DITCH THIS CHEMICAL #4: Quarternium 15
Today I got busy stocking up on some chemical-free products for our home. To save time, I usually make a few things in the one go while I’ve got all the ingredients out of the cupboard. The great thing about making your own chemical-free products, is that they all use similar ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about forking out lots of money purchasing weird ingredients that you’ll probably only ever use once.
Today I made some more baby wipes, a hair de-tangler for Miss 3-year-old’s crazy blonde mop, a really really really LUSH face moisturiser and some more dishwashing liquid using my Young Living Rosemary and Clove essential oils. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed since making my own products, is that my hands are not so dry and cracked anymore. Having my hands exposed to toxic-laden products everyday – like baby wipes and dishwashing liquid – was really taking a toll on my skin. Some days the skin on my fingers and around my nails would get so dry and crusty that they’d crack and bleed. It was super painful! I tried to ‘heal’ my hands by rubbing commercial hand-cream on them 24/7…Little did I know that that was probably making it worse, as I was adding yet MORE toxic chemicals onto my skin. And it wasn’t just my skin that was exposed to these dangerous chemicals, but also my insides as they seeped into my bloodstream, attacking my fragile body systems, as they tried to stay a balance during the onslaught of toxin-overload. Was it the washing liquid and the mould spray and the over-powering chlorinated toilet cleaner, that I had been exposed to everyday, ever since I was born, that had ever-so-slightly pushed parts of my body’s functioning to become dysfunctional? It may not have just been my hands that had suffered, but also my energy levels, my mood, my digestive system, even my fertility.
It’s difficult, of course, to pin-point what adverse substance or event caused which specific health issue, but it does make sense that by reducing toxins and other unhealthful things in our lives, we will experience better health. Changing your commercial cleaning products to chemical-free products is one important way we can reduce harmful chemicals in our homes. On Saturday (11 June, 7pm at Alchemy Cafe) I’m holding a DIY Chemical-Free Cleaning Workshop where you can come along and learn how to make five natural cleaning products using essential oils, as well as navigate the ‘chemical maze’ so you can make good, clean choices in what you purchase. It’s the perfect way to get started with going chemical-free!
One of these products you’ll learn to make is a toxin-free dishwashing liquid (like the one I’m making in the pic). Most commercial dishwashing liquids contain chemicals obtained from refining petroleum. They also use heavily scented synthetic fragrances (which I spoke about here) which are compounded when hot water facilitates the vaporisation of these chemicals and you easily breathe them in while standing over the sink. Most dishwashing liquids also contain detergents and petroleum based artificial dyes. Some dyes are known to be carcinogenic and they can penetrate the skin. Some dishwashing liquids may contain Quarternium 15, an eye and skin irritant which releases formaldehyde, a recognised cancer-causing agent…Hmmm, Quarternium 15: a skin irritant. Was that the ingredient that was causing my hands to crack and bleed (not to mention potentially mutating my cells so as to become cancerous)? Crazy thing is, the washing liquid I usually bought (Homebrand…yep, I’m a cheapo!) didn’t actually list ANY ingredients at all. I couldn’t find any ingredients online either. It made me wonder what are they trying to hide. Suspicious much!
Quarternium 15 is definitely an ingredient that you want to avoid. It’s also commonly found in all-purpose cleaner, hair tonic, pet shampoo, floor wax and polish, disinfectants, sunscreen, soaps, shaving products, foundations, eye makeup…And get this, even in a bunch of baby products such as baby shampoo and baby wash! Are we trying to make our precious, clean babies sick before they even have a chance to live? As a mum of two little ones, this makes me horrified. It was this that initially prompted me to start stripping the toxic chemicals from our food and home.
So…Challenge #4 – Have a look at your current cleaning products (and if you dare, any other product you have in the house), and check out the ingredients to see if the product contains ‘Quarternium 15.’ If you’re using regular supermarket brand products and you don’t see these listed, give the company a call and query if these ingredients are in fact inside your products – chances are they will be. Becoming aware is the first step to making real changes. And if you feel like you’re ready to take the next step, stop using the product! If you’re planning to come to our Chemical-Free Cleaning ‘Make-and-Take’ Workshop on Sat 11 June, 7pm at Alchemy Cafe, save your toxic products to chuck away in the ‘Toxic Bin’ – the person who chucks away the most products will win a prize!
The workshop is $25, which covers the cost of all the ingredients, containers and oils that you will use to make five cleaning products to take home to replace your old toxic ones. Spaces are limited, so we would appreciate if you can book in and pay prior to the night. You can purchase your spot for the workshop here 🙂