Dirty Health... and Whac-A-Mole? The simplest thing you can do to improve your health immediately.
By Kimberly Alexander
We know there are lots of factors that contribute to health - so many that it can seem like we’re just playing a big game of health Whac-A-Mole. But here’s what I’ll say about Whac-A-Mole and why I am fine with it as my system for health: 1) It is fun to play and 2) You really only lose if you a) don’t try and just give up, b) focus all your efforts on only one or two holes, waiting for the same moles to keep popping up, or c) go full throttle at all the holes like a maniac until you realize that your energy is not sustainable and you have to stop to catch your breath and rest your arm and you end up losing anyway, despite your voracious effort.
Obviously the factors that contribute to health are the moles in this analogy - sleep, stress, hydration, nutrients, strength, fresh air, love, laughter… the list goes on and on and on. If I try to whack all the moles (be perfect in all areas of health) at the same time I will burn out and if I get overwhelmed by all the moles and throw my hands up in the air and give up the result is the same. Some of the moles are harder to reach and more sporadic about when and how they show up in the game; we have to be patient and learn their patterns. But others are easier to get and are more consistent. This is where I like to start. One of the easiest ways to improve your health (the easiest mole to whack) is to swap out products you are already using for healthier versions of the same thing. This can be true in all of our Elements:
NUTRITION: Swap out canola and other vegetable oils for avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and butter/ghee.
MOVEMENT: Swap a run on the treadmill for a run in the park (or honestly just swap sitting on the couch to watch TV to sitting on the floor… this counts!).
OUTDOORS: Speaking of sitting, swap sitting inside to take lunch or a phone call to sitting outside.
PERSONAL CARE: Swap your conventional home and body care products for safer, less toxic ones.
COMMUNITY: Okay, this one is not as easy, but you could swap some of the time you spend trying to connect with people on “social” media to instead drop a line to your sister, your mom, or a friend you haven’t seen in awhile.
Since we can gain so much in the way of health with simple solutions, the focus of the rest of my blog is on why it is important to use “safer” body care products and how to swap them out.
You all are already using body care products, even if it is simply soap and shampoo. For some of you this also includes serums, sugar scrubs, salves, sprays, and shaving cream. What I have learned about these products (and home care products, too) is that if it contacts your skin or if you can smell it, it goes into your body. This does not automatically mean it is harmful, but we do know that there are more than 80,000 chemicals used in home and body care products that are on the market today, many of which don’t carry any safety data. In fact, the last time a major federal law governing the personal care industry was passed was in 1938. That is not a typo... 1 9 3 8. Think of how many “new” and “innovative” and “advanced technology” ingredients have been advertised as “groundbreaking” in your skincare products since 1938. And none of them are regulated for safety. The European Union currently bans/restricts over 1400 ingredients from their skincare and beauty products. The US currently bans just 30. What are you putting on your skin?
Given that more and more research is concluding that many ingredients used on our bodies and around our homes are carcinogenic, disruptive to our hormones, or detrimental to the environment, simply switching products you already use to safer ones is one of the easiest ways to improve your health without any extra effort. It is up to you and your budget if you swap them out one at a time or do a clean (dirty?) sweep and replace them all. Or you can wait until you run out of what you have and replace them then. Regardless, it is my strong recommendation that you investigate the ingredients that are in the products you use. Beautycounter* (not an affiliate link) has a lot of great information about this and other things related to the safety of skin and beauty products since they are leading the charge in petitioning Congress for more regulation in the Beauty industry. I do love their products for their efficacy and commitment to advocacy; they would be my go-to company for transitioning away from your conventional products. Other products we like that are 100% “natural” are Primally Pure, Living Libations, and Heart Grown Wild (also not affiliate links).
While some steps that you will take toward health (moles) will be trickier to get since they can take a lot of physical and emotional learning, skill, and reflection, what you use to clean your face or color your lips is the easiest way to earn points in the game of health. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions related to product recommendations or ingredient safety. And please also check out the resources listed below:
These are our recommendations for the best skin care products that align with our mission. You can also see our recommendations for other products you can swap out, like household cleaners, food storage containers, and shoes.
* Many of you likely have concerns about Beautycounter as a direct sales company. Please read this blog by Diane SanFilippo to dispel any myths about this particular company (what sets it apart from other MLMs and Direct Sales companies). You can also check out these resources:
Meet a woman who’s championing ‘clean beauty’ and empowering women – Today Show, March 2, 2018
Senator decries “poisons” as unregulated chemicals in cosmetics draw scrutiny – CBS This Morning, April 15, 2019
If you DO want our affiliate link to support our business as you swap out your products, you can go to beautycounter.com/dirtyhealthco.