How toxic are your beauty products?

It’s no surprise that many chemicals we ingest or breathe-in are harmful to our health. But did you know there are an alarming amount of toxic chemicals we use every day in our beauty and household products without being aware of the impacts they have on our health? Click here to read why. For that reason more and more people are making the switch to healthy non-toxic beauty and household products. But how do you know if your favourite product is truly non-toxic, and what should you look for on the label? After-all many of the ingredients lists are long and contain compounds that are hard enough to pronounce let alone understand. Unfortunately claims such as “natural”, “vegan”, “clean”, “green”, “organic”, or “non-toxic” doesn’t necessarily make it safe. Keep reading and I’ll help you find out if your product meets the list.

Let’s first start off with a list of common potentially harmful and/or irritating chemicals. Go ahead and grab some of your favourite beauty products and see if they contain any of these ingredients I’ve listed below in alphabetical order. Just a little warning that this list can be slightly overwhelming. I don’t expect you to avoid all of these ingredients at once, or at all if you choose not to. But I do think it’s important for you to look into these chemicals more and know what is in your products, especially if you have current health condition such as hormonal imbalances or chronic inflammatory conditions. These chemicals might just be the root of your problems, or at the very least not helping your health.

30 Common Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Beauty & Household Products:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Aluminum
  3. Benzalkomium Chloride
  4. Benzoyl Peroxide
  5. Bisphenol – A (BPA), BPS
  6. BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), Toluene, BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
  7. Carbon Black
  8. Coal Tar Dye, P – Phenylenediamine (Colours listed as “CI”, “FD&C,” or “D&C”)
  9. Dibutyl Phthalate, Phthalates, DHP, DBP5, DEHP
  10. Dioxins
  11. Formaldehyde – Releasing Preservatives (DMDM Hydantoin, Quanternium-15, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methenamine)
  12. Gluten, Hydrolized Wheat Protein, Wheatgerm
  13. Heavy Metals (Nickel, Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Mercury, etc)
  14. Hydroquinone
  15. Octinoxate
  16. Para – Aminobenzoic Acid, PABA, Benzphenone, Avobenzone, Ethoxycinnamate
  17. Parabdens (Ethyl, Butyl, Methyl, Propyl, Isobutyl, Methyl)
  18. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)
  19. PEG (Polyethylene Glycol), Dioxane; 1,4 Dioxane (Ingredients ending with eth/oxynol like Ceteareth)
  20. Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Petrochemical (Paraffins ending in “anol” such as isopropyl alcohol, isopropanol, methyl alcohol, methanol, butyl alcohol, butanol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol)
  21. Phenoxyethanol
  22. Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol
  23. Silicone
  24. Siloxanes (Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane”)
  25. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  26. Sunscreens (Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
  27. Synthetic Fragrances (Parfum, Fragrance)
  28. Talc
  29. TEA, DEA, and MEA (Triethanolamine, Diethanolamine, Monoethanolamine, Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA
  30. Triclosan

Now What?

If you are like me you have discovered that many of your favourite products contain numerous of these chemicals. So what’s the next step? Of course I don’t expect you to throw out all of your products and start from scratch. Who has the time or money to invest in that? However here are a few tips I suggest to help you start making the switch to healthier products:

  • Check your products on the EWG’s Cosmetic Database. This can help you decipher which of your products are the most toxic and which ones you might want to switch first. You can also search for individual ingredients you are wondering about to see how they rate on the toxicity scale.
  • EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends avoiding at least these top 5 harmful ingredients as a start:
    • DMDM Hydantoin
    • Diazolidinyl Urea
    • Imidazolidinyl Urea
    • Ceteareth
    • PEG and Polyethylene
  • Download EWG’s Healthy Living App and search their website for EWG Verified Products
  • Consider switching to a healthier product as you run out of another or are ready to try something new.
  • Copy the list above into your “notes” on your phone or print it off. That way when you are shopping for a new product you can check your list to see how it matches up. Look for samples to try first or travel sizes.
  • Follow my tips here on the 3 products I suggest switching first.
  • Do your research when looking for a new product. Read reviews and look for unbiased feedback from other users.
  • Take your time when switching to new products. I have slowly been making the switch over the past year am and still experimenting/looking for the best products.

Of course keep following my blog and social media posts as I continue to test out new products and give reviews. Have a suggestion for me to try or looking for my feedback on a product? Leave me a comment below or fill out a contact form and I’ll get back to you soon.

Did you find this article useful or interesting? Please give it a like below, subscribe for future posts and share it with someone who can also benefit.

Naturally, Krissy – xo

Intermittent Fasting: Fasting Approved Beverages

Now that you understand the benefits of Intermittent Fasting (IF), as well as the difference between a fasting window and eating window, I’m sure you are wondering what you can consume during a fast. Keep reading for a short but sweet article on fasting approved beverages.

