Proper care of our bodies is essential for our health — and reducing allergy symptoms. The skin is the largest organ of the body and the first line of defense against allergens.
But few of us know how to clean properly without using toxic chemicals that may aggravate allergic conditions. In fact, many of our cleansing practices may be doing more harm than good! Here are some natural ways to cleanse, eradicate allergens and avoid the toxic buildup of many store-bought health and beauty products.
Go All Natural
Many of the worst toxins and allergens found on our skin, hair and teeth are introduced into our body from the products we use to clean our bodies and stylize our appearance. Using only natural bathroom and beauty products is essential for minimizing the toxic load you intake everyday.
Deodorant, perfume, shampoo, soap and makeup are replete with chemicals to which you may be sensitive[a]. Always buy mild soap (probiotic if possible) as well as shampoo and deodorant made from plant sources. Makeup should be avoided that contains chemicals in the “-amine” and formaldehyde family, as well as other toxins such as propylene and chemicals in the “phthatale” family (already banned in Europe). These chemicals can be extremely harmful to your body, are known endocrine disrupters and some are even carcinogens. Purchase and utilize all-natural alternatives whenever possible to reduce the impact on your body’s health.
The art and ritual practice of bathing has been largely forgotten, but it remains highly valued in many cultures. A weekly bath is a “total cleanse.” It allows the skin to “breathe” by sweating out chemicals and toxins stored in our cells. A weekly bath will calm the body, reduce inflammation, improve circulation and help you detoxify in a way that showers alone can not. Bathing properly is crucial for helping your body fight allergies.
To optimize the restorative power of your bath, follow these steps: first, it is important to shower before your bath to remove as much dirt as possible. Only then should you soak in warm — but not scalding — water for twenty to thirty minutes. After the bath, turn the shower back on and use a scrubbing mitt or cloth to remove excess dead skin with a gentle back and forth motion.
If possible, lay down afterwards on your bed and take ten or fifteen minutes to allow your body to return to its normal state. You’ll feel more relaxed and energized!
For more information on the art of bathing read Dr. Bennett’s article on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-susanne-bennett/a-bath-a-week-for-better-_b_775696.html