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MY PERSONAL PATH TO LOW TOX LIVING - What motivated me to make the switch.

by Katie Gibson 25 May 2023 0 Comments
MY PERSONAL PATH TO LOW TOX LIVING - What motivated me to make the switch.

Hi, I'm Katie, co-founder of Totem Eco, Professional Hair & Makeup Artist, Wifey and lucky Mama to three beautiful babes.

My own personal journey into the world of low-tox living started around 8 years ago. I had just found out that I was pregnant with our first baby and I found a small lump in my left breast. After numerous scans, inconclusive biopsies and multiple tests, it was recommended that I have it removed. I had to go under general anaesthetic which was concerning in my first trimester and the wait for results felt like a lifetime. The lump was fortunately benign, but the whole experience was pretty scary and -

The possibility that I might not have the opportunity to breastfeed my baby was heart-breaking.

I took it as a warning and it prompted me to start looking more carefully at the products that I had been using on myself and around my home. Although I had always considered myself to be fairly aware of what I put into and on my body, it made me realise that many of the products that I had assumed to be safe, actually contained ingredients that were questionable at best. The possibility that these chemicals could now also affect my unborn baby motivated me to make some big changes.

My initial knee jerk reaction was to completely overhaul my cleaning cupboard with bottles of white vinegar and boxes of bicarb, I stopped using conventional soaps and shampoos on my body & hair and pretty much replaced all of my body products with pure organic coconut oil. Even the vitamins and supplements that I had been using seemed to have questionable ingredients and additives in them.


During my pregnancy I researched natural options for pretty much every prenatal and baby item and was on a mission to reduce my everyday exposure and create a low-tox sanctuary to welcome our babe into. The options back then were quite limited and it was a major mission to find good quality natural items that didn’t cost double the price.

To be honest, I will probably never know for certain whether or not the lump in my breast was related to any specific ingredient or product that I was using. There is also the possibility that the contraceptive pill that I had taken for many years (which I had also assumed to be safe) had an affect on my hormone levels which can contribute to changes in breast tissue. Whatever the cause, I'm glad that this health scare gave me the drive that I needed to begin the path to a more mindful and conscious approach to my health, while educating myself about the potential risks that everyday products could be having on myself and my family.

Fast forward a few years and low-tox is gradually becoming a way of life for many consumers, it has evolved from being a buzzword to a revolutionary movement that is redefining industry standards around the world. In recent years the demand for amazing quality, natural, eco friendly products has exploded, making it crucial for companies to either keep up or risk losing their customers to more innovative clean brands -

So how can you reduce your toxic load?

The idea of changing everything in your home over to natural alternatives can feel overwhelming but the benefits are so worth it. 


Get to know your ingredients – there is so much free information available online about toxic ingredients and what to look out for on labels. The most important thing is to know your ingredients and check the label before you buy a product. Generally speaking, if you can't pronounce it's name, it's prob not your friend.  If you don’t know what an ingredient is, it’s probably safer to give the product a miss, however if a brand is truly transparent and reputable they will be willing and able to answer any questions that you have about an ingredient including its origin and purpose.

Be aware of Green Washing - There are unfortunately a lot of brands jumping on the bandwagon and calling themselves natural when the truth is, some of their ingredients are questionable. Be sure to read reviews and check the credibility of brands.

Start small – Even the smallest change can make a big difference. It might seem overwhelming to detox your entire home, but just by choosing a more natural alternative each time you replace a finished product you are reducing your toxic load and taking a step in the right direction.

Grow your own – growing your own food is a great way to eliminate pesticides from the food you eat. You control what is used in the growing process and there is nothing more rewarding than eating something that you have grown yourself. It’s good for the mind as well as the body. Even just a benchtop herb garden is a step in the right direction if you have limited space.

Use natural skin and body products – researches have estimated that the average person exposes themselves to 515 individual chemicals everyday through the use of skincare, beauty and perfume products. It makes sense that our skin is our biggest organ and our overall health will be affected most by what we put onto and into our bodies. Making the switch to non toxic body products is one of the fastest ways to reduce your everyday exposure to chemicals. Start by replacing the products that you use most, like soap, toothpaste and deodorant.


I feel quite lucky that my own personal awareness in this area seemed to coincide with this gradual uprising of available clean products and information to support clean living.

Despite the growth of the low-tox movement, we chose to go one step further.

Drawing upon our past experiences and careers in science and the beauty industry, we decided to make our own everyday products that we could trust to use on ourselves and our family. We’ve created a range of natural deodorant and natural botanical soaps that give us peace of mind in daily use and are proud to be able to share these with others. We look forward to expanding the range and hope the products we create can make a difference to the wellbeing of you and the health of the planet.

Thanks for reading! 💛

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