I have been a quest for the past few months to find the best non-toxic beauty and household products. This includes everything from skincare, to make-up, to hair products, and household cleaning products. Basically everything I am putting on my body, breathing in, or using in my home. I am so conscious of everything I put in my body nutrition wise, it only makes sense that I have the same approach for all of the products I use. There is so much information out there however it’s hard to know what is actually safe to use and what to avoid. Keep reading for the reason why I made the switch, why you should consider doing it too, as well as a few tips to get you started.
I first started becoming conscious about what was in my beauty products when I adopted a vegan lifestyle 6 years ago and discovered that a lot of brand named products were tested on animals. While I am not a vegan anymore (click here to see why) this made me realize I needed to learn to read the labels on products just like food labels, and look for approved symbols on products such and “vegan” and “cruelty-free”. I made the switch to many “natural” products at this time, but only did so based on making sure they were vegan and cruelty-free. What I didn’t realize was that just because a product was labelled “natural”, “organic”, “vegan” or “cruelty-free” didn’t necessarily mean it was healthy.
The next change I made was to my cleaning products. As someone who is very sensitive to smells and chemicals I was already picky with what cleaning products I would buy, gravitating towards unscented options. I decided to switch most of my household products to Norwex products which are free of harsh chemicals and better for the environment. Making this change made me realize just how sensitive I am to many smells and chemicals. I now get a massive headache around anything with a strong, chemical, or perfume smell, and even get itchy/red eyes and break out in hives. My body is obviously telling me these chemicals are bad for me.
Then came my discovery of Breast Implant Illness and my ruptured silicone implant (click here for the full story). I found out that the chemicals in my breast implants were toxic, some carcinogenic, and many were endocrine disruptors which cause certain hormones to become more dominant, throwing off our natural hormonal balance. This sparked me to look further into other endocrine disruptors and I discovered that many of the so called “natural products” I was using also contained these hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and other chemicals not healthy for our bodies. I knew I had to make changes to many of the products I used and thus began my search.
While I was tempted to just throw out every beauty product in my house and start fresh I knew that wasn’t an option, not only financially but I also didn’t know where to start. The beauty industry is a over a 500 billion dollar industry and natural or “clean” products have continued to gain popularity over recent years. Many of the big brands are jumping on board and labels such as “natural,” “pure”, and “green” are popping up everywhere. The scary thing is there is a massive lack of policy around chemicals in beauty and personal-care products in North America. The FDA has not updated the law passed in 1938 that gives them almost no authority to regulate beauty products. Right now, companies are allowed to put nearly any chemical into personal-care products sold in the US—even known carcinogens—without any safety testing and without disclosing all the chemicals on labels. The FDA in the U.S. has only banned eleven potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetics, while the European Union has banned over 1000! Companies are allowed to market and label their products as “natural”, “organic”, “non-toxic”, “clean” (you name it) and it means absolutely nothing. How terrifying is it that we are putting these products on our skin everyday and letting it absorb into our bodies through our largest organ!
Thankfully there are many good companies out there who are committed to making products that are truly non-toxic. I’m sure by this point you are wondering where to get started. Don’t worry though, I am actually still transitioning some of my products so I don’t expect you to do it overnight. I suggest making the switch to new products slowly, perhaps as you run out of one, or are ready to try something new. There are 3 products I recommend swapping out first however: deodorant, body lotion and laundry detergent/softeners.
It’s no “Secret” that the chemicals in antiperspirant are bad for us (see what I did there haha). These chemicals have been linked to several health conditions including cancer and Alzheimers. Antiperspirants are also designed to block our sweat ducts and their natural ability to sweat. This isn’t good for our health long term.
I’ve tested out a few natural deodorants and my favourite is by far Primally Pure’s Charcoal Deodorant. It smells amazing, goes on clear, and worked instantly. Don’t fret if you sweat a little more in the beginning as you get used to a new deodorant however. This is your body’s normal detox process and it will go away after a few weeks.
It only makes sense that because our bodies largest organ is our skin that we be conscious of what we are lathering on such a big surface area. We absorb chemicals from toxic products through our skin and the more of it we put on the more of these chemicals we will absorb.
As I mentioned above I am very sensitive when it comes to smells so the lotions I use need to have a very gentle and natural smell. I also tend to have dry skin and want to keep it looking young and healthy. I love the Almond + Vanilla Body Butter also by Primally Pure. It is made using grass-fed beef tallow which has so many amazing health benefits. It is rich in Vitamins A, D, E and K, anti-inflammatory conjugated linoleic acid, and antimicrobial palmitoleic acid which deeply moisturizes the skin.
Laundry Detergent & Softeners:
Since our clothing is the closest thing to our skin it’s no surprise I am also recommending this as one of my top 3 recommended products to switch first. Chemicals in laundry detergent and fabric softeners coat our clothing and then transfer onto our skin. Bounce sheets are the worst and contain so many toxic chemicals. Just look at your used dryer sheet the next time you do laundry. It starts off crisp and then ends up soft and thin. Guess where these chemicals are gone? All over your clothes and absorbing into your skin!
Since my skin is so sensitive I also need to make sure I use something gentle that doesn’t give me a rash and has little smell. That’s one of the reasons why I love Norwex’s laundry detergent and wool dryer balls. The dryer balls can be used over and over again and the laundry detergent does an amazing job at getting clothing bright and clean. Only a small amount is needed for each load.
It’s no doubt that more and more people are making the switch to healthy non-toxic beauty and household products. But how do you know it is truly non-toxic and what should you look for on the label? Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll help you find out if your product meets the list.
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Naturally, Krissy – xo