Spring has sprung, and it is time for some spring cleaning! And what better way to start than by cleaning up the products we use. It is time to start making intentional, informed decisions when it comes to the products we use and expose ourselves to on a daily basis.
The body’s endocrine system is a complex system of chemical messengers that help organs communicate with one another. These hormones help with processes from reproduction to metabolism, energy, and more. This is a delicate system that requires the hormones to remain in proper balance. Unfortunately, there are many things in our environment, food, and lifestyle that can be disruptive. These are called endocrine disruptors.
When environmental chemicals, toxins, and other contaminants disrupt how the endocrine system functions, it may lead to health issues of all kinds, especially when it comes to reproductive health. Research is still ongoing, but multiple studies have found that disruptions in the female reproductive functions by endocrine-disrupting chemicals, may result in hormonal imbalances, menstrual cycle abnormalities, and other reproductive health issues. Although you can’t avoid all endocrine disruptors, you can significantly reduce your exposure to them by making specific lifestyle choices.
What we surround our bodies with and what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in it. Everyday products such as our cookware and candles can contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can alter our hormones and affect our health in various ways. Opting for “cleaner” products can help eliminate environmental toxins and improve overall health.
This transition can feel like an overwhelming process, so be sure to take it slow. Always finish the products you already have, and then choose a few areas in your life to make some changes. In your journey of swapping to cleaner alternatives, you may find that cleaning products can be a bit pricier, but the impacts they will have on your health will be worth the investment. Use this as an opportunity to invest in yourself as well as companies that are doing their part to support the health of their customers.
Skin & Beauty
Deodorant – deodorants may contain aluminum, phthalates, parabens, and other potentially harmful ingredients that may enter the body through the pores in your underarms. Eliminating your exposure to unnecessary chemicals by making the switch to a clean deodorant will be beneficial to your health. FH picks: Hume Supernatural, Native, Iyoba, Necessaire
Cosmetics & skincare – many beauty products and face washes contain potential endocrine disruptors, and that is something all women should be conscious of, especially when they are applied one or more times a day. FH tip – Purchase travel sizes of new products and identify what works best for your skin before making the switch! FH picks: Versed, Follain, BLK + GRN, Summer Fridays, Honest, Herbivore, Farmacy, Necessaire
Feminine Hygiene – research has shown that some traditional feminine hygiene products may contain chemicals of concern such as chloromethane and acetone. Harmful chemicals may interfere with the health of the reproductive system and may be linked to health conditions. Swap for cleaner products for your health and the environment too! FH picks: Femly, Cora, Lola, Honeypot Co, SheThinx , Lena Cup, Saalt
Dental Hygiene – we brush our teeth twice a day, so it is important that we keep out harmful sulfates, artificial flavorings, and other toxic chemicals that are found in traditional toothpaste. Make the swap to natural toothpaste made from teeth protecting minerals! While cleaning up your dental hygiene regime, you may also consider swapping your plastic toothbrush to one made from bamboo to reduce plastic waste. FH picks: RiseWell, Public Goods, Native
Cookware – traditional non-stick pans often contain harmful chemicals that are released while you cook your food. Making the switch to ceramic pans, stainless steel or cast iron with non-toxic coating can significantly reduce the amount of hormone-disrupting chemicals you consume. FH picks: OurPlace, Caraway, Staub
Glass dishes & storage containers – when preparing food in mixing bowls, storing leftovers in the fridge, or storing staples in your pantry, choose glass over plastic. Plastic contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPAs which negatively impact your hormones by seeping into your foods. Make those swaps when you can! FH picks: Pyrex, Oxo, The Container Store
Serving spoons – many of our kitchen utensils used for cooking or serving are made of plastic. Swapping out plastic spoons for wooden spoons will reduce the amount of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our food. FH picks: Oxo, Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma
Water bottles/filters: just like storage containers, plastic water bottles contain BPAs, so it is important to consider alternative options such as water filters or reusable water bottles. Not only are these options better for hormone health, but they are also better for the environment too! FH picks: Soma, Brita, Berkey – water pitchers/filters, W&P, Hydroflask, S’well – water bottles
Reusable bags: plastic bags from grocery shopping are not only not the most eco-friendly option, but they also pile up in your kitchen. You can purchase reusable shopping bags to eliminate unnecessary plastic usage, and clear up some space too! The same applies for produce bags, you can buy a set at an affordable rate and they will last forever! In addition to grocery shopping swaps, you can also swap out your ziploc bags for more natural alternatives. Try out non-toxic silicone storage bags or reusable beeswax wrap for snacks, sandwiches, and more! FH picks: Public Goods, Stasher, Helen Milan, W&P
Candles + other fragrances – scented candles may contain harmful chemicals that are released through the air and then breathed in through the lungs when burning. There is little known regarding the health implications, however, you can avoid these potentially harmful synthetic materials by switching to soy, beeswax, or coconut wax candles! FH picks: Copper Wings Candle Co., 228 Grant Street Candle Co., Makana, Craft + Foster