This post is the second part of Detoxing – Part 1: What You Put In Your Body.
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? Whenever you put something on your skin it’s absorbed into your body.
Did you know that if you rub garlic on the bottom of your foot, you will start to taste garlic in about 15 minutes? That’s how fast whatever you are putting on your skin is absorbed and circulated through your body. (Choosing The Right Skin Care)
It’s hard to throw away all of your beauty and cleaning products and start over. Very time-consuming, not to mention EXPENSIVE!
Over the past 2 years I’ve slowly been incorporating more and more natural products into my daily routine. I’m currently using all natural products on my body – with the exception of mascara. I can’t find a good mascara yet!
You never really think twice about taking a squirt of lotion and rubbing it on your legs or think about what exactly is in the gel you’re putting in your hair.
Kinda embarrassing – but I’ve always been a big sweater. I’ve always used medical grade deodorant and a lot of it. So when I started thinking about switching to a natural deodorant I got nervous that it wouldn’t work. I’ve experimented with a lot of different products and I’ve found ones that work and A LOT of products that don’t work.
Whenever you’re looking at your products, you want to make sure they don’t include the top offenders according to the Environmental Working Group. The EWG has some great resources that can help us navigate the waters and find the right products. (Check it out!!)
The following are ingredients that should be AVOIDED as explained by Organic Beauty Talk:
Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): a very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more venerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrance, antibacterial hand washes as well as shellac and antifreeze. It can act as a “carrier” accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia, and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine): hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. In the United States however, they are still used despite the fact that Americans may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day with products such as shampoos, shaving creams and bubble baths. Dr. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois) says that repeated skin applications…. of DEA-based detergents resulted in major increase in incidence of liver and kidney cancer. The FDA’s John Bailey says this is especially important since “the risk equation changes significantly for children”.
DMDM Hydantion & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): just two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may also irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravate coughs and colds. Other possible side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer.
FD&C Color Pigments: synthetic colors made from coal-tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins into the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.
Synthetic Fragrances: mostly synthetic ingredients can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes.
Mineral Oil: petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products such as baby oil which is 100% mineral oil!
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners.
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: gaseous hydrocarbons which in a liquid state act as “surfactant” (wetting olagents and solvents). They easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying them in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn’t even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers – and in 90% of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS because proteins are dissolved. SLS may also damage the skins immune system by causing layers to separate and inflame. When combined with other chemicals, SLS can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Your body may retain the SLS for up to five days, during which tie it may enter and maintain residual levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain.
Triclosan: a synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient: with a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! The EPA registers it as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to both human health and the environment. It is classified as a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Its manufacturing process may produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion; that is only one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools! Hormone disruptors pose enormous long-term chronic health risks by interfering with the way hormones perform, such as changing genetic material, decreasing fertility and sexual function, and fostering birth defects. It can temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings, so contact with it often causes little or no pain. Internally, it can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, and convulsions. Stored in body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs and can cause paralysis, suppression of immune function,brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. Tufts University School of Medicine says that triclosan is capable of forcing the emergence of “super bugs” that it cannot kill. Its widespread use in popular antibacterial cleaners, tooth pasts and household products may have nightmare implications for our future.
Other Common Toxic Ingredients To Avoid:
- Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA)
So what do I use as part of my daily and weekly routine?
I’ve tested and tried A LOTTTTTTT of different products. And I’m still in the midst of trying to figure out which is the best for me. I urge you to try different brands until you find ones you like. Many are made very different, therefore they affect each one of us differently.
Coconut Oil –
Go out to Trader Joe’s right now and buy like 3 jars of coconut oil. Leave one in your kitchen, one in your bathroom and one on your vanity. I use coconut oil for so many different things.
- Face – I use it on my face everyday as my moisturizer. After I wash my face, I take about a pea sized amount of coconut oil and rub it in my face and neck. It’s not only a moisturizer, but since it’s anti-bacterial it helps keep your face smooth and breakout free!
- Armpits – After a shower I rub some onto my armpits. I’ve found this helps with the transition to baking soda based deodorant. I never thought I had ‘sensitive pits’, but using a natural deodorant has ripped up my skin and really irritated it. So just like my face, it’s a moisturizer and it also helps kill bacteria that causes bad-smelling odor!
- Hair – I use it as a deep conditioner on my hair once a week. I’ll put it in my hair, put a plastic bag over it and let it sit for however long I have. The KEY to getting it out of your hair is making sure to NOT let water hit your hair until you’ve covered it with shampoo first. So, you put the coconut oil in your hair, let it sit, then get in the shower and DO NOT WET YOUR HAIR. Take some shampoo and a little bit of water in your hands and then lather the shampoo onto of the coconut oil. THEN stick your head under the water and let it wash out. If you let the water hit your hair when it just has coconut oil in it, you’ll never get it out! Take it from me!!!
Honey & Baking Soda –
This is a great mask for your face! Once a week when I’m in the kitchen cooking or baking, I’ll grab the honey and baking soda and slather it on my face. I use a raw, unfiltered honey (I buy it at Fresh Market), so it even has some exfoliation properties to it as well. I’ll let it sit on my face for about 10-15 minutes and then wash it off. The baking soda helps clean out my pores and the honey brightens your skin. You’ll end up with radiating skin!
