6 Tips to Start a Nontoxic Life (That I Wish I Knew Sooner)



Beginning a journey toward a nontoxic life can be a profound and empowering decision. But it can come with its own set of challenges.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the challenges (a lot of them were mindset-based) I faced when I began my nontoxic life. These are things I wish I’d known sooner!

I’ll offer insights and tips to overcome these challenges, hoping to help you avoid these pitfalls.

Remember, taking small steps today can lead to significant changes for a healthier tomorrow.

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Lesson 1: Navigate Your Nontoxic Life Without Fear

nontoxic life no fear

Personal Reflection: 

Imagine realizing that the products you trusted for years were actually harmful. Even though you believed that they were safe and beneficial.

This startling revelation shook my world and began my journey toward a nontoxic life.

That’s where I found myself several years ago.

After a serious precancer diagnosis, followed by surgery, fear and anxiety overwhelmed me.

It shattered my perception of “safe” living.  And it pushed me into a desperate quest for non-toxic alternatives. 

I began researching ingredients. And let me tell you, the harmful ingredients in my products shocked me!

In my panicked state, I immediately threw away all my products with these ingredients.   

At the time, throwing these things out immediately appeared to be the best plan.  However, in retrospect, I see it much more clearly.  

In truth, responding in this way only made my anxiety worse. And it caused my nervous system to become even more out of balance.

Insight:

Upon reflection, I realized the detrimental effects of making decisions driven by fear.

Acting from a place of fear can be counterproductive and potentially harmful.  It can exacerbate feelings of overwhelm and contribute to nervous system dysregulation.

Learn from my mistake. Instead of reacting impulsively, approach your non-toxic journey with curiosity and self-compassion.   

Taking thoughtful steps, instead of discarding everything hastily, is a gentler approach.  And it can help you maintain emotional balance and reduce stress.  We’ll talk about actionable ways to do this in later sections.

Advice:

Listen to your body and intuition.  Take a more mindful and balanced approach to transitioning to a non-toxic lifestyle.  Find a trusted guide (that’s me!) to help you stay calm as you decide what to swap out first.

Don’t succumb to fear. Instead, take a step back, breathe, and assess the situation from a place of reason and calm. 

Embrace self-compassion and remember that every small step is progress.  Focus on mindfulness to navigate the non-toxic journey with confidence and calm empowerment.

Lesson 2: Embrace Imperfection on the Path to Non-Toxic Living

nontoxic life embrace imperfection

Personal Reflection:

Perfection is impossible. Intellectually we all know this.   

But there’s a cultural pressure to be flawless, especially for women.

We often feel like we need to act perfectly and do things perfectly.

That feeling doesn’t stop when I hit a certain age. And sometimes that expectation seems like it intensifies with age.  Can you relate?

And so, I admit, I tried to do this non-toxic lifestyle perfectly at first. 

Can you guess how that went? 

It just compounded the negative impacts I shared in lesson number one.

Insight:

Trying to do this non-toxic lifestyle “perfectly” is, of course, impossible. 

It is also unrealistic and unsustainable. It only leads to feelings of inadequacy and frustration. And let’s face it–we already have enough of that, wouldn’t you agree?

Advice:

Focus on progress over perfection, and be OK with making mistakes along the way.  As you know better you will do better.

Choose one small change to make today, and implement it to the best of your ability. 

Perhaps you swapped out the moisturizer you recently discovered contains several toxic ingredients. Great, that’s a huge win! 

Now celebrate that win. And think of how that one win will yield compounded results

Every day you use that cleaner moisturizer is a day you’re not putting those toxic chemicals on!!   That adds up. 

Remind yourself that taking imperfect steps toward a healthier lifestyle is perfectly fine. (See what I did there?)

Lesson 3: Take Small Steps Toward a Non-Toxic Lifestyle

Personal Reflection:

Looking back on my non-toxic journey, I recall feeling overwhelmed and uncertain.   

