At Status Gaea, we believe that educating yourself as much as possible on not only what you wear, but what you can do for your health and wellbeing is vital to a more sustainable life. On a daily basis, we’re battling pressures and stresses from 9-5s, an overload of zoom meetings and technology, and hidden toxins in all too many of our products from shampoos, to food containers, to even yoga mats!
We had the pleasure of chatting about tips to detox your body and mind with Lauren Criswell Merle, yogi and founder of sustainable yoga mat brand, Gypsy Jet Setter. With her very own line of non-toxic travel yoga mats, years of experience practicing and teaching yoga, and a lust for taking time out of her busy life to travel with her family, we’d like to think of Lauren as Status Gaea’s own little wellbeing guru.
People are finally realizing that there are toxic chemicals in many of our daily products. Armed with some knowledge and investigation skills, we can all make smarter purchases and take care of our bodies. Are there any chemicals or ingredients that you look for in your daily products and avoid at all costs?
I really try to keep it as natural as possible. I aim to eat clean, non-processed foods, and use non-toxic skincare and products in my day-to-day life. This all started in 2017 when I was doing research to start my non-toxic yoga mat business, Gypsy Jet Setter Yoga, and I realized the majority of yoga mats are made using extremely toxic PVC. This really sparked my interest in educating myself going forward with what products I interact with on a day-to-day basis. It is very easy to go down the rabbit hole with the number of toxic chemicals that are, well everywhere, but a few main chemicals that I really strive to avoid are phthalates and fragrance. Phthalates are found in many self-care products. Fabrics, textiles, processed food, children’s toys, scented oil plugins, food packaging, etc. Researchers have linked phthalates to a number of things including cancer, human reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, birth defects, respiratory problems, and the list goes on. It is so frightening to me how common phthalates are in day-to-day products. Being currently pregnant, it is wild knowing that it’s used in children’s toys- when kids are so young and susceptible to toxins. The second toxic chemical I really try to avoid is artificial fragrance, which is found in almost anything with a “scent”. First of all, most artificial fragrance contains phthalates, which makes the smell last longer as well containing neurotoxins and carcinogens which can pass from the skin directly into the bloodstream. Don’t fear, you don’t need to stop wearing perfume! There are plenty of very amazing and luxurious natural perfume companies that use natural, non-toxic fragrances. A great place to start with natural perfumes is Credo (the clean version of Sephora!).
We’d love to know about specific products that you absolutely love and trust for clean ingredients. Can you tell us about some of your favorites?
Beauty & Skincare
I am a self-proclaimed natural beauty and skincare guru. 100% of the beauty and skincare products I use are clean. My favorite clean skincare brands are Osea, Juice Beauty, Goop Beauty, and Maya Chia. Juice Beauty has some amazing anti-aging serums that work like a dream. They create everything with an antioxidant and vitamin-rich organic botanical juice base as opposed to petroleum derivatives or water. Now that I’m expecting a little baby soon, clean skincare brand, Pipette, has been my go-to for clean body washes and other mama-to-be care. For beauty, my favorite brands are Ilia, Kosas, and RMS Beauty, all of who make the best non-toxic products while still maintaining quality!
I LIVE in my Pangaia clothes. Not only is the quality incredible, but they are pioneers in the sustainable clothing industry- they are so innovative and always creating new ways to be more sustainable, it is very impressive. Another plus is that 100% of the dyes they use are Oeko-Tex® certified, meaning they are non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals. I also really love Girlfriend Collective who make their materials from recycled plastic bottles. They are my go-to when I am practicing yoga or doing Pilates.
With many of our work-life balances thrown off course this past year, we are noticing a growing need for people to detox their minds. How can yoga help with this?
I can definitely speak to work-life balance being thrown off! This is something I have really struggled with. When the pandemic hit, I began working from home 100%, while also helping my stepdaughter daily with remote learning, all while trying to keep all 4 of our rescue dogs from barking. The biggest advice I can give is to make time for self-care and detoxing the mind and body. I know how challenging making time can be when you’re juggling many things at once and already feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but, I assure you- when you make time for self-care and detoxing the mind and body, you will be so amazed at how much more productive you are, how much better (and lighter) you feel and how much better you’re sleeping. It is easier to give yourself the gift of self-care and detoxing your mind and body on a regular basis if you get into the habit of doing so. Once you start seeing the amazing results with how you feel in your body, you will want to keep it up! Even 15 minutes of yoga, movement, or breathwork can make a huge difference.
Take a break now and join along with Lauren’s 15-minute detox yoga flow on our IGTV