So, it’s not exactly spring cleaning season. I know, I know. Come September, we’re in the thick of back-to-school activities, spooning pumpkin into baked goods, and anticipating the start of the holidays. Life’s busy. Which is exactly why we need a fall cleaning sesh. Goodbye clutter, hello peace of mind. Farewell toxins, welcome happier hormones. You get the gist.
In the spirit of making our lives a little bit simpler and a lot more hormone-friendly, today we’re diving into the power of a full body detox. Before you light your favorite seasonal candle and cozy up for the long winter months, let’s temp check your everyday household essentials: cleaners, laundry detergent, skincare, and more.
Feature image by Michelle Nash.
Cluttered Home, Cluttered Mind
There’s no denying that summertime is packed to the brim with outdoor activities. From backyard barbecues and beach days, to road trips and vacations, there’s barely enough time to soak up sweet, sweet summertime. That said, between deflating pool floaties and dusting off autumn decor, it’s time to do a fall clean. This is a great way to begin your full body detox.
For many of us, a cluttered external world equates to a cluttered mind. When I’m feeling overwhelmed—or simply want to ignore my inbox—the easiest place to start is with my physical space. By giving a sense of order to my home, it almost immediately reflects inward. Can you relate? This simple guide breaks it all down. Learn how to detox your home for a healthier space (and a healthier you).
Unnatural Ingredients Wreak Havoc On Our Hormones
Ever since I was diagnosed with PCOS, I’ve been on a quest to remove toxins from our home. That includes everything from our bathroom cabinet to our pantry. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of pesky ingredients in our household items and skincare products. In fact, most of us aren’t aware of how many we’re exposed to! As in like, 80,000 chemicals—every day.
Over time, these unnatural ingredients wreak havoc on our hormones. They also impact our longevity, blood sugar, and more. The fewer we come in contact with, the better. And this begins at home. Let’s uncover dangerous toxins in your home, how to remove them, and what to swap them with. Full body detox: ready, set, go.
Toxin Overload Via Synthetic Chemicals
Before we dig into how to activate a full body detox, it’s important to understand what you’re detoxing. Let’s start with a little science: our bodies run on a network of hormones, and these hormones regulate nearly all function and emotions. Most often, we think of this system—the endocrine system—in the context of menstrual health. But, it actually plays a starring role in our development, metabolism, and more.
It’s a powerful yet delicate system (one that’s easily knocked out of balance). While many factors can disrupt its flow, synthetic chemicals are certainly to blame. They’re found in plastics, food, fragrances, etc. They mimic hormones and interfere with our delicate endocrine system. We’re exposed to these synthetic chemicals—also known as endocrine disruptors—daily.
What are endocrine disruptors?
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are harmful substances in the environment. They’re usually man-made and are found in a wide variety of consumer goods. Think: carpets, cookware, household dust, fragrances, furniture, paints, skincare products, plastics, pesticides, certain pharmaceuticals, and unfiltered drinking water. Hello, dangerous toxins in your home!
Once they’re in our bodies, they can disrupt our endocrine system. In essence, they mimic, block, or interfere with our hormones. Long-term, this can pose significant health risks. Luckily, it’s possible to limit (or avoid, altogether) endocrine disruptors once you do a full body detox.
For a printable list of endocrine disruptors, click here.
The Power Of Simple Swaps
Detoxifying your space is much less daunting than you’d imagine. In essence, it’s less about detoxing and more about making simple swaps to create a healthy, thriving home. On a daily basis, we’re exposed to an exponential number of environmental chemicals—an amount that has steadily increased over the past few decades. From building materials to household products, toxins are present in the air we breathe, what we put on our skin, and the surfaces we touch.
Over time, this exposure contributes to things like chronic disease, hormonal issues, and other unwanted health conditions. And while we’re far less capable of controlling toxins outside our walls, we can consciously choose to remove pollutants within them.
