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July 19, 2024
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Are You Unknowingly Polluting Your Body? Discover What Toxins to Ditch and the Healthier Swaps to Make!

Are You Unknowingly Polluting Your Body? Discover What Toxins to Ditch and the Healthier Swaps to Make!
Photo: Unsplash.com

Are You Unknowingly Polluting Your Body? Discover What Toxins to Ditch and the Healthier Swaps to Make!

New Yorkers are no strangers to toxins in their daily lives. Many of them already look for ways to reduce toxins, mainly because of the city’s pollution burden on their bodies. And while they can’t control the flow of traffic, there are some things that New Yorkers can control when it comes to swapping out toxic products for healthier ones. This article peels back the label on those sleek bottles and jars, revealing toxins you should avoid to safeguard your health and make more informed choices. 

Parabens are the Preservatives You Didn’t Sign Up For

Parabens have become household names, and not for good reasons. They are in many personal care products like shampoos, moisturizers, and makeup. These synthetic preservatives are designed to extend shelf life but come at a cost to your health. Studies have linked these parabens to hormonal imbalances and increased risk of breast cancer, as they mimic estrogen in the body. The solution? More New Yorkers opt for products labeled as paraben-free. Brands are increasingly formulating products with natural preservatives like Vitamin E, which not only serve the same purpose but also provide added skin nourishment. It’s a simple swap that can have profound impacts on your health.

Sulfates are Stripping More Than Just Dirt

Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), are common in cleaning products, shampoos, and body washes for their ability to create lather and effectively cut through grease. However, this efficiency has a downside. They are harsh on the skin and scalp, strip away natural oils, and lead to dryness and, in some cases, allergic reactions. Furthermore, their production process raises concerns about environmental pollution. The alternative? Look for sulfate-free products. These use milder, plant-based surfactants like coco-glucoside that cleanse effectively without the harsh effects. 

Synthetic Fragrances are a Cocktail of Unknowns

Synthetic fragrances found in lotions, perfumes, and even laundry detergents can contain a mix of hundreds of chemicals, including phthalates, which are used to make scents last longer. These chemicals are not only a mystery to consumers due to trade secret laws but also pose risks to our health, with links to allergies, reproductive toxicity, and even cancer. Many folks focusing on environmental justice understand the disproportionate impact of these toxins on vulnerable populations. The solution lies in seeking out products scented with natural essential oils or those labeled as “fragrance-free.” Essential oils provide a nice aroma and offer therapeutic benefits, making them a superior choice for both your body and mind. Avoiding synthetic fragrances also means looking for unscented trash bags and different household cleaners and even switching to sustainable toilet paper without the scents. 

Allergens in Home and Body Products

Allergens lurking in our home and body products can range from natural components like essential oils to synthetic fragrances and dyes, all capable of triggering allergic reactions or sensitivities in many individuals. These reactions might manifest as skin rashes, respiratory issues, or even long-term health problems. The key to navigating this minefield is to opt for hypoallergenic products that are free from common allergens and to always conduct a patch test before trying a new product. Additionally, finding a coconut-free shampoo or lotion can be a game-changer for those specifically sensitive to coconut-derived ingredients. It prevents adverse reactions and opens the door to exploring a variety of natural and gentle alternatives that are kinder to your skin and hair. 

Synthetic Colors are More Than Just a Pretty Hue

Synthetic colors, identified on labels with numbers, are artificial dyes used to make cosmetics and personal care products look more appealing. However, these synthetic additives are derived from coal tar and petroleum sources, which are known carcinogens. Studies have shown that some artificial colors can lead to skin sensitivities and other health issues. The vibrant hues might catch your eye, but the potential health risks they carry are not worth the visual appeal. Instead, seek out products colored with natural pigments from fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These natural alternatives provide a spectrum of beautiful colors without the risk of exposing your body to harmful chemicals.

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens containing compounds like oxybenzone and avobenzone absorb harmful UV radiation to protect the skin from sun damage. However, they have been scrutinized for their potential to disrupt endocrine functions and contribute to coral reef degradation. These concerns have led to increased demand for natural sunscreens that use minerals like zinc oxide to physically block UV rays. More New Yorkers are switching to a mineral sunscreen that offers adequate sun protection while aligning with a commitment to personal health and environmental stewardship.

 

Published By: Aize Perez

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