About a year ago, I started taking steps to reduce the toxic load in my body. “Toxic load” refers to the build up of toxins in the body. We’re exposed to toxins daily in cleaners, skin care, hair care, cosemetics, clothing, food and much more. I could not believe the amount of harmful ingredients that are still acceptable to use. I also stopped using anything that had fragrance because there are many chemicals that can be hidden under the label of “fragrance”. Many of the ingredients that are regularly used in our everyday products contain known or likely carcinogens & endocrine disruptors. Carcinogens are things that are known to cause cancer. Now, let’s dive into endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors can mimic and/or interfere with your body’s hormones. There are links between endocrine disruptors and issues with our brain, immune system, reproductive system and even cause developmental problems. You can find them in some plastics, liners of metal cans, detergents, food, pesticides, flame retardant and cosmetics. We are exposed to them through the air, water, our skin and in the food we eat.
Some common endocrine disruptors:
- BPA or Bisphenol A (used in plastics and epoxy resins)
- Dioxins (used in paper bleaching and created as a byproduct of herbicide production)
- Perchlorate (a byproduct from many industries including pharmaceuticals, found in drinking water)
- Perfluoroalkyl/Polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAs (found in non stick cookware, paper and textile coating)
- Phthalates (used to make plastic more flexible; found in toys, food containers, cosmetics and medical devices)
- Phytoestrogens (naturally occurring substances in soy and tofu that are hormone-like)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDE (used to make flame retarded products such as furniture foam and carpets)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (used in electrical transformers, hydraullic fluids, heat transfer fluids, lubricants & plasticizers)
- Triclosan (used in some anti-microbial & personal care products such as toothpaste or body wash)
I started researching ways to make my own skin care, hair care and cleaning products. But, with ingredients that were more natural and less harmful to my body. It was very easy and fairly cheap to make your own for many products in my home. I will be sharing my recipes so that others can start making their own too.
Ways to Reduce Your Toxic Load
1. Buy Organic Produce (At Least the Dirty Dozen)
The dirty dozen is a list of the produce with the highest levels of pesticides found in/on them after harvest. Simply washing your produce won’t remove the residue from the pesticides because they can withstand the rain when growing. This is why it’s best to opt for organic for at least the dirty dozen.
2. Make Your Own Skin Care, Hair Care and Cosmetic Products (Or Buy Natural & Toxin Free Products)
The average woman applies roughly 160 different toxins to her body daily. There can be many carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and toxins found in lotions, shampoo, deodourant, body wash, shaving cream and hair products. Buy toxin free makeup whenever possible. Buying natural or organic products can help, but not all products are created the same. So check with the ‘ThinkDirty’ App to see how harmful the ingredients in a product are.
3. Buy Natural Cleaners or Make Your Own
Household cleaners can be full of toxins and endocrine disruptors. They also usually contain fragrance which can have many chemicals hidden under that label. We’re conditioned through products that clean smells like bleach and lemon zest, but clean doesn’t actually have a smell.
4. Switch to a Natural Laundry Soap/Detergent
Laundry detergent is another place that they trick you into thinking that clean smells a certain way. They fill these detergents with loads of fragrance to make your clothes smell good, but those fragrances are full of chemicals that will disrupt your endocrine system.
5. Get Rid of Anything With Artificial Fragrance In It
While you’re at it, try to get rid of anything that contains ‘fragrance’ on the label. There are many hidden chemicals and toxins that are allowed to be under the label of ‘fragrance’. You can get products that are scented with essential oils or scent them yourself using essential oils.
6. Stay Hydrated & Get Moving
Staying hydrated will help flush out the toxins in your body. Strive to drink about 6-8 cups of filtered water or natural spring water everyday. Regular exercise will keep you healthy and also get you sweating, which will help to release the toxins naturally. Regularly sweating out these toxins out will help minimize the toxin buildup in your body. Therefore, it will reduce your toxic load.