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  • Robin Thomas


Updated: May 26, 2020

When we think about changing habits to improve our health, we usually think about changing the way we eat and increasing our exercise level. Many of us who are conscious about our health are adding more fruits and vegetables in our diet and limiting processed foods as much as possible. Hopefully we are also starting to take exercise classes or at least take regular walks and steps to move our bodies every day.

Another very important factor for our health is our environment- the toxic ingredients in our air, our water and our homes that we are exposed to every day of our lives. So much of our global environment is out of our personal control: in that case we must work together through legislation to improve large scale issues. But we can protect our own families by taking simple steps to avoid toxins in our own homes.

7 Ways to Detox Your Bathroom

Because the bathroom is small, often poorly ventilated and heavily contaminated, it’s one of the most dangerous places in the house for heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Not only do we store and use strong cleaning products, we use multiple personal care products like lotions, antiperspirants, and make-up that sit on our skin all day long. Our bathroom cabinets are filled with prescription drugs and over the counter medications, and we have declared a war on germs with antibacterial soaps and sanitizers.

It’s time to take responsibility for what we put on and into our bodies. Here are some small changes that you can make over time that will make a major difference:

1. Find alternatives to products with parabens, formaldehyde-releasers, and other harsh chemical preservatives, especially those that stay on the skin all day.

2. Reduce the use of antiperspirants (check the label). Switch to a natural deodorant or stop using antiperspirants on weekends and during cooler months.

3. Switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste, use a tongue scraper or rinse with water flavored with a few drops of cinnamon, peppermint, or anise extract instead of mouthwash.

4. Use safe cleansers made with common everyday ingredients. They work well, are non-toxic, and cheaper, too.

5. Safely dispose of all old prescriptions, and reduce the use of antibiotics unless necessary. This includes avoiding the meat of animals treated with antibiotics.

6. Stop using triclosan antibacterial soaps. Antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future

7. Take stock of all over-the-counter medications taken, and eliminate the use of at least one through behavior changes:

a) We have heartburn because we eat too much. Don’t just pop an antacid. Eat less.

b)We pop a pill at the first sign of a headache. Don’t overuse OTC pain-relievers. Drink more water to reduce headaches.

c) We’re constipated because we aren’t eating enough fiber or drinking enough water. So don’t take a laxative and continue bad habits- improve your diet.

Remember, we do have control over the household toxins and how they affect our health and the health of our families. Make these simple changes one step at a time and you are on the road to a healthier you.

I help individuals stop feeling powerless about their health by guiding them through ways to get started with healthy habits without becoming overwhelmed. This is a time for connection, not for “going it alone”. Please feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to talk.

Robin Thomas worked for 25 years in Medical Research at UNC. She left UNC to start her own Wellness Business in 2004 and founded Living Well Connections, a community for people whose passion is healthy living, in 2015. Learn more at

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