We are so excited to begin our new monthly series “In Conversation with Gustav” where we invite in an amazing guests to the salon and talk with them on a range of topics!
We kicked off our first episode by speaking to the amazing Lee McCrosson discussing “Living a toxin free life”. Lee is full of incredible knowledge and shares her story on becoming toxin free. We could have kept speaking to Lee for hours, so to hear more from Lee and learn more we asked her to share some more information for this newsletter.
Q) Firstly I would like to know your story, what made you go toxin free?
Unfortunately it is impossible to live toxin free because there are so many toxins in our general surrounds that we have no control of. My intention is to avoid and eliminate toxins as much as I can - where I have control like my skin care, water, food and as much as possible in my home.
It was a process and I would say it kicked off through my radiotherapy treatment for laryngeal cancer. I was very surprised to learn I had cancer, thankfully only stage 1 but still a shock as I did consider myself a fairly healthy person, I definitely had health awareness and periods of my life had been very healthy.
A friend had introduced me to a company with really good quality products, I was advised to start off with their Life Long Vitality supplements to help me through my treatment. Once I became a wholesale customer I started to learn more about toxins and alternatives through their further education classes and social media platforms.
I really had no idea how much of it I was dealing with but basically there are toxins in pretty much everything. It was only after my treatment was finished and I had recovered did I decide that I was giving myself a year to change my skin care to toxin free and home to low toxin. The most fabulous thing is, all of those symptoms have gone and actually I have not felt this good for a decade. The reason we get to that point in our forties is because our bodies have reached their toxic load. Years and years of beauty products lathered all over our bodies, make up, hair products with not even a second thought.
Q) We have spoken about the how perfume/fragrance can change the hormones in the body. What does it do?
Parfum/Fragrance - The term was created to protect a company's "secret formula" but as the consumer you could be putting on a concoction that contains tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health. They are associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
Legally there is no requirement to disclose which individual ingredients used to create fragrance - there could be hundreds. A common one to look out for is diethyl phthalate!
Exposure to synthetic fragrances can cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, weakness, numbness, upper respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, skin irritation …among other awful reactions. We call them hormone disruptors because they effect the endocrine hormones and that's what help control mood, growth and development, the way our organs work, metabolism and reproduction. Perfume and fragrances are the first things I look for when I am reading the ingredients on any product. It's the easiest way for me to work out whether the product is clean or not.
Q) Which other chemicals do we not know of but use daily, also affect our bodies and what do they do?
- Parabens - widely used preservatives that prevent growth of bacteria mold and yeast in cosmetic products - they possess estrogen mimicking properties
- Synthetic Colours - F and D&C followed by a number and colour - derived from petroleum or coal tar sources
- Triclalosane - widely used antimicrobial chemical that's a know hormone disruptor especial thyroid and reproductive hormones
- Sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)- foaming irritant - found in more than 90% of personal care products
- Formaldehyde - Preservative and deemed as a human carcinogen found in nail polish body washed and more
Q) How can we start to live toxin free?
- Get the Think Dirty App, you can scan in products and it will give you a measure of its toxicity. If it doesn't have the product, you can look up the ingredient names. You can also find alot products that are toxin free on the app.
- Start slowly even if it's just with your toothpaste but also start questioning everything
- Buy in a brilliant water filter - I use a Zero Water filter
- Invest time in this because its worth investing in your health
Q) What are safer alternatives?
Things that I have made for myself with ingredients I know are safe. Often with products you will find in your kitchen.
I started off with 10 essential oils that replaced my medicine cabinet.
- Brands I have taken the time to investigate and find clean
- We have been led to believe that there's only ever one product for one purpose when you are working with natural things they have multiple uses.
Q) What have you chosen to keep in your life even though you know it does have toxins in it?
Champagne, I just drink a lot less and having my hair dyed, I am not ready to embrace the grey. I do take an extra dose of endocrine when I am exposed to extra toxins, it aids the body in toxin removal. I am still working on replacing my make up - another reason I don't wear much as I haven't cracked all of that yet.
