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When I began my journey into researching toxins and finding which ones were the best to avoid altogether, I became so overwhelmed. I think I went thru all the stages of grief. I mean really… Denial: Certainly the companies who make our skincare products and processed foods have my best interest at heart and would NEVER use ingredients that have the potential to harm! Then Anger… I am so mad that they are poisoning us! They MUST BE STOPPED! I think I even emailed several local television news personalities to persuade them to do an story covering all my discoveries! If you know me, you know I can get a little intense about things I’m passionate about. To just bargaining, maybe a little isn’t so bad, surely a little toxic sludge can’t hurt. Depression: it’s just too much. How can my voice even make a difference? And Acceptance: While it may be true that I can’t stop the production of all of these toxins on my own, I can control what I and my family use. I can’t control everyone else’s choices, but I CAN control mine.

The Think Dirty App became my constant shopping companion and I even downloaded it to my daughters’ iPods so they could choose safe products easily themselves. I began to see a recurring theme. Most often, if a product contains “Fragrance” it can contain more than 200 chemicals hidden in that word alone! Companies aren’t required to list those chemicals because the recipe is considered “proprietary”. Sorry, big corporate cosmetic companies, I’m not interested in stealing your “recipe”. Ugh.  So how do you know what ingredients to avoid? Here’s a handy list I’ve compiled with reasons as to why I choose to avoid them.

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When I realized that all of these ingredients were rampant in so many products, I decided to go on the hunt for a company that wouldn’t put profit over people. That’s when I discovered Neal’s Yard Remedies. They operate on the Precautionary Principle of “When in doubt, leave it out.” I also discovered they have been awarded Ethical Accreditation by The Good Shopping Guide. A company with 100% score for ethics? I can get behind that!

In my videos on Facebook I share about the best places to start incorporating toxin free products. My #1 choices are Shampoo & Conditioner, Body Wash, and Deodorant. Why do I feel these are most important? Your skin is your largest organ. Chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream within 26 seconds of application. From there, those toxins are carried to every internal organ. When we shower, our Shampoo & Conditioner are rinsed out of our hair and cover our entire bodies. Likewise, body wash is lathered up all over our skin. And deodorant… You definitely want deodorant vs. antiperspirants. Sweat is one of our body’s mechanisms to remove toxins. When you don’t allow it to sweat, those toxins build up. Parabens have even been linked to Breast Cancer. Not a risk I’m willing to take.

Thankfully, more and more of these toxic chemicals are beginning to be outlawed. Microbeads are on their way out. More women are either choosing to make their own skincare or are voting with their purchase power to buy products that are safe and beneficial. While it’s true I can’t make a big difference on my own, when we all decide to raise our voices, change begins to happen.

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