Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Those of us with any autoimmune disease generally have a poor detoxification system. This means that the body finds it difficult to flush out toxins from the body. In addition to this, toxins have been found to be a leading trigger of autoimmune disease. So it is a never-ending cycle. Toxic exposure is a cause of autoimmune disease, but it is also a massive side-effect of autoimmune disease.
We are exposed to a large number of toxins in our everyday lives from pesticides sprayed on our vegetables, to the large number of chemicals used in our personal care products, such as cleansers, shampoos and moisturisers. I feel that most people understand the importance of not putting chemicals into our body through food, but forget about what they are putting onto their bodies through their skin. They aren't necessarily aware of the importance of not putting chemicals onto our bodies.
Personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair serums, oils, shower gels, bath soaks, moisturisers, cleansers, toners, etc are riddled with chemicals that have been found to be endocrine-disruptors and xenoestrogens which mimic the hormone oestrogen, therefore putting the body into oestrogen dominance, which has been associated with chronic disease and cancer.
Our skin is porous, and so absorbs everything we put into it. It fact, it gets into our cells pretty much immediately and so it is vital that we put only 'clean' products onto our skin. Products we put onto our skin are just as important as the food we eat with regards to toxin exposure. Toxin levels can build up over time, especially if the body cannot keep up with clearing them out, and therefore they can end up accumulating in our cells and the fluid around our cells. When our organs are overburdened with toxins they start to show signs of stress and dis-ease.
It is vital to limit our toxin exposure when healing from autoimmune disease. In order to heal we need all of our cells healthy and functioning beautifully. A major contributor to toxin exposure is through our personal care products. We put these on ourselves everyday, and in some cases multiple times a day. So, if you are serious about healing, I would advise that you go through your bathroom cupboards and swap-out all of your products for more natural, toxin-free, organic products.
A massive give-away for a product that is loaded with toxins is if it has a strong smell that lasts a long time. Natural essences like essential oils don't last for days and they have a much more gentle smell. If your hair is still smelling strong 2 or 3 days later, it is a sign that strong chemicals have been used in order to make the fragrance last longer.
The top ingredients you want to avoid from your personal care products:
Phthalates, Triclosan, Aluminium, Parabens, Retinyl palmitate and Formaldehyde
In addition to avoiding these ingredients, it is always good to go for organic whenever you can. This means that you are also avoiding nasty GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). GMOs have been linked to many health issues. (I have an up-coming blog post all about GMOs and why its so important to switch to organic). Another great thing about buying organic and natural products is that it is better for the environment and the companies are usually vegan and into sustainability and looking after the planet. So you are not only helping your body, you are helping the planet as well!
Here is a list of my favourite toxin-free body care products that I currently use:
Face oil / serum