Spring Cleaning for Health

The robins are out and the weather is warming–spring is here!    This is a time for new beginnings, new life, and spring cleaning!  How about a personal spring cleaning, on a biochemical level?  Here are 3 steps toward reducing toxin exposures that can destroy your health.

STEP 1—Evaluate Personal Products

We want to be beautiful but not at the price of our health!  Go through your personal products with a fine-toothed comb.  Actually READ the ingredients and eliminate problem causers.

Top offenders

Deodorant/Antiperpirant– Watch out for aluminum.  Aluminum decreases sweating by blocking sweat glands.  It accumulates in the kidneys, brain and thyroid.  Aluminum is neurotoxic (damaging to the nervous system) and may increase breast cancer risk.

Cologne and Nail Polish– Colognes often contain Phthalates to make the scent linger, and nail polish to make it more pliable.  Phthalates are endocrine disruptors which can lead to decreased sperm count and insulin resistance.

Lotions and Creams often contain Parabens as a preservative.  This group of chemicals mimics estrogen thereby disrupting hormone balance in both men and women.

Alternatives

www.ewg.org is a great resource.  Their site “skin deep” rates personal products on a toxicity scale from 0-10.  Aim to use products rated 0-2 only.

My favorite brands

Hugo Naturals offers lotions, hair care products, shower gels free from phalates and parabens, and are reasonably priced.  I carry them on my web store, which you can access by clicking here.

Ann Marie Skin Care — Multiple products using all natural oils infused with herbs.  I especially like her Anti Aging Facial Oil.  These are more expensive than Hugo Naturals, but nice for a splurge!  I will soon be offering their products–for now you can access a sample of them here.

Ambre Blends makes super yummy personal scents using essential oils.  One of the cool things is they smell different on everyone, as they react with your own unique chemistry.  I sell these in my office, but am not permitted to sell them online.  Feel free to come by the office, or you can access their store here.

BioRenew Skin Care:  These are made by a compounding pharmacist in San Diego, using high quality ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide that are backed by clinical science.  They easily match the very expensive premium department store lines at a fraction of the cost.  I carry them on my web store, which you can access by clicking here.

STEP 2—Evaluate Cleaning Products

Commercials would have us believe that the only way to have a clean home is buy their products, but what’s really in them anyway?  Take a look and be sure to not cause more harm than good.

Top offenders

Air Fresheners/Dryer sheets/ fabric softeners contain phthalates as fragrance (endocrine disruptors as mentioned above).

Corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners are directly damaging to skin and mucous membranes and can cause severe burns.  Hint: if it has the phone number to poison control on the bottle or states “harmful or fatal if swallowed” you can bet it’s toxic!

Anything Sudsy:  These contain 1,4-dioxane, diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), sodium laureth sulfate, and PEG compounds, which are known carcinogens

Try Instead

Dryer balls— These wool balls prevent static.  Full disclosure–not as effective as dryer sheets, but definitely healthier for you!  You can even put a few drops of essential oils on the balls in the last 15-30 minutes of the cycle for a fresh scent.  I buy mine at Amazon.com.

Water/Vinegar/Baking soda provide all the cleaning power you need, and adding a small amount of essential oil will make it smell refreshing.

My favorite products

Thieves Household Cleaner by Young Living.  Hands down my favorite!  It is very effective and smells great.  It is sold in concentrate form, so a bottle will last a long time.  It comes with mixing instructions to meet all your cleaning needs.  

Wool Dryer Balls 6-pack;  click here to find product on amazon.com

STEP 3—Evaluate Garden Products

Working outside can be therapeutic, both to our bodies and minds, but not if we are inhaling toxins while we do it!

Top offenders

Round-up (glyphosate)   Seriously, you need a hazmat suit to dispose of this.  Numerous studies show significant correlation with cancer, autism, neurodegenerative disorders

Pesticides may be persistent organic pollutants (POPs) or contain arsenic, benzene, chlorine, dioxins, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and methanol.  These are neurotoxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and on and on…

Try Instead—Organic alternatives

www.gardensalive.com is a great source with organic products to meet your gardening needs.  I stock my gardening supplies annually from their site.


As a physician who looks for the root cause of disease, I have found that toxins are a major issue for many people.  The first step in recovery is to avoid exposure.  Following the above steps will reduce your exposure.  If you need further help to determine if a detoxification regimen is necessary to improve your health, I’m here for you.

Suggested Reading

  1. Our Stolen Future, by Theo Colborn
  2. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
  3. The Dose Makes the Poison, by Patricia Frank

References

  1. www.usbiotek.com
  2. www.ewg.org/skindeep
  3. http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/findings
  4. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_279.cfm
  5. www.scorecard.org
  6. S. Thongprakaisang et al., Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun 8
  7. https://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=23

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