Lifestyle

My Toxic Free Bathroom Essentials + Morning Rituals

April 27, 2018

When you start becoming aware of what you’re putting into your body, you’ll eventually start thinking about what you are putting on your body as well. And then, bit by bit, it trickles down to everything you use in your house like the cleaning products you use and type of bed sheets you sleep in. At least that’s what happened to me. The more I learnt, the bigger my eyes grew in disbelief. How can we be exposing ourselves to all these unpronounaceable ingredients and not know about it!? I was baffled.

I don’t want to overload you with facts about why you should make the switch to healthier skin products, but I do want to point out this super powerful piece of information that really got under my skin (no pin intended) when I first heard it. Most of us know that the skin is our largest organ. But did you know that 60-90% of all products that you put on your skin actually end up in your blood stream? Up to 90%! Mind. Blown.

Once you learn this, you can’t un-learn it.

And so I decided it was time to cut the crap and start healthy-fying my home. Luckily Phil and I were just about to move to Australia at the time , so I had the chance to start from scratch and only bring products into my home that I had consciously thought about and researched.

What you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat and should be just as nourishing. And each and every day we make choices which impact our health and happiness, as well as that of the planet.

I’m really enjoying my journey toward a toxin free existence, and have become increasingly passionate about sharing my knowledge with others. Whenever someone asks me what products I use – I am more than happy to share because I hope it will raise the collective awareness of healthier, more natural and more sustainable alternatives. In the end we all vote with our money, and the more people make the switch, the better it will be for everyone’s health and the health for our planet.

“I always wondered why SOMEBODY didn’t do SOMETHING about that……

then I realised I AM SOMEBODY" - Lily Tomlin
toxic free bathroom essentials

In Australia we are lucky to be spoilt with a range of brand options that offer plant based, cruelty free and sustainable options. After trialling a bunch of them, my bathroom – and home – is now no longer a minefield of chemicals, but a safe haven for my health AND our planet. Long gone are the days where I tried getting my acne under control by taking Accutane (worst. decision. ever. –> you can read all about it here) or would use shampoos with extra fragrance just ’cause. I’m all about that natural now, baby!

When I show my bathroom cupboards to my friends (cause, #duh), I get a bunch of questions:

Why do you have a bamboo toothbrush? What are parabens, and why should we avoid them? Organic tampons, say what? And whyyy the heck would I care about the ingredients in my laundry detergent? And most importantly – do all these alterantive things actually WORK?

toxic free bathroom essentials

Sooo…I figured it was time for a deep dive into my bathroom essentials and whilst I’m at it, I’ll share some of my bathroom routines with you as well.

  • Dry Body Brushing
  • I’ve been a fan of dry brushing for a long time and love doing it before my shower. I don’t make the time for it as much as I used to, but when I do use it more regularly (2-3x a week), I notice an immediate difference. Dry body brushing increases blood circulation, which means it brings fresh nutrients and oxygen to the skins surface. It also activates the lymphatic system –  lymph is slow moving fluid in your body which removes toxins and waste from your internal systems and returns it to your blood stream. While every day functions such as exercise, breathing and blood circulation all assist in the lymphatic process, dry body brushing is a great way to give it a boost and get your body looking and feeling better! And because it removes dead skin cells, your skin instantly feels softer afterwards. Win! #selfcaretip: I like to really tune in to my body while doing this and express some gratitude for being healthy, fit and strong. It’s like a mini-meditation in itself.
  • Oil Pulling
  • This is another goodie that I’ve been doing for years, again more or less regularly (2-3x a week). Oil pulling is an age-old remedy rooted in Ayurvedic medicine that uses oil to clean and detoxify the teeth, tongue and gum. Although there’s not enough research backing oil pulling’s effectiveness, I’ve personally noticed great benefits and just love the feeling it gives me afterwards. If you are new to oil pulling, in short it is the act of swishing oil (I use coconut but you can also use sunflower or sesame oil) in the mouth for up to 20 minutes. Just make sure to rinse well afterards with warm salt water (that works best in my opinion) to get the oily taste out of your mouth and spit the oil in the trash, not into the sink as this will clog the pipes. I prefer doing this first thing in the morning; mostly while I’m prepping breakfast or even while putting on my make-up. I also do it when I feel like I need a “palette reset”, like after a drink the night before or after one too many desserts.
  • Let’s look at what’s in my shower: shampoo + conditioner, body wash, shaving cream

Finding a good natural shampoo and conditioner that actually works has been a bit tricky. I’ve tried loads but many of them haven’t lived up to their expecations. Ecostore is one brand that I keep on coming back to as it seems to top the other one’s in terms of moisturising and nourishing my hair. Not only are they plant-based, not tested on animals, earth friendly  with no nasty chemicals and sustainable recyclable packaging, they are also surprisingly affordable. I currently use their ‘Dry Damaged or Coloured’ range because I feel like my hair really needs the extra love with all the surfing and workouts that I do. On top of it I do a coconut oil hair mask every fortnight or so, and that always makes it super smooth and glossy. I’m also giving their Rose & Cardamon body wash a try (I’m slightly OCD and like having my shower products all color-coordinate, #iknowimweird). The smell  is delicious and it feels really luxurious on the skin, but it doesn’t have an overpowering perfume as many chemically-laden alternatives do. But the best part is that it doesn’t dry my skin out and if I’m ever in a rush and don’t have time to use moisturiser after the shower, I don’t feel like a shrivelled raisin for the rest of the day.

