Refresh your Personal Care Routine
What’s lurking in your bathroom cupboards?
It happens to the best of us: a buildup of forgotten, or seldom-used lotions, soaps, cleaners and makeup that clutters the corners of our bathroom.
But our hygiene routines deserve our attention. As far as our health is concerned, what we put on our body affects our health just as our diet does. When you apply any substance to your skin, it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the metabolic breakdown of digestion, where it and affects our organs, glands and other sensitive body tissues.
Older products that are often kicking around the sink and shower don’t just take up valuable real estate in our homes, they can loose their efficacy over time, irritate the skin, or even become a breeding ground for bacteria.
There’s also the matter of how your personal care products are formulated. Many of us are familiar with the Dirty Dozen of produce, and The David Suzuki foundation has identified a list of ingredients that make up the Dirty Dozen of Cosmetics to look for on labels. Some ingredients used as preservatives, emulsifiers, lather-building and thickening agents in bath and beauty products have been found to cause potential health issues over time.
Seeing that the bathroom is our household headquarters for personal hygiene and grooming, giving it a thorough refresh can make a significant difference in our health, beauty and efficiency!
Clean up your clean-up act
First things first: take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and pull EVERYTHING out of your cupboards, drawers, shower and the notorious under-the-sink area.
Sort through to find any expired products or anything that has been hanging around too long. If you’re looking to dispose of any prescription or over-the-counter medications, contact your local pharmacy for safe disposal or your local waste management centre for advice on disposing of household cleaners.
Reassess products that have never been used – that are being saved for “someday”, like free samples, hotel soaps or impulse buys based on pretty packaging. Now is the time to use them or lose them.
Looking at everything in your bathroom also gives you an opportunity to audit what you and your family really use in your personal care collection, so you can minimize but also establish a cleaner slate to build a healthy essentials collection.
Create a Mindful, Health and Beauty Product Supply
Checking ingredient panels is the first step in identifying what is healthiest for you and your family, but you can look to organizations that advocate for “clean” products for guidance. You can also review the safety of your personal care products in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.
Remember to really read the labels and look for the full ingredient profile to get the complete list.
You can also look to products that serve as multitaskers for personal care or household cleaning and check out products that use less packaging or have a refill system available to reduce waste and cost.
Fortunately, awareness is growing among consumers and manufacturers creating a greater demand for safer, cleaner, more environmentally-conscious products. Alternatives for healthier makeup and natural hair and skin care are becoming more popular and readily available.
Make bathroom hygiene a habit. Set a reminder to sort through bathroom products once a season to keep things organized, fresh and sparking joy -remember, Spring cleaning is just around the corner!
Be sure to visit your local CHFA member food store where you can find a wide variety of safe, natural personal care and household products to help you make a truly clean switch for your own health, your family’s and the environment.