5 Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Products (And What to Use Instead!)
Unfortunately, toxic chemicals in everyday products are nothing new. However, you may be surprised at just how many toxic chemicals are in items that you may not even realize, like food packaging, cosmetic products, and possibly even your drinking water!
These harmful chemicals can cause a variety of illnesses and adverse health effects, which is bad news if you are working to cleanse your body with natural, organic foods!
These chemicals also get into your body and suppress your natural beauty, leading to premature aging, dull or clogged skin, and even serious illness.
Thankfully though, there are safer alternatives that don’t include these toxic substances, many of which are all-natural!
Let’s look at five major sources of unhealthy chemical exposure, and the safer alternatives you can use for each of them.
1. Household Cleaning Products
Everyone wants a clean house, but if you’re using conventional household cleaning products, you could be ingesting dangerous chemicals through your skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory system.
While many commercial cleaners contain dangerous ingredients, some of the most hazardous chemicals include:
Bleach, which can damage your respiratory system.
Air fresheners, which may contain formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and dichlorobenzene.
Ammonia, which can cause skin burns and respiratory irritation. It can even create a poison gas when combined with bleach.
Drain cleaners are caustic and can burn skin and harm mucous membranes. They also have a harsh chemical scent that can damage the respiratory tract.
Laundry detergents contain dyes and other chemical agents that you can inhale or absorb through your skin.
Dishwashing soap contains chemicals and fragrances. Dishwasher detergents may contain bleach and other chemicals that can end up in trace amounts on your utensils and cookware, and then get into your food.
These are just a few of the many hazards associated with conventional household cleaning products.
Instead of exposing yourself and your family to the toxic effects of the above, I recommend choosing natural cleaning products.
There are many available today at even regular drug stores that have green labels or are plant-based.
If you have children or babies, using natural cleaning products is particularly critical, as their bodies and DNA are even more susceptible to damage from these chemicals.
Natural Alternatives to Try Instead
Some of the most powerful and effective cleaning products come straight from nature.
These natural alternatives are a much safer choice than regular cleaning products- here are just a few of them.
A solution of vinegar and water is an excellent alternative to floor cleaners. A 1:1 mixture of vinegar and water is an excellent disinfectant too.
Baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean toilets.
Baking soda is a gentle yet effective abrasive cleaner, helpful for removing stains from solid surfaces. If you drink coffee or tea, baking soda is also great at removing those stains from your mugs or teacups.
Adding ½ cup of white vinegar or baking soda to each load of laundry can get those clothes clean without any toxic chemicals or pollutants.
Instead of air fresheners, fill a slow cooker with water and aromatic spices like cinnamon sticks or cloves, or other aromatics like lemon rinds. Turn it on, and enjoy natural and chemical-free scents!
2. Cosmetic Products
Many of the products made to help us feel beautiful may be sabotaging your natural beauty!
Beauty products applied directly on your skin absorb toxic chemicals from them.
The ingredients in many beauty projects can also accelerate free radicals, cause respiratory damage, and have other aging and health effects.
Some to watch for include:
Toxic shampoos that contain petroleum distillates and other chemicals. Many shampoos also contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which can damage mucous membranes, the respiratory tract, and the immune system. They may also contain fragrance. (When a label lists “fragrance,” it may indicate as many as 4,000 different compounds! Many of these can lead to health problems, respiratory distress, and may even be carcinogenic or cause fertility issues or complications.)
Body washes, cleansers and bubble baths may contain SLS and SLES, which we discussed above. They may also contain diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamide (MEA) or triethanolamine (TEA). These chemicals are carcinogens and hormone disrupters, which can prematurely age you.
Antiperspirants contain imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin, two preservatives that are components of formaldehyde. This can cause joint pain, asthma, cancer, and other conditions. They also often contain aluminum, which is associated with brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Nail polish, as well as many other beauty products, also contain these ingredients.
Other skincare products such as cleansers, lotions, and many others contain harmful chemicals like petroleum distillates, preservatives, artificial colors, mineral oil and fragrances.
These chemicals can accelerate aging, discolor your skin, and block beauty from the inside.
Read your labels carefully, and select all-natural, organic lines of products. I created a line of clean beauty skincare products because I want to know what I’m putting on my skin is helping to nourish and improve my skin health, not cause premature aging!
Natural Alternatives to Try Instead
Just like with cleaning products, many of your favorite beauty products have better natural alternatives. Some of these include:
Baking soda, or equal parts baking soda and coconut oil, are effective alternatives to deodorant. Baking soda alone is effective at eliminating odor but combining it with coconut oil’s antibacterial properties helps you get the best of both worlds even on the sweatiest days.
Coconut oil is a natural alternative to lotion, moisturizers, and even make-up remover. Its antibacterial properties mean that it won’t cause your skin to break out, and its medium-chain fatty acids can help keep your skin moisturized, healthy, and looking youthful.
Adequate sun protection is a must for healthy skin, so this one just seems unfair.
Many experts tell us to apply sunscreen to protect our skin and prevent cancer and aging, yet sunscreen can actually accelerate aging and increase cancer risk!
Fear of skin cancer has led to the daily application of dangerous sunscreen products. Many lotions and other beauty products contain chemical sunscreens that aren’t great for your skin.
Sunscreen not only blocks your skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D from sunlight, which is essential for good health, but it also contains numerous toxic ingredients that serve as hormone disrupters and carcinogens while accelerating the formation of free radicals. All of this can lead to premature skin aging.
Dangerous ingredients in sunscreen can include:
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which in large doses can cause rash, dizziness, shortness of breath, and even liver failure!
Oxybenzone, which can cause hormone disruption or skin allergies.
Dioxybenzone is a potential endocrine disruptor and can also cause allergic reactions.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any natural solutions that are comparable to a good sunscreen. Instead, wear sun-resistant clothing and hats to minimize sun exposure.
There are also many natural sunscreens on the market- I recommendKinfield’s Sunscreen! You can use my code “Kimberly15” and get 15% off! Look for chemical-free (or free-er I should say), high-quality sunscreens where titanium dioxide is the active ingredient.
4. Water Bottles
Plastic water bottles, no matter how recyclable, are just not good for you.
Made from petroleum distillates, plastics contain chemicals that leech into the water inside your bottles and can cause neurological disorders, hormone disruption, and cancer, among other illnesses.
Hormone disruption, also known as endocrine disruption, is of particular concern in premature aging.
Instead, choose a glass or stainless steel water bottle instead of a plastic one.
Also, get yourself a good water filter that you can use to fill and refill your bottles for as long as they last.
Perfumes and colognes contain fragrances with chemicals that can cause everything from respiratory distress to hyperpigmentation. No wonder so many people get a headache from strong perfumes (including me)!
Perfumes look so pretty in fancy bottles, but perfume is so toxic! It gets sprayed right on the skin and pulse points and is absorbed right into the bloodstream, distributing the chemicals throughout the body. Scary.
Instead, try using essential oil as a fragrance. Just combine 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil like olive oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil, plus 30-40 drops of your essential oil of choice and 4 tablespoons of vodka.
Yes, really! This natural perfume is hydrating and easily absorbed into your skin.
Of course, there are also many natural perfume and cologne brands out there. Sally B’s carries a few great solid fragrances (I like Just B).
Natural perfumes don’t last as long as regular perfumes, but I keep one in my purse and re-apply more often. At least they are all-natural and non-toxic while smelling great!
Household Items Looking Like Toxic Waste? Go All-Natural!
Common household products are designed to make our lives easier and more comfortable, but toxic chemicals in everyday products are exposing us to so many potential health issues!
Thankfully, there are so many natural alternatives to all kinds of products, so you never have to expose yourself or your family to those harmful chemicals ever again.
In good health,
“Para-Aminobenzoic Acid: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002518.htm