Looking after yourself

Five Small Changes to Keep Chemicals Out of Your Life

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Chemicals are everywhere. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing – chemicals are basically anything made of matter, and even water is considered a chemical! However, many products that we use every day are stuffed full of artificial chemicals, and artificial chemicals are not the best things you want to be putting in or on your body. Nowadays, we’re all far more aware of living healthy lifestyles, and keeping ourselves natural, organic, and wholesome is a tempting idea. But it can be harder than you’d think! Chemicals are – you guessed it – everywhere, often hidden away in products you wouldn’t expect. Here are a few small changes you can make to different areas of your lifestyle, to keep chemicals away and treat your body like she deserves.

Treat Your Gut

It might seem like the most obvious option, but taking a good look at the food you’re eating is one of the best ways to eliminate harmful chemicals from your life. Firstly, do you tend to eat ready-made freezer food, or cook from scratch? If you cook from scratch, where do you get your groceries? Lots of store-bought veg can contain multitudes of pesticides and other chemicals, and those are all going straight into your body when you eat them! It’s always worth looking for labels like ‘organic’ and ‘pesticide-free’… or even taking the plunge and starting to grow your own small patch of vegetables so you know exactly where they’ve come from. Of course, organic produce can be expensive so don’t feel like you need to go all-out – just replacing one or two items each shopping trip can have a huge difference.

That Time of the Month

You know exactly what this means – it’s time to talk periods. For a few days every month, you can experience bleeding, irritation, pain, and just a general feeling of tiredness and achiness. There are no two ways about it – having periods can really suck! However, did you know that they also encourage you to put even more chemicals into your body? Tampons and other period items can be made using harmful pesticides and even chlorine, which could even contribute to period aches. To make a change, ensure you’re using organic tampons, paying extra attention to the information on the box, and looking for alternatives if you spot any chemical nasties lurking around.

Keep Yourself Clean

One of the main ways that chemicals get into our lives is, ironically, when we’re trying to get ourselves clean. Shampoos, body washes, conditioners: all these are often filled with unnecessary chemicals used as preservatives, coloring agents, or even just to achieve the desired consistency and textures. All these added ingredients don’t do anything for your hair and skin. In fact, they can actively damage it, making your hair greasy or dry, therefore leading you to reach for the shampoo even more frequently! Do you see the dangerous cycle you’re getting into? Break out of it by investing in one of the new innovators that create shampoos that take care of your hair organically, giving you the best quality hair you’ve had in years.

What a Beautiful Face!

Can you guess what the next major culprit is for introducing damaging chemicals to your body? That’s right, it’s make-up. Facial make-up of all kinds, but particularly foundations and other skin-covering products, are chock full of chemicals, preservatives, and other nasty additions that can actually cause more break-outs than they cover up. They lead you into the same bad cycles as chemical shampoos when your skin would probably be healthier if you just left it alone. Still, we all need to wear makeup sometimes, so it’s worth swapping your concealer for an organic, natural alternative. Your skin will definitely thank you for it, and there are some great options out there that provide the same quality coverage to traditional brands.

Light a Candle

Finally, and not to be forgotten, we turn to the simple candle. Now, candles are amazing. They are brilliant tools to destress, they can fill your home with beautiful scents, and they’re the perfect accompaniment to a chilled out night in and a movie. However, they can also be terrible for your health! The paraffin and wax in a lot of mass-produced candles can release toxins into the air, that are harmful both for your health and for the environment. Luckily, there are alternatives. Organic, natural wax, soy wax, and even beeswax candles are much better for you, and they often smell even better than their chemical-filled cousins.

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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