As we wrap up all the holiday festiveness and settle into 2013, the season’s well wishes of health and happiness have inspired us to make resolutions to make this the best year yet. While our specific resolutions may vary, at the root of each is the goal to, well, be healthy and happy. Typically resolutions come in the form of a new gym membership or starting a new diet, but this year we’re recommitting to a non-toxic lifestyle. Because when you feel good, you do good.
From the air we breathe to the food we eat, the toxic odds are stacked against us. Each and every day we are exposed to a scary cocktail of chemical toxins, which over time can lead to a number of health issues, including asthma, allergies, skin conditions, reproductive issues, or even cancer. You see, our liver, colon, and lymphatic system naturally work together to expel toxins within the body, but when our body becomes too overwhelmed with toxins, our system simply can’t filter them out. Toxins enter our bloodstream and while some get stored in our body fat and make it difficult to loose weight, others try and leave through the skin, which can result in acne, eczema, or other rashes. What good are those trips to the gym or those healthy meals, if the body is working on overdrive to expel toxins? We want our body to be at its most healthy so it reap the benefits of the good food your eating, the exercise you’re doing, and, yes, the beneficial ingredients you’re putting on your skin.
Since we’re exposed to a number of environmental toxins, it is vital that we make choose the non-toxic option when presented with choice. So, this year, we challenge you to look beyond your makeup bag (though we hope using non-toxic skin care is tops on your 2013 to-do list!) and start incorporating non-toxic practices into all aspects of your daily life. It might seem like an overwhelming resolution, but the small, little changes can make a big impact on your health and how you feel each and every day. And, as the saying goes, “one good turn deservers another,” and in no time you’ll find that these non-toxic practices become second nature.
- Learn your dirty dozen. Conventional growing methods can require lots of chemicals pesticides to be sprayed on fruit and veggies to get them to grow, but choosing the organic option ensures that no harmful chemicals were used in the growing process. We understand that organic produce can get pricey, so become familiar with the EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean 15. These two lists highlight the foods that are most heavily treated with pesticides, like apples and celery, and which food that require less treatment, like onions, pineapple, and corn, so you know which to always buy organically.
- Use non-toxic household cleaners and detergents. Toxins can enter your bloodstream through inhalation and skin absorption, so replace the chemical cleaners with non-toxic options. This is extremely important in households with little kids, whose systems are the most vulnerable. The off gassing from these chemicals can trigger allergies or breathing difficulties, like asthma.
- Drink filtered water. Drinking water is great for your health and your skin, but be cautious of the H20 you’re sipping. Your tap water can contain a number of contaminants, including perchlorate, arsenic, and lead from agriculture runoff. Surprisingly, there are few regulations for bottled water, so it’s best to use your own filter to rid your supply of any hidden contaminants.
- Dust and vacuum weekly. A clean house is a happy house, but did you know it’s also a healthy house? Lingering toxins can leach on to dust, so remove it before it settles in. This is especially important for pet owners, whose pets can easily transfer dust into unreachable nooks and crannies where the dust and toxins can fester.
- Avoid BPA. Bisphenol-A is a component of polycarbonate plastic and has been linked to fertility issues, certain cancers and behavioral problems with kids. While it is best known for being found in the plastic used to make baby bottles, it can also be found in the cans used to can food, Tupperware, and reusable water bottles. Avoid BPA by using glass containers, choosing products that are BPA-free, or tossing scratched and worn plastic containers that you have around the house. When these containers are heated, especially those with BPA harboring scratches, the chemicals can easily leach into food.
While the results of your non-toxic lifestyle might be gradual, but you will start noticing that your skin looks healthier, you feel better, and you have more energy throughout the day. And what’s best, these changes not only help you, but those around you, too. As you reduce your toxic footprint, the others who share your air are exposed to fewer toxins, too.
From all of us at Sally B's Skin Yummies, we wish you health, happiness, and a tremendous amount of joy in the coming year!