Essential Oils –
I personally use Doterra, but whichever you end up using make sure they’re therapeutic grade. There are so many out there that are sold at the grocery store, but you never know what you’re getting with oils that aren’t regulated. Many contain carrier oils to cut down the therapeutic properties and most even contain ‘fragrance’ which is an artificial additive that causes many immune reactions in the body – think rashes, headaches, allergic reactions. When you use certified therapeutic grade oils, you know you’re getting quality. I use so many of them as part of my daily routine. I rub ginger on my abdomen every night to help get my digestion system moving, I use lavender and Melaleuca on my face, deep blue on my knees, I’ve made lotions with them and even put them in my body wash mixes. There are so many uses for essential oils and they can be swapped in for many of the chemical laden products out there on the market today. Check out my essential oils page and contact me if you want to know more!
There are many different soaps out there, I urge you to check them out. Next time you’re in Whole Foods or a grocery store (or even check them out on amazon!), look at the bars of soap and check out the ingredients. The more ingredients you can recognize – the better! There are some that are based in olive oil, some in shea butter, others in coconut oil, and so on. Each have a different texture and leave a different feeling on your skin. So you’ll have to try them out and see which you like the best.
- Body Wash – To wash my private parts, I like to control what I use because I’ve always had problems with different soaps causing PH problems. To combat this problem, I bought a glass pump jar on amazon and a big bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap. I buy the baby mild, unscented one to make sure that I don’t have any problems and also so I can then add essential oils to it to make my own scent. I’ve used lemon and peppermint and most recently I mixed it with grapefruit. One 32oz bottle lasts for about 3-4 months. So it’s not only safe to use, but cost-effective as well!
- Bar Soap – honestly, I switch it up every time I go to the store haha! Some of them that I’ve liked have been
- Face Wash – I’ve tried several and these are my favorite. I keep one at my sink and the others in my shower. I dotheDoterra reveal facial system every few days in the shower.
Hair Products –
I’ve tried many, many, many, many different hair products. These are my current favorites. I think that it really has made a HUGE difference in my hair. Even my hair dresser has been shocked with how healthy my hair is!!
- Shampoo – I only shampoo my hair 2 MAYBE 3 times a week. And when I do I focus on shampooing my roots. I’ve rotated using different shampoos and seem to have a few in my shower right now. I go through conditioner much faster than a bottle of shampoo.
- Alba Botanica Hawaiian Shampoo – This is my favorite. I usually get it at Target
- Deva Curl Low Po
- Doterra Salon Essentials Protecting Shampoo
- Say Yes To Coconut
- Dry Shampoo – I took an old cinnamon container and I mixed baking soda, arrowroot powder and cacao powder in it. If my hair is straight and I know I’m not washing it the next day, I’ll sprinkle some of this mixture on my hair at night and let it soak up the oils. It works really well. If you have light hair, you wouldn’t need to add the cacao powder.
- Conditioner – Just like my shampoo, it seems that I have a few different options in my shower! haha
- Deva Curl Ultra Creamy – This is my FAVORITE. It’s so great in my hair. I use it, wash it out, and then also rub in a small amount before I get out of the shower.
- Alaffia Everyday Coconut Super Hydrating Conditioner – I buy this at Whole Foods
- Coconut oil! Put it in your hair once a week and let it sit and condition. Read the coconut oil section above!
- Leave in ‘Conditioner’
- I will use a little of the Deva Curl Ultra Creamy as I’m getting out of the shower
- I also mixed in an old spray bottle that I had a mixture of water, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, Doterra Rosemary essential oil and Lavender essential oil. I spray about 10 sprays on my roots and ends as I’m getting out of the shower. As my hair dries the smell fades away.
- Hair Gel – Hands down the Deva Curl Light Defining Gel is my favorite. I’ve found nothing else that works like it.
Don’t ask me why I have 2 different toothpastes haha I just do! And I like both of them
I’m still trying to figure out the BEST deodorant, but I use a mixture of these. Usually I use two at a time. I feel like they all work differently so I layer some of them. I’ve really had a problem with my skin while detoxing from store-bought deodorant. I never had ‘sensitive’ pits, but baking soda is a whole different beast. I use coconut oil to help moisturize the skin and I also rub a little roman chamomile and lavender essential oil on my skin to settle it down.
- Crystal – I have mixed feelings about the crystal. My first thought is it definitely can’t be used on its own. I’ll use it right when I get out of the shower, but I’ll always put a solid deodorant on top of it. Make sure you’re applying it correctly. I always refer to this video for the correct application.
- Rub In
I really love the Shea Moisture products. I usually buy them at target! The Argan Oil & Raw Shea is my favorite in colder weather and I love the Coconut Hibiscus in the warmer months.
I have even more products that I use instead of my ‘medicine cabinet’ that I’ll be sharing next wellness Wednesday! (click here to view the post!)
Remember, it can be a daunting task to completely get rid of all of your current products and start from scratch. Try this approach – once you run out of a product, look for a natural solution. That way you can do things one by one and on your own time. Then you won’t be overwhelmed and it can be a gradual shift.
Everything we put ON our body affects the inside of our body too – so we must be careful and try to control everything that we can control.
Have questions? Ask me!
Use a product that you love? Add it in the comments! Let’s share the information!!!!!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!
Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. I included them as an easy way to point you to the products!