The first warm days of spring have always been a great time to purge our homes of the winter’s residues and welcome the freshness of the season with a clean, uncluttered living space. To help you along with this year’s spring cleaning, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has identified the three chemical-laden hotspots around the house to which you should pay special attention when cleaning: the kitchen, the laundry room, and the bathroom.

You may already be aware of the chemicals to avoid in your cleaning products like MEA, DEA, and TEA, as well as the many irritants often squeezed into the ingredients list of these products. CHFA has also shared with you several natural alternatives to the common household cleaners you may be using while spring cleaning your home. This week, we’d like to bring to your attention the unclean culprits lurking in your bathroom; or more precisely, your cosmetics cabinet.

The average woman can leave the house in the morning wearing over 500 chemicals, all from her personal hygiene and cosmetic products. To avoid this, read the ingredients of these products and stay away from common offenders like BHA and BHT, which have hormone disrupting effects and have been linked to carcinogen compounds. Your nail care products can contain dibutyl phthalate, a substance which may negatively impact reproduction, and has been linked to environmental degradation of the lakes and oceans. Siloxanes, have been connected to impaired fertility and are commonly found in cosmetics and deodorants. Even your shampoos and soaps can contain unseemly chemicals; particularly, look out for Sodium laureth sulfate.

No need to panic, however. CHFA has some suggestions to help you spring clean your bathroom and still look and feel fabulous. You can replace many of the most common products, like deodorants, facial cleansers, and moisturizers, with effective natural alternatives. For example, did you know that coconut oil is an excellent skin conditioner and moisturizer? Rich in antioxidants and bursting with natural microbial and antibacterial agents, this versatile and easy-to-use product is readily available at any natural health retailer in Canada.

While spring cleaning this year, check out some of these recipes for natural alternatives to beauty and hygiene products. While you’re at it, you can use some of these do it yourself cleaners and freshen up the whole bathroom as well.

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