The Toxic Chemicals In Your Detox Bath and How To Remove Them
Who doesn't love a nice, hot bath at the end of a tough week or a hard workout? A luxurious detox bath is a fantastic way to complement your beauty routine. This escape from the rigors of life can have health benefits too but beware! There may be hidden dangers poisoning your body while you are soaking.
Let’s look at what could be lurking around as you bathe, and what you can do to safeguard yourself while getting all the health benefits of a good detox bath!
The Benefits of a Detox Bath
A detox bath can be a great way to improve or boost your health. Properly done, it can:
- Be helpful in flushing toxins out of your body,
- Alleviate sore muscles after an intense workout,
- Boost your immune system, and
- Help you to relax or prepare for sleep.
It’s not just the bath water that is important. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium, an important mineral that can help prevent disease, improve cellular function, and even provide safe treatment for certain diseases. Adding Epsom salt or magnesium flakes to your bath allows your skin to absorb this important detox nutrient.
However, chemicals in your water, cleaning residue, and unsafe bathing products can turn a healthy bath into chemical soup.
This guide will teach you what sort of chemicals are lurking in your bathwater and how to create a truly purifying detox bath.
Remove Toxins From Your Detox Bath Water
Your tap water can contain lots of different toxic chemicals. Depending on where you live, it may carry unsafe levels of:
- Heavy metals like lead and chromium
- Runoff from fracking
- Chlorinated chemicals
- Nanoparticles from microfiber
Most of us purify our drinking water but we don’t think much about the water in our bathtubs! We should be more concerned. At least one study shows that our skin can and does absorb some of these harmful chemicals.
In 2009, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act only searches for 91 contaminants in tap water, yet there are tens of thousands of chemicals that may pose a problem. In the years since little has changed.
While some updates have been made to the EPA’s water guidelines and a new bill enacted to improve water infrastructure around the nation, there still are many chemicals floating in the water served to our homes. To see what chemicals are in your local water, enter your zip code into the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database.
Fortunately, we can take steps to minimize our exposure while bathing, even if our tap water is not pure:
- Your skin absorbs more chemicals the longer you are the tub so limit your bath to 15 minutes or less.
- Soap was shown to remove many more toxins than water alone so be sure to wash your skin thoroughly before exiting the tub.
- Add some purified or distilled water to your bath if you do not have a whole home purifier. While it is costly to invest in such a purifier, you may want to save up for this investment over time.
- If this is not an option for you, consider investing in a water or shower filter for your bath.
- Finally, you can always do a detox foot bath instead of filling the entire tub. This is also a great solution if you are pressed for time!
Remove Toxins From Your Tub Cleaning Products
One of the worst jobs in your home may be cleaning soap scum from your tub but you should avoid the popular brand name scrubbing products! Many of them include chemicals that are linked to asthma or irritate and inflame the lungs.
If you have pink slime in your tub or shower, according to Huffington Post, it’s not just soap residue. No, you officially have bacteria growing, yuck! Fortunately, the solution is simple:
- Air out your bathroom from time to time. Bacteria thrive in humid areas like this.
- Use a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar to wash it away. You can also add tea tree essential oil to help.
However, DIY products can’t always get your bathtub as clean as you’d like, especially if you have hard water. One cleaning product for tub and tile that gets a high rating from the EWG is Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner.
Another option is microfiber cloths, which allow you to clean without water. Unfortunately, microfiber is made of plastic and is now a big concern in our oceans. According to the Guardian, multiple studies have shown that the nano-plastics from microfiber products are causing serious pollution problems in our oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Whenever you launder your microfiber products, nanofibers are released into your sewer. They are so small that sewage treatment plants cannot filter them out and they do not degrade. Sea animals are eating these nanofibers, which can harm them. In turn, these microscopic pieces of plastic end up in our seafood.
You definitely don’t want any of those floating in your bathwater, either! It’s best to avoid microfiber products at all costs.
Avoid Toxic Bathing Products
Now that your tub is shiny and clean, are your bathing products clean as well? Maybe not. In 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released the report, “No More Toxic Tub.” They discovered that many bath products - including those specifically made for babies and children - contained formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, an ethoxylated ingredient. Both of these chemicals have been linked to cancer.
Another common toxin in bath products is an undisclosed fragrance ingredient. Because these ingredients are often a corporate secret, there is no way to know if the scent in your bath salts or bubble bath is harmful to you.
Other toxins in your bath products may include parabens, which disrupt the endocrine systems and methylisothiazolinone or methylchloroisothiazolinone, known irritants that can cause allergies.
When choosing products to add to your bath, be sure that they are free of these chemicals.
How To Take a “Clean” Detox Bath
So do you need to completely avoid baths? Not at all! By making a few common sense and earth-friendly changes, you can remove toxins from your detox bath to make it truly cleansing!
Here are some tips to try for your next detox bath:
Use Nontoxic Bath Salts
Be sure that your salts don’t contain any unnecessary “additives.” Our Funky Soap Refreshing & Zesty Bath Salts and Soothing Herbal Bath Salts contain Dead Sea, Himalayan, and Epsom salts as well as essential oils in the right balance for a wonderful detox bath!
Make It Hot
Keep your bath hotter than lukewarm but not too hot. This will open your pores so you can absorb the magnesium.
Keep It Short
As mentioned, keep your bath to 15 minutes or less so you don’t absorb too many harmful chemicals. Magnesium absorbs fairly quickly into the skin.
Wash Your Skin With Nontoxic Soap
When you are done with your bath, wash off your skin to remove any of the chemicals that might be in your tap water.
Detox baths are a great way to help heal your body. Your body will thank you for this healthy, indulgent method of self-care that everyone can do!