If you missed my post on the benefits of IF please click here, and click here if you missed my article on the 3 most common types of IF protocols.

As we learned in my last 2 articles, one of the main goals for IF is to keep blood sugar levels low and to avoid spiking insulin. In order to remain in a fasted state you cannot raise insulin levels. If you do then the benefits of IF are voided. This of course means that anything consumed while you are fasting cannot raise your insulin levels. For that reason fasting approved beverages do not contain any calories, carbohydrates, protein, or fat.

Here is a list of both fasting approved beverages and things to avoid during a fast.

Fasting Approved Beverages:

  • Water
  • Black coffee
  • Tea (green, black, or herbal – avoid anything with real fruit in it)
  • Pure liquid Stevia
  • Plain soda water or Stevia flavoured soda water
  • Zevia sodas
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Calorie-free electrolyte powders sweetened with Stevia (click here for my favourite)

Not Fasting Approved:

  • Milk, cream, butter or MCT/coconut oil in your coffee (sorry!)
  • Sodas or beverages flavoured with Aspartame, sugar alcohols, Splenda or any other sweetener other than Stevia
  • Bone broth (that’s right it contains protein and fat!)
  • Alcohol
  • Any drink powders containing calories (read the label)

Of course it goes to say that all foods consumed will also break your fast. I also recommend taking any supplements you can with your meals, especially food-based supplements and oils, because these could break your fast.

Now if you are just starting off with IF and need to put a little MCT oil in your coffee to keep you tied over in the beginning, this is ok. But it is something you will need to cut out as your body becomes fasting adapted, especially if you would like to achieve all of the health and fat-loss benefits of IF.

It also depends on what your goals for fasting are. If you are looking for the Autophagy benefits it is actually recommended that nothing be consumed during your fast except water. You can work up to this if you would like however. I still have electrolytes in my water while fasting as well as 1 cup of green tea. On my longer fasting days I also have a can of Zevia Root Beer mid-afternoon as I find the carbonation very filling.

Have a question about something missing from the list? Leave me a comment below. And please share this article with someone else who you think would benefit.

Naturally, Krissy

How I Kicked My Coffee Habit

It’s officially been 3 months since I’ve quit my coffee addiction and I’m never looking back. Keep reading for how I’m feeling now without it, as well as the perfect substitution I’ve found to replace it.

I decided to give up coffee in January when I started my second Fibromyalgia and anti-inflammatory elimination diet. I didn’t part with it when I did an elimination diet last year because I was always so exhausted, I couldn’t imagine life without it. I needed at least one coffee to wake me up in the morning and often a second one to keep me going after lunch. I loved the smell, the bitter taste, and looked forward to every single cup. I thought it was important to give my elimination diet 100% this time around though and wanted to rule out the possibility of adrenal fatigue.

I’m not going to lie, the first three days were awful! Day 1 was the worst. I was a horrible person to be around because of my irritability and was so exhausted I needed a nap (which I never do despite my chronic fatigue). Day 2 was slightly better, and day 3 a little more. Based on what others told me I thought I would go through these withdrawal symptoms for at least week or two, but thankfully by day 4 I was fine. I had so much energy by day 5 that I did my first workout on our elliptical machine in forever.

My energy continued to increase in the weeks after, and while I did cut out a lot of other inflammatory foods from my diet, my chronic pain, IBS symptoms and Interstitial Cystitis (IC) were all much better. I added green tea back in last month so I am having a little caffeine again but it doesn’t seem to affect me the same way as coffee. Recently I decided to try one medium coffee just to see how I’d feel and this confirmed it’s definitely one of my triggers. I woke up very sore the next morning and my IC and IBS were acting up. It also makes me anxious and sweat more. Unfortunately I’ve discovered decaf coffee isn’t good for my IC either. So as much as the smell still gets me, I’ve decided to break-up with coffee for good. The fact is coffee is very acidic and inflammatory. It’s clear my body knows what is best for me and I’m going to listen to it.

Thankfully I’ve found the perfect substitution that not only helped with my initial transition but is a regular yummy treat for when I’m craving a warm coffee-like drink. Dandy Blend not only smells like coffee, it looks like coffee, has a rich and slightly sweet taste, and a smooth texture giving it the closest resemblance to coffee I’ve found.

As it’s name suggests Dandy Blend also has all the benefits of dandelion root which include:

  • Improving gut health
  • Helping digestion
  • A good source of vitamin K & calcium
  • Can prevent gallstones
  • Balances water
  • Can decrease eczema
  • Can help with muscle & joint pain
  • And so much more!

Thinking of kicking your morning coffee habit to the curb? Or looking to cut back? Click here to try Dandy Blend yourself and let me know what you think!

Do you have a coffee substitute you like? Let me know in the comments below and please share with someone you think would like this article.

Naturally, Krissy – xo