Learn the root causes, and simple changes you can make now.
That darn rash – there it is again – where is it coming from? Why does it happen? It its that time of year where we especially may notice itchy skin, dry skin or skin issues coming to the surface! Let’s get into this then.
How many products do you use a day on your body? How about your face? Your body? Your armpits? Your arms and legs? How about what your clothes are washed in? Soaps on your hands?
One thing I don’t talk much about is our environmental loads, and exposures and how this affects our health. Today we are going to look at a few products, and habits we have that might be influencing our health.
Where do products and sensitivities play a role in health?
If you have problems with your skin, are sensitive to smells around you and more you are having some imbalances in your body, and need to really take a look at your products.
There are a few areas where these things come into play. We have things called biological toxins that influence our health. Those things are known allergies and sensitivities, dust, GMO foods, moldy food, infections and more. We also have things called chemical toxins that contribute to this situation. Those are things like chemicals in food, compounds of products we use, cleaners, our cookware, drinking water, toxicity from products like in hobbies, dust and paint, carpeting etc. We also have physical toxins like cordless devices, cell phones and tablets, wi-fi, appliances and more.
With that said, realistically what are some easy first steps that we can realistically do in our way of life today and still function? Let’s go room by room.
We clean where we eat. It’s necessary, but it also leaves us exposed. Let’s look at how.
● Surface cleaners. That means countertops, fridge, stove and more.
● Oven cleaner (inside and top)
● Sink cleaner
● Floor cleaner
● Dish soap & dishwasher detergent
● Vegetable/fruit cleaning agents
All of these items come into contact with our food which we then consume. Although we don’t eat off the floor, what we put on the floor does touch our skin if we are barefoot in our homes, and can enter the air around us. We want to look for biodegradable, nontoxic ingredients we understand and know.
What we wash our clothes in is in contact with our skin 24 hours a day! (Except in the shower of course). Scent that lasts “forever” and is hard to eliminate is a sure sign of chemicals. Whiteners and brighteners for fabric are also chemicals.
● Detergent – even free and clear isn’t free and clear.
● Stain remover
● Fabric softener
● Dryer sheets
Here again you want biodegradable and ingredients we know and understand. Things like fabric softener and dryer sheets are not essential to cloth cleanliness. There are safer alternatives out there than standard items, but remember do you really need this?
This is where we keep our TONS of body products and we also clean the surface. We often do not have clothes on in our shower so we are exposed to skin contact with most shower products. We also use body products (we delve into shortly) in this place.
● Surface cleaners
● Toilet cleaner
● Mirror Cleaner
● Floor Cleaner
We have less contact with these agents, but if we lay on our couch, our kids play on the floor or we use the rooms at all we still have exposure.
● Dusting agents
● Carpet cleaner
● Freshener sprays
● Window Cleaner
Anything that lingers and lasts forever is not good for you.
● Shampoo & Conditioner
● Body Soap
● Face Wash & similar products
● Makeup remover
● Shave Cream
● Bubble bath or similar products
These products we use on our skin and can be absorbed into our body through that contact. We want to read ingredients and know what all the ingredients are. If we do not, we can look them up but they are likely chemicals we don’t want on our skin.
What are our alternatives?
My suggestion is to look at a few things to switch out that are daily items that have the biggest impact on your body. I have found making toothpaste, body wash, and laundry detergent are easy and make a big difference in our lives. We have a lot of skin sensitivities. We work hard to balance our guts to prevent them, but the products make a difference as well. For example, I have made detergent for many years due to this. I recently tried to go to a clean brand again but once again – rashes returned. So we are back to making our own. We have a contact issue. I look at all the things that come into contact with my skin (and we have mouth sores at times), so we can influence these external factors while we continue to support our guts for these conditions as well.
Laundry Detergent – Takes 5 minutes to make.
This is a simple recipe that requires just a few ingredients that are cheap and easy to get.
This also only takes about 5 minutes to make, and is easily stored in containers you already have, or jugs off amazon.
Toothpaste – takes 5 minutes to make.
● 2 tbsp. of coconut oil (extra virgin organic is what we use)
● 2 tbsp. bentonite clay powder (we use NOW brand). This is added to pull out the impurities in the teeth (that is what this is known for).
● 1-1.5 tsp of distilled water
● .5 tsp of peppermint flavor (we use organic); qty based on your flavor needs
● .5 tsp of calcium carbonate powder (to add calcium and strength to teeth)
● .5 tsp. baking soda (we use Bob’s Red Mill brand, it’s finer and softer than other brands)
Directions: Mix these in a plastic (or glass would be fine) container with a plastic/rubber spatula.
(DO NOT USE ANY METAL WHILE MIXING – it makes the bentonite clay powder useless). I put this in my own small glass jar and I scoop it out with a clean finger. I recommend a clean spoon as well – I do not recommend sticking your brush into the mix due to risk of germ contamination of the whole batch.
Simple Hand Soap, Body Wash, and Shampoo for Kids – takes 2 minutes to make
- 2 oz. distilled water
- 7 oz. of Dr. Bronners liquid baby soap
- Foam pumper
Add in soap, water and pump away.
How can you support these things with food?
1- Remove processed and packaged items from your day.
These items contain a lot of irritants to our digestive system, and can lead to an immune response. When that happens you are more likely to have aggravated allergies and other symptoms like that. Eliminating the toxic items will help your gut balance, thus creating healthier skin.
2- Eat real foods all the time.
These provide the best nutrient support for your body, immunity, gut and skin. All types of allergies are better supported and relieved with a whole foods diet. Around 80 percent of our immune system resides in our gut. So gut health is of utmost importance. We support that with real food.
3- Populate our gut with fermented foods, and pre/probiotics.
Eating things like sauerkraut, pickles (make sure they are natural and no dyes), and more will help you naturally provide good gut microbes for balance. With the help of a practitioner you can also find the RIGHT strains of probiotics for your needs, and support your gut and your skin and body more.
If you have a terribly time with skin, allergies, asthma, reach out – let’s do a free consult and we can see how to make these changes in your life!