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Your wellness journey should not become so stressful that it becomes an additional toxic source in your life. Stress is hands down as toxic to our bodies as the crappy ingredients being pushed to ingest or apply to our skin. When we know better, we do better, so knowing is truly half the battle. Reading this is a huge first step.
Many people have started to pay more attention to the ingredients in their food, but what about what goes on your body? The average women comes in contact with over 600 toxic and harmful chemicals a day and over 300 of those are applied to her body - many before leaving the house in the morning! Many people are not aware that your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs 30% to 60% of what is applied. A fun example of this absorption, is to take a clove of garlic and apply it to the bottom of your foot. Within minutes, you will actually taste the garlic in your mouth. Crazy huh?
Once you begin to become more aware of the ingredients in your products, and the impact they have on the body, you will make better choices. After all, you are your own healthcare advocate. More and more great sites and apps are being released that really help to simplify and breakdown ingredients. Two apps I love and use frequently: Think Dirty and Healthy Living by EWG. While not every item is in their database, they are constantly updating and adding products. I challenge you scan a few of your products and see what comes up!
In this journey, something to be aware of and understand is “greenwashing”. Greenwashing has become extremely popular as our knowledge of ingredients and the impact on our health and our earth have come to light. Companies have dishonestly found a way to capitalize on this movement. More money is usually spent on the advertising and marketing of the claim than is actually spent on better ingredients and/or research on the environmental impact. Companies will use words like Vegan, Cruelty Free, Gluten Free and others to catch your attention, when the actual ingredient list is full of toxic chemicals. Some will put the word “natural” or even “organic” in the name. While these claims or certifications are not bad, they are not an indication of being healthy or non-toxic. There are different levels of certifications for Organic and Cruelty Free. My advice is to always read the ingredients yourself. The following is a list of ingredients to be aware of, although keep in mind not all ingredients are created equal and when you see these listed, I urge you to research that product further.
BHA and BHT
Coal tar dyes
Parfum, pefume, fragrance or flavoring
Sodium laureth sulfate
Oxybenzone and nanoparticles
Now let’s be realistic - most of you are not going to go through your house and throw every item that is toxic away! (It would be an exhaustive and expensive purge fest.) The easiest way to begin to reduce your toxic load is to start with the major contributors and be more aware when shopping. The products I suggest beginning to look at are items you apply directly to your skin every day such as: deodorant, body lotion, creams, makeup, laundry detergent, cleaning products and air fresheners. Most importantly, remember the 80/20 rule and try to make better decisions most of the time. I hope that this will make your wellness journey a little less confusing and I hope you all are loving the site, this is your space!