IMAGE: KATE WEINER
From the lovely Amy of Aware House, an online destination for toxin-free products for a healthier body, home, and mind, comes a guide on how to detoxify your routine. We adore her balanced approach and hope you'll consider this a handy cheat sheet for surfing for everything from safer sunscreen to a better deodorant. Our advice? Look only for products that come in reusable packaging, as is the case with beloved brand Meow Meow Tweet.
How to Toss the Toxic Stuff…and Keep Your Sanity
So you’ve discovered that most of the products you use contain ingredients that cause everything from hormone disruption to cancer…and you’re freaking out a little. What now? When information is overwhelming, it’s tempting to either dismiss the news completely (phew, crisis averted!) or totally obsess over the toxins around you and how to avoid them. Here are 5 steps to a more balanced approach.
1. Step away from the trashcan! Detoxing your routine is a process. Take it in stride. When your face cream is running low, start thinking about what product you’d like to replace it with. Databases like EWG Skindeep can teach you about the safety of unfamiliar ingredients and help you find products you feel good about.
2. Minimize. If you’re on a budget, the strategy above will effect your wallet less, as will minimizing. Think about which products you can live without, and find safe alternatives for the rest. Maybe you don’t need an eye cream that promises to make wrinkles go away if your awesome new face oil doubles as an eye treatment.
3. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. You want to stay away from anything containing phthalates, parabens, any ingredients ending in -eth, PEGs, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol, BHA, BHT, synthetic dyes and fragrances, ingredients commonly contaminated with heavy metals, resorcinol, PPD, talc, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban, oxybenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, alpha and beta hydroxy acids, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing preservatives, SLS, borax, aluminum, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15, DEA, MEA, TEA, toluene, propylene glycol, acrylamide, and methylisothiazolinone. Just because a product has a natural look, doesn’t mean it is, so be sure to check the label before buying.
4. Make your own! If there is a product you enjoy making, do it! If any of your friends make their own products, maybe you can coordinate, trading your sunscreen for their deodorant or laundry powder. Find DIY recipes online and start trying!
5. Go indie. Most of the products sold in big box stores and malls are filled to the brim with cheap fillers (in order to maximize profit) and harmful preservatives (so they’re able to sit on shelves for years without going bad). Seek out smaller shops and focus on brands that haven’t sold out to larger companies. Instagram is a great place to discover indie lines. There are so many amazing, small batch brands popping up to choose from so have fun with it!
Breathe and remember that any changes you make will have a positive impact on your health. You’ve got this!!! Happy detoxing!