10 Ways to Detoxify Your Life
Be a Chocoholic
"Dark chocolate is the ultimate superfood," says integrative medicine specialist Jeffrey Morrison of N.Y.C. The high concentration of polyphenols helps protect your body from free radicals and can reduce the chance of heart disease and cancer. Your daily dose? "One ounce of dark chocolate (with 77 percent cocoa content)."
CHOCOLOVE Organic chocolate bars, $3 each; at Whole Foods.
Avoid the Fumes
That "new-paint smell" you're used to is actually the scent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) being released into the air. Opt for a zero-VOC paint and you won't even have to air out a room before you can enter it. Benjamin Moore's new Natura line is VOC-free and available in more than 3,000 hues.
BENJAMIN MOORE Natura paints in Erin Green, Poppy, Purple Rain, and Mozart Blue, $50/ gallon; 800-672-4686 for stores.
Get on Tap
SIGG Silver Traveler bottle, $22; mysigg.com.
Bring the Outside In
Houseplants do more than just pretty up a room. They breathe in carbon dioxide and churn out oxygen, making indoor air that much cleaner. No green thumb? Try a low-maintenance spider plant.
Purify Your Skin
To remove toxins slather on a clay mask. "Clay draws out impurities and makes your skin look fresher, younger, and more vibrant," says Annie B. Bond, a green-living expert in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Masks made with moisturizing white clay are especially effective on dry skin; those with oily complexions should look for red or green clay.
Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing mask, $22; kiehls.com.
Clean, then Steam
Perc, the solvent used to dry-clean clothes, is toxic, so try an alternative method of laundering. Most fabrics can be hand-washed or run through the washing machine on a delicate cycle. For a professional-looking finish, invest in a home steamer.
CONAIR Deluxe fabric steamer, $100; at Sears.
Check the Ingredients
When choosing body lotions, try to avoid parabens. Some studies suggest that high doses of these synthetic preservatives can disrupt the functioning of the endocrine system. "They're more of a concern in body products because of the amount of surface area involved," says N.Y.C. dermatologist Macrene Alexiades. Two paraben-free lines we love: Ecotools and Origins Organics.
ECOTOOLS Sustainable Softness body lotion, $8; at Walgreens.
A good rule of thumb when buying produce: If you are going to eat the skin, choose organic. If not, opt for locally grown ingredients that are in season, says Jeffrey Morrison. When you do buy non-organic fruits and vegetables, always scrub them with a natural cleanser like Veggie Wash ($4; drugstore.com)-a mix of citrus, corn and coconut-to lower pesticide residue and clean off bacteria.
Freeze Out Dust
Get your beauty rest in a bed that's as pristine as it is plush. Once a year leave pillows and duvets on a tarp in a freezing cold garage overnight. For apartment dwellers, pillows or sheets can go in the freezer, on the terrace, or in your car trunk. "This literally freezes the allergens to death," says Danny Seo, author of the Simply Green book series. For even more protection from dust, zip impenetrable cotton encasement covers (available at allergyclean.com) around pillows and duvets.
Kick Off Your Heels
You'd be surprised at how much muck we trudge into our homes on our shoes (up to 80 percent of all indoor dirt, according to experts-eww). The easy solution is to check your shoes at the door. Even better, rest them on a pile of newspapers-the paper, designed to absorb ink, also soaks up moisture, odor, and all sorts of other nasty stuff.