Avoiding Chemical Toxicity
Reducing the amount of toxins we are faced with every day is one of the most important things we can do for our health. A build up of toxins in our body can cause many health concerns as cacogenic effects take place, slowly malfunctioning and killing the cells which make up every aspect of our body.
It’s not always clear what chemicals we are breathing in or coming into contact with but there are many including; air pollution, fluoride and chlorine in drinking water, preservatives and additives in foods, ink fumes when reading a book, breathing/touching dishwashing powder/washing machine powder, touching sticky tape or getting glue on the surface of the skin, all these damage our bodies in one way or another.
Not everyone will react to any one of these chemicals when being faced with them, but the consistent exposure of chemicals all add up to the amount of damage caused to our cells. Our bodies need to eliminate toxins to stay healthy, if the body is overloaded with internal chemicals or is not healthy enough to function properly to detoxify the chemicals within the body, they will eventually build and cause the onset disease and ill health.
One area of our lives chemicals are in abundance is in the bathroom. Think about it… Chemicals are found within soap, shampoo and conditioner, moisturisers and toothpaste, there is also chlorine and fluoride in the water we shower in. Common chemicals found in these products are known for damaging the kidneys, lungs, liver and central nervous system. Below are a few products to watch out for, along with some recommended brands which can help reduce the amount of chemicals you are faced with in this area of living.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and is capable of absorbing substances; this includes the chemicals within soap. Almost all brands of soap found in supermarkets contain anti-bacterial chemical agents as well as other toxins including artificial colors and fragrances; many of these chemicals will go right through the skin and accumulate in tissue. A chemical free soap can be just as effective in cleaning the skin and removing dirt and bacteria and are fairly easy to find in health food stores.
Some brands include Weleda, Kirks Castile bar soup, Only Emu and Aubrey Organics.
Almost all toothpaste contains chemicals. One of the most common chemical found in toothpaste is fluoride; it’s quite hard to find toothpaste which doesn’t contain fluoride and other chemicals and only consists of natural ingredients. Fluoride is a carcinogenic that is also found in our water supply; countries including Belgium, Norway, France, Sweden and the UK have banned fluoride from their water supply due to the concern over health risks associated with an over exposure to fluoride. However, we still find fluoride in toothpaste.
Weleda toothpaste is currently the only toothpaste I know of which uses only 100% natural ingredients while also offering a variety of flavors and textures.
Shampoo and Conditioner
One of the most harmful chemicals placed in 90% of commercial shampoo’s and conditioners is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is the chemical ingredient that makes the foamy substance; also making SLS a common ingredient in soap, bubble bath and toothpaste. You can also find SLS in many cleaning agents, including those used to degrease car engines. SLS has been shown to damage protein formation in eye tissue leading to macular degeneration and blindness as well as causing damage to the central nervous system.
Other chemicals used in shampoos and conditioners include artificial colors, fragrances and preservatives, which will also be absorbed by the skin into the body causing more carcinogenic effects.
There are three shampoo and conditioner brands I’m currently aware of that use 100% natural ingredients, they include Sukin Organics, Aubrey Organics and Weleda.
The chemicals in lip balm can become even more potent when they are applied to the lips for the simple reason that they are so close to the mouth which allows toxins to absorb rapidly. In-fact products such as lip balm and moisturisers are one of the largest sources of toxic absorption through the skin. Most lip balms are packed full of chemicals and in some cases the ingredient list will be made from solely chemicals. One of the more common ingredients in lip balms is petroleum (vaseline) which coats the lips clogging pores and causing a build up of toxins; this can eventually lead to dermatological issues. Petroleum is also linked to causing cancer and other health problems.
Aubrey Organics, Weleda and Only Emu (emu oil based lip balm) offer chemical free lip balm made with only natural ingredients.
Most moisturising creams contain a lot of chemicals including artificial colors, fragrances and preservatives. Many moisturisers contain parabens which can quickly enter the body’s circulatory system through the skins surface. Parabens have been linked to causing breast cancer as well as being linked to increasing the amount of estrogen in the body; too much estrogen can cause infertility and cancer.
Moisturisers containing natural ingredients can work extremely well, if not better than moisturisers containing chemicals because they don’t contain those chemical ingredients which can cause dry skin, irritations or damage skin (parabens have shown to damage deep layers of the skin worse than severe sunburn which causes the skin to age prematurely and potentially cause cancer). Weleda makes skin moisturisers from plant products. Emu oil is also a great skin moisturiser.
Skin grows from the inside out, so making sure your diet is rich in nutritious foods including omega3 fish oil will help maintain healthy skin. You can read an article I wrote titled Nutrition for Healthy Vibrant Skin for more information.