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Product Detox

I think it's fair to say that I'm VERY interested in getting us all to go more "natural" with our consumer choices. Hopefully then, the products industry will respond and adapt. But oftentimes my friends will respond to my rants by saying that they "don't care if it cuts off 5 years of life…I'm still using ____ deodorant or _____ lotion every day…no matter how toxic it is!"

Imagine that!?! To think that THAT is the entire reason I'm writing this blog…. Although we should obviously pay close attention to the carcinogenic ingredients in übermarket products, there's so much more to it than just preventing illness down the road… For one, the ingredients that are toxic to our health are also quite toxic to the environment, as well. Petroleum by-products come to mind. How is it that coal, oil and gas companies receive so much attention regarding fossil fuel depletion, when nearly every single toxic product lining the shelves of a chain pharmacy contains petroleum as well??? Mineral oil…paraffin…propylene…these are only a few of the petroleum by-products in most toxic products. I know people with three pharmacies on their street block. That's A LOT of petroleum sitting on those shelves!

But something tells me that this environmental conundrum won't do much to prevent my dear friend from using her apparently "life-saving" toxic product. That said, I think I know SOMETHING that might get her attention… How about this. Detoxifying your products can mean skin that naturally glows…easier workouts at the gym…less sluggish mornings…and so on and so forth. Sometimes I feel like such a sales person, but if we begin to buy more natural products, the über-conglomerates will respond to our demand! But that's not what you wanted to hear. What was that I was saying about shinier hair and easier workouts? Right.

I've always considered myself a fairly healthy individual, but over the past couple years I've begun to "convert" to using more natural products. By no means will I say that I have the most glowing skin or tiniest waist, but I can honestly say that my body feels very different since the product conversion. At first I couldn't put my finger on what it was that changed, but then I read a recent study answering the mystery. Apparently, the toxic chemical ingredients in products are fat-soluble. These chemicals - which are crafted in labs to make us smell "prettier", shave less, cost less, etc - are stored in our fat cells. The chemicals can stay in our fat cells for an absurdly long time because our bodies aren't equipped to metabolize them. It’s even been proven that this toxic chemical storage can promote weight gain. But at the very least, it's going to make you feel and look tired.

If we used only one toxic product per day, this obviously wouldn't be an issue at all. But if you count how many products you use daily (toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo, hand wash…and the many more cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaning agents), you see how it can really take a toll.

So there you have it. If a healthier you is in the works for 2010, or even if you don't "believe" in resolutions, I hope you can believe in using healthier products. Remember to always check the ingredient labels before purchasing, and to avoid anything in this list (steer clear of phthalates, sulfates, parabens, frequent prefixes and frequent numbers on your product ingredients). By purchasing less toxic consumer products we are taking a stand against harmful chemicals. Whether it's for your longevity, the environment, or even your diet, let's begin detoxing our products this year! Happy 2010!

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