on you, but these chemicals also go into the environment and affect everything around us. These are incredibly tough chemicals that do not easily degrade and can remain in the biological environment for a very long time, having a negative impact on the environment and leaving us to reabsorb them. These nasty chemicals deposit in our bodies and are tough to get rid of. Dangerous long-term effects are really unknown at this point.
Resources – So why not commit to changing one product a month, or perhaps changing a product as soon as you run out of something? You’re probably thinking, how do I know what to buy? And, whether it’s a good healthy option? I was in the same boat. I felt overwhelmed and if I was going to be spending money on “healthier” options I wanted to make sure it honestly was free from chemicals! So, I used these resources:
- The Think Dirty app – I downloaded this free app onto my iphone and anytime I was making a purchase I scanned the items barcode. This app rates products in three different categories: carcinogenic, allergens and development and reproductive toxicity. It shows you what chemicals, if any exist in the product and rates it on a scale from 0-10 with 0 being safe and 10 being toxic.
- EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database – Not every item is on the Think Dirty App, so I also used this site. You can type in any product which is rated on a scale from 0-10, with 0 being a low hazardous product and 10 being a high hazardous product.
- Buy from Locally or Organic Sourced Companies – Source out different companies in your city or neighbourhood that make a conscious effort to source out quality ingredients. Check out The Holistic Wellness Shop for many clean beauty products you can trust! From dental products, to body care, you’ll find non-toxic, all natural products that will not harm you or the environment! When choosing products, the ingredient list should be clear and concise. Can you even pronounce some of the ingredients? Are there loads of fillers and binders? If so, you may want to think twice about purchasing them.
Here are a few great all natural beauty care companies that we love and trust:
1. Alfalfia – https://www.alaffia.com/
2. Zuii Organic – http://www.zuiiorganic.com/
3. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps – https://www.drbronner.com/
4. Pangea Organics – http://www.pangeaorganicscanada.com/
5. Aura Cacia – https://www.auracacia.com/
6. Sukin Organics – http://www.sukinorganics.com
7. Living Libations – https://www.livinglibations.com/
Want to know how to make your own body care products? Join the 21-Day Qualitarian Challenge and learn how! You’ll receive a complete guide listing all your essential oils + body oils and how to mix them up to create clean beauty care! Plus, you’ll also learn how to use these ingredients to clean your house! From eating better, to creating your own beauty products, you’ll receive a ton of info helping to guide you in living a better quality life! Plus, you can follow along with our 21-day meal plan + delicious recipes. The cart closes this Friday, January 16th, so sign up today at – www.holisticwellness.ca/qualitarianchallenge
So there you have it. A few healthy options to get yourself started! If you have a direct question about a brand or product you may be using feel free to ask us below and we can give you some insight.