Seven Beauty & Health Habits to Reconsider for Yourself and the Environment
Painting your nails
Nail polishes can contain toxic ingredients such as toluene, formaldehyde, and phthalates. If you notice those on the label, do without the polish or look for brands that don’t contain these harmful chemicals, such has Beauty Without Cruelty, Peacekeeper Cause-metics, or Savina nail polishes.
Taking dietary supplements
Don’t forget that as long as you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably getting all the essential vitamins and minerals that you need. Dietary supplements are intended for those who have a deficiency in a particular vitamin or mineral, common ones for example are iron or B-12. Too much of most vitamins and mineral won’t harm you, however a few including vitamins A, C, and B-6 can cause issues ranging from gastrointestinal disturbances to nerve damage.
Using hand sanitizer
Soap and water are sufficient for removing germs, but if you must use a hand sanitizer it’s better to choose one that doesn’t contain triclosan, a chemical linked to bacterial and viral resistance to drugs. In fact, watch out for triclosan in any product claiming to be a disinfectant such as hand and dish soaps. Brands such as Purell contain mostly alcohol, which kills 99% of germs upon contact, and many natural hand sanitizers effectively kill germs. Check out hand sanitizer products by Clean George, All Terrain, and Cleanwell.
Brushing your teeth after every meal
Acid from your food will still be on your teeth right after a meal. Brushing your teeth right after a meal can intensify the erosion to your enamel caused by acid. It’s better to simply rinse your mouth with some water and save the brushing for the morning and before bed. Water will remove most of the acid and sugars stuck to your teeth and gums, without harming your enamel.
Only doing cardio when you work out
It’s important to maintain a variety of exercises, both for strength training and cardiac vascular endurance in your routine. Your body will get used to your regular cardio workout over time, and you will begin to burn fewer calories. Throwing in a few muscle building circuits will continue to help you burn more calories.
Cleaning with products that contain disinfecting agents
Same idea as with hand sanitizers: certain chemicals can lead to bacterial resistance. Cleaning products also contain other harmful chemicals to watch for including quaternary ammonium compounds and ethanolamines, which can lead to asthma, 2-butoxyethanol, an EPA classified carcinogen, and alkylphenol ethoxylates, which can affect hormones. Look for eco-friendly brands like Biokleen or Seventh Generation or use common household products with natural anti-bacterial properties such as vinegar or baking soda, which you can mix with some water and use to wipe down dirty surfaces.
Drinking only bottled water
By drinking exclusively from bottled water, you’re missing out on the benefits of fluoride present in tap water and creating a lot of plastic waste. If you’re worried about impurities in tap water, use a Brita, Abbey Spring, or Clarity Water filter and find yourself a reusable water bottle from Klean Kanteen or Nalgene.
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