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I thought I would write about a daily routine that can often expose us to numerous toxins…Our morning routine!  Each morning we can be exposed to a significant amount of toxins from the cosmetic products we use, from our toothpastes, lotions, shaving creams, shampoos, make-up etc.  These chemicals find their way into our body and can cause significant harm.

Knowing how to identify these chemicals can empower you to make some changes and at the very least, reduce your toxic burden. One of the primary organs that detoxifies the body is the liver. When the toxic burden becomes too much, toxins get stored in our fat cells and can lead to a series of symptoms such as weight gain, lowered immune system, anxiety, depression, eczema, hives, hormone irregularities, joint pain, low energy and eventually serious diseases.

One of the easiest places to start removing chemicals from your everyday life is in your bathroom. It is estimated that women use approximately 12 self-care products per day while men use approximately 6. There are 12 major ingredients in cosmetics to avoid which have been coined as “The Dirty Dozen”  by the David Suzuki Foundation. These ingredients are:

  • BHA and BHT
  • Coal tar dyes
  • DEA-related ingredients
  • Dibutyl phthalate
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  • Parabens
  • Parfum
  • PEG compounds
  • Petrolatum
  • Siloxanes
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Triclosan

Keep this list on hand when you go shopping and don’t get tricked by the labels “herbal”, “organic” and even “natural”.  They have no legal definition, meaning that any product can have this label and it means nothing.

Below are a few tips to ensure you are decreasing your toxic burden.

  1. Read the labels! And replace as many of your cosmetic products with ones that do not contain these chemicals.
  2. Ensure you are eating enough protein in your day, this is essential to ensure proper detoxification.  To learn more about how much your body needs click here.
  3. Try making your own products with fruits, veggies and natural oils.
  4. Squeeze a ¼ to ½ lemon in a glass of warm water and drink in the morning to stimulate the functioning of your liver.
  5. Support liver detoxification by drinking milk thistle or dandelion tea.