A few years ago one of my close friends started talking to me about “clean beauty” & “non toxic cleaning” products. She kept saying that a lot of everyday products are toxic, and I should try opting forcleaner options. I had no clue what she was talking about and honestly thought she was being a little weird about it and just over exaggerating why she was going down this new path. I knew her boyfriend at the time owned a holistic publication with his family, so I thought she must be really into this lifestyle with him, and definitely gave her a hard time.
Little did I know I was actually the ignorant one, or better said, not educated in. Fast forward a few months and my husband started to have some health issues. None of the doctors could provide answers to what was causing these problems (that’s a story for a different time). Needless to say, I started researching his symptoms and I kept seeing articles about gut health. Stating what should be obvious here, but the best way to regulate your gut is to know what you are putting in it. That sounded easy, and high level it is. The food you are putting into your body should be “clean”; not filled with pesticides and chemicals. These pesticides and chemicals are”toxins” in a large portion of our food supply. They are used to feed animals, treat plants, or used as preservatives in processed foods.
Learning just a little about our food supply led me to toxic household cleaners then to make-up. My eyes were officially opened to the toxins in products we used everyday. I immediately wanted to take action and start getting rid of our normal household cleaners, get our food in check, and just take the steps to cleaner living.
The friend I referenced earlier was helping me navigate this process and recommended products, which was incredibly helpful. Otherwise, it would have been a lot more challenging initially. The labels on the back of products was a totally different language I unfortunately, had not been immersed or educated in.
After initially freaking out and trying to clean all the toxic products out, she warned me I needed to slow down and do this at a reasonable pace. That’s not really in my DNA, but I quickly figured out that you can’t just get rid of everything toxic over night. It is incredibly stressful and it’s just impossible. Everyone I’ve talked to that is “clean living” didn’t accomplish the task over night and they are still working towards it, which helped me take some of the pressure off of myself.
What we can control is the ability to be diligent about educating ourselves and making little steps every day to live a cleaner lifestyle. Big picture, it’s the overall culmination of all toxins that can have dangerous long term lasting effects. So each little thing we do can drastically change the course you are on.
I rounded up some of the first steps I took towards cleaner living and I also included easy replacements options for toxic products.
Where to Start Eliminating Toxic Products:
Don’t take them! Receipts contain BPA, which is a harmful chemical often found in plastics. BPA is a known endocrine disruptor. It can stop your natural hormones from functioning correctly resulting in reproductive issues, neurological issues, and cancer.
- Opt to have the receipts emailed to you and set-up a folder in your email to save them.
Contains triclosan, which is also an endocrine disruptor. Inhibits how our hormones are regulated and can result in reproductive and neurological issues, as well as cancer.
Contain phthalates (synthetic fragrance), which are harmful to your lungs and can cause asthma. They can also disrupt your endocrine system which regulates your naturally occurring hormones. (These are also cancerous) Keep in mind everything on this list can also have synthetic fragrance in it and that is the WORST. Opt for products with fragrance using natural essence or essential oil scents that are naturally occurring or “fragrance free”.
Bug Repellants and Sprays:
Contains organophosphates, which are in nerve and chemical agents. Just like they harm bugs they can harm us over time causing cancer, and a host of other issues.
This is a personal journey, I’m not an expert, but this is what worked for me. If you have any advice on your journey please comment and share!