Everyone has their own routine when it comes to basic self care and hygiene. 

But by and large, there are similarities in the type of products used and the habits surrounding them. 

It would be nice to think that since these products are readily available in stores that this must mean they are safe for us to use. 

And yet, it couldn’t be further from the truth. 

So here are 3 commonly used personal hygiene products that are actually quite toxic for you and your family. 

Item #1 – Floss

No, I’m not kidding. Even major brands use teflon as the coating. This is where PFAS come in. They are plastics that have toxic impacts. 

Even just flossing with this stuff has been shown to increase PFAS levels in the bloodstream. 

Health issues: burdens kidneys, increased risk of testicular cancer, fertility problems in men, intestinal issues, thyroid problems, increased cholesterol (because it causes inflammation), low infant birth weight 

Alternative: organic silk! There are great companies that are organic and even reduce plastic waste. Some of the brands I’ve liked include Radius and WOWE, but there are many options! 

Side note: PFAS are considered forever chemicals. They are rather persistent under typical environmental conditions. That means they linger for decades and even centuries. 

Item #2 – Pads and Tampons 

There has been a move to make companies disclose what exactly is in their pads and tampons, but that legislation has been defeated 9 times already. Those companies really don’t want you to know how toxic their products are. 

What makes it worse, the vagina is a highly absorbent mucous membrane. That means toxins from pads and tampons get absorbed asap and affect you systemically. 

They contain toxins such as styrene, chloromethane, chloroethane, chloroform, parabens, triclosan, coal tar-based colorants, and fragrances. 

Health issues: reproductive issues, hormone disruption, cancer, endometriosis, obesity, neurological problems.. it’s an insanely long list actually, this is just the start. 

Alternative: menstruation cups and period underwear. Some of the brands I’ve liked include Diva Cup, Luna Cup, Thinx, and Knix. These two products can be doubled up together really well. 

Item #3 – Deodorant 

These can contain a myriad of toxins such as triclosan, parabens, fragrance, coloring, and aluminum.

Health Issues: liver and kidney issues, neurological problems, birth defects, hormonal problems, decreased immune system, cancer 

Alternative: Native Natural Deodorant, deodorant crystals, some people like making their own. Sometimes I’ll just use CT-Minerals from CellCore BioSciences or a favorite essential oil diluted in coconut oil. 

Side note: there are natural brands out there that don’t have any harmful ingredients, but this is by far a category where I have seen the most variation in individualistic needs in terms of what works. Also, antiperspirants are never healthy for us, we have to sweat. 

Now, you may be wondering “but doc, those ingredients you’ve mentioned that are toxins, I’ve seen those in other products too! Like my shampoo or body lotion!” 

Indeed, you are absolutely correct. But keeping this list to 3 things makes it far more manageable and a nice stepping stone to make some fantastic changes.

From there, I do hope that you take it upon yourself to start looking at other products you use and start making swaps to avoid those toxins!