Let’s look at five major sources of unhealthy chemical exposure. These chemicals can cause a variety of illnesses and toxicity. How awful it would be if you are working to cleanse your body with natural, organic foods for energy but then amass a great deal of toxicity unknowingly by the following 5 items.

They also can get into your body and suppress your natural beauty, leading to premature aging, dull or clogged skin, and even serious illness.

 

1. Household cleaning products

Everyone wants a clean house, but if you’re using conventional household cleaning products, you could be ingesting dangerous chemicals through your skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory system. While many commercial cleaners contain dangerous ingredients, some of the most toxic include:

  • Bleach, which can damage your respiratory system.
  • Air fresheners, which may contain formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and dicholorobenzene.
  • Ammonia, which can cause skin burns and respiratory irritation. It can even create a poison gas when combined with bleach.
  • Drain cleaners are caustic and can burn skin and harm mucous membranes. They also have a harsh chemical scent that can damage the respiratory tract.
  • Laundry detergents contain dyes and other chemical agents that you can inhale or absorb through your skin.
  • Dishwashing soap contains chemicals and fragrances. Dishwashter detergents may contain bleach and other chemicals that can end up in trace amounts on your utensils and cookingware, and therefore then get into your food.

These are a few of the many hazards associated with conventional household cleaning products. Instead, choose natural solutions for cleaning. There are many available today at even regular drug stores that have green labels or are plant-based. You can use lemon rinds to clean stove tops and white vinegar to clean floors. If you have children or babies, using natural cleaning products is particularly critical, as their bodies and DNA are even more susceptible to damage from these chemicals.

 

2. Beauty products

Because you put beauty products directly on your skin, your body can absorb toxic chemicals from them. The ingredients in many beauty projects can accelerate free radicals, cause respiratory damage, and have other aging and health affects, as well. Some to watch for include:

  • Toxic shampoos that contain petroleum distillates and other chemicals. Many shampoos also contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), which can damage mucous membranes, the respiratory tract, and the immune system. They may also contain fragrance. When a label list fragrance, it may indicate as many as 4,000 different compounds. Many of these can lead to health problems, respiratory distress, and may even be carcinogenic and impose fertility issues or complications.
  • Body washes, cleansers and bubble baths may contain SLS and SLES, which we discussed above. They may also contain DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) or TEA (triethanolamine). These chemicals are carcinogens and hormone disrupters, which can prematurely age you.
  • Antiperspirants contain imidazolindinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin, two preservatives that are components of formaldehyde. This can cause joint pain, asthma, cancer, and other conditions. They also often contain aluminum, which is associated with brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Nail polish also contains these ingredients, as do many other beauty products.

Other skincare products such as cleansers, lotions, and many others contain petroleum distillates, preservatives, artificial colors, mineral oil and fragrances, more. These chemicals can accelerate aging, discolor your skin, and block beauty from the inside. Read your labels carefully, and select all-natural, organic lines of products.

 

3. Sunscreen

It seems ironic. Many experts tell us to apply sunscreen to protect our skin and prevent cancer and aging, yet sunscreen can accelerate aging and increase cancer risk. Fear of skin cancer has led to daily application of dangerous sunscreen products, and many lotions and other beauty products contain sunscreens.

Sunscreen not only blocks your skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D from sunlight, which is essential for good health, but it also contains numerous toxic ingredients that serve as hormone disrupters and carcinogens while accelerating formation of free radicals. In fact, some studies show that areas where more sunscreen is applied there is a higher incidence of skin cancer. And all of this can lead to premature skin aging. Dangerous ingredients include:

  • PABA
  • Oxybenzone
  • Dioxybenzone

Instead, wear sun-resistant clothing and hats to minimize your sun exposure. Remember the quality of your sunscreen is very, very important. Look for chemical-free (or free-er I should say) sunscreens where titanium dioxide is the active ingredient.

 

4. Water bottles

Plastic water bottles, no matter how recyclable, are just not good for you. Made from petroleum distillates, plastics contain chemicals that leech into the water in the bottles, and can cause neurological disorders, hormone disruption, and cancer among other illnesses. Hormone disruption is of particular concern in premature aging.

Instead, choose a glass or stainless steel water bottle, and get yourself a good water filter that you can use to fill and refill your bottles.

 

5. Perfume

Perfumes and colognes contain fragrance with chemicals that can cause everything from respiratory distress to hyperpigmentation. No wonder so many people get a headache from strong perfumes (including me). They look so pretty in fancy bottles, but perfume is so toxic! It gets sprayed right on the skin and pulse points and is absorbed right into the blood stream, distributing the chemicals throughout the body. Scary.

Instead, try an essential oil as a fragrance. Sally B’s carries a few great solid fragrances (I like Just B). They don’t last as long as regular perfumes, but I keep it in my purse and re-apply more often. At least they are all natural and non-toxic, while smelling great!

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New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist