It's Time To Brush Up Your Act!
Having just celebrated Earth Day 2018 now is the perfect time to make the switch to toxin-free products; it's better for you and the planet.
As you innocently wash your hair, brush your teeth and apply face cream and deodorant, have you ever considered what you are really putting on and in your body? Even products sold in eco-looking bottles, using words like 'natural' and 'pure' are not always what they seem.
The ingredients you want to avoid include Sodium Fluoride, Triclosan (TCS), Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Propylene Glycol (PG), Phthalates, Mineral Oil and Parabens. They sound pretty scary, right? And they are - let's take a closer look.
This is a chemical found in many body care products, particularly antibacterial body washes, soap and toothpaste. It has now been banned in the US for skincare products. Studies show it is no more effective than using ordinary soap and water, and it can cause allergies, hormonal disruption and, ironically, a reduction in bacterial resistance.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Found in at least 90% of mainstream beauty and personal care products, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is also used in floor cleaner, engine degreaser and car washes! You're very likely to see it on the label of your liquid soap, shampoo, moisturiser and toothpaste.
Again, the US has questioned its safety and there is increasing concern in Australia that regular usage could cause cancer.
This product is made from petroleum so no wonder there is concern over its use in so many beauty products and food. It's also used to make antifreeze and to de-ice aeroplanes!
You'll find this ingredient in your mainstream nail polish, hairspray and perfumed products. You'll also find it in food wrap and plastic containers! A recent US study found it to be hormone-disrupting, leading to problems ranging from inability to lose weight to infertility and birth defects.
It's not as healthy as it may sound! Again this is a petroleum by-product, found in most mainstream face creams and body lotions, including baby oil. It certainly makes the skin feel smooth and moisturised but it actually forms a pore-blocking layer that stops the skin functioning properly. The skin can no longer effectively expel dirt and toxins. At the very least this can lead to acne; at worst it can cause problems for our internal organs.
Have you noticed the increasing number of products that say paraben-free on the label? This is because this ingredient is unnecessary and potentially toxic. It is put into mainstream beauty products to extend the shelf life. However, it is now being linked to a number of cancers, including breast cancer.
We've been told for years that fluoride is good for us. It's put into toothpaste, mouthwash, even our water supply to give us strong teeth and healthy gums. This is a controversial one and there is much debate about its safety. It has been shown to reduce tooth decay - but it has also been shown to be toxic in large quantities.
Overuse can lead to a condition known as dental fluorosis. This will show up as white spots on your tooth enamel but the dangers go much deeper, affecting your organs and bones.
There are a few things you can do to give toxins the flick this year. For starters, look for products that are free of Parabens, Mineral Oil, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Propylene Glycol. The added bonus is that they will probably be cruelty-free, too.
Next, pay more attention to what you're putting in your mouth. Switch your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, and choose a natural mouth paste. Even better, make your own toothpaste with this easy recipe:
Homemade Mouth Paste
¼ cup of pure, aluminium-free bicarb of soda
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon activated charcoal
1 tablespoon melted organic coconut oil (non-hydrogenated)
2 tablespoons organic olive oil (cold pressed, extra virgin)
7 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
Put all the dry ingredients into a small glass jar and mix with a spoon.
Add the oils - making sure the coconut oil is liquefied - to form a paste. Add the peppermint oil and mix well.
To use, transfer what you will need that day to a small shot glass. This allows you to dip your toothbrush into the paste without messing up the whole batch.
Brush your teeth as normal and then rinse with filtered water. A word of warning, your mouth will become black during brushing, due to the charcoal, but will be sparkling clean after rinsing. Be sure to rinse the sink well, too, to get rid of the charcoal.