If you have read any of my other posts you have probably seen me mention clean living or non-toxic living. If you are like me a few years back, you would A) have no idea what I’m talking about or B) not think it is important.
When we started our fertility journey, after too much time with Dr. Google, I started paying attention to what was in my makeup, hair, and skincare products. I also started to buy more organic produce and tried to avoid BPA as much as possible.
What Chemicals To Avoid
Honestly it can get super overwhelming FAST! Parabens, Phlalates, BPA, fragrance.. etc… It’s a lot, and they are in A LOT! These are the main ones I try to avoid, because they are known endocrine disrupters. Which means they screw with your hormones, and that is obviously detrimental when trying to get pregnant.
If you’re reading this, and you’re not struggling with infertility, or not trying to get pregnant at all, this still applies to you. These chemicals are good to avoid period.
Parabens are chemical preservatives that are most often used in beauty and skin products. They can mimic estrogen and disrupt the hormones that affect both men and women’s reproductive systems. They have also been shown to affect birth outcomes, and increase a persons risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer.
Phthalates (pronounced Thal-ates) are freaking EVERYWHERE! They’re in plastic, soft plastic/vinyl products, and personal care products. It seriously seems like they are in everything.
They are in a lot of personal care products like deodorant, hairsprays, hair gels, shampoo, conditioner, nail polish, lotions, perfumes, and more. Companies have to list phthalates on the label, unless it’s in “fragrance” because it is considered a “proprietorial blend”. Which is ridiculous.
So what actually makes them bad? Phthalates are endocrine disrupters and androgen (think testosterone) blockers. That means in women these chemicals, like parabens, mimic or block our hormones. In men it can suppress the hormones that help with male development. In other words, they really screw with our bodies, especially our reproductive system.
This is a great resource for more information on phthalates if you’re interested.
BPA is used in plastic bottles, other plastic items, and the lining of some cans. It is another endocrine disrupter that has been linked to both male and female infertility, early puberty, hormone related tumors such as breast or prostate cancers, and other metabolic disorders including PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
I was sad to give up my perfumes, but the problem with “fragrance” or “perfume” in products is that’s all they have to list, and they can be chock full of chemicals. As I said above, often times fragrance includes phthalates which we know is a nasty hormone disrupter.
It is important to choose things that say “Fragrance Free” versus “Unscented”.
How to Reduce Your Exposure
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The four main things we’ve done to minimize our exposure to these chemicals are:
- We switched from plastic food containers to glass. Now all of our containers are glass, but glass is definitely more expensive, so if you only have a few I would prioritize putting anything hot or anything you want to reheat in glass. Costco usually has a good set of glass containers or this set from Amazon is a good option too.
- I avoid plastic bottles as much as possible. I used to always have a plastic water bottle with me, and my backseat was full of empty Dasani or Aquafina bottles. Now I try to use a stainless steel bottle as much as possible, my favorite is the Stanley Adventure Quencher 40oz but Yeti is another great option. The Stanley just fits better in a cupholder, in my opinion.
- I switched to fragrance free laundry detergent, cleaning products and gave up my perfume. My favorite cleaning product is Force of Nature multipurpose cleaner I use it on everything from our counters to Krew’s toys.
- And last but not least, I always check to make sure my makeup, skin care, and hair products are paraben and phthalate free. I also try the best as I can to get fragrance free, which is pretty difficult in hair products. Check my favorite clean make up brands and favorite clean skincare!
Don’t Get Overwhelmed!
I know it is a lot, and when you start looking at what all these chemicals are in, it can seem daunting to avoid them. Don’t stress about it! Just simply do the best you can and just being aware of them and making small changes will make an impact!
And remember… We’ve Got This!
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below! Or you can always message me through my contact page! Thank you for being here!!