Toxins are all around us, and your lifestyle is often a big culprit for increasing the possibilities of the amount you're exposed to. We often worry about the food we're putting in our bodies. Still, we pay less attention to what we're putting on our skin and exposing ourselves to when we clean our homes. Personal hygiene products, cosmetics, and cleaning products are full of chemicals and other toxins that have scary effects on health and wellbeing. It would be best to reduce your exposure to toxins by swapping toxin-laden products for more natural alternatives. It can go a long way towards avoiding the health risks associated with toxins.
Bathroom Products/Toiletries Many personal hygiene and toiletries contain nasties, which is scary stuff when you consider how many products the average person uses. Here are just a few of the toxins in your body due to this chemical exposure.
Formaldehyde produced as a byproduct of ingredients found in deodorants, liquid soaps, and shampoos is unsuitable for your body.
Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and are known to mimic estrogen and other hormones, which can affect lots of processes in the body. For example, you'll find phthalates in many shower gels, shampoos, hairsprays, perfumes, and nail polishes.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is found in most foam and lather products and is a common culprit for skin irritation. Its effects could be much worse, though, and there are fears that it could be carcinogenic.
There is toluene in many hair gels, hairsprays, and perfumes. It's a neurotoxin that mimics the effects of estrogen. It's also linked to liver damage and asthma. Propylene glycol is another common ingredient in toiletries. It's also used in industrial antifreeze!
Triclosan is another endocrine disruptor. Thanks to its antibacterial qualities, it's included in deodorants, hand soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash, and even vaginal washes. Unfortunately, it can potentially break down into dioxin, a carcinogenic.
How to avoid toxins: Many natural and organic cosmetics brands are hitting the shelves, and they're a great alternative to traditional cosmetics. Check the labels carefully, though, as "natural" doesn't necessarily mean toxin-free. Instead, you want to look for "clean beauty" brands and products. For example, clean beauty lipsticks are usually made from natural oils, while powders are from cornstarch.
Makeup/Cosmetics Lots of your favorite cosmetics contain a whole host of toxins. Some of the big ones include phthalates and Triclosan. These are known to be endocrine disruptors that mimic the effects of hormones such as estrogen. According to research from the University of Maryland, phthalates can cause reproductive abnormalities and stunt testosterone levels and fertility in men. In addition, they've been linked to an increased risk of premature deliveries for women.
BHA and BHT: Are used as preservatives so that your cosmetics have a longer shelf life. But unfortunately, they're also endocrine disruptors linked to skin allergies. If you're already aware of the risk of toxins in your cosmetics, it's probably because of parabens. These are preservatives, and they can penetrate the skin very quickly. So much so that their traces have been found in breast cancer tissue! In addition, it's thought that they can affect reproduction, the nervous system, and the immune system, so their effects could be widespread.
A few other nasties that can lurk in your makeup: -Formaldehyde can be released as a byproduct of some of the ingredients in cosmetics. -Octanoate is an endocrine disruptor added to foundations. -Carbon black is found in a lot of eyeliners and has been put forward as a potential carcinogenic. -Siloxanes are often added to cosmetics to soften and moisturize, but they're another endocrine disruptor.
How to avoid toxins: Ideally, you want to be using products with these nasties as little as possible. Have a good look at the ingredients before you buy, and avoid anything you're unsure about. There are many natural beauty alternatives on the market these days but check the labels as they can still contain a few toxins.
A few things to think about when it comes to cleaning products:
● You can get asthma with the added fragrances to laundry detergents, and fabric softeners. This can irritate the respiratory system. ● Diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) can become carcinogens. ● 2-butoxyethanol, commonly found in window and glass cleaners and multi-purpose cleaning sprays, can cause a sore throat when sprayed. Still, it's also linked to allergies and asthma. ● Studies have shown that regular exposure to cleaning products can reduce lung function. Avoid toxins: Make your cleaning products with natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. It does require a bit more elbow grease, but you get great peace of mind that you're not risking your health.
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