Gut Health & Your Personal Care Products

As we continue with our discussions on detoxing, I’d like to share with you some common toxins that you are most likely exposed to every day.   Products that you use every day that can have a lasting impact on your gut health.  

There are better, and healthier alternatives out there.  As always, I am encouraging you to be an ingredient label reader on the items that you eat AND those that you don’t.  I’m talking about your personal care products.

The chemicals (toxins) in these products can be absorbed through your skin and your lungs since most of them have some kind of a smell to them.  Your skin is the largest organ involved in removing toxins and is a good indicator of what’s going on inside your body, specifically your gut.  If you have digestive problems, it can show up as skin conditions like acne, rashes, and eczema.  

When you begin looking carefully at what you eat, you can become your own scientist and experiment with what foods may be causing your skin problems.  Common culprits are refined and processed foods, artificial colors and flavors, soy, dairy, wheat, and eggs.

Once you check and clean up what you are eating and how you are feeling on the inside, begin to pay attention to the ingredients in your personal care products and household products that you are around every single day.  Many of these products contain xenoestrogens.  I’ve written about these before.  Xenoestrogens mess with your normal hormone functions.  Your endocrine system (hormonal system) regulates your metabolism, immunity, reproduction, digestion, and more.  If you are eating poorly or slathering your body with chemicals that disrupt your endocrine system from being able to communicate properly, it will have many effects on your body, including your gut.

Endocrine disruptors cause you to gain weight.  I’ve talked about this during my webinars and wellness classes on detoxing.  When your body is overwhelmed with toxins and can’t eliminate them like they used to, the body will wrap the toxin in mucus and store it away in a fat cell to protect your body.  BUT…you can’t lose that fat, you can’t burn it off UNTIL THE TOXIN IS RELEASED!  This is one of the reasons I encourage everyone to a detox a few times a year.  

Many of the ingredients in your personal care products can mess up your digestive tract.  Your microbiome can protect you from toxins but when the body gets overloaded, that’s when it starts packing those toxins away in your fat cells.  So here are some ways you can reduce your overall toxic load.

 

Be aware  of these five most common ingredients to avoid:

> Parabens:  These are preservatives.  Many cosmetics contain them and they are found in hair dyes, sunscreen, tanning sprays, shampoo, and deodorants.  Parabens can very easily be absorbed into your skin, act as xenohormones,  mimicking estrogen, and can contribute to obesity.

> Phthalates:  These are plastic by-products that are found in soap, hair spray, shampoo, conditioners, cosmetics, perfumes, and detergents.  Even household items that can give off gases, like plastic shower curtains, can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.  Diethyl-phthalate is one that may impact your gut microbiome.

> Synthetic fragrances:  Many of these are derived from petroleum.  Toluene and benzene-derivatives are common in fragrances and are known to be carcinogenic.  There are fragrances found in many products.  Perfumes, detergents, fabric softeners, body scent products, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, dryer sheets, air fresheners, and those dreaded scented candles.  

> Triclosan: was initially used as an antibacterial agent used in hospitals.  Triclosan and other antibacterial agents have been banned from cleaning agents since 2017 as they can contribute to antibiotic resistance.  Wash with soap and water, or even find a NORWEX consultant.  These products are the bomb!

> Sodium laurel sulfate: This is an emulsifier and foaming agent found in shampoos, liquid soaps, and toothpaste.  They can cause inflammation and skin irritation.  

The skincare industry is not regulated and 89% of the ingredients used in skin care products have not been checked by the FDA, according to the EWG.  When you are looking at the words “organic” or “natural” don’t be fooled.  They don’t mean much.  A product can say it’s “natural” no matter what it contains.  The only label that is meaningful is the USDA organic seal.  

Remember that your skin is a beautiful detoxing organ.  It can let toxins in and out.  I encourage you to keep yourselves educated, become a label reader, and swap some of your products out for healthier alternatives.  Go check out the Environmental Working Groups page HERE  to find healthier alternatives.  There are many products out there that are free of parabens, phthalates, fragrances, dyes, and sodium laurel sulfates.  

Your gut affects your skin so the moral of this story is, pay attention to what you put into your body as well as what you put on it.  

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