Did you know that humans come into contact with more than 500 chemicals on a daily basis? These chemicals build up in our bodies over time and could be causing your weird allergies, weight gain, hormone depletion, low energy levels, breakouts, eczema, the list goes on.
Since being diagnosed with endocrine and thyroid issues a year ago and becoming pregnant, I've been on a mission to educate myself a little more - not only what is in my food but also on the chemicals in my some of beauty and personal care products. It's overwhelming to say the least as there is so much information to digest, literally. Thank goodness for the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database that scans most beauty products and rates them 1-10 on a level of concern and why. It's mind blowing educational, but a little overwhelming. I am also a visual person so finding this infographic on Mind, Body, Green was a lifesaver for me!
Because I can't just ditch my well invested closet overflowing with beauty and personal care items, I'm swapping my products out for cleaner versions slowly, aiming for under a "3" on the EWG Skindeep database. The most important categories that are the worst offenders with chemicals: toothpaste, deodorant, body lotion, lip balm, and nail polish. Here are my five easy swaps you can make almost immediately, without too much money or time sacrifice as I did the work and research for you!
My Top 5 Chemical to Clean Beauty Swaps
WHY:Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (foaming agent that causes rashes) andTriclosan (chemical added to toothpaste and antibacterial products that is really toxic!). This was the first swap I did 4+ years ago. I used to get gum irritation, bumps on my tongue or mouth sores and since switching, no such occurrence. Coincidence? Also I also learned fluoride can be really irritating and was causing dermatitis around my mouth - so I stopped using toothpaste with fluoride and the irritations vanished from there too.
WHAT: After trying several clean toothpastes, my favorite is the Desert Essence brand. Minus fluoride, gluten (yes they even add gluten to toothpaste!) SLS, dies for coloring (which can cause digestion issues and allergic reactions) and all the bad stuff, whitens naturally, disinfects without triclosan using tea tea oil and leaves my mouth feeling really fresh. No cavities either.
WHY:Parabens (cancer causing preservatives) andAluminum (blocks sweating and also known to cause cancer). Sweat is a natural form of detoxing and if we don't allow our body to sweat, we remain toxic. Although I won't get into cancer scares - all non natural OTC deodorants have parabens that is linked to causing breast cancer. My grandmother had breast cancer twice, and that's enough example for me to swear off my favorite deodorant!
WHAT: After trying several crunchy deodorants and learning I am allergic to something in a few of them, I've landed with Weleda rose Deodorant Spray. It has a controversial rating on EWG because it contains alcohol and fragrance, but the important thing here is that it's all organic certified ingredients and it WORKS unlike all the other options. Also Weleda has the highest of integrity as a brand and I trust them. I love the smell - it's almost like a perfume. Comes in a more manly scent too.
WHY: Petrolatum. It's derived from gasoline.. so enough said? And one more point, it actually dries out your skin versus hydrating, so why would you do that to yourself?
WHAT: I started using Homeoplasmine, a french pharmacy find that's homeopathic plant based product, months ago when NYC took its toll on my skin and had majorly dry chapped lips. It's amazing and my lips aren't constantly dry and my lip balm addiction (apply every 5 minutes) has waned. This is a makeup artists favorite as well, and can be used for eyelids & cheeks to create a natural dewy glow down to curing chapped nipples from breast feeding. It's a major multitasker!
WHY:Parabens, Petrolatum,Phthalates (its a plastic used to help fragrances and substances stick or penetrate the skin and are VERY toxic when it touches your skin and inhaled). Your skin is your biggest organ and there are so many other natural options for moisture.
WHAT: Body Oils. And when I don't have access or run out, I use coconut oil or grapeseed oil. I find even food grade grapeseed oil is more hydrating than coconut! But if I do buy a product, I've been loving Malie's Organic Body products, especially the Koke'e (aloe) scent. The brand is made of 70% organic ingredients safe of all the bad stuff, and the fragrance is actually extracted from the plants, not man made.
WHY: Formaldehyde, phthalates, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, DBP, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide. ALL of the bad stuff that is toxic to our immune systems, hormones disruptors, causing birth defects in pregnant women. etc.
WHAT: butter London. Years ago, butter London was the pioneer in nail lacquer eliminating the first 3 ingredients listed above tagging the "3 Free" label. Now brands have gone "5 free" and now bL is stepping it up and is "7 free". I love their trend and classic colors, is long lasting, and their line extensions for nail care are out of this world. I've been using butter London for 5 years now, but Chanel, Zoya, Essie, RMS, Tenoverten and a slew of our other favorite brands have stepped up their clean nail lacquer game as well.
: I will be cleaning up my cosmetics - from my mascara to my foundation!