Dirty Dozen Chemicals to Avoid in your Daily Personal Care Products
in the shower, on your face, body and even cleaning your teeth…
Well collectively these chemicals are messing with your hormonal balance, causing rashes, allergies and contributing to a plethora of immune system problems. Unknowingly you can be exposed to many chemicals all day long. Why not make wise choices when you do have control?
Did you know our little girls are born with a lifetime supply of eggs that may be our grandchildren? Hence these eggs (or grandchildren) are exposed to the same chemicals you are until conception? Scary isn’t it. 1,000’s of new chemicals are developed each year.
The Dirty Dozen Chemical Ingredients to Avoid:
#1 Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate
A detergent or foaming agent which is very drying to skin. It can strip away skin’s protective oils causing irritation and weakening skin’s barrier function.
#2 Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben etc)
Preservatives that are found in 75-90% of mass produced personal care products. They are associated with skin irritation and contact dermatitis and are suspected to interfere with hormone functioning.
#3 Fragrance or Parfum
Among the top 5 allergens in the world and are found in almost every mass produced product. The words fragrance or parfum are a catch-all for a whole big group of 1,000’s of undisclosed chemicals that include phthalates and other synthetics that can cause skin irritation, sensitisation, allergies, skin reactions, asthma, interfere with hormones and potentially cause cancer.
#4 DEA, TEA and MEA (cocomide DEA, lauramide DEA, triethanolamine)
Help to create a foam or lather and adjust the pH of a product. These are skin, eye and lung irritants …they may cause allergic reactions and have been
linked to cancer and hormone disruption.
Are chemicals that hide under the words fragrance or parfum. They’re potential carcinogens that can mimic estrogen and have been linked to lower
sperm counts, early puberty in girls, birth defects and infertility ….and have been found in 72% of personal care products tested. These won’t be something you can look out for on a label, So again, avoid fragrances and parfum.
#6 Formaldehyde releasing preservatives (Quaternium-15, DMDM hydration, Diaziolidinyl Urea (Germall), Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (suttocide)
These preservatives are found in shampoos, moisturisers, make-up and baby products. These ingredients slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde which can be carcinogenic. They can cause skin irritation and have suspected effects on the liver, immune system and nervous system.
#7 Mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin oil
Petroleum products that may be contaminated with hydrocarbons that are potentially carcinogenic. They can form a barrier on skin and interfere with skin’s natural functioning. As an alternative, look for products that contain ingredients that mimic skin’s natural oils and support skin’s natural functioning like grass fed tallow …or ingredients like beeswax and other natural waxes.
#8 Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Can interfere with skin’s barrier function and increase absorption of other chemicals and cause skin irritation. Can be contaminated with potentially carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane.
Is an antibacterial found in hand sanitisers, cleansers, toothpaste and acne products, although less so nowadays with a lot of companies phasing it out.
It can be irritating to skin, is easily absorbed and is suspected to interfere with hormonal functioning.
#10 Coal tar and coal tar dyes (look for p-phenylenediamine, aminophenol, diaminobenzene and colors that begin in “CI” followed by a 5 digit number e.g. CI 19140)
Are found in shampoos and hair dyes, derived from petroleum and are potential carcinogens. May also be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
#11 Silicones and siloxanes
Are found in haircare products, anti-aging products and sunscreens. Their function is to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected to interfere with hormonal
#12 BHA and BHT
Are preservatives found in moisturisers, shaving products and make-up. Skin irritants and also potential carcinogens and hormone disrupters.
# Compiled by Crystal Fieldhouse, creator of Ecology Skincare
Next Steps to Avoid these Nasties:
• Click here for detox checklist to carry to help you start decluttering the chemicals from your personal care products and cosmetics in your bathroom cupboard and shower
• Remember…you don’t need to throw out everything in your bathroom cupboard all at once. Take it one step at a time, choose your acceptable level of chemical exposure. As you use up a product, do your research and replace it with one that has more natural ingredients
• Check out resources like the Chemical Maze App, the skin deep database and Alexx Stuart’s Low Tox Life
• Check out the Mind Body Beauty Podcast episodes where they touch on sunscreens and how to be safe in the sun and also choosing and using make-up
• Check out the Ecology Skincare online store for 100% natural moisturising creams for sensitive skin and dry skin and also for low-tox options for cleansing and removing makeup
Cleansers – Konjac Sponges, microfibre makeup removal cloths, bamboo cloths, goats
• “Healthy Home, Healthy Family” ~ Nicole Biljsma
• “What is Eczema? A Path to Ending the Misery” ~ Dr Harley Farmer
• “The Chemical Maze” ~ Bill Statham & Lindy Schneider
• “The Skintervention Guide” ~ Liz Wolfe
• The Chemical Maze App (available in the iTunes App Store)
• Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: Chemicals of Concern
• Campaign for Sale Cosmetics: What’s in your products
• The Environmental Working Group (EWG): Skin Deep Database
• Sarah Wilson: How to choose toxin-free sunscreen
Hope this was helpful? Please feel free to share it around to help others reduce the dirty dozen chemicals in their life.
