The term ‘low tox’ means something different to everyone - and can be a brand
new term for some. But if you’re invested in your health and the wellbeing of
your home and family, this term can open your eyes to exactly what is in every
product you bring home, so you can make more informed choices.
It’s a ‘slow and steady’ kind of journey, not a race to the finish line,
so we’ve got a few simple tips to get you started.
Toss toxic beauty products
Is your bathroom cabinet brimming with half-filled tubes and year-old products?
Is your make-up bag runneth-over with impulse purchases that have never been
used? It’s time to take a low tox audit of your toiletries and beauty products.
You might not realise, but lurking inside stacks of beauty products are
hormone-disrupting phthalates, artificial fragrances, petroleum-based
ingredients and irritating preservatives like phenoxyethanol and parabens.
And that doesn’t even cover product expiry dates, after which the products
lose their usefulness and can even aggravate your skin.
Use this ‘dirty dozen’ list to know what to look out for.
Next time you’ve got a spare 20-minutes, check out the ingredients and expiry
dates on your skincare products, ditch the ones that don’t make the cut,
investigate the ingredients you don’t recognise, and recycle whatever containers
you can. Then use it as an excuse to stock up on new low tox alternatives!
Spread good smells
There are loads of tricks to spreading delicious smells throughout your
home - and none of them involve toxins. Grab your favourite essential oils and
some citrus peels, add them to a saucepan with a little water, simmering for 5-10
minutes. Your home will smell incredible in no time.
Another method for lifting the aroma of your home is with a winter air
freshener - a hack we borrowed from Low Tox Life. Add a bit of baking soda to
a jar, along with a few drops of essential oil and some cinnamon sticks.
Let the smell circulate your house, and stir the baking soda with the cinnamon
sticks anytime you need to freshen the air.
Consider a water filter
Whether you live in a city or a regional area, your water can have any number
of chemicals, chlorine, pesticides, and fluoride in it. In order to protect your gut
health and avoid the side effects of chemically-laden water, it’s worth investing in
a good quality water filter for your home.
Brands like Southern Cross Pottery help to remove known contaminants
like Volatile Organic Components, metals, bacteria, and more from the
drinking water, while leaving behind beneficial minerals like magnesium,
calcium and potassium so you score maximum health benefits. They’re easy to
use, come with low maintenance filters, and make an attractive addition to your
We spend so much money on hand soaps, dishwashing soaps, surface
cleaners, and more - when we could be using the same combinations for each
purpose. On top of that, there’s a number of nasties that hide in most
commercial cleaning products. The main ones to watch out for include our
familiar phthalates, which are often listed as ‘fragrance’; Triclosan, disguised as
‘antibacterial’ but which causes endless eye, skin, and lung irritations and
disrupts your immune system; and Quats, or Quarternary Ammonium
Compounds, which can invoke asthma and dermatitis, and is most commonly
found in fabric softeners.
So what can you use instead? Castile soap, such as the Dr Bronners range,
is the answer. Castile soap is a concentrated, low tox soap that, when mixed
with water, can be used as dishwashing soap, handwash, to clean countertops,
to rinse veggies, in laundry, to mop the floors - you name it, castile soap can do
it. Check out just how many uses this soap has and how to make your new
cleaning products here.
Another hack is to use distilled vinegar to clean your home - dilute
vinegar with water, and add your choice of essential oils. Better yet, add some
citrus peels, leave for a week, and you’ve got your own naturally-scented
Start the swapping process
Have you grown comfortable with the same rotation of products in your home?
Whether it’s your cereal, your clothing, your pillows, or your laundry detergent,
there’s nothing like evaluating your go-to products to detoxify your home.
Make a list of the areas of your home you’d like to audit, and then commit some
time to work through each room, one by one.
If you start in the kitchen, explore the ingredients list on the back of any products
that aren’t fresh produce/single ingredients, and use the Chemical Maze app to
see how each ingredient is rated and what side effects they have.
You might be surprised to learn those ‘natural’ muesli bars still contain
preservative 202 or artificial colours.
In the bedroom, it’s important to learn what material your bedding is made from,
avoid allergens and toxic memory foams. In your living room, look into the
ingredients in candles and swap for 100% beeswax or ones that use essential
oils as their fragrance.