Updated: Jun 3
Toxins are all around us and your lifestyle is often a big culprit for increasing the amount you’re exposed to. We often worry about the food we’re putting in our bodies and pay a lot less attention to what we’re putting on our skin and exposing ourselves to when we clean our homes. Personal hygiene products, cosmetics and cleaning products are full of chemicals and other toxins that can have a big impact on our hormones and overall health.
Taking steps to reduce your exposure to toxins by swapping toxin-laden products for more natural alternatives can go a long way toward supporting healthy balanced hormones.
How Do Toxins Impact Your Hormones?
Our makeup products, personal care products, and the cleaners that we use in our home often contain harmful endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can interfere with the normal functioning of our body's endocrine system (i.e your hormone system). Endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with our endocrine system by mimicking, decreasing, or increasing our hormone levels.
One of the biggest changes you can make to support balanced hormones is being more mindful of the toxins you are exposed to each day.
Here are just a few of the toxins you’re being exposed to:
Toxins To Avoid For Happy Hormones:
Often produced as a byproduct of ingredients found in deodorants, liquid soaps and shampoos. It can aggravate the skin and eyes.
Are endocrine disrupting and are known to be able to mimic estrogen and other hormones, which can affect lots of processes in the body. You’ll find phthalates in many shower gels, shampoos, hairsprays, perfumes and nail polishes.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate:
Found in most products that foam and lather and is a common culprit for skin irritation.
Used often in hair gels, hairsprays and perfumes. It’s a neurotoxin that mimics the effects of estrogen. It’s also linked to liver damage and asthma.
Another endocrine disruptor. Thanks to its antibacterial qualities, it’s included in deodorants, hand soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash and even vaginal washes. It’s linked to hormone disruption and liver damage.
BHA and BHT:
Are used as preservatives so that your cosmetics have a longer shelf life. They’re also endocrine disruptors and are linked to skin allergies.
These are also used as preservatives and they can penetrate the skin very easily. So much so that traces of them have been found in breast cancer tissue! It’s thought that they can affect reproduction, the nervous system and the immune system so their effects could be widespread.
Is found in a lot of eyeliners and has been put forward as a potential carcinogenic
Are often added to cosmetics to soften and moisturize but they’re another endocrine disruptor.
Often added to laundry detergents and fabric softeners can irritate the respiratory system and are linked to asthma.
How To Create Toxin-Free Cleaners:
Make your own cleaning products with natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.
To clean most surfaces, you can make a solution of vinegar and water as a multi-purpose spray cleaner and add lemon or any citrus essential oil for fragrance.
Castile soap is another great option that can replace dish soap etc. It is made of plant-based fats and oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and hemp seed oil and is great for the environment and your hormones.
How To Create A Toxin-Free Kitchen:
Start by ditching the plastic containers. Plastic is being banned around the world as it is highly toxic to human health — store food items in glass containers. Whether you have to store it in the pantry or the fridge; replace your plastic bottles with glass ones.
Never heat food in the microwave in plastic containers. Heat food in ceramic or glass containers.
Cast iron or stainless steel cooking ware might look old fashion, but it is free of EDs and is very healthy for cooking food. Ditch the non-stick cookware and go old school to get rid of this common source of endocrine disruptors.
Drink water in glass, ceramic or stainless steel cups. Plastics have got to go. My go-to water bottles are from Swell. You check it out here.
Remove plastic wraps from things before you store them in the pantry or fridge. Place them in glass containers. After grocery shopping, a lot of items are packed with cling wraps, and that is not safe. You can use bee wrap instead.
How To Create A Toxin Free Make Up Bag
Read the label carefully. Make-up normally contains 15 plus ingredients and it can sometimes feel intimidating to understand. Many also use “greenwashing” terms that can make it seem like they are safe and clean but still contain harmful hormone-disrupting ingredients. Verifying what they claim before committing can save you from being exposed to these toxic ingredients.
Use an ingredient checker like EWG Healthy Living App to check the safety of the ingredients.
Check for third-party certifications that support organic ingredients. USDA seal guarantees 95% of ingredients are organic.
Avoid “fragrance”. This is an umbrella term that hides up to 4000 different chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancer, allergies, and nervous system disorders.
Support retailers that commit to natural and organic cosmetics. The Detox Market commits to only selling 100% natural and organic products.
Make your own cosmetics. There are plenty of DIY recipes available online that contain natural ingredients. To make a simple lip balm combine 2 tablespoons each of coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter. Melt and mix well, once removed from heat add 3-5 drops of your favourite essential oil. Pour into small metal tins, let harden, and enjoy!
These are some of the most basic yet essential tips that can help you reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors. Remember to start slow and as you use up your existing products start to make the switch to toxin-free options to support happy hormones.