Loads of health & happiness, Julie
Emma strode into the café her eyes sparkled, positive energy exuded from every pore and filled the space around her like a radiant star. She had a zest for living that showed in the way she walked, sat, talked, smiled and laughed. It was infectious. I could feel other’s close by thinking, ‘I want what she’s got’. How do I get my spark back?
As I sat and heard Emma’s story, I quickly learnt it hadn’t always been that way. She’d been a bitch (her words!) and hard to be around in a marriage that had blocked her from pursuing her passion and purpose. Her husband just didn’t believe in what she wanted to do – alternative healing – and blocked her at every turn. After 5 years of not being her best self, the day came when she realised she couldn’t be the person he wanted her to be and be happy about it.
Once she got clear on what she wanted her life to have more of, she pursued it and her empowerment grew. A wise mentor had said ‘live the way you want to be happy, as long as nobody gets hurt, relationships will either fall away or adapt and get on board’. Unfortunately, her marriage didn’t adapt to her happiness changes and it fell away.
Emma said:” Looking back now, we were in two different worlds. In that environment I’d forgotten what it was like to feel good. What I’d learnt and had resonated with me over time, was in complete contradiction to what was happening in my marriage. It was like my soul was being ripped out. It’s even hard to go back and remember it all now, many years later.”
Fitting in Versus Belonging popped up in my LinkedIn feed. Clicking and reading more of David Mead’s words I had an aha moment. Finally, I stumbled across the words that named a common thread in hundreds of conversations I’ve had over the years.
Cathy’s story was a common one. She’d gone through a messy divorce and was now left renting and raising two teens every second week. She’d survived the rocky transition from married to single life through endless partying with friends, a bottle of wine most nights and a constant cigarette in her hand. It had been a distraction that helped her to numb the pain and grieving of what was. Now the divorce papers were signed, the assets divided and it was time to create the life she really did want rather than getting by. That’s when she saw me to get her energy back, lose weight and just feel great again.
Eight weeks later she emerged an energised, slimmer version of her former self with a clearer mind, greater sense of herself and a burning drive to get shit done as she moved towards the life she dreamt of. Fast forward six months later she was weight training most days, had bought a house, quit smoking, drank only occasionally and ate cleanly most of the time.
Now Cathy’s old life no longer fitted and the friends who had partied with her as she got by, now made her feel like she couldn’t be the new version of herself. There was the constant pressure of conformity, ‘aren’t you going to drink with us anymore?’ Yes I can have one but I’m running 10km tomorrow at 6am and I need to be fresh. I’m happy for one drink and a dance but need to be in bed this side of midnight. ‘Oh, what’s wrong with you, where’s the old Cathy she was always so much fun. Remember when we……’
Unknown to many is when you change your habits, priorities, beliefs and values, it changes your world. We truly live life from the inside out.
One of the most asked questions of late is what are the Secrets to Happiness. So thought I’d oblige and give you my take on the Secrets to Happiness. Here’s #1. Each week I’ll go down the list…..
Secret to Happiness #1 : “Love people and use things, because the opposite never works” – the Minimalists
Came across a fascinating doco ….Minimalism: A documentary about the important things on Netflix. Recommended by a friend. Worth a watch.
Great message and concept that I wanted to share as a Secret to Happiness – Quality over quantity.
In Western society we’ve got the best standard of living we’ve ever had, yet we have this auto-craving, longing for more. And yes it’s a great survival mechanism to keep us alive in harsh conditions but now it’s creating disconnect.
We’re filling the void with lots of stuff, which is keeping us in the earn/spend cycle, trying to buy our way to happiness. Mass media brain washes us into the need for more, the latest, the biggest, the dream life, you’ll be happy when you have…….
Wouldn’t it be great if you could live a life that is good for yourself and the people around you.
Decluttering is an important aspect of Secrets to Happiness – simplifying, focusing on what’s important. Surrounding yourself with things you use and have meaning.
If you did a heat map of how you used your house. What rooms do you use and which ones lay idle day after day?
Today, we have a throw away culture. Our fashion is now 52 seasons rather than four. If your clothes are over a week old, we’re made to feel you’re outdated. Children are constantly bombarded by ads for junk food, toys, games and latest crazes from corporations touting their wares.
You get indoctrinated into the rat wheel of earning more and spending more. Yet few of us consciously realize you have a choice to step off – spend less and increase the meaning of what we do.
Ideally honouring our material possessions rather than fueling mindless materialism that’s stripping our planet of all it’s resources. At the current rate of consumption, what will our planet look like in 50-100 years?
Time to think mindfully about the choices you make, rather than impulse buys? Time to focus on relationships, experiences and connections that have more meaning and leave less of a footprint.
