Not only IN but ON

When thinking about optimizing health, I have recently been challenged by not only what I put IN my body, but what I put ON my body.

We use a myriad of products everyday that have the potential to add toxins to our bodies and most of us, me included, don’t think twice about it.  What are some of the items I am talking about that have potential toxins?

Body soap
Hand soap
Shampoo and conditioner
Hair dye
Hair products such as gel and hair spray
Makeup – foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, make-up remover
Lotions (including baby lotions)
Water bottles
Baby bottles
Lip Balm, chap stick, lip stick
Nail polish, nail polish remover
Water – both drinking and bathing
Kitchen and bathroom cleaners
Candles, air fresheners
Dry cleaning

We inhale many fumes from the above items as well as absorb them through our skin and hair.  Check next time you use your lotion or shampoo and read the list of ingredients. Can you even pronounce some of the words?

Now, if you are like me, the above list seems overwhelming. Where do I start? Do substitutes exist that are as effective? I can’t switch everything out at once.  How much will this cost me? How do I know what is good and what is bad?

My advice is to pick one item from the list above. See what you are currently using. What’s in it? What does it cost? What is its toxic level? Compare it to toxin free items in the same category and try some different ones to see what works. The next question is how do you find toxic levels and options that don’t include the toxins?

The Environmental Working Group has an awesome website called EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetic Database.  It allows you to lookup any product and see the toxicity rating. EWG rates the products on a scale from 0-10 with 10 being the most toxic. They include the following categories:

Skin Care
Eye Care
Babies and Moms
Oral Care

Join me in my challenge to check out items I use daily to see how they rank. If you find items that are toxic, find an effective alternative.  Then share with me what you find. I would like to develop a list of recommendations that include effective, reasonably priced alternatives for each of the categories above

I’ll start…the first area I tackled was deodorant.  I’m sure you have all heard the reports that deodorant contains aluminum but does that matter when the alternatives don’t work and you smell all day?!!!

I tried many options before finding something I liked. Finding a solution is based on your body chemistry and preference of smells. I tried one of ALBA’s deodorants and it was not effective for me. Then I tried the Burt’s Bees products (yes, both the woman’s and the men’s). Either they weren’t effective in curbing my body odor or I smelled like an herb garden.  Then I found Pit Putty with Bubble and Bee Organic. They have a great program when purchasing deodorant – if that particular scent and combination doesn’t work for you, you can return it and pick a different one. I made my first purchase and it didn’t work – I still smelled and I wasn’t fond of the scent. I made my exchange and picked a different Pit Putty with different ingredients and scent. I LOVE it – it works wonders for me AND it rates a 0 on toxins with EWG’s Skin Deep®.

So tell me – what you have found in the above categories that is low in toxins and works well for you?


3 thoughts on “Not only IN but ON

  1. Hi Adrienne,
    Love your post! Recently I purchased products from a friend who is carrying Ava Anderson products. They register 0-2 on the toxicity measure. I have cleaning supplies as well as cosmetic products. It’s a new company that is growing – worth checking in to. My friend is Kerri Davis and I also think Ava Anderson has a facebook page. Best to you as you provide healthy living ideas.

    • Hi Barbara,
      What a great suggestion – it is suggestions like these that I am looking for to build a recommendation list. You have tried their cleaning supplies and cosmetics and like them? I checked out their website and it looks like great stuff!
      Thanks for the wonderful idea,

      • Yes, Adriene, I’ve tried these. The cleaning products are made of ionized water and essential oils – how does oil get windows so clean!?!?!? No streaks! I just use the skin care products as I have a decent enough handle on blush, mascara, etc. I do love the care that they offer. As you saw, it is a new company with good ideas and surely will grow.

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