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Detox your life

How to reduce the toxic load from your everyday products
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Detox your life

This article first appeared in our Women: time for action issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 02 July 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Two businesswomen in the east of Devon want to help us reduce the number of synthetic and harmful products we use daily on our bodies and in our homes.

According to some reports, the average woman puts up to 168 chemicals on her body each day.

While many of the ingredients in our day-to-day products are harmless, mainstream skincare and household cleaning solutions can contain endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and neurotoxins.

As an example, some of the chemicals in aerosol deodorants could be endocrine disruptors, which interfere with the body’s hormonal system. Other ingredients commonly found in aerosol deodorants may be carcinogenic or interfere with the microorganisms of the gut biome, which play a part in digestion.

Aluminium, which can be found in antiperspirants, is thought to cause gene instability in breast tissue. Research suggests it may lead to the development of tumours or cancer cells.

Studies reveal that over 50% of breast cancers start in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast local to the underarm region. While this isn’t conclusive, doctors suggest that it may be worth avoiding the use of antiperspirants that contain aluminium – particularly if you shave your armpits.

Alice Bardwell founded Pit-Tastic to offer a plastic-free and natural alternative to aerosol deodorants. ‘It was important to me to make sure that our zero-waste deodorant bars were free from any of the chemicals that might cause health or environmental issues’, she tells us. ‘We’ve only used natural ingredients, to ensure the bars are not only eco-friendly but also that they are gentle on our bodies and effective with odours.’

Non-toxic cleaning

The products we use to clean our homes can add to the toxic load, as they can contain chemicals that are similar – or even harsher – than those we put on our skin. ‘The number of chemicals in products we use regularly around the house is phenomenal’, says Kate Deacon, who runs Mix Clean Green. ‘If I’m finding the fumes overwhelming’, Kate adds, ‘then it can’t be good for my children and their little lungs.’

Kate has formulated an award-winning range of certified vegan and non-toxic cleaning products that is free from parabens, SLS, palm oil and synthetic biocides and fragrances. ‘ Kate and I both wanted to create effective, efficient everyday products that we’d use in our own homes and on our bodies’, Alice says. ‘Products that are free from single-use plastics and nasties, and that are kind to the planet, too.’

Alice and Kate use the same eco toxicologist, which demonstrates how well Pit-Tastic and Mix Clean Green’s ethics align. ‘Sustainability and the environment are at the heart of both our businesses’, Kate tells us.

Every change counts

It’s more important than ever to consider the impact of every product we buy – from its packaging and carbon footprint to the impact of its ingredients. ‘We have considered every element of our respective companies and the products we’ve created’, Kate tells us, ‘not just to minimise the toxic load for our customers, but also to reduce the impact on the planet.’

If Pit-Tastic and Mix Clean Green can help just one person, or save just one item of plastic from landfill, then Kate and Alice both believe that’s a major win for everyone – and for future generations.

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