Toxins have always been a part of life. A toxin is any substance that places undue stress on the body. But they haven’t always been as prevalent and pervasive as they are today. Toxins are hidden in the everyday world around us. They sneak into cleaning and personal care products, food, water, the air, and more.
A toxin here and there might not seem like such a big deal—after all, the human body is designed to filter and remove toxins. It starts with the mucous membranes that line your nose, mouth, and throat, which are meant to trap foreign particles. Inside your digestive tract, trillions of microorganisms called probiotics—good bacteria—maintain digestive efficiency and support your immune system’s ability to respond. Finally, the liver and kidneys identify and eliminate toxins from your blood. When functioning properly, your body is a toxic load–minimising machine.
Unfortunately, as your toxic load increases, your body becomes less efficient at managing toxins it encounters. The more toxins you’re exposed to, the heavier your toxic load becomes, as they accumulate. If your toxic load becomes too heavy for your body, it can affect daily and long-term health. Toxin build up can lead to an overload interfering with our hormonal dysfunction, generation of free radicals, increased sensitivities to allergens and a weakened immune system leading to chronic illness. Toxin Build Up in the body has been linked to cancer, autism, neurocognitive decline and mental health issues
Some exposure to toxins is inevitable. It’s impossible to avoid them entirely. Rather, the goal should be to keep your toxic load as light as possible so your body can handle the toxins it encounters. If you can keep your toxic load light by minimising exposure to unnecessary toxins, your body will be faster and more effective at doing what it’s designed to do with toxins that do come your way. The good news is you control what you bring into your home. You can’t control every toxin you come in contact with, but you do get to choose what comes into your space.
The skin is your body’s largest organ and one of its best filters, but the skin can have a hard time doing its job if you lather it in questionable products day after day. In the process of trying to help your skin look, smell, and feel beautiful, you might be inadvertently increasing your body’s toxic load. From perfumes and makeup to lotions and shampoos, many personal care products contain potentially harmful chemicals.
The first step toward lightening your toxic load is identifying where toxins are hiding, like in the products you put on your skin. Anything you put on your skin is ingested directly into your blood stream, avoiding your body’s usual filtering systems. Many self-care products contain toxins like allergens, harmful substances that accumulate in your body and don’t break down, carcinogens or cancer-causing substances, hormone disruptors that interfere with the normal functioning of your hormones, irritants, neurotoxins that poison the nervous system, respiratory irritants that cause inflammation of your eyes, skin and respiratory organs, and mutagenic substances that can change your genetic material (DNA).
Take a close look at the products you’re regularly using. It’ll be easier to plan on how to reduce and remove toxins from your personal care routine if you first know what products they’re in. Once you’ve taken a closer look at the products you’ve got, you need to decide what you’re comfortable keeping and what needs to go.
The top 10 most toxic substances found in self-care products to avoid are
Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane
Hydroquinone, Lead, Mercury
Polyethylene glycol (PEG)
Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES)
The good news is natural deodorant, skin care products, and hair care can be used the same way as what you have now. In fact, ditching fragrance-ridden, synthetic personal care products for natural alternatives is probably one of the simplest and smoothest transitions you can make to reduce your toxic load. Even perfume can be replaced with pure essential oils. Create your signature aroma using the best, purest scents nature has to offer. With pure essential oils and essential oil–infused products, it’s easy to say goodbye to toxins and hello to nature.