I knew that it was important to use natural products for a long time before I actually made the switch. I remember thinking it was probably something I should do, and then seeing a documentary called Chemerical, and it really dawning on me that this is a serious issue.
But it wasn’t until sometime later, when I was having some issues with my hormones, that I realized that these chemicals were actually doing real damage to my body. When I saw the research, especially on how many chemicals mimic estrogen which can severely disrupt your body’s delicate balance, I knew I had to make the change.
I wanted to change everything all at once, but that isn’t always possible. Plus, I am a believer in the compound effect because gradual changes over time lead to massive results. I wanted to make these changes for good, not just a passing phase.
So, one at a time, I replaced the chemical-filled products in my household and skincare products. Now, I am almost done! I make a lot of my own products and also buy some cosmetics from Beautycounter. I check products on EWG’s or Good Guide’s website or make my own. When making your own, keep in mind that there is a lot of trial and error that goes on, because not everything works for everyone. Hard water, different skin types, you name it…we are all different, so it is important to keep an open mind and keep trying until you find something that works. That might be a product you buy, or one you make. Just make sure it is free from harmful ingredients. Even many “green” or “natural” products are filled with nasty stuff that you don’t want in your house or body.
Take a look at some of these facts regarding the products you apply to your skin on a daily basis.
Only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data. The European Union has spent the past two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 ingredients, the US has only banned 11 to date. The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.
With each product that we use, we are letting harmful chemicals enter our biggest organ: our skin. These chemicals have all kinds of harmful effects, and many of them have never even been tested. The ingredients in deodorant have been linked to breast cancer, immunotoxicity, and liver damage.
It is also extremely important to change out your cleaning products to more natural ones. While the chemicals in cleaners make our homes germ-free, many are also poisonous if ingested, harmful if touch, and are linked to long term health problems like cancer and hormone disruption. Kids and the person cleaning are the most at risk because they are much more likely to touch or swallow these toxic cleaners.
According to Organic Consumers, some things to look out for include cleaners marked “Danger” or “Poison” on the label, hazard warnings, such as “corrosive” or “may cause burns,” ingredients like chlorine or ammonia, and sadly, even items that are labeled “green” or “natural” may just be false advertising.
Chemicals in the laundry cleaners we use get absorbed through our skin from our clothes. A University of Washington study of top-selling laundry products found that all six products tested gave off at least one chemical regulated as toxic or hazardous under federal laws. The even scarier thing is, none of those chemicals was listed on the product labels. If that isn’t a big enough reason to switch, by making your own laundry products, you save money. Lots of money! This recipe costs about $0.08 per load as opposed to store bought cleaners that are $0.21 per load (more if you buy natural laundry detergent). You could probably get it even lower if you buy your ingredients in bulk!
It is important to reduce the amount of chemicals we ingest. Most of us know that eating organic food help eliminate the chemicals from pesticides that we eat. But what about how we clean our plates, utensils, and glasses? We are eating off these items, but we are cleaning them with products that include harmful chemicals.
Have you ever gotten light-headed, nauseous, or dizzy from cleaning your bathroom? Those harsh chemicals are to blame. Harmful ingredients like hydrochloric acid and chlorine bleach are active ingredients in many toilet cleaners. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive and poses threats to children and pets, in addition to the person cleaning the toilet. Chlorine bleach is caustic. This means it can burn your skin and cause respiratory problems like asthma. These work in disinfecting, but at what cost? Vinegar deodorizes and disinfects, and is very inexpensive, making it an obvious replacement.
Women who work in the home have a much lower cancer survival rate than those who work away from home. This was as a direct result of the higher exposure rate these women experienced of chemicals in common household products. In the case of floor cleaners, one popular “natural” wood floor cleaner got a rating of “F” because it may contain restricted ingredients that can damage your nervous system. And you can’t read their ingredients on the back of their products because they don’t have to list them.
Check out these statistics:
No toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products. Only 1% of toxins are required to be listed on labels, because companies classify their formulas as “trade secrets.” – National Research Council
Cancer rates have increased since 1901 from only 1 in 8,000 Americans, to 1 in 3 today! – American Cancer Society
The toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than air pollution. – Environmental Protection Agency
Unsafe: The Truth Behind Everyday Chemicals
This is a great article with a video as well. It lays out many of the problems with what we currently use, as well as some items you would never think of being toxic. It is a great resource.
How Toxic are Your Cleaning Supplies
Environmental Working Group
These sites have handy rating systems and tons of products to search through. I try to always use ones that are rated A, 1 or 2 on EWG (with 1 being the healthiest), or 9 or 10 on Good Guide (with 10 being the healthiest).
This was the first true documentary I saw on the chemical problem. It is very well done and their website is full of great resources.
The Human Experiment
This is another great documentary, and it is also very well done.
Get Healthy in 90 Days
This is my product to help you take baby steps on your healthy lifestyle journey. Each day of the 90 days is a different task, and once a week we tackle switching out chemical-filled products with natural versions. It gives you recipes for cleaning products and skincare products, as well as recommendations on where to buy safer versions if you don’t want to make them. The bundle even comes with two savings worksheets so that you can see exactly how much you save by making your own products.
Have you made the switch? How did you do it?
This is for educational purposes only, and not intended as medical advice. As always, please consult a doctor before making any lifestyle or health changes. Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, at no additional cost to you, I receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products or services I believe will be helpful to you. In addition, 50% of the profit from this site, including affiliate commissions, goes to helping those in need. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”