For shaving, I actually just use my shampoo to create a bit of foam and make the process smoother. I don’t believe in having an arsenal of beauty products and like to keep it simple, plus I have yet to find a more natural alternative (holla at me if you know of one).

  • Gargling with “On Guard” essential oil

Now this one is fairly new to me; I’ve only been doing it for about two weeks or so, ever since I listened to a podcast from Melissa Ambrosini’s husband, Nick Broadhurst. The  Doterra “On Guard” essential oil is a ’ therapeutic grade essential oil blend that contains a mix of sweet orange essential oil, rosemary, clove, cinnamon and eucalyptus.  Each ingredient has antibacterial and immune boosting properties, so when you gargle with this combo it really helps to protect against bacteria, viruses etc. After doing a bit more research on this, it seems that a lot of people also use it at the onset of a sore throat or to fight laryngitis. Want to give it a try? Simply put 1 drop (anything more is too strong for me personally) into a bit of water and gargle for one minute.

toxic free bathroom essentials

  • Personal Care Products

Menstruation. Yep, we’re going there, it’s 2018 and totally normal to be publicly talking about our periods. Switching from regular tampons and pads to organic ones (I use TomOrganics) was one of the last switches I made in my ‘healthy-fying’ quest because it didn’t even occur to me that tampons could be bad for you. Also confused? It makes sense if you think about it: the vagina is a mucus membrane, so the lining absorbs whatever you put into your body (much like your skin does too). And regular tampons can contain pesticides used to grow non-organic cotton and dioxin from the bleaching process, which is an endocrine disruptor and linked to potential health hazards. Organic tampons on the other hand are made with organic cotton – grown without pesticides or insecticides — and it’s free of any chemical-y dyes or fragrances. I also was gifted a menstruation cup from a friend, which is even better for the environment, but I haven’t gotten myself to make the switch quite yet.

  • Natural make up
  • Let’s not forget about make-up! My current fave is Dusty Girls – not only are they easily accessible, they are also affordable, vegan-friendly and mineral based which I love. I personally use their mineral foundation, natural mineral bronzer, and I’m obsessed with their Chia Seed lipstick! I find it especially important to go with a natural lipstick because there’s studying showing women ingest up to nine pounds of lipstick in their lifetime. Eeeek!
  • What else you can find in my bathroom
    • Laundry detergent from ecostore – Formulated from the latest generation plant-based ingredients, ecostore’s laundry detergents are free of optical brighteners, phosphates and synthetic fragrances. Not only is that better for our environment, but it also means you won’t get in contact with nasty chemicals when you put on freshly washed clothes (who would want that?!). I can personally attest that their products WORK because they managed to effortlessly get rid of all of the mud on our clothes after the Spartan Race from two weeks ago. I use the Eucalyptus fragrance booth for the normal laundry liquid, as well as the Wool & Delicate range that I use for washing finer material and my activewear.toxic free bathroom essentialsSpartan Race Sydney 2018
    • Organic towels from ecodownunder – the crops aren’t treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and GMO’s that are harmful for farmers, consumers, and the entire wildlife eco-system. They also use much less water than conventional crops. 
    • Orange & Cypress hand wash, also from ecostore – There’s nothing worse than washing your hands with soap that dries them out. Go with a gentle plant-based alternative and you won’t have that issue!
    • Bamboo tooth brush – I’d seen them in the health food stores and had always dismissed them as hippie wowoo. But then I had a friend point the following out to me: “You avoid buying plastic water bottles and bring your own cup to coffee shops so you don’t need to use their plastic ones, and yet you buy a new plastic tooth brush every month? What’s the point in that?!” That really got me thinking. So I did a bit of research, and turns out billions of plastic brushes reach landfills globally each year. Enough for me to rethink my oral care approach and make the switch to bamboo.

healthy bathroom essentials

Now it’s over to you! If you haven’t already taken the leap, I invite you to peruse through your cupboards and start having a think about the products to use. Become aware of all the nasty chemicals you are coming into contact with on a daily basis. From there, it’s up to you to decide.

The mumbo jumbo of ingredients will be overwhelming at the beginning, so I wanted to share some quick resources that helped me educate myself more:

  1. Ecostore, who I have partnered with to bring you this blog post, actually have an amazing section on their website highlighting dozens of chemicals (check it out here), what their potential health risk is and whether they use it in their product or not. I love the fact how transparent they are about what they put in their products – they actually go above and beyond the legal requirements by listing every ingredient on their product label – and if there is any doubt about the safety of an ingredient, they choose not to use it rather than risk the health of the customer.
  2. Emily from Depths of Beauty has been a big guiding light in my journey towards less chemicals, and I highly recommend her website for product reviews and more info about why you should make the switch.

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