Have a look in your bathroom cabinet. How about under the bathroom sink? You’ll probably find some old prescriptions; products you’ve used once, didn’t like but “didn’t want to throw away”; a seriously out of date moisturizer; maybe even some harmful personal care, period, and cleaning products…
Like Marie Kondo would say, if it doesn’t spark joy, say thank you, and throw it away. It’s time to apply this to our bathroom cabinets. Check out our blog to find out the best way to detoxify your bathroom cabinets.
Ingredients to Avoid
Did you know the average woman in the United States uses 12 products and puts 168 chemicals on her body daily, according to the Environmental Working Group? That is 12 opportunities to create a cleaner, greener beauty routine and bathroom cleaning routine.
As we begin to take inventory on our personal care and products we have, it’s important to take note of these most problematic (and frequently used) ingredients to watch out for:
- Parabens: These known hormone disruptors mimics estrogen in our bodies which can have negative impacts on our overall health.
- Fragrance: “Fragrance” can be a blend of 10 to 10,000 different potentially harmful substances. We take on the mindset that if it’s not proven safe or it is not fully transparent, it’s best to avoid.
- Phthalates: Most commonly found in nail polish as “dibutyl phthalate.” These are known hormone disruptors in men and pregnant women.
- BHA (Butylated Hyrdroxyanisole): This chemical is banned in Europe for strong scientific evidence of being a carcinogen (causes cancer) and a hormone disruptor. However, it is not banned in the United States.
- Boric Acid or Sodium borate: As a known hormone disruptor in males, this ingredient is also restricted in Europe but accepted in the United States.
- Heavy Metals: Lead is commonly found in dark hair dyes and lipstick, and mercury is found in skin lighteners. Though both lead and mercury are technically natural, high levels of heavy metals in the body can affect how your organs function and interrupt your body’s natural detoxifying process. It has also been linked to higher rates of numerous diseases, including Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease.
- PEG (Polyethelyne Glycol and Carbomax Sentry): PEGs are often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane – a known carcinogen. They are often used as the basis of many skin creams, personal lubricants, and toothpastes.
- Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasers: This category is broad and includes Bromopol, DMDM Hydrantoin, and Quanterium-15. Formaldehyde is commonly used a preservative in products but is a known human carcinogen.
- Preservatives that End in “-thiazolinone”: For example: “Methylisothiazolinone.” These preservatives are skin irritants and there’s growing evidence that they may also be neurotoxic.
- Triclosan and Triclocarban: Most commonly in antimicrobial soaps, these chemicals can disrupt thyroid and reproductive hormones.
Okay – we know what you’re thinking: this is too overwhelming! How am I supposed to remember all these different harmful ingredients?! It’s okay – it can be a lot when you have to be extra vigilant on those products sold to us and new ingredients are found to be harmful every day. Luckily for us, we have great resources such as MADE SAFE’s banned and restricted list, the EWG’s Skin Deep Guide and the Think Dirty App.
Personal Care / Skin Care / Body Products
As you detox your bathroom cabinet and entire body routine, start by upgrading the products you use the most and reduce the number of products you use in your daily routine. This will also help reduce the number of different ingredients you’re applying.
Our favorite natural beauty hack is organic coconut oil: it can replace countless beauty and skincare products from moisturizer and lotion, shaving cream, sunburn care, makeup remover to mouth wash (via oil pulling), and so much more.
If you prefer to use makeup remover wipes, reach for ones that are free of alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), as well as all the ingredients listed above. These ingredients are harmful for your skin and accelerate aging. Natracare’s organic makeup remover wipes utilize essential oils and 100% organic cotton cloth for a gentle yet effective removal of makeup. Yep, that includes waterproof mascara!
Menstrual products, such as tampons, pads, and panty liners may also be hiding harmful ingredients. The key is to switch to 100% organic cotton tampons and natural pads and panty liners – such as Natracare’s. Many conventional brands have been found to contain numerous toxins, including dioxins, synthetic fibers like rayon and polyester, odor neutralizers, and petroleum based chemical additives like BPA and BPS.
Cosmetics and personal care products expire as bacteria can build up over time. If you’re still storing items you’ve opened many moons ago, but never use now, it’s time to toss them in the trash.
Natural, Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
The most effective multi-purpose bathroom and house cleaner also happens to be all natural, non-toxic, and affordable. It’s truly the ultimate bathroom cleaning hack!
DIY Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Mix the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
- Distilled Vinegar
- Essential Oils (optional – we love lavender and tea tree oil)
Lisa Bronner of the Bronner’s Castile Magic Soap also has an incredible blog sharing how she naturally detoxes her home and her favorite eco-friendly, healthy bathroom cleaning tips.
If you’ve cleared your cabinets and are ready to take your apartment detox to the next level, here are some more things to consider:
- Always flush with the toilet with the lid down to prevent unwanted particles circulating in the air and landing on counters and your toothbrush.
- Upgrade your shower curtain to one made from hemp or nylon. Shower curtains are commonly made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which can release a variety of known harmful toxins into the air while you are taking a hot and steamy shower.
- Skip the chemical-based air fresheners for all-natural blend of essential oils, indoor air-detoxifying plants, or a 100% vegetable-based or beeswax candle. A recent Natural Resources Defense Council study found that 86% of synthetic air fresheners, like Febreze and Glade, contain dangerous hormone-disrupting phthalates and neurotoxins and immunotoxins like BHT, acetaldehyde, and propylene glycol. When you spray these air fresheners, you are also breathing these harmful chemicals in.
- Opt for unbleached, chlorine-free toilet paper. In order to achieve that bright white color, companies use chlorine and chlorine dioxide in their toilet paper. The process creates the chemical by-products dioxin and furans, which are extremely toxic and carcinogenic. Learn more about chlorine-free bleaching processes and products here.
We spend a lot of time thinking of ways we want to detox our lives. In addition to what we eat, what we bring into our homes and what we use on our body is just as important.
What are your favorite natural bathroom cleaning hacks or ways to detoxify your apartment? Let us know over on Twitter.