A key element is surrounding yourself with people with the same values and being deliberate in your decisions. Knowing this life is yours and your one and only. Your mission being to get the most amount of good and value out of your life with exactly what you need, no more and no less.
An intentional life is a Secret to Happiness. It’s not perfect or easy, but a simple one.
Lost your spark, feeling exhausted, worn out? Been through a rough patch and can barely peel yourself away from your doona, find yourself saying “I’ve Lost My Passion For Life?”
Reliving mental pictures of the old days, when you had energy, motivation, a sense of humour, optimism? Now there’s cynicism, exhaustion and feeling too tired for life. – “Lost My Passion For Life”
Libido’s crashed, living on caffeine and sugar, endlessly running the kids around and grinding out the hours at work, feeling like a hamster on a wheel.
Find yourself staring in the mirror saying “I need to find my spark again?”
Don’t lose hope your spark is smouldering somewhere deep inside.
And no it’s not because you’re old…it’s because you’ve stopped looking after you. Everything else came first and it’s time for an overhaul.
It’s time to ignite the flame!
Don’t worry your family, friends and work colleagues will thank you for it.
“Find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.” – Oprah
Imagine bounding out of bed as the alarm goes off, you’re jumping out of your skin so exercise’s no problem and you’re ready for anything that comes your way.
I know I lost my spark in my late twenties, working crazy hours, disrespecting my body with crappy foods, little exercise and bad relationships.
I got that ‘hamster wheel feeling’ and knew things had to change because I wasn’t staying there! I had to find my spark again….and I did.
Now I look back I see the patterns, thoughts, actions and mindset that got me there. When you know better you do better.
“Don’t lose the spark that makes you….you” – CJ Peterson
Here’s six steps to finding your spark:
Step One: Clarity Is Central To Finding Your Spark
Take a moment to dream what you’d like your life to look like in five, ten or fiftenteen year’s time.
Make this an everyday practice.
Ahhh…. it feel delicious.
That’s the juice, that’s going to get you there through the ups and downs of life.
Now take stock of where you are now.
What’s three things that need to happen in next three months for you to move closer to your dream life?
Focus and consistency are the footsteps of clarity.
Let’s get walking my friend, to a spark filled life.
Step Two: Energy is Essential To Regaining Your Spark
Second stage of regaining your spark is energy.
Energy is foundational to everything.
It’s not just in your head, it’s in every cell of your body.
Having no energy is like being an inflatable toy that’s sprung a leak.
What’s zapping your energy?
- Low in iron
- making bad food choices
- sleep deprived
- gut problems
- autoimmune disease
- chronic pain
- food intolerances….
If you answered yes to any of the above, you will benefit greatly from seeing a naturopath. I can make a huge difference to unravelling the causes. CLICK HERE to book online to get it sorted.
Step Three: Rituals Are Key To Recreating The Spark In Your Life
Stop living off wishful thinking, life’s too short to hope and pray that the planets will align and you’ll be jumping out of your skin and motivated each day.
So, increase the odds by setting morning and evening rituals.
Soon your rituals will become just what you do and you can change and refine them over time.
Need some help with establishing empowering rituals, come see me. Click here to book online.
Step Four: Decluttering Clears Out What’s Smoothering Your Spark
Yes, time to clear out all the rubbish in your life room by room, person by person, thought by thought, action by action.
Let go of what’s not working and what you’re no longer using.
Gift it, sell it, donate it, bin it, recycle it.
Make space for what does work and what’s coming.
Get the boxes and bags out and go to work.
Set a timer and a “this shit’s got to go” attitude.
You’ll feel lighter and freer for it.
Step Five: Recharging Is Critical To Finding and Maintaining Your Spark
When you’re running low or on empty, every time you give to others you’re giving away a piece of yourself and it hurts.
Think of it like filling up the car with petrol, it’s hard to go anywhere with no fuel.
When you’re overflowing it’s easy.
You cannot give what you don’t have.
Recharge using daily self care. Click here for loads of ideas.
Step Six: Empowerment Is The Glue To Finding And Keeping Your Spark
Self love equals self empowerment.
When you love yourself, you set standards for yourself and boundaries for others.
What does self love look like for you?
For me, it’s about taking care of myself by treating my body, mind and spirit like the gift they are?
I always say, the great leveller in life, “you come in with this body, you go out with this body, when it wears out so do you, so treat it with the respect it deserves.” – Julie Smethurst
If you find yourself thinking – “I have Lost My Passion For Life” You need help to find your spark.
I know it’s still there somewhere because you’re breathing…haha! CLICK HERE to book online to get started to finding your spark today at my Mt Martha office or via skype.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re no longer willing to stay where you are.” – J.P Morgan
Much love Julie xx
(Naturopath, Life Coach, Pharmacist) Feeling Great Health Solutions, Mt Martha