About 3-4 years ago, I made the decision to switch to non-toxic products in my home. At the time, I had NO idea what I was getting into and how much this was truly impacting my life. There were times, and still are times where I became VERY overwhelmed with the entire process. There is so much conflicting information everywhere and there are a lot of companies investing a LOT of money to tell you that conventional products are perfectly safe. But as I dug deeper into this, and as I began making changes myself I began to understand why it is so important to be aware of the products that we are putting on our bodies.
I want to just add that I know the terms “chemical” and “non-toxic” can cause controversy. I’m aware that things like water have chemical constituents. I’m also aware that everything, including water can be toxic in high doses. I think everyone knows what we mean when we use terms like that, and I am referring to chemicals and ingredients such as pthalates, fragrance, triclosan, ammonia, etc.
I will follow up this post with some of the practical swaps I have made in my home, but first I wanted to explain WHY this is important.
First of all, if you are in the place I was 3 years, feeling like it is impossible to eliminate products you’ve used your whole life. or you’re feeling overwhelmed by the research and all of the swaps you need to make. Just remember that small changes add up, and just start taking baby steps towards your goals.
Also, if you have no idea that some of the products you’re using are harmful, and this is all new information, don’t feel guilty or shamed. We all started there, and I believe that when we know better we can do better. So instead of feeling shame, I hope this helps to inspire you to make changes towards living a healthier lifestyle! The more I learned about this, the more I felt compelled to switch to non-toxic products.
Two amazing resources to start making healthy swaps are the app “Think Dirty” or the organization EWG. Both of these rate household products based on their ingredients and help you determine what products are safe.
The reality is that most of the common ingredients being used in household cleaners, cosmetics, etc have not gone through the testing that people assume they have.
In the US and Canada, there are thousands of chemical ingredients that are 100% legal for companies to use, without having to do any safety testing on them. These ingredients have basically been “Grandfathered” into the system and the FDA has deemed them as “generally recognized as safe”.
The problem is not that one ingredient in your shampoo is going to give you cancer after one use, or even months of use. The problem is that there is no research on how that chemical will affect you after years and years of exposure from that one chemical, PLUS how it interacts with the hundreds of thousands of other chemicals we are exposed to daily.
The European union has banned over 1500 chemicals from household and cosmetic products that are completely allowed here. The FDA is working towards this, but it is an extremely slow process because it is expensive and time consuming to conduct research. And in most cases, products or ingredients are only banned AFTER they have been proven to cause significant problems among a large group of people. There is no proactive measure being taken to ensure that products are safe before they go on the shelf.
So basically all of that is to tell you that you cannot assume the products on the shelf at the grocery store have been tested to ensure they are safe for you or your family. You HAVE to be your own advocate and do your own research. After I learned this, I felt like there was no other option but to switch to non-toxic products in my home.
I know many people chose to believe that there is no link between chemicals such as pthalates, fragrance, triclosan, etc and diseases like cancer, hormone disruptions, fertility, autoimmune, allergies, asthma, etc…But there is extensive research starting to show that there is a significant correlation. And my personal opinion is that it’s not worth the risk when there are products that are much safer. While it may feel overwhelming now, the process to switch to non-toxic products doesn’t have to be that hard.
There are actual proven connections between cancer and many of the chemicals being used in our homes. Thousands of known carcinogens are legally allowed to be used in products that we use on our bodies and even on children.
Here are just a few of thousands of examples of research that has been done on the harmful effects of common household products.
I believe in living a proactive lifestyle. I don’t want to wait until I am struggling with health issues to make changes, I chose to change my lifestyle in hopes that it will improve the quality of my life. There are so many links between the ingredients in our household products and many diseases and I believe that the products I use matter, the choices I make matter, and each small swap makes such a big difference in my life.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It absorbs about 60% of what is on it. This means that it is so important that we know what ingredients are in the products we are putting on our skin.
Switching to natural products does not mean we need to sacrifice the things we love. It doesn’t mean your house can’t smell good, or you can’t smell good, or you can’t have nice makeup. In fact, over the years I’ve found so many high quality non-toxic products that are just as good or better than conventional products. After swapping nearly all of the products in our home, I don’t feel like I’ve made any sacrifices but instead I know that I have gained so much health.
Another reason to switch to more natural products is that they save so much money in the long run. Yes, some products are more of an investment up front, and some products aren’t as readily available, but I have found that I have saved so much money with this swap. Now I make so many of my own products from ingredients like coconut oil, vinegar, essential oils, etc…
I admit that some natural products are more expensive. For example most natural makeup is much more pricey than drugstore makeup, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for my health. Plus I find I just buy less now. Instead of being tempted to buy several drugstore lipsticks for $7, I’d rather invest in one $20 non-toxic lipstick that I LOVE. Ever since I made the switch to non-toxic products, I’m no longer tempted to try new products when I’m out shopping. Plus I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my skin since switching to natural products, so I feel like I can wear less makeup.
I also love supporting smaller brands who truly care about the health and wellness of their customers. I love finding companies who are passionate about creating high quality, safe products and I’d much rather support them than huge billion dollar companies who don’t care at all and are only looking to make money.
I know that was probably a lot of information. This is something I’ve been so passionate about for years, and I think it is so important. Again, I never want anyone to feel guilt or shame, or like they aren’t doing enough. I believe in baby steps and just constantly striving to be better than you were yesterday. I’m not perfect, I don’t know everything about this topic, but my goal is just to bring awareness and help you through this journey.
I hope you enjoyed this information on why I decided to switch to non-toxic, natural products! If this was helpful, be sure to pin it for later or to share with a friend!