I was brand new at transitioning to cleaner products. At that time, there was no role model for how to do this.  I had no guide to ask. 

So it was tempting to dive in headfirst and overhaul my entire routine, driven by urgency and fear. 

Eager to “fix” the problem, I overlooked the value of starting slowly. You heard how well that worked out for me.

Insight:

Transitioning to a non-toxic lifestyle can feel overwhelming.  Especially when faced with a plethora of products to replace. 

However, there is power in starting slowly and gradually making changes.  It makes the process more manageable and sustainable. 

By taking small steps, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed.  And that allows you to create lasting habits that promote health and well-being. 

Practical Tips:

1. Prioritize Products: Identify products with the most concerning ingredients, especially fragrance.  Learn why in my post about the Hidden Dangers of Fragrance. Start with products that go IN your body or stay ON your skin all day. Focus on replacing these items first. Don’t attempt to overhaul all your products at once. Take it from me.

2. One Swap at a Time:  Begin by focusing on one product or product category at a time. As you finish up your current items, select safer replacements. Again, fosus on those that go IN your body or stay ON your skin all day.

3. Plan Ahead: Take stock of your current inventory and anticipate when products will need replenishing. Use this opportunity to research non-toxic alternatives and plan your transitions accordingly. This helps to avoid rushed decisions driven by fear or urgency. 

4. Research Ingredients: Learn about harmful ingredients in personal care and household items. This knowledge helps you confidently navigate ingredient lists and make informed purchases.  We’ll touch on this a little later in this post. You can also learn more in my article about 15 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare Products.

5. Experiment and Adapt: Embrace the process of experimentation and discovery as you explore non-toxic alternatives. Not every product will be a perfect fit on the first try, and that’s okay.

Be open to trying different products, brands, and formulations until you find what works best for you.

6. Celebrate Progress: Remember to celebrate each small victory along your non-toxic journey. Each positive change, no matter how small, contributes to your overall well-being. 

Starting slowly with a mindful approach can pave the way for long-term success. It allows you to create lasting habits that promote health and well-being.

Lesson 4: Understand Greenwashing in Your Non-Toxic Journey

nontoxic life greenwashing

Personal Reflection: 

Greenwashing makes me MAD!

If I had understood greenwashing, I may not have used toxic products (that I truly believed were safe)! I might not have ended up with a precancerous condition. And then maybe I wouldn’t have needed an immediate total hysterectomy.

A lot of mights, I know.

But learning that environmental toxins caused the precancerous condition supports those mights.

Greenwashing, a term I came to understand much later, was a contributing factor.

Insight: 

Greenwashing is pervasive. And it is huge in the toxin-free industry.

Brands use terms like “natural,” “organic,” and “clean” without standardized definitions or regulations.

This makes it challenging for consumers, like you and me, who are trying to choose safe products.

These tactics can make it hard to discern which products are non-toxic and which are marketing ploys.

Advice: 

To navigate the maze of greenwashing, it’s crucial to arm yourself with knowledge. 

Scrutinize product labels. Look beyond buzzwords and marketing claims, and dig into ingredient lists

Look out for certifications from reputable organizations and third-party endorsements. One such resource is The Environmental Workers Group (EWG).

It’s helpful to look for products that are EWG VERIFIED™ or have a low rating. In general, I suggest swapping out products with a rating of 4 or above.

These provide valuable insights into a product’s credibility and help you make informed decisions.

Lesson 5: Decipher Ingredient Lists for a Nontoxic Life

nontoxic life decode labels

Personal Reflection:

I quickly learned the importance of understanding ingredient lists. We can’t overstate the impact of ingredients on our overall health and well-being.

Uncovering the hidden dangers behind seemingly harmless product labels was truly eye-opening.

One brand that has been instrumental in my journey is Beautycounter.  Their commitment to transparency and safety is important to me. 

And I love Beautycounter’s Never List! It includes over 2,800 toxic or harmful ingredients that will never be in the products or packaging.

