How your grooming essentials are killing your testosterone – and what you can do about it

What does the average man’s wash bag look like? My guess is he will have a £3 plastic zip up contraption containing a can of Lynx, some 99p shaving cream, a disposable Gillette razor and finally, a lovely plastic toothbrush complete with the newest Colgate toothpaste promising a glistening smile fit for a king.

If your wash bag resembles this monstrosity in any way, shape or form, this article will probably shock and potentially offend you. I don’t really care – what I do care about is the sad decline of testosterone (and the modern man in general) in this generation and therefore it is my duty to address one of the biggest – and most ignored causes of this. Grooming essentials.

Toothbrush

What’s so bad about it?

Chances are, your toothbrush is made from plastic. Not only is this terrible for the environment due to plastic’s almost infinite breakdown time – it is awful for your testosterone. By over-exposing your body to plastic, you can disrupt what is known as your endocrine system (the body’s hormonal hub).

This is facilitated by the much demonised BPA, which can leach from plastics into your body. To then go one step further and put this stuff in your mouth by using a plastic toothbrush is almost beggar’s belief. Billions of men do this daily without second thought, not realising the harm they are doing to their testosterone.

What can I do?

What I have been doing for the past couple of years is using a bamboo toothbrush with charcoal bristles. Whilst this sounds all very la-di-da, it is actually an effective way of getting rid of any plastic from your toothcare routine and is good for the environment due to bamboo being easily bio-degradable.

The charcoal bristles also aid in cleaning teeth as charcoal has many antibacterial properties. No need for the latest Colgate teeth whitening super duper 3000 mouth blasting moon rock infused tooth foam then…

Toothpaste 

What’s so bad about it?

Along with your toothbrush, your toothpaste is completing a hefty one-two combo on your testosterone levels. Most toothpastes contain at least 20 ingredients, 90% of which you can’t pronounce and end in oxide, zine or ate. Basically, if your toothpaste contains more than one ingredient ending in each of those or you can’t pronounce over half the ingredients list, chuck it in the bin.

The single most dangerous ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. This has been in toothpaste since its inception and is still used as a teeth whitening aid to this day. Fluoride has been shown to significantly lower testosterone and wreak havoc among various other bodily functions such as the neurological system and gut health.

What can I do?

The most basic step and one which I recommend to anyone starting out would be to invest in a fluoride free toothpaste. After this though, I recommend going full hippy and buying some all natural toothpaste that contains only natural ingredients and absolutely no chemicals.

Any natural toothpaste that contains baking soda will do the trick nicely as this has been shown to be one of the most effective active teeth whitening ingredients around. Having used the Georganics range for the past couple of years, I have noticed my teeth looking whiter than ever (despite upping my intake of coffee substantially…).

Deodorant 

What’s so bad about it?

One thing that shocked me into switching my deodorant overnight was the fact that cans of deodorant contain anti-freeze. Yes, ANTI-FREEZE. What a strange concept it is then, to liberally spray this all over your ‘pits. Your armpit skin is more absorbent than most parts of the body, so putting these harmful chemicals in the huge quantities that men tend to spray them onto the body is a recipe for hormonal disaster.

What can I do?

If you’re a really sweaty, stinky fella then maybe going full natural could be a bit of a disaster. Switch to roll on and try to limit the application to the bare essentials if you want to lower your exposure to harmful chemicals.

I use a deodorant stick called Salt of the Earth. It’s literally just a stick of solid salt but it does the business, will last you years and is odourless, so if you wear aftershave then that can take centre stage instead of overpowering deo.

Top that with a dollop of coconut oil under each armpit and you’ve got a rock solid antiperspirant. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and can absorb smell – another use for this absolute men’s health powerhouse.

Shaving cream

What’s so bad about it?

The majority of off-the-shelf shaving creams are a tin full of bollocks in my humble opinion. Far too many harmful chemicals such as Triethanolamine are packed into the average bottle of squirt, which has been shown to increase your risk of liver & testicular cancer. Whilst levels of Triethanolamine may be small, the majority of men tend to shave at least a couple of times per week, meaning these doses stack up and can spell disaster for your long term wellbeing.

What can I do?

Find yourself a quality shaving cream or lather from brands you know you can trust. I used to use coconut oil as my shaving cream and post-shave moisturiser. Whilst this may be the best way to shun the chems, my skin was too sensitive for this lack of lather, much like millions of other men. If this is the case for you then opt for the highest quality and lowest amount of chemicals possible. I really like Cade by L’Occitane & any of Cornerstone’s offerings.

Hair product 

What’s so bad about it?

Where to start with this one? Gels, waxes, pomade’s, sprays, shampoos…you name it, there’s about a million zillion different products for men’s hair and almost every one of them is hurting your testosterone levels. Let’s say the average man uses a dollop of pomade in his hair every day. Contaminants such as lead and coal tar have been found in hair pomades in recent years – I don’t need to explain why these are bad to be massaging onto your scalp.

Then there’s your shampoos. Most men I know tend to use head & shoulders or bedhead shampoos. Whilst these may reduce your dandruff, they will over time not only strip your hair of natural oils and nutrients – they’ll strip your gonads of their precious T. Sodium lauryl sulphate is the biggest offender here and has been shown to lower testosterone in males significantly. This is what is used to create the foaming effect in your shampoo for the most part and therefore can be easily left out without much effect on your hair.

What can I do?

For styling your hair I recommend a big ol’ dollop of everyone’s favourite little miracle – coconut oil. I’ve been using it in my hair for years now and even my barber has asked me what I use in it. Whilst this completely nutralises any threat to testosterone and provides vital nutrients for your hair, it also gives it decent hold and keeps it soft instead of that horrible hard, straw-like effect that so many hair products give.

In terms of shampoos, shop around on eBay and Etsy for all natural offerings. These tend to last for months and months, smell great and are so much healthier for your hair than the mass-produced garbage peddled in shops. I’m currently using something called all-natural (believe it or not) that I got off Etsy which acts as a shampoo and bodywash, so you’re killing two birds with one stone, not killing your testosterone in both stones.

Whilst having every item optimised for testosterone production can be hard for a lot of people, you really do reap the benefits when making the change. Of course, compromises can be made in all areas – sweaty fellas may opt to keep the deodorant, smokers may opt for stain preventing toothpaste etc.

However, by making a conscious effort to try and eliminate chemicals, toxins and xenoestrogens from your wash bag, you will be doing your hormones a huge favour.

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