ARE YOUR CLEANING PRODUCTS ACTUALLY DIRTY?
Don’t let your household products be your dirty little secret.
Many many years ago when I was in my 20’s I had a French boyfriend who had the most wonderful soap. It was called Le Petite Marseillais. His mother sent it to him from France, and it had the most heavenly scent of peaches. Yes, a little girly, but that’s French men for you! I kid I kid. He tied his sweaters around his shoulders in a very manly way ;-)
Anyway, I started purchasing the heavily the soap too (which I eventually found in a fancy beauty supply) because it smelled like summer peaches and it was so wonderful, and then all of a sudden I couldn’t find this soap ANYWHERE! This was long before the days of Amazon and e-commerce (dating myself so badly here) so eventually I gave up my search and moved on. But the memory of this peach soap never left me. As for the French boyfriend, he moved back to Paris, and I moved on to guys who didn’t accessorize with sweaters tied around their shoulders or smoke.
The other night I was looking for something challenging to read and opened up People Magazine and low and behold, I saw an add for my soap!!!! I was so thrilled I went to Amazon.com immediately (because unlike before, this now exists), and was about to place an order when it occurred to me that since this is now a mass retail product, the ingredients may have changed since the early 2000’s (I’m old, ok!?). Sure enough, a check of the label revealed that the 2nd ingredient is Ammonium Laurel Sulfate, and moving down the list I saw several other additives like Glycerin and Sodium Chloride. My initial zeal dissipated and I was left with sinking disappointment that I would not spend the summer smelling of ripe peaches.
Why you ask?
One of the most important things I’ve learned during my Health Coaching certification, is that the products that you use to clean your home, your clothes and your body need to be as clean as the food you eat! If you haven’t heard of 'endocrine disruptors', now is the time to start doing your homework. If you are buying standard mass-retail soaps, cleaning products, shampoos, and skincare products, you are getting exposed on a daily bases to a slew of products that alter the makeup of your hormones - aka they are endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with endocrine (or hormone) systems at certain doses. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors. If this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, think again. Hormones impact every single facet of our physiological and psychological makeup. An imbalance in hormones can lead to weight gain, sleep disorders, mood disorders, cancers, brain fog, and thyroid imbalances. Hormonal imbalances can affect your menstrual cycle (ladies), and for men, well, let’s just say if you’re exposed to more endocrine disruptor load than your body can handle, you may need to start figuring out your cup size and wearing a bra.
I don’t mean to scare you all, I just want anyone who comes across this blog to be informed that mass market retailers are concerned with their bottom line and NOT with your health. There is a big capitalistic cycle out there that involves major brands, Washington D.C., retailers, and advertisers (and by the way I work in advertising so I’m part of this machine). I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again, you will never find information or products posted here just because they gave it to me for free or paid me. I want this to be an information source that you can trust.
OK, so how to avoid these endocrine disruptors? There are some simple steps that you can take to turn over the products in your home that you use daily, and replace them with clean products. Personally, when I was doing my homework, I found this article to be the most useful. And I’m taking some of the guesswork out for you - below are photos and details around some of the products that I switched to to make my home cleaner! Some people take this pretty far and won’t buy anything with any chemicals at all, or toss all of their current product and try to overhaul in one sweep which may feel overwhelming.
My approach - I prioritized replacing products that my mouth and skin come into contact with every day (dish soap, hand soap, body soap, dishwasher pods, and detergent), and then rolled out everything else as I finished what I was currently using. I got my supplies from Thrive Market since Thrive Market is the easiest and most affordable way to get healthy products and foods. For less than $5 a month, you can access the top best-selling health and wellness products including vitamins, supplements, foods, snacks, cleaning supplies, beauty products, personal care items and more — all at wholesale prices. Can I get a Woot Woot!
There are still some products that I use that aren’t entirely chemical free. I love Crest toothpaste, sorry not sorry, and the amount used is so nominal, I feel okay continuing to use it. Ever since overhauling the major offenders, I found that chronic brain fog that I experienced for years had lifted. I also feel more secure knowing that the inner workings of my body that I can’t see or feel are functioning as they should be.
Eating a clean diet free (or mostly free) of processed, chemical-filled foods allows my body to focus on cleaning out environmental pollutants that I am exposed to, so remember to eat your greens, buy organic and local, and stay away from anything packaged that has ingredients that you can't pronounce!
Oh, and I forgot to address the most important thing of all! This is my hands-down favorite shower gel. The citrusy minty scent is light and is an energizing wakeup call in the morning. Another product I buy in three's.
I hope that you found this useful and informative. Leave comments below if you do a product overhaul. I'd love to know what you end up removing, and what you replace it with!