Going Natural: Practical Tips For “Cleaning” Up Your Household & Skin Care Products
Believe it or not, your home is filled with harmful chemicals. While some of the chemicals may be more obvious, such as cleaning agents, others such as shower liners may not be. These chemicals can have a array of negative symptoms on the body and this is often something I discuss with my patients during their visits. Phtalates found in plastics and fragrances can damage the female reproductive system and lead to decreased sperm count. PFCs from non stick pans and dioxins found in bleached products can harm the immune system. BPA has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, obesity and heart disease. Studies have even found that fumes from cleaning products may cause asthma in otherwise healthy individuals. While it would be impossible to completely avoid these products in our day to day lives, our job as health conscious individuals is to educate ourselves and try our best to avoid them.
So what can we do about it? Well, lots actually! I have recently started to “Clean” my house including choosing cleaner household and skin care products.
Here are three ways to get started:
1. Read Labels!:
This is true for our food and for our cleaning and skin care products.
Try your best to avoid any products that contain:
-Coal tar dyes
-DEA related ingredients
-Formaldyhyde release preservatives
-Sodium laureth sulfate
2. Replace Plastic in the Kitchen:
This has been my new years resolution, and let me tell you, it’s been the easiest switch I’ve made! It is easy to find replacements for most kitchen plastics. Health food stores often have a whole isle dedicated to this.
Try the following:
-Avoid Bisphenols (BPA) , PVC plastics and plastics marked with label #3 and #7
-Switch water bottles and food containers for glass alternatives
-Use bees wax wraps for food over plastic wrap
-Invest in reusable food bags rather then plastic sandwich bags
3. Download an App:
It’s hard to keep track of all the harmful chemicals we should watch out for. Luckily, there are a variety of apps that help you decode the label of your products and rank them from cleanest to dirtiest. When trying to decide between two products in the aisle of the grocery store, quickly type them into the app and see how they do.
The resources will often explain what each ingredient is and why you should avoid it:
-App: Think Dirty
-App: Clean beauty
It can be expensive (and take some time reading labels!) to buy a whole new house full of products. Don't stress - I suggest switching over as you run out or buying 1 new product a week. So far I have found a new laundry detergent, multi-purpose cleaner and face oil. In the next two months I hope to switch my floor cleaner and shampoo. Where will you start?
Curious how your lifestyle may be affecting your health? Send me an email or message me on social media and we can chat :) firstname.lastname@example.org or @doctormargotnd
Image from: -www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-id-avoid-harmful-toxins-at-home-infographic.html
For some more inspiration check out the Top Green Cleaning Products by Environmental Working Group:
-Thompson et al, Phytoestrogen content of foods consumed in Canada, including isoflavones, lignans and coumestan. Retrieved from:
Disclaimer: Any information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner with any questions or health concerns you may have.