It literally all started with my beautiful dog Toffee and her skin my poor beautiful girl had terrible inflamed and itchy skin and gut intolerances. I didn’t know much but I had this sense that what I used in the home had an effect so I started researching and going back to basics. By eliminating common household products and going back to natural ones I helped her skin heal and food adjustment did the rest.
Over the years as a doctor I have seen many patients present with rashes we call contact dermatitis - this is inflamed skin that is caused by something it has been in contact with.. When you talk about what people use around the home you always find a new laundry detergent or something fabric spray or shower gel and the list goes on.
We are now bombarded on a daily basis with products that cause our protective layer -our skin - to break down and are continually inhaled in the air we breathe and ingested on our hands or via the food we eat
We know that there has been a 3 fold increase in allergies in the last 30 years in humans so it is not hard to assume a similar figure for our pets.
1 in 3 humans have a chronic illness associated with an allergy such as asthma or eczema
There are many factors associated
- Unnaturally refined diet
- Double glazing
- Exposure to chemicals
- Build up in the home - building materials
- Foam furnishings
- Fire retardant tx
- Cleaning and personal care products
- Inside out homes 90% of the time
This constant onslaught on our immune system causes it to be overwhelmed and we develop an intolerance to products and in addition the harshness of the products affect us in a variety of ways.
And in actual fact it has been found that the air in our homes is 2 to 5x more polluted than outside - scary!
Now we may not be able to do a lot about some factors such as building materials unless we can fully embrace the eco life but we can do something about cleaners and personal care by switching to toxin free solutions which is so easy to do and also so much cheaper too.
Whilst I was at medical school I also worked as a dog trainer and did a lot of puppy classes and so often owners would ask my advice about their puppy’s rash on its tummy - I would always ask what they were using on their floor either to mop or to clean a carpet. Every time it was something mainstream to promote a sparkly floor or a fragrant carpet - kids crawl on these floors too.
I would suggest eliminatating the product and sure enough the rash was then eliminated. The same thing occurred when I did my GP rotation a new rash on someone always corresponded with a laundry detergent on special offer that had optical brighteners in it, these products fool you into thinking they get your clothes cleaner by making them appear brighter than they are but it is all an illusion and they do nothing to aid cleaning and can irritate our skin when exposed to bright light, also they are not readily biodegradable and so are a hazard to aquatic life.
Other items to avoid are ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) that is present in a wide variety of products often utilised as the foaming agent in soaps and shampoo amongst other things such as toothpaste and cleaning products is used to remove oily stains and break down surface dirt but it has been linked to a variety of skin conditions not least eczema - and bizarrely it features as an ingredient in many common emollients - not surprising really that some eczema worsens the more these products are used.
Fabric conditioner is also fake as it works by placing small molecules of a lubricant between the fibres of the clothes so they feel softer but you are wearing the chemical and the actual fabric is not altered at all but can leave you with headaches and organ damage as they are absorbed by your skin and in the air you breathe. Biological washing powder with their enzymatic action and enhanced cleaning powder can irritate the skin the VOCs contained in cleaners and also air fresheners and baby shampoo are formaldehyde which is a preservative but can cause skin irritation and respiratory issues
So what about all those anti-bacterial cleaners they must be good surely? Well triclosan and that is the anti-microbial ingredient contained in them has been linked to endocrine disrupters & other health concerns and the FDA state that there looks to be no enhanced benefit over just using soap and water and there it is also thought that these anti-bacterial products contribute to antibacterial resistance which causes a huge challenge to treat many bacterial infections.
Phthalates - in detergents and personal care products such as nail varnish, hair spray, after shave lotion, soaps, shampoo and perfume are endocrine disrupters and can have quite profound effects.
Finally don’t be fooled into eco products not having these harmful constituents many do - green doesn’t mean safe and many if these so called eco products have just as many toxins and many of these so styled as fragranced with essential oils utilise solvents in their production which are irritants to the skin and respiratory tract.
By using a few base ingredients you can easily make your own products at a fraction of the price and are so much safer.
My members group has a whole host of these recipes for whatever need you have.
If you would like to know more about using essential oils to help you live a tox free life then why not join one of my FREE online classes and learn more.
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Feel free to email me with any questions