Since skin absorbs much of what it is exposed to, especially the hands and feet, if you're planning to get pregnant, it's a good idea to stop exposing your body to unnecessary toxins and chemicals. Because a lot of skin creams, make-up, soaps, shampoo, conditioner and hair products have toxic chemicals in them, it's a good idea to start using organic brands.[1],[2] The same goes for laundry and dish detergents and household cleaning agents, where the level of toxic chemicals is much higher. The less toxic chemicals one is exposed to (the less the skin absorbs), the less will be in the body and the better for a healthy baby. Alternative beauty and cleaning agents can be found in health food stores, and natural make-up can usually be found in large department stores. For efficient and cheaper household cleaners, try using baking soda and vinegar separately or together for various cleaning tasks.


Though cleaning is usually perceived as a chore to get over and done with, it could become a good time to practice cultivating presence of mind, and gratitude for life. Since cleaning is often more or less mindless, it can be a good time to focus your thoughts fully on what you are doing and to practice being totally present. For example, observe as objectively as possible, refraining from sympathy or antipathy, how you hold the mop, the sponge, how you clean the sink, your gestures, and see what you find in that. Perhaps with this full awareness of what you are doing, you can find beauty in these simple things, in the movement of your hands, of the rhythm in your body as you work, in the kind of light in the room, and if you look for it, maybe a sense of gratitude will be there, for life, for other people, for all we have, and all we are able to do.

[1] Chenery, Narelle.  Decoding today's cosmetics. EcoVoice, Natural Living September 2005, Issue 23 <>

[2] ONEgroup. Toxic Ingredients and Toxic Ingredients Directory. June 2009 <>

Washing day

by Pierre Edouard Frere