About a week ago, I posted on Facebook that I was interested in doing a series of articles on reducing your “chemical load,” as Mark Sisson would say. Within minutes, the post had a ton of likes and comments, so I’m glad to know this stuff is important to you.
Over the past week, I have done some pretty extensive research to find simple ways we all can reduce the amount of chemicals in our life outside of eating cleaner foods. The key words are “simple” and “reduce” since 1) if it’s hard to do you aren’t likely to do it and 2) we will never be able to eliminate the toxins and chemicals in our lives, so trying to reduce them is the best we can do.
Today, we’re starting with the shower.
Install a chlorine filter shower head. If you get your water from non-well sources, there is an above average chance that your water is treated with chlorine. While it’s a great disinfectant, overexposure can potentially lead to health issues, not to mention the fact it dries out your skin. Installing a shower head that filters out chlorine is a great way to reduce your overall exposure at home.
Please note, a lot of water treatment facilities have switched from chlorine to chloramine, which is a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. The problem with this is, based on my research, chloramine is virtually impossible to get out of your water without having a whole home water filtration system. So, while installing a chlorine filter shower head is a good start, it won’t stop everything.
Use a non-PVC shower curtain. Shower curtains made of PVC have “the chemical additive DEHP, a phthalate that is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to hormonal disruption in humans.” Doesn’t sound all that awesome, right? So, instead of using a PVC shower curtain, consider getting a regular linen shower curtain instead. In addition to being PVC free, it has been my experience that linen shower curtains are a lot easier to clean.
Make your own shampoo. Before you use the shampoo that’s currently in your show, take a look at the bottle and look at the list of ingredients. What percentage of them actually look like they’re written in a non-gibberish language? I actually made a video a while back where I made simple shampoo out of baking soda and lemon juice. It’s cheap and it’s easy to do, plus it saves you from exposing yourself to chemicals whose names you can’t even pronounce.
Make your own conditioner. While I have only done this twice in my life (and did too much of it, so my hair looked really, really greasy), coconut oil makes a great conditioner/moisturizer for your hair. I’ve also heard of people using olive oil, too.
(UPDATE: I know there are many wonderful organic shampoos and conditioners out there. I have not used any of them, so I’m not sure what I would recommend. If you have a product you love, please leave a comment and share!)
Use “clean” soaps. Many soaps are laden with chemicals, fragrances, and anti-bacterial agents that generally are not good for people. So, to get away from these extra chemicals, I recommend switching to natural soaps. Personally, I’ve been using One With Nature soaps for the past year or so and I absolutely love them. I’ve noticed my skin is less try and the soap is made with 100% natural ingredients.
Overall, removing chemicals from your shower is pretty easy to do and, for me anyway, has minimal effects on cleanliness. So, if you’re looking to reduce your “chemical load,” this is a good place to start.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this is a waste of time? Do you have other ideas to “detox” your shower? Leave a comment below and share with the community!
Disclosure: The opinions expressed above are 100% my own. This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”