Reducing toxins that enter our body is an excellent practice in self-care. Considering what we apply to our body daily in the way of body wash/soap, shampoo/conditioner, hairspray and hair products, toothpaste, and lotions — that’s a lot of toxins that exist just in our morning routine! (If you prefer video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
Today’s challenge is to bring out all of your bottles of body and hair “stuff.” Put them on a counter or dining table so you can see how much you have as a whole.
Have a keep and garbage area ready.
For each item ask yourself the questions:
- Do I love this product?
- Does it serve a purpose?
Most of our hair and body products serve a purpose, so be ruthless with that question.
Sometimes the shear quantity of that we have of these products can be surprising. Perhaps we have a thing for chapstick/lip balm (me!) Or for good smelling hand lotions. Or we collect the mini soaps and shampoos from hotel rooms. How many of each kind of item do you reasonably need? This is an excellent question that needs a reasonable answer. And for the most part I’d say since these are consumables, that we need two – one we currently use and one back up that once we start using we put on a shopping list to replace (with a healthier option! 😊)
Other good questions are:
- Do you like the smell? No? Toss it.
- Did it detangle your hair the way you hoped? No? Toss it!
- For each product ask yourself if the product lived up to your expectations.
As I’ve done with the other items over the past few days, let’s take a look at a few examples of the chemicals included in these products that enter our bodies and cause issues:
- Triclosan: Often found in body wash and toothpaste – contact dermatitis, skin irritation, increase in allergic reactions.
- Parabens: Often used in moisturizers and soaps – hormone disruptor. Hormone disruptors are chemicals that mimic our natural hormones and our body can put a chemical in place of a natural hormone which disrupts the body’s ability to do it’s job properly. Also linked to breast cancer.
- Sulfates: strip hair of natural oils and cause dryness.
- Phthalates: dangerous to the environment and are hormone disruptors.
- Toluene: hampers the immune system
- And the list goes on…
Even if there are no studies linking a product to a disease, it’s my opinion that our bodies fight so many foreign substances every day just by existing in our world, that if there are places I can help it in its fight, then I want to do that. If I can reduce chemicals in my personal hygiene products then that’s making a true intentional living choice.
What do I use? I use a compostable bamboo toothbrush, flossers, and hairbrush. My shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, and hand soap are all chemical-free from a refillery. I use a natural shave bar instead of shaving foam. I also use a chemical-free toothpaste.
Take your time transitioning to new items. Finish what you have first, to switch it all at once would cost a fortune. Changing your items over as you finish them, makes it much more cost effective and less wasteful.