10 Toxin-Free Swaps For Natural Living
Many conventional cosmetics or cleaning products contain toxic ingredients, which could pose a risk to both your health and the environment. However, if you’re interested in natural living whilst simultaneously making your home more sustainable, there are some great toxin-free swaps you can try that won’t change your day to day routine in any way.
In this list, we’ve put together 10 of our favourite non-toxic swaps you might want to consider if you’re making the switch to a more natural way of life!
Conventional deodorants, especially antiperspirants which prevent you from sweating by blocking your sweat glands, have been debated and claimed to correlate with kidney disease, allergies and even cancer. While more research needs to be done to determine how true and how serious these correlations really are, we think it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Natural deodorant may take a few weeks for your body to adjust to, but it’s one of those non-toxic swaps which will make you never want to go back. Our favourites are by Wanderlightly as they are also a zero waste option housed in a compostable tube. There’s also a bi-carb free option for those with sensitive skin.
2. Shampoo Bars
Most conventional shampoos contain some worrying ingredients – such as sodium lauryl sulphate (also known as palm oil), parabens or synthetic fragrances which could be hiding hundreds of different chemicals. To avoid these, switch to a non-toxic and 100% natural shampoo bar.
Switching to a shampoo bar rather than bottled shampoo is one of the easiest toxic-free swaps you can make and the best ones we have tried are from Hemp Collective. Made from nourishing ingredients such as hemp seed oil, shea butter or alkanet root powder, these bars are literally super food for your hair. Instead of fragrances, they are scented with essential oils – such as grapefruit, orange and lemon or lavender and rose geranium.
When it comes to conditioner, the situation is usually very similar to the one with shampoo. Natural, non-toxic conditioners contain no harsh chemicals which usually dry out and damage your hair, rather than nourishing it. Most bottled conditioners also contain up to 80% water, meaning the active ingredients that are needed to condition your hair are extremely diluted.
The natural plant oils and extracts you’ll find on the ingredient list of conditioner bars promote the growth of new hair, moisturise and prevent split ends, and improve the overall health of your scalp. Our current favourites are grapefruit and lemongrass or lavender and rose geranium!
Common toothpaste contains a host of harmful chemicals, including fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - originally used to clean floors - is a detergent known to cause microscopic tears in the mouth. This ingredient is also derived using palm oil.
A 100% natural toothpaste eliminates bacteria in your mouth without the use of any harmful, toxic ingredients and includes only high quality, gentle & naturally antibacterial ingredients. To freshen your breath, it also makes use of nature’s ingredients such as herbs and essential oils.
With toothpaste, using only natural and non harmful ingredients is especially important, since you’ll inevitably swallow small amounts of it while brushing your teeth.
If you’re heading for a hike or a weekend camping trip, bug repellent will likely be one of the first and most important things you pack. However, the effectiveness of your bug spray isn’t the only thing you should worry about – we recommend that you also give some thought to the ingredients and how they impact your health.
A natural bug repellent is a much safer alternative to conventional bug sprays – and it comes in fully compostable packaging too!
When Sunday comes and it’s time to pamper your skin, which products do you choose? While there are many different options available in every drug store, some of them could be irritating or drying out your skin with harmful chemicals, not to mention the plastic packaging used.
7. Shave bar
Whether to shave or not is your choice – and if you do decide to shave regularly, the best way to pursue natural living is by using a shave bar instead of conventional shaving foam.
Conventional shaving foam often contains solvents – chemicals which help other ingredients combine with one another into a smooth foam. However, these chemicals can have a number of effects on our health (including dry skin, dizziness, headaches, dermatitis, and nose and throat irritation), which is why we think it’s best to avoid them.
8. Bath salts
The best way to relax and enjoy natural living while pampering yourself with non-toxic alternatives are some natural bath salts.
Instead of artificial dyes and fragrances, which might only irritate your body further, natural bath salts use dry herbs, flowers and essential oils. A much needed ingredient also contained in these bath salts is magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy, yet 70% of people are magnesium deficient. Magnesium plays an important role for many processes in the body including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood pressure and producing energy.
In essence, all you need to nourish and moisturise your body are some high-quality natural oils. Then how come so many people use liquid moisturisers which contain so many toxic chemicals? Good marketing that’s why.
Our favourite non-toxic moisturiser isn’t only natural – it also comes in compostable cardboard packaging which helps you reduce waste.
10. Hair mask
Whether it’s Summer stresses or harsh, cold Winters, our hair needs some TLC and deep nourishment whatever the season. A natural hair mask is the way to go! It doesn’t contain any chemicals which could irritate your scalp or dry out your hair – only wholesome ingredients which nourish your hair.
A good, high-quality hair mask contains nothing else but natural oils and some essential oils for scent.
Becoming more conscious of the products we use day in day out is key to living a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle where we can all flourish.