One of my personal all-time favourite quotes, is by the brilliant and inspiring Maya Angelou:  “Do the best you can, until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

I reference this quote often, and we even have it printed as part of a mural on our clinic wall at Healthoholics. It’s an important sentiment, because I truly believe that we’re all moving through this crazy thing called life – doing our best!

But before we can do our best, sometimes we need to be aware of a better option. And with all the hustle and bustle in this 21st century world we live in, much of what we do can be mindless!

Personal care products are often one of those mindless choices we make, with items quickly grabbed off a grocery store shelf and tossed into a cart without much thought. But ironically, these seemingly unimportant choices can have some really significant impacts on our health!

We often make these choices because:

  • it’s what the person before us did
  • we think it’s what we’re supposed to do
  • we don’t know there’s another option!

Personally speaking, there’s word choices I used to make, that I now know are not appropriate. I’m sure you can relate in one way or another, as we all evolve as we move through life. The same applies to my personal care products; I used to use many personal care products that I now spend time, effort and money to avoid!  

Feel overwhelmed at the thought of reviewing all your personal care products? In the spirit of awareness (and to help you get started somewhere!) here are my top 3 Personal Care Products To Stop Using Immediately.

Fragrance

Fragrance is in nearly all conventional personal care, home care, and cleaning products now-a-days… despite the fact that the industry knows fragrance dangerous for our health. Fragrance, or parfum, are used as umbrella terms for thousands of chemicals, most of which are untested, and likely unsafe.

Fragrance is known to cause headaches, trigger respiratory issues including asthma, bring about allergic reactions, and contribute to hormonal imbalances.

All these side-effects to what end? So our laundry can smell like a Tropical Breeze? So our bodies can smell un-human?

The good news is that naturally scented products are more available than ever, and there are simple swaps you can make to your personal care products to avoid fragrance.

Look for personal care products that are naturally scented with essential oils instead of fragrance.  EcoWell and Barefoot Naturals are examples of two amazing local companies doing it right.

Antiperspirant

When did normal bodily functions become a nuisance? Of course we sweat, we’re human! It’s normal, and healthy! Personally, I think it’s mostly marketing that has made us believe that we need to stop normal and necessary sweating.

Antiperspirants usually use aluminum to block up the pores in our underarms and stop us from sweating. This is a compounded issue!

  • Firstly, we’re applying aluminum to our bodies!
  • Secondly we’re not allowing detoxification via sweating.

Aluminum is a central nervous system toxin, and has been linked to alzheimer’s disease. Applied under the armpits, it is easily absorbed. At the same time, the armpit’s main source of detoxification, sweating, is being stopped.

Instead of antiperspirants, opt for a deodorant instead. There are plenty of natural deodorants available like rock salt, or a deodorant stick that may look more similar to what you’re used to. Green Beaver is a great Canadian company that makes natural deodorants scented with essential oils.

Anti-bacterial soaps

Anti-bacterial soaps most commonly contain the ingredient triclosan as the actual anti-bacterial agent. Triclosan can be found in tons of other products, too — from make-up to garbage bags, hand sanitizers to children’s toys, and clothing to kitchenware.

Triclosan is known to be highly allergenic, affecting our immune systems, as well as irritating to skin, eyes and lungs, endocrine disrupting, and a possible carcinogen!

Because triclosan is such a pervasive ingredient at this point, our lifetime exposure is much higher than originally anticipated.

This year, the FDA has forced many US companies to remove triclosan from their soaps and products. The reasoning they sited:  there’s not enough evidence to prove the anti-bacterial nature of triclosan provides extra protection from germs, and there’s strong evidence to consider the long-term negative consequences.

This is a super easy swap just use water and plain soap to wash your hands. You can find castile soaps or gentle glycerine soaps to use as an alternative to antibacterial soaps.

When it comes to personal care products, making better choices for me and my family meant I had to choose to be aware, and choose to understand that scented lotions and easy solutions were NOT healthy for me and my loved ones.

The change factor for me was asking questions. And now that I know better, I do better. You can do it too, fellow Healthoholics!

 

Are there any personal care products that you avoid at all costs?  Do you have any questions about the personal care products you use? Tell us in the comments below or visit us on social media!

ABOUT THE EXPERT
Veronica Qubrossi

Veronica is a Holistic Nutritionist and Managing Director at Healthoholics, where she directs clinic operations, leads educational initiatives including our Holistic Weight Loss program, and manages our marketing efforts.