Q) What do you recommend we use on the body and skin for care?
I slowly replaced what I was using with the the Doterra range because I trust the company and I love what I have now. It also get loads of points on their loyalty reward programme so I end up getting lots of free products. I also make a few of my own, like my facial oil and body lotions, I just use different essential oils depending on my needs. I use all the florals with some Frankincense in my facial oil, I love it.
Q) What difference have you seen in your body for going toxin free?
How long do we have? So much, all the symptoms of supposed peri menopause.
- Instead of Brain fog, I now have mental clarity
- I sleep so well and wake up feeling refreshed.
- From feeling fatigued I actually have energy
- I have more control of my emotions,- I am guessing that's hormonal balance
- Self control - over my food and drink intake - less cravings
- My Skin - I don't feel like I have to wear makeup all the time
- My hair is different, just better
- Losing those extra kilo's I couldn't ever shake
Q) What is the biggest challenge going toxin free?
- Its not easy and it doesn't happen overnight, it can seem overwhelming but to understand that your future self is going to be grateful for you starting now, it is worth the effort.
- Don't allow yourself get overwhelmed - it really is okay if you just take baby steps. That is why I like being part of an oily community because there is always encouragement and loads of information to help along the way
- Don’t give up to soon
- I did notice things changing gradually over the year but it was Nov/Dec after I did a cleanse and restore programme, it stepped up a notch. That was 11 months in. Ill be doing that again next month, I can feel I need it.
Q) What products are we consuming/using that we think are toxin-free but are actually toxin rich?
- Products that say they are Earth Friendly, Eco, Paraben Free, Hyppoalergenic and so much more - this is called Green Washing Its when a company markets or presents itself as an environmentally conscious company or its products as safe and healthy to use but in reality they are achieving neither of these things.
- For a product to be labelled "Non-Toxic" it simply means that 49% of test subjects could have died and 51% did not have fatal reaction to the ingredients in question. For example Method or your Eco ranges.
- Be aware of what it looks like too, pretty greener, green leaves all over, green fields, flowers, aloe leaves, green bottles etc.
- Essential oils, there is no governing body in the industry so oils are adulterated and that's why you can buy them cheaply. The bottles will say pure essential oil but they are not. Sometimes they have no pure essential oil in them.
- Candles - unfortunately they are full of toxins. I stopped using them as soon as I learned how toxic they are - it felt hard as I loved candles and had lots of beautiful ones
- Supplements - you want something that is plant based rather than something created in a laboratory
Medication - it really is worth reading the ingredients in everything you take
Q) What is a good way to start your toxin free journey?
- One step at a time, I start every day with a plass of water with drops of leron essential ol, this is before l even get out of bed (helps freshen morning breathe too). It aids in flushing out toxins.
- Change your toothpaste, you'll be amazed what's in every day toothpaste, colour, flavour, fluoride, sodium laural
- Where possible - buy organic
- Invest in a really good water filter - Zero Water
- Replace your washing powder with On Guard laundry detergent and fabric softener with Spirit Vinegar
- Get in touch with me, this is what I love to do is show people how to do this.
Q) What is the single biggest impact going toxin free has had on you/your family?
- Our health, mental and physical, we haven't even had a cold in the last 18 months. If we have any ailment, be it head ache, sore tummy, muscles aches we deal with all of it using our essential oils.
- We have not touched pharmaceutical products since Jan 2020
- The foundation of our health is quality of food and supplements for fulling our bodies
- Looking after our microbiome - gut health is so important.
Q) How can people find out more information on going toxin-free?
I learned most of what I know from becoming a wholesale customer with Doterra and then books, I can recommend a few. And give me a shout!
Q) How do you convince a non-believer in the power of making toxin-free choices?
To be honest, it's not easy. I think you either want to know or your don't. I do think everybody has their own timing for things. I can only plant a seed, speak from experience and share how the change has impacted me. Generally people who have suffered from major illness are half way there already. People who have tried other things and not found results are often keen to try something natural. It does take commitment to see and feel the difference.