Clean up your act: detoxifying your home and body care routine

A lot of my clients work very hard on cleaning up their diet. They remove processed foods with artificial flavorings, dyes and other harmful additives. As you probably know, transitioning to a nutrient-dense whole-foods diet requires a big paradigm shiftHome and body care. As you go through this process, leverage these changes for maximized health improvements.  One great step in this direction is lining up your home and body care products with your health goals. It’s true that a complete overhaul of your home and body care routine takes time and effort. However, by taking baby steps, you will keep moving towards your goal without getting overwhelmed or going broke in the process.

This is the first of a newsletter series dedicated to helping you detoxify your home. Each newsletter in the series focuses on specific areas of concern. In other words, you can choose one or more areas to work on each week or month. Then you move forward at your own pace. Remember to reach out to me if you need more guidance or a customized week-by-week plan.

Detoxify your budget

The first step in the process is detoxifying your budget. This also means addressing any perceptions that cleaner living is too expensive for you. It’s not, as long as you apply common sense.

Keep in mind the paramount value of your self-worth and your family’s health. In this sense, it can be said that detoxification starts on an emotional level.

This is of course only one side of the story. Cleaning up your act is not expensive in reality. Quite the contrary, it will save you and your family uncountable money in the long run. In fact, choosing products based on cheapness is very costly. This applies to food, to the choice of materials used in dentistry and to home and body care products. In the area of home and body care, most people are using many unnecessary items. In fact, just eliminating those can free up the budget for better-quality, non-toxic or less-toxic replacement for essentials. Furthermore, there are high hidden health costs of “cheap” products, which often contain harmful chemicals that can disrupt health in general and fertility in particular. To learn more about some of the hidden costs of cheap products, you can start here.

Fragrances in home and body care products

Artificial fragrances added to perfume, cologne, soap, detergent, fabric softener, air fresheners, scented candles, lotion, household cleaning products and a slew of other home and body care products contain dangerous chemicals that stress the liver and harm the endocrine system and immune system. This causes many health problems in children, adults and household pets. Contrary to popular belief, they do not make people smell better, and do not make any setting cleaner. So please look into alternatives that are either unscented or lightly scented with essential oils. Learn more about the endocrine-disrupting effects of fragrances here. You can find better cleaning products and better personal care products through the Environmental Working Group’s consumer product guides.

Mercury in make-up and common self-care products

Thimerosal is a preservative and anti-microbial that is 50% ethylmercury. It’s a potent neurotoxin and epigenetic toxicant. Unfortunately, it has a cumulative effect when absorbed, and the developing fetus is particularly susceptible to damage from mercury exposure. Did you know that as long as it’s under 65 parts per million, and if it is classified as an “inactive ingredient,” the FDA allows thimerosal in cosmetics, eye drops, ear drops, and other OTC and Rx products for children and adults? This article lists some of the products which still contain mercury.

Mascara is one of the most common products using thimerosal. Why? Because  when the Minamata Global Treaty of 2013 banned it from a number of other products, it concluded that for mascara there were not sufficient alternative options to protect consumers from infection and extend product shelf life. Please note that the FDA allows cosmetic companies not to list ingredients that make up less than 1% of a product. This means that some mascaras have thimerosal as an ingredient at levels at or under the allowed 65 parts per million, without any disclosure on the label! The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database includes the brands listing thimerosal as an ingredient. If you use mascara, it’s a good idea to check directly with the manufacturer to ask for a list of inactive ingredients not listed on the product label. Learn more about mercury in mascara here.

Would you like more guidance on detoxing your home and body care routine? Contact me so we can get started!


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