9 Toxic Products to Shake Off This Summer
1. Sunscreen: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviewed over 2,000 sunscreen and over 257 brands in their 2014 guide to safe sunscreens. They found more than 75% of sunscreens contained toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer and other health issues.
Your skin still needs protection from UV rays when you’re in the sun, so find a natural sunscreen or make your own! A simple recipe includes coconut oil, shea butter, raspberry seed oil and zinc oxide, or find a number of natural sunscreen recipes online.
2. Bug Spray: The active ingredient in most insect repellents is DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluanide), which has been found to cause breathing problems and stomach irritation, and be very dangerous if ingested. Mosquito bites can still cause Lyme disease and West Nile virus, so make sure you use adequate protection. Some safer alternatives include soy-based products, or lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils.
3. Tanning Lotion: Although tanning lotions are better than burning your skin with UV rays to achieve the perfect summer glow, they should be used with caution. The active ingredient in tanning lotions, Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), can be harmful in extreme concentrations, but most tanner don’t use enough to cause any real damage.
If you go to a spray tanning salon, make sure to adequately cover your eyes, nose, and mouth, as inhalation can be dangerous. And use organic lotions to ensure the best, healthiest quality.
4. Weed Control Products: Summer is the perfect time to bring the family outside for a game of catch or savory barbeque. Because we spend more time outside in the summer, you should also spend more time considering what weed control chemicals you put in your yard. When possible, keep pesticides and herbicides out of your yard to ensure they stay out of your pet’s and child’s mouth as well.
5. Hair Products: Do you use dry shampoo to keep your hair from getting greasy in the summer heat? Or saturate your locks with a salty mixture that makes it look like you’re always coming home from the beach? Summer hair products are popular buys for many families, but the toxins in those products can be dangerous. Make sure you avoid every with DEA (Diethanolamine), Phthalates and Parabes, and Isopropyl Alcohol.
6. Deodorant: We know you always want to smell pretty, even in scorching sun, but you should be aware of which antiperspirants you buy. Many toxins in deodorants have been linked to breast cancer and other illnesses, so look for all-natural antiperspirants to keep you feeling fresh this summer.
7. Waterproof Mascara: Water-resistant mascara is a summer necessity to keep from runny, black lines forming around your eyes as you run the kids to soccer practice or prepare your famous BBQ sandwiches. Not all waterproof mascaras are toxic, but some products have been known to cause allergic reactions from chemical ingredients like Methylparaben, Butylparabe and Benzyl Alcohol.
Make sure you look for mascaras that will last all day without the help of harmful chemicals.
8. Chapstick: Nothing feels better than soothing dry summer lips, but your chapstick could be doing more harm than good. Ingesting too much petroleum jelly isn’t good for the body and chapsticks with menthol can actually dry out your lips even more. Go for natural alternatives like cocoa or shea butter, or vitamin E to get lip healing benefits that last.
9. Air Conditioner: We know it’s hot out there, but be careful blasting your AC unit all summer. Freon poisoning can cause heart problems and even death. Get a freon alarm and make sure your unit doesn’t have any leaks before your first use of the summer.