Fresh Air For A Fresh Start
After a summer of blasting the air conditioning—or enjoying a cool(ish) morning breeze from open windows—September is an optimal month to improve your indoor air quality. Given that our homes are where we spend most of our time, it makes sense that the air we breathe is filtered from unnecessary pollutants and toxins. An air purifier does just that! Otherwise, opt for house plants that clean the air. Beyond adding color and beauty to your space, most indoor plants absorb toxins from the air. They’ll all increase humidity and produce oxygen in your home, too.
Clean Smarter, Not Harder
When it comes to doing a full body detox, what you clean your house with is just as important as what you’re putting in—and on—your body every day. Unfortunately, cleaning supplies are one of the biggest culprits of toxins. Specifically, endocrine disrupting chemicals. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including ammonia and bleach. No need for such harsh synthetic chemicals! When possible, opt for non-toxic cleaning products. A few of my favorite sustainable cleaning brands are Dr. Bronner’s, Method, and Puracy. You can check the toxicity level of your cleaning products here. Remember: knowledge is power.
Read The Ingredients On Your Favorite Candle
Can’t wait to light your go-to fall candle? Not so fast. Take a look at the ingredients. Most mainstream candles are made with toxic fragrances and artificial scents. Why? For one, they’re cheaper. Many of these same candles are made of paraffin wax, a type that leaches toxic chemicals into the air. When in doubt, choose candles made of soy wax and beeswax. I love Otherland candles, but you can shop any Camille Styles’ favorites. Keep in mind that diffused essential oils are a great alternative, too!
Keep Sweat At Bay With A Non-Toxic Deodorant
Alumnium chlorohydrate in your deodorant? No, thanks. For years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best non-toxic deodorants that check a few different boxes. For starters, deodorant shouldn’t contain any aluminum, parabens, or toxic chemicals. However, it should be effective at stopping odors, nourish your skin, and leave a minimal imprint on the environment.
Along with eliminating endocrine disruptors, a non-toxic deodorant actually supports a healthy sweat. My go-to? Each & Every. Their deodorant is made from simple, clean ingredients that actually work.
This one is easier said than done. After all, plastics are in everything and everywhere. However, you can make a dent by swapping your plastic tupperware for glass, using a cast iron or stainless steel pan when cooking, and buying beans, lentils, soups, etc. in BPA-free liners. Of course, you want to hydrate in a reusable water bottle, rather than plastic—for the sake of your body and the environment. Studies show that plastics contain (and leach) hazardous chemicals, including endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Ditch The Teflon
Speaking of swapping to cast iron or stainless steel, did you know that most non-stick pans are coated with a chemical called Teflon? Teflon contains a compound called C8, which is harmful to both your health and the environment. According to a large body of research, C8 disrupts normal hormone function and lowers testosterone levels in men.
Organic Bedding Is Sexy Bedding
Most of us don’t realize how many chemicals are in our bedding and mattress—where we spend 7-9 hours every night! Not only is organic bedding better for the environment (no synthetic chemicals or pesticides are used), but it’s safer on your skin. It also tends to be much softer than its conventional counterpart. And when you clean your sheets (or do your laundry, in general), use a non-toxic laundry detergent. Wool dryer balls can be used in lieu of dryer sheets, too! A full body detox benefits from a full night’s rest.
Opt For Organic
While the focus on this full body detox has more to do with your home environment than what’s on your plate, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include mindful grocery shopping. When you eat organic, you’re putting fewer chemicals and pesticides in your body. Plus, you’re getting a better bang for your buck. Organic produce has been shown to contain higher levels of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Does that mean you need to eat all organic? Nope! It’s all about doing what you can, with what you have. We break down what’s worth buying organic vs. not, here.
To wrap this up, you can embrace a cleaner lifestyle and make space for the things you love. It’s not all or nothing. That said, many of us are surrounded by things we don’t need, don’t use, or don’t benefit from their ingredients. Take your bathroom cabinet, for example. Is the shelf filled with products you use regularly? Or, are there bottles of toxic sunscreens or suspect self-tanners you don’t use? Anything you feel mediocre about, toss.
Getting rid of excess helps you breathe easier—literally. Get rid of anything that no longer suits you, fits you, or adheres to a clean lifestyle.