Most of us have a morning routine that we slip into automatically- we roll out of bed, switch our autopilots on, and suddenly without really knowing how we got there, it’s 10am. Not so long ago, if someone had told me that in those wobbly few hours between first opening my eyes and actually waking up and becoming a properly functioning human, I had already been exposed to well over 100 different fairly dodgy chemicals, I would’ve thought it was a paranoid exaggeration. Turns out it isn't. News to me.
From turning on the shower to walking out the door, most of us will have used around 9 personal care products, most of which are loaded with chemicals, some that may even contain known carcinogens, and all of which could be replaced with non-toxic alternatives. Try doing an inventory of your basic products: shampoo and conditioner, face and body moisturisers, toothpaste, deodorant, and sunscreen (seriously - never skip the sunscreen.)
Maybe you wear makeup, in which case add several more nasties to your total, and more still if you’re into using nail polish and perfume (or, like my 12 yr old son, a really mystifying array of hair products.) Then you put on clothes that have been washed in big brand laundry powder, and just before you leave the house (if you’re some kind of time management super-person) you might even wash up with
detergent and wipe down the bench with a cleaning liquid.
So, on this normal morning, most of us have breathed in chemicals in sprays and powders, swallowed chemicals that we’ve applied to our lips, hands and fingers, and absorbed even more through our skin. Eewww.
‘Chemical Body Burden’ may sound like a bad 90’s band but is actually an ominous sounding term that scientists are now using to describe this build-up of toxic substances in our systems as a result this ongoing exposure. While there is still some debate as to how much of this accumulation our bodies can tolerate before it starts to seriously erode our health, more and more of us are concluding that we’d simply prefer not to mess with any of it and choose clean products from companies that are honest about their ingredients.
Given this ubiquity of chemicals in the things we use, making the switch to natural products can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s ok to start small. Even swapping one of your existing products for an all-natural one is a positive step that will get the ball rolling- and when that happens, as I’ve found, there can be a really rather cool roll-on (I’m sorry - couldn’t help it) effect of information sharing and support from a big community of like-minded people.
Here’s an example. Ditching my big brand, aluminium-loaded deodorant for My Shay natural deodorant paste led me to do some reading about the dangers of putting all that aluminium on my skin; this in turn took me to an online forum about getting the armpit stains out of my white t shirts, which I always believed were caused by shameful things in my sweat, but which were actually caused by… the aluminium in my old deodorant! And so now I know. Thank you, people.
If you’re wondering, the trick was soaking the t-shirts in water and apple cider vinegar, which I was already drinking every morning and have been using to clean my fridge for years. Is there anything it can’t do? That stuff is amazing.
If you’re ready to upgrade to a clean, natural deodorant, then good for you! Click here to get started. Oh, and if you use the code PLASTICFREE you'll get free shipping this month - go for it!