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Detoxify Your Life with DIY Home Cleaning and Beauty Products

April 18, 2012

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If you're reading this blog, chances are good that you make a concerted effort to eat well. You probably do this to look and feel your very best, free from unpronounceable ingredients and potentially harmful processed food chemicals. But do you give the same level of care to your outer wellness that you give to your inner wellness?

Harmful toxins can be absorbed not just by consumption, but also through contact with your skin and through the air you breathe. That means that the products you use around your home for cleaning, hygiene, and beauty really matter.

Household cleaners are one of the main sources of home toxins. Ingredients can include pesticides, lye, ammonia, and chlorine, all of which can get in the air and irritate the eyes and lungs. And be extra sure not to mix those last two together - ammonia and chlorine can make cloramine gas, which can be fatal if inhaled. Try using more natural alternatives, or save money and mix your cleaning supplies yourself! Here's a great guide to homemade cleaning solutions from The Daily Green and another from Care2.

It's not just your house cleaning that could be spreading toxins in your home, though. Arsenic is found in some makeup foundations, formaldehyde is in some nail polishes, cadmium can be in mascara, lead might be in your lipstick, and the list just goes on and on. Toothpaste, shampoos, lip balms, and even bubble bath products have been found to contain harmful toxins that you would never knowingly apply to your skin.

Scary as it is, the good news is that you have control over the chemicals that go into your home and body. Here are some great resources to get your started on your path to a healthier home and beauty routine:

Good Guide has a database of more than 160,000 foods, toys, household products, and personal care items, all of which are rated on both health and environmental impact. You can even create a personal rating system based on what factors are most important to you.

Healthy Stuff has a small but growing database of 5,000 products and is another good resource for finding healthier alternatives. The search works a little differently than Good Guide - you enter a generic product, like "lipstick," which returns a list of products and their ratings.

EWG's Skin Deep is a cosmetics database where you can find information on more than 69,000 personal care and beauty products. Built by the Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep is definitely a great place to start detoxifying your skin routine.

Even better yet, you can make your own beauty products too! Raw honey is a great substitute for an exfoliating face wash; organic vegetable oil (like sunflower or safflower) can give your hair the same sheen as a much pricier conditioner; and apple cider and water can replace your toner. The best part is that experimenting won't cost you too much money, since most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry or fridge! Here's a few recipes from the Daily Green for a homemade face mask, lip balm, and body scrub, and TLC has a guide to DIY beauty too!

Do you make any of your own home cleaning or beauty products? What are your recipes?