Insight:

Ingredient awareness is paramount when striving for a toxin-free lifestyle.

Many cleaning and personal care products have ingredients linked to adverse health effects. These can include allergies, hormone disruption, carcinogenicity, and more.

Understanding these ingredients empowers us to make informed choices and protect our health.

Advice:

Researching and deciphering ingredient lists can be overwhelming at first. But it’s a crucial skill to develop on your non-toxic journey.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the top offenders to avoid. These include parabens, phthalates, fragrance, and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. 

Check out my free Clean Beauty Guide for more help decoding ingredient lists and selecting safer products. It’s filled with useful tips to aid your journey toward a healthier lifestyle. You can get it below.

Clean Beauty for Age-Defying Skin: Elevate Your Glow

  • Get Clear on Clean Beauty
  • Simple Steps to Choosing Safer Products
  • Self-Assess Your Skincare Habits
  • Holistic tips to elevate your beauty routine
  • Love Your Mature Skin Again

Additionally, consider exploring alternative brands like Beautycounter that prioritize transparency and ingredient integrity. You can read more about my favorite Beautycounter anti-aging skincare line here.

Embracing ingredient awareness and seeking out brands committed to transparency empowers us to navigate the world of non-toxic living confidently.

Lesson 6: Build Your Non-Toxic Community of Support

nontoxic life community

Personal Reflection:

When I began my journey towards non-toxic living, I found myself navigating this path alone. 

The lack of a support system made the journey challenging, but I was fortunate to have one friend who was able to provide some guidance and support. 

Recognizing the importance of community in this journey, I was inspired to create a space where women like me could come together, share experiences, and support each other. 

This was one of the driving forces behind starting this wellness blog and becoming a brand advocate with Beautycounter.

Insight:

Having a supportive community can make all the difference in achieving toxin-free living.

Being part of a community provides a sense of belonging, encouragement, and accountability.

It can help you stay motivated and informed on your journey. And it can be a place to celebrate your wins and ask questions.

Advice:

I invite you to join our Facebook community.  It’s a welcoming space for women interested in clean beauty and non-toxic living. 

Our group offers valuable support, insightful discussions, and monthly live events.

It’s a place to connect with like-minded women and learn from each other’s experiences.

We’re committed to making informed choices for our well-being and the planet, and we’d love to have you join us.

Conclusion: Non-toxic Living Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming

nontoxic life you can do it

Beginning a journey toward a non-toxic lifestyle is a profound and empowering decision. But it can come with its own set of challenges

In this article, we’ve explored insights and tips to overcome these challenges.

Remember, taking small steps today can lead to significant changes for a healthier tomorrow.

If you haven’t snagged a copy of my free Clean Beauty Guide yet, do that now!

Clean Beauty for Age-Defying Skin: Elevate Your Glow

  • Get Clear on Clean Beauty
  • Simple Steps to Choosing Safer Products
  • Self-Assess Your Skincare Habits
  • Holistic tips to elevate your beauty routine
  • Love Your Mature Skin Again

Oh, and feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, or questions in the comments below.

TL;DR: Key Takeaways

  1. Approach non-toxic living with curiosity and self-compassion, not fear.
  2. Focus on progress over perfection.
  3. Start slowly, making one small change at a time.
  4. Be wary of greenwashing in the beauty industry.
  5. Prioritize products with safe, natural ingredients
  6. Seek support from a community of like-minded individuals.
  7. Remember, taking small steps today can lead to significant changes for a healthier tomorrow.

Don’t forget to 📌for later! ⬇

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Hi, I'm Tina!

A precancer diagnosis, the resulting surgery, and autoimmune diseases sparked my journey to a toxin-free life.

Through countless hours of research and trial and error, I learned about toxins, clean beauty, and the power of small consistent choices.

Now, I’m here to guide you on your path to wellness and clean beauty.

LET’S REWRITE YOUR STORY TOGETHER! LET’S CHAT and see how we can work together to move you forward.

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