Simple ways to reduce your toxic load
“Toxic load.” It sounds ominous, but when we use this phrase in clinic we are referring to the amount of chemicals that we are exposed to which, via skin, ingestion or inhalation, enter into our bloodstream. Given how many chemicals it is estimated we come into contact with on a daily basis, we are extremely lucky that we have effective means of detoxification via our liver, kidneys, lungs etc. But the problem we all face is that our chemical exposure continues to skyrocket (there are over 13000 chemicals used in cosmetics alone in the US) and our little old bodies are struggling to keep up.
We urge patients not to get caught up on having zero chemical exposure, as its just not possible, but to change the things that they can. Like their skincare, make up, household cleaning products, foods etc. Here are some of our easy swap suggestions.
- Change your deodorant
Most supermarket deodorants contain parabens, phthalates, benzoates, aluminium etc. Studies have shown that these ingredients contained in skincare are absorbed into the blood stream and can have detrimental effects on our hormonal system (the ladies AND the fellas). Gone are the days where natural deodorants are the poor, ineffective cousins of the antiperspirant. Here are a few we love Black Chicken, Schmidts and Fresca.
- Change the way you clean your house
The Western world is crazy about keeping things clean. You only have to look at the hand sanitizer section for evidence. Our suggestions around reducing the chemical exposure in your home go something like this: reduce the amount of product you use and replace existing product with a more person and environment friendly option.
Fibreteq make great cloths that are designed to suit different surfaces/areas in your home. They are long lasting, durable and inexpensive and by using appropriate materials for each surface, they reduce your need for chemicals. The glass and window cleaner actually cuts out your need for cleaning product all together – just a bit of elbow grease (and possibly water depending on how much toothpaste the kids have flicked on the mirror) and you can throw out your windex for good.
Part two of the switch is to swap your cleaning basics like dishwashing detergent (you will eventually eat that stuff!), clothes wash etc to an Australian brand like Abode. They cover all of the cleaning products you might need and only use ingredients which are truly safe for humans and the environment.
- Change your make-up
This used to be a tough one, because traditionally organic make up was really, really inferior in performance, colour options and pricing. But now the market is being flooded with products that tick all the boxes AND don’t contain the nasty chemicals that the big (expensive) brands do, like phthalates which are used to make things “plasticky” and can induce reproductive abnormalities. Or lead which is found in some lipsticks and foundation, or a variety of formaldehyde producing compounds which are of course, carcinogenic.
The price of beauty doesn’t need to be quite so expensive. We love brands like Inika and Ere Perez who make beautiful, reasonably priced products that perform well and are vegan, organic and not tested on animals.
And remember, changing just one product a month as things run out will go a long way with reducing your chemical exposure.