Reducing Environmental Toxins In The Home Part 3

Melissa Martin, Intuitive Eating Counselor, Certified Pilates Instructor |

As we finish out our series on reducing toxic exposure in our homes, this month we will focus on cleaning up our personal care products. This one is especially important because our skin is the body’s largest organ and anything we put on it will be absorbed into our system. Think of a transdermal medication patch or topical hormones. They are absolutely getting absorbed and circulated around our bodies. Let’s make sure that that’s a good thing!

One of my favorite organizations to help us on our low and non-toxic journey is the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Here, you can download an app to look up a variety of personal and household products to guide you on the best options to use and purchase. According to the EWG, American women put on average 168 chemicals on their bodies every day. As mentioned earlier, these toxic substances are ending up inside of their bodies and wreaking havoc on our endocrine system and increasing exposure to carcinogens and allergens. This is especially important to note for pregnant and nursing mothers.


Ways To Clean Up Your Personal Care Products


  1. Download the EWG app and start scanning and looking up products for personal use. I like to use this as a tool for replacing products one-by-one as I run out items, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can do a massive overhaul all at once.
  2. Go fragrance-free. Fragrance is a catch-all term that manufacturers hide anything and everything in. They are protected as “trade secrets” and can add many harmful substances under this label. Many people with skin irritations and allergies find an improvement in symptoms by removing fragrance in everything from laundry detergent to their soaps, lotions, and makeup.
  3. Use sulfate-free products. Sulfate is an ingredient that is very drying and harsh on our skin and hair. If you find you struggle with dry skin and hair, this is a great place to start. Sulfates also strip the microbiome of our skin, which is the beginning of our immune systems. Look for microbiome-friendly soaps, such as the brand Aleavia, for hands, face, body, and hair.
  4. Install a water filter in your bath and shower. This is one of the most important steps because as we learned earlier in this series, our water is a huge source of toxic exposure and anywhere we are fully immersed in it needs to be filtered. This includes our showers, baths, sinks, and, ideally, even our swimming pools.
  5. Give your skin some super food. Tallow has been used since ancient times as a superfood for our skin. It is chemically similar to sebum, the oil in our skin. Its properties include skin-healing, anti-aging, as well as softening and moisturizing, just to name a few. Tallow can replace a plethora of toxic skincare products as well as perform many of the same functions.
  6. Dry brushing for lymphatic health. Our lymphatic system is how our body removes toxic waste. There are several ways to stimulate this system, one of my favorites being dry brushing. You want to get a special brush for this as you dry brush the skin in small strokes from your feet and arms up to your heart to help your body move waste out. I personally like doing this right before a sauna or shower.


I hope this series has inspired some changes to enhance your health. While we can’t remove all toxic exposure, we can greatly reduce it and this is done by various small, incremental changes. As always, feel free to contact me at HFG with any further questions or help getting started on your low and non-toxic journey!