1.10.2018

A Safer Switch: Deodorant & Toothpaste

Welcome to my new series, A SAFER SWITCH!

When you begin learning about the toxic chemicals that are not only in the products we use on our bodies everyday, but also in our homes, it can feel pretty scary and overwhelming as you consider how to make changes.

I felt the same way last year, but when I finally took the time to understand why I should care about this topic, I started researching our move to safer alternatives. Looking back now, I realize it didn't have to feel scared or overwhelmed; you can make small changes each month that will result in a huge impact for you and your families safety and health.

Join me each week as I share ideas on how to switch over specific products to safer but still effective options. I will share information on what ingredients you should avoid, safer brands and/or information on how you can make your own!

I hope this helpful and makes it easier to make a few safer switches around your home and in your personal care routine!

Today we are launching week one with DEODORANT & TOOTHPASTE.

DEODORANT Overview
Deodorant is one of the most toxic products we put on our bodies every day. Some of the most common ingredients found in deodorants have been linked to cancer and causing significant hormonal imbalance. For this reason, it was one of the first products I switched for my husband and I last year when we started our journey to safer personal care products. Below is a high level list of the top ingredients you should avoid when picking a deodorant, as well as a few great options we have tried!

INGREDIENTS to Avoid
  • Aluminum Compounds: This ingredient is found in most antiperspirants and acts to actually block your pores and prevent you from sweating. You may think, "Wait I need this", but you don't for it to still work! The biggest reason to cut this ingredient out is that long-term exposure to Aluminum has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and interferes with your estrogen levels. If your body can't process estrogen properly, there’s a higher risk for breast and prostate cancer.
  • Parabens: This is one of the most common preservatives and also one of the most harmful additives used in our personal care products today. It is linked to disruptions in estrogen levels which leads to a higher risk of breast and prostate cancer.
  • Steareths: These additives are the product of ethoxylation (weakening of harsh chemical in the manufacturing process), which simultaneously produces carcinogens and dioxanes.
  • Triclosan: The FDA has classified triclosan as a pesticide, yet it is in the majority of brand name deodorants. It’s used to kill bacteria in the manufacturing process, as well as when it comes in contact with your skin. When triclosan is combined with water it can also create a carcinogenic gas called chloroform.
  • Propylene Glycol: If used everyday, this chemical can cause damage to your central nervous system, heart and liver. It is also shown to irritate skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Propylene glycol can be harmful at as small a percentage as 2%, yet deodorants generally have a high dose of 50% propylene glycol.
  • TEA & DEA: Triethanolamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA) are chemicals can seep into your skin and affect your liver and kidneys. In fact, they’re so harmful that these two chemicals have already been banned from products in Europe because they are known carcinogens.2
  • Artificial Colors: Some artificial colors and bleaches in deodorants can cause serious allergic reactions and are also known carcinogens.
SAFER Options
There are many great, safe options on the market today including deodorant rocks, pit pastes and traditional cream sticks. Since this is a product we use every day and I lead a pretty active lifestyle, my criteria was that it WORKED, was EASY TO FIND AND PURCHASE and was at a REASONABLE PRICE POINT. 

TOOTHPASTE Overview
69% of Americans brush their teeth morning and night but have no idea there are harmful chemicals lurking in their toothpaste. You may not think that little dot of toothpaste on the end of your toothbrush really matters but it adds up over time. In fact, the average brusher will consume 20 GALLONS of toothpaste during their lifetime; that is HUGE! Below is a high level list of the top ingredients you should avoid when picking a toothpaste, as well as a few great options we have tried!

INGREDIENTS to Avoid
  • Fluoride: The fluoride used in toothpaste is sodium fluoride and is considered an over-the-counter drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you look at the back of your toothpaste you should see a required warning label stating to keep it out of the reach of children under 6 and to alert poison control if they swallow more than the needed amount to brush teeth. Today, 95% of the toothpaste on the market contains Fluoride, which is linked to fluorosis, a condition that discolors or spots tooth enamel and affects 41 percent of American adolescents, according to the CDC. 
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Sorbitol, a liquid that keeps toothpaste from drying out, is a laxative that can cause diarrhea in children. 
  • Artificial Colors: Synthetic colors are derived from coal tar. Only seven colors remain on the FDA’s approved list; all others have been banned. Yellow #5 is under review due to links to hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and cancer.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This is a detergent known to cause microscopic tears in the mouth (which can lead to canker sores) and was originally used to clean floors. 
  • Carrageenan: Derived from red seaweed, carrageenan is added to thicken toothpaste, but it’s been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcers and even colon cancer in laboratory animals. 
  • Propylene Glycol: This is the main active ingredient in antifreeze and is used to soften cosmetic products. It has been linked to damage to the central nervous system, liver and heart.
  • Triclosan: Triclosan is added to personal care products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. Studies link triclosan to a decrease in thyroid hormones and an increase in antibiotic resistance, as well as tumors in mice.
SAFER Options
Just like deodorant, this is a product we use every day so my criteria was that it WORKED, was EASY TO FIND AND PURCHASE and was at a REASONABLE PRICE POINT.

I hope this was helpful and will make the process of switching these two products over to safer alternatives easier! Come back next week for our next, A Safer Switch!

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