I am getting back on the train, the blogging train. You could call it my 'new year's resolution,' but I'm not a big believer in the concept. I think that every day is an opportunity to make a change in your life! Picking January 1st as the only day to make the commitment can set you up to fail. It's a growing process and it takes a little work every day to make the changes you want. Which brings me to my 'every day' resolution; for the last six months or so I have been making the commitment to "go green." To remove the chemicals from my home. Especially now that I have a daughter, I have been striving more and more to get the bad out and the good in! So I am going to share my journey to clean products and let you know a few of the common ingredients in the common products to avoid and why!
I first started to 'go green' after actually looking at the ingredients in my skin care (face wash, toner, moisturizer, soap). Have you ever looked at yours? It was kind of scary to see chemical after chemical listed. I mean, I was putting this on my face every day! It was being absorbed into my skin and body every day allllll day! I had started using a full skin care regime in high school, it had been YEARS of lathering on these chemical laden products! And even though they claimed to make your skin just perfect, I found I still had the odd break out (I am lucky to have pretty clear skin). So I started to make an effort to change it to healthier products. It's difficult to know where to begin, there are SO many products plastered with claims, but the claims aren't always fully accurate. My first switch was to a well-known larger brand found in most of the big stores (like Loblaws Organics Section). Even with these more natural products, they were still not great.
It was by chance that I found the products I use now; thanks to Groupon. There was a random offer for holistic skin care. It was very good deal, so I said I'd give it a chance. I am still so glad I did. Pretty Cosmetics is my personal favourite, not only are their products some of the cleanest products I have seen, but they are a small Canadian company (based out of Toronto) started by two holistic nutritionists. However, there are a tonne of great companies (and products) out there; Suki, Olivier Soapery, Coastal Classics and even Burt's Bees to name just a few. However, you also have to be a bit savy, just because one product from a company is good, doesn't mean they all are! A quick google search will bring up a tonne of options! But how does the stuff you're using now rate? You can check it out at the Environmental Working Groups website Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. If the product isn't listed, you can look up each ingredient individually.
Here are a few of the common ingredients in many skin care products that should definitely be avoided and why:
Fragrance: this is in just about EVERYTHING, but did you know that Federal Law doesn't require companies to list any of the chemicals that are actually in their fragrance 'mixture'? Fragrance can contain just about anything including hormone disrupting chemicals and are one of the most common allergens in the world.
Parabens: These are estrogen-mimicking chemicals and have actually be found in breast cancer tumors in 19 out of 20 women! They can disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders.
Phthalates: Studies have shown a link with male reproductive system disorders. This disruption can even occur in utero, which is why pregnant women should also avoid phthalates!
The most interesting part, is that since switching from the 'high end chemical-promised skin care' to the clean, chemical free products my skin has never been clearer! Plus, it's important to remember, every time you slather something on your skin, it's absorbed deeper into your bloodstream and then it's your liver's job to get rid of it. Another reason why detoxing is so important, but that's another topic, for another day!
When you really start to look at the products and ingredients you are using, it can seem daunting to try and remove all the chemicals, but pick one item at a time and find an alternative. You'll be amazed at how quickly you will start to notice a difference!
Disclaimer: Naturopathic Doctors strive to provide individualized health care. The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing an ND for individualized health recommendations.
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