A version of this article was first published on Jennifer Margulis’s Substack, Vibrant Life
by Jennifer Margulis
If you’re not a tree-hugging underarm-hair embracing hippie chick, there’s a 95% chance that you’re slathering toxic chemicals all over your hair and body.
Every. Single. Day.
You may not be aware of it. But, sadly…
There’s Toxic Sh*t in Your Beauty Products Like Your:
Shampoo Conditioner Dental floss (yes, dental floss) Toothpaste Mouthwash Make-up Deodorant Hand sanitizer Hand soap Lubricants for intimacy
Many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors. They mess with your hormones, impair your fertility, and disturb your mood. They also increase your risk of cancer, metabolic disorders (mid-life middle, anyone?), and cognitive issues.
In a word, they suck.
In five words, you want to avoid them.
Even small amounts of toxins (so small that they may not be listed in the ingredients) can cause adverse health effects.
And many toxins actually bio-accumulate. That means they build up in your body over time.
So while these chemicals might not hurt you today, the breast or colon cancer you get tomorrow may be in part because of the toxic sh*t you’ve been exposed to without ever realizing it.
I’d love nothing more than to geek out about unpronounceable toxicants like phthalates and triclosan. But I don’t want your eyes to glaze over.
So What Does Jennifer want?
If we could get the toxins out of consumer products, the birds and the bees and the fish and the manatees would all be happier.
The waterways and fields and savannas would be less polluted.
Even the air we breathe would be cleaner and healthier.
I do like flora and fauna (especially flora).
But mostly I’m partial to humans.
If You Don’t Want Toxic Goop in Your Body, Whaddya Do?
The best kept secret of all (cue evil laughter here) is that getting rid of chemicals in your beauty products is actually super cheap and easy.
1. Download the Think Dirty App. It’s free and it rates beauty products for you, which can help you find ones that are truly green not just greenwashed. There is also the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep searchable database.
2. Stop using shampoo and conditioner. It takes two weeks for your hair to get used to this. Just make yourself a hair rinse with apple cider vinegar, some nettles, and some rosemary or rosemary oil. You save so much money this way, you drastically reduce your plastic consumption, and you will never forget your shampoo again.
3. Instead of dental floss, use a water pick. Most conventional dental floss is made with polytetrafluoroethylene, which is actually an obesogen (a chemical that can cause you to gain weight). It’s the same stuff they use to coat Teflon pans. You don’t want it in your mouth twice a day, believe me.
5. Use coconut oil for intimacy. Organic is best. Works deliciously, I mean amazingly.
6. Buy natural soaps with as few ingredients as possible. The ingredients should all be words you recognize. I love handmade goatmilk soaps, the more local the better.
7. Splurge on a few high-end long-lasting organic beauty products. The anti-aging serum and body lotionmade by Luxe Beauty are worth every penny. Plus, you’ll be saving so much money not buying shampoo (see #2), that your pocketbook will be none-the-lighter.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
Have I forgotten anything? What’s your best advice? And what non-toxic beauty and other products do you like to use?
About the author: Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning science journalist, Fulbright grantee, and sought-after speaker.