3 min|Dr. Maya Kuczma
Spring Cleaning Your Home: Part IIWellness
Clean Living, Healthy Living
Now that you know the basic essentials for a healthy home, it’s time to take a closer look at the products we fill our homes with. Health is a priority but we don’t want to have to sacrifice comfort, cleanliness, or our beauty routines. However, between cosmetics, cleaning products, furniture, and clothing we may be exposed to thousands of toxins every day. The average woman is wearing 515 chemicals every day!
Luckily, many companies have popped up, devoted to bringing healthier products to the masses. Spring cleaning your house means exploring these healthy options and integrating natural products into your household whenever you can, without judgement or breaking the bank!
Many cosmetics have been shown to include heavy metals such as mercury and lead, as well as chemicals that disrupt our hormones and may cause cancer. And just because you are using cosmetics on your skin, don’t think that it won’t affect you systemically – our skin absorbs the products we use topically, carrying these substances into our bloodstream. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database assesses the safety of a huge variety of cosmetics. Look for a safety score of 0-2, the highest ranking a product can get! Bring a list of the Dirty 30 with you when shopping for cosmetics; this list will guide you away from the most dangerous thirty chemicals commonly found in cosmetics. And check out Eco Diva Beauty and Greenbaby if online shopping is more up your alley; these Vancouver based company strive to bring sustainable and non-toxic beauty to your doorstep!Keep an eye out for our skincare series this June for more info on holistic skincare.
Clean…. Cleaning !
The easiest way to avoid toxins is to clean less (yippee!) which may actually be more beneficial for your immune system. The “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that obsessive cleanliness decreases immune system development and can lead to more allergies. We’re looking at you, antibacterial soap! So when you're cleaning, focus only on obvious dirt and choose products without common hidden toxins. And if you’re in the mood for DIY, most surfaces can be cleaned with a bit of white vinegar and water, baking soda, or natural dish liquid. This approach is not only kind to our bodies but also to the environment as our cleaning products tend to end up in our water supply.
When trying to avoid household toxins, generally “new” doesn’t equal better. Newer furniture (including mattresses) and carpets contain many chemicals that they “off gas” (leach) into the air for long periods of time. Vintage furniture, sustainable harvested hardwood, VOC (volatile organic compound) free paints, and natural fiber area rugs mean you don’t have to sacrifice ambiance for health. Shop new for the bedroom and bathroom - look for organic bedding, towels, and shower curtains. These will not off gas and are easy to wash in hot water prior to using to ensure any unwanted residues are removed.
Although not directly related to toxins, clutter can also be harmful to our health, diminishing our ability to focus, complete tasks, or feel relaxed. Create a home filled only with the things you truly need and you'll create a clean space for both physical and mental health to flourish.