You don’t scour the aisles of the store looking for toxic products, right? That’s because no one is looking to harm themselves by being exposed to toxic chemicals that can wreak havoc on their health both in the short term as well as the long term. But unfortunately, you don’t have to look for such things, because the chances are, as you pick up your usual go-tos in the home goods, personal hygiene, and beauty products sections, they’re already filled with them. It’s a sad truth that is becoming increasingly apparent in our society, with more and more information being released on this very subject. From cleaning products to cosmetics and so much more, becoming informed will help alert you to the necessity of switching to the healthy alternatives.
To put it simply, those pesky things called carcinogens, which cause cancer, show up in a variety of conventional products in small amounts. Many of these products are utilized by us on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. All of these products’ small doses of carcinogens add up, putting us at a much greater risk for being affected by their individual (and collective) dangers. To put that into perspective, the Environmental Working Group reports that women use about 12 products a day, with an average of 168 ingredients, while men use about six products a day with an average of 85 ingredients.
So while it can seem like a huge process to go through your soaps, your lotions, and everything in between to get rid of the bad stuff, it’s well worth it. A helpful piece of advice is to start with the big stuff; the stuff you use every single day. Make a checklist and ensure you swap out the bad for the good, and as time goes on, you’ll find yourself slowly but surely (and effectively) taking control of making sure what you put on your body every single day is as healthy as can be.
These five products are a good place to start swapping:
It’s probably one of the first products you use in the morning, and the last before you go to sleep at night. But conventional toothpastes may be doing you more harm than good when they’re filled with triclosan, a common antibacterial and antifungal agent, that has been found to cause antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption, which may result in a variety of cancers including breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular.
There are a variety of toothpaste alternatives, however. The brands Radiantly You, A Soap For Goodness Sake, Redmond Earthpaste, and Arganat All Natural Clay Toothpaste all have toothpastes that scored the lowest hazard level on EWG’s Cosmetics Database.
Another common hygiene product you probably reach for in the morning, and perhaps several times throughout the day, is deodorant. For many, it’s a must-have product for prohibiting that funky smell that lurks from the armpits, causing both our nostrils as well as anyone in close enough proximity to suffer from the stench. But when you weigh the odds of a little smell versus toxic chemicals seeping into your skin, a little funk sounds much more appealing.
There are a variety of toxins that have been fond in deodorants and antiperspirants, including parabens, which have been linked to breast cancer, aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, and triclosan. To protect your bloodstream and lymphatic system from harmful toxins, opt for effective alternatives like these natural deodorants that include minimal ingredients like coconut oil and baking soda, whose antibacterial properties allow you to sweat without the BO.
3. Shampoo And Body Wash
Hitting the shower is a pertinent part of many people’s daily routines which typically entails using body wash and shampoo. However, the kinds you have in your home might just be harming your health, especially if they contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a detergent and surfactant that the American College of Toxicology has discovered can result in harmful skin irritation even in relatively low concentrations, while higher concentrations can result in severe irritation, penetration, and corrosion of the skin.
Daily sunscreen is seen as a necessity to protect ourselves from the cancer-causing UV rays of the sun. But quite a few products on the market contain vitamin A, which may be a great supplement when eaten, but when applied topically and met with sunlight, can promote skin tumors. Many sunscreen products also have the hormone-disrupting compound called oxybenzone and endocrine disruptors homosalate and octinoxate.
Check out EWG’s list of the best sunscreen products that contain natural ingredients sure to project you from harmful UV rays without harming your overall health.
5. Dish Soap
You might think, soap on, soap off, right? The problem with using toxic dish soaps is that the liquid doesn’t just clean your dishes. The residue left behind on your plates, cups, and silverware ultimately makes its way into your mouth. And many dish soaps have harmful ingredients like SLS and triclosan, not to mention the popular “fragrance” label, which is a loophole in FDA’s federal law that allows manufactures of products such as dish soap to leave out the hidden chemicals their products contain. These are all great alternatives you can try out.
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