Making the switch to clean products: Why I am making the change to clean, cruelty-free, non toxic products

June 30, 2019

making the switch to natural products

Organic foods and clean beauty products have been around for a while. I am sure we can all name a few trendy restaurants in our town or a product on the shelf that boosts about this. Heck, Sephora just came out with a whole clean, cruelty-free line! The concept of living healthier is not new, but for the first time, I have actually started to consider it.

If you are like me, then you probably think people are insane for paying more for an identical product. The so-called "toxic" products that I was using work just fine and I rarely visit the doctor for any illness. I am healthy. I have no underlying auto-immune diseases or disorders. I practice working out three times a week and do not indulge in alcohol or caffeine. To me, the whole clean eating and toxic-free products were made up. It was a fad.

That is until my sister was (and still is) trying to have a baby. She began researching and realized how much these toxins affect our bodies. They actually disrupt our hormones and although I am not in a position to have kids myself, it is something that I do not want to prevent in the future. From her research, I was definitely intrigued and she sent me a couple of suggestions on Instagram.

In my own research, I found out that the company Roundup contains a chemical called glyphosate which blocks enzymes essential for plant growth. However, when glyphosate enters our intestines, it disrupts our own microflora contributing to a multitude of issues such as leaky gut, gluten intolerance, and autoimmune disorders. You may have also heard of the Roundup controversy that has been in the news lately. Sources are claiming that it can lead to the development of cancer. You can read about it in this CNN article. Roundup is the largest pesticide used on crops and similar to antibiotic resistance, there is also crop resistance leading to genetically modified crops.

Similarly to this horror, I learned that the US is much laxer on the regulation with harmful effects in beauty products. Currently, only 11 products are banned in the US whereas our European counterparts have banned nearly a thousand. (Here is the list from the FDA of current bans.)  It is shocking to me that something has been deemed dangerous for humans in Europe, but is somehow safe for me within the US borders. And as an oncology nurse, I know there are numerous carcinogens and I also know how terrible cancer is.

After learning about all of this (thanks sis!) I wanted to immediately throw out everything I had in the house. But as a young adult taking care of my mother on one income, I knew that I could not afford to completely start new. Instead, I am committing to change out my products as they become empty to ones that are safer for me. I am primarily using EWG's database and buying organic food that is listed on the dirty dozen's list.

Here are some steps to help you get started as well:

ONE|| Think Dirty App/Healthy Living App
Easily scan and look up products while shopping and see how they rank from 1-10 on its ingredients. Thus, helping you find the cleaner options!

TWO|| Replace
Buying all new products for your home can be expensive. Try to replace anything that scores high immediately and then slowly start to switch out products as they become empty.

THREE|| Commit
Start to do your research. Learn common names of items you should be avoiding such as fragrances, parabens, and sulfate.

The goal is to eventually get to 100 percent non-toxic products and to stay that way—and reaching that goal requires some time and I am just proud of the progress I have made.

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