Last month we talked about cleaning up your refrigerator and your cupboards to help either get you back on track or continue to improve your overall wellness. Did you know, however, that the products you put onto your body are just as important to monitor as the products we put into it?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many up to date restrictions on what companies can put in their products which means we have to be mindful of what we are purchasing. Between all of the options to choose from and companies claiming to be the “cleanest” option, it can get overwhelming to try and find the best performing, cleanest, and safest product for you and your family!
Luckily, there are tools and things you can look for that will help you with the clean switch.
Cleaning up your beauty can be simple and easy and we will talk about two great ways you can make the switch; read your labels and compare them with tools like Beautycounter’s Never List, or use websites like EWG who do the “dirty” work for you!
When it comes to reading labels, things like; phthalates, formaldehyde releasers (and formaldehyde-like chemicals), parabens, and more are common words that we know to avoid. But why do we avoid them? Let’s break down just a couple of the most common harmful ingredients and how they affect us on a daily basis:
- Parabens: used in most cosmetic and body care products to help stop the growth of mold and bacteria, in turn increasing the shelf life of that product. Research has shown that parabens can also be absorbed through the skin and have the potential to disrupt hormones and interfere with fertility, affect birth outcomes, and are known carcinogens.
- Phthalates: used to help plastic products become more flexible yet durable, and make fragrances stick to skin longer. These chemicals can be found in synthetic fragrances, nail polish, hair spray, as well as vinyl flooring, automotive plastics, adhesives, and detergents. Research is showing excessive exposure to the chemical can disrupt the endocrine system– which are glands that create the hormones responsible for the regulation of the body’s ability to function– and potentially lead to birth defects.
- Formaldehyde: used in shampoos, body washes, and bubble bath, as well as household products such as plywood, glues/adhesives, and industrial fungicides, germicides, and disinfectants. Formaldehyde is actually produced naturally in living organisms during the metabolic process. However, excessive exposure can be linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.
- Triclosan and Triclocarban: used in liquid soaps, soap bars and toothpastes, and household products. Often used for antibacterial purposes, research has shown that exposure to this chemical can negatively impact the reproductive system.
Making the clean switch does not mean you have to up and throw out every product in your house (however, way to go if that is how you decide to make the clean switch!) but just like anything small steps towards progress is key.
Start with renewing the bottle of foundation for a cleaner option and finish up your favorite eyeshadow palette in the meantime. Instead of ditching the bleach entirely, use a safer, plant-based, all-purpose cleaning spray for your daily use and use bleach for your deep cleaning days. The more you incorporate cleaner, safer products into your daily routine the easier it gets to make more and more switches as some can find changes in the texture of their skin, mood, and overall health.
When it comes to shopping for skincare, bath and body, and cosmetics it can be overwhelming to think about all of the potentially harmful ingredients that may be in your most common products. Getting familiar with these terms can be a huge step in the right direction– however, there are also great tools you can use that will help you skip the label reading and go for the healthiest option for you and your family.
The Environmental Working Group which is a website that screens and verifies the best cleaner, healthier, and safer products that are out on the market. Just simply search for the item you need and a whole list of great options will appear.
Whether you’re embarking on a new health journey or cleaning up your cabinets we hope that you have fun, stay safe, and get through this new journey the best version of you!