An environmental game changer, Alexx Stuart of Low Tox Life has made a name for herself in the health industry as an advocate for healthier people and a healthier planet; she says that the two combined are “the holy grail of wellness”, and we couldn’t agree more!
Alexx coined the term 'low tox' when her son was a baby during his nap time, with the vision of bringing education and community to people around topics that might affect our health or the planet’s health. She wanted it to feel like we could really have a good go without worrying about whether it was ‘perfect’.
“Keep it real” is Alexx’s food philosophy, one she also sticks to when skincare and cleaning products are concerned. We were so inspired by Alexx that not only did we create a very special Low Tox Beauty Box, filled with some of Alexx's favourite beauty and lifestyle products, we sat down with her to ask some burning questions.
In a nutshell, what is ‘Low Tox Life’ and why should we strive to adopt this kind of lifestyle?
The Low Tox Life is for people wanting to do right by our health and our planet. In a high tox world whether it be home, body, food or mind, the Low Tox Life carves out super practical tools, learning spaces and resources to help people live their best lives and support the health of our beautiful planet earth while we do that.
What was the ‘penny dropping moment’ that catalysed your lifestyle change from ‘High Tox’ to ‘Low Tox’?
There were 3 waves of it… First, when I left cosmetics and fragrance industry and all of a sudden didn’t get headaches and migraines anymore - and boy did I used to get A LOT of both! Second was when after years of chronic tonsillitis, it stopped when a naturopath worked with me to identify my trigger (gluten) and remove it from the diet and build my immune system back up with herbs - I was wowed! Third was when my son was born nearly 9 years ago and the scrutiny I put everything under in terms of what I was going to allow on his skin and as food - I learnt enough by that point to go: Wow. I’m pretty sure more people would want to know this stuff and have support in making switches to safer, better products and whole food, and voila: here we are!
How would you describe your journey and approach towards low-tox living, and what has been the greatest challenge?
My journey has been slow and steady and I never make a change without fully understanding the WHY and ensuring I’m truly and clearly motivated, otherwise change just doesn’t stick. The greatest challenge is not being able to effect change as fast as our world needs. But, whenever I feel useless, I always come back to our community and we put our heads together and think of resources and tools and conversations that are going to be able to help us move forward faster - and we always do. It always comes back to operating from your current circle of influence to create a bigger circle of influence, right? Use the frustration as a springboard to the next level.
Why should we pay equal attention to the ingredients within our beauty, cosmetic products as we do with the foods we consume?
Because it’s not just about what goes IN us, but on our skin too - our largest organ!
Get our limited edition beauty box, curated by Alexx Stuart here.
What are your favourite completely natural ingredients/products that you’ve integrated into your beauty routine?
Golly, the list would be LONG! Some of the products in our beautiful collaborative box are a great place to start, but I’d add that I wouldn’t be without a drop of the Young Living Frankincense Oil in my daily moisturiser and that my fave moisturiser is the Weleda Smoothing Night Cream. ADDICTED! I’d also add that I love the Black Chicken Face Polish and the 123 Nourish Me Sunscreen… But honestly, I could go on and on here!
It’s quite difficult to ensure all of our beauty products are completely ‘Low Tox’ and nasties-free. What are the ingredients we should definitely try to avoid?
I tend to stay away from unexplained ‘parfum’ and ‘fragrance’ in an ingredient list that doesn’t asterix and say ‘made from essential oil / phthalate free’ because very commonly there are phthalates in there that are disruptive to our endocrine systems - I don’t know about you but as a woman I find it hard enough to balance my hormones on a good day, let alone letting these little endocrine disruptors come and mess up my body’s natural signalling!
Then you want to avoid abrasives, petroleum derived ingredients, other potential endocrine disruptors such as parabens and phenoxyethanol, and more but I don’t want to freak you guys out. Come do Go Low Tox the e course one of these days so you’re totally up with what’s what and have the support to make the transition in an empowered way.
What are some conversation starters people can use to invite curiosity in living a low tox lifestyle?
I find it’s super important to just simply BE the change. Let a friend see you using your gorgeous lip gloss or borrowing your natural perfume and let THEM ask you about what that is so that you have an invitation to share, rather than pushing things on peeps - People run a mile if you do that! A documentary together is a great way to get people on side. Let the scientists and doctors do the talking and you’ll be far less likely to be called a hippy weirdo (even though it’s fun to be a hippy weirdo!) If someone asks you make it about US being up against THEM (companies) rather than you and your friend being divided… I was doing some research on this and found a paper on it saying we should be cautious - can you believe THOSE companies let this stuff in our personal care? That style of delivery means peeps won’t feel judged and that’s super important if you want to bring people along for the ride instead of repelling them with all your ‘weirdo hippy talk’.
Often people can feel overwhelmed with the idea of changing their habits and lifestyle. What are your top three tips for people feeling like "it's all too hard"? If someone wants to shift to a low tox lifestyle where do you suggest they start? ie. food, make-up, skin care etc.
Think bang for buck and biggest impact first, rather than “Oh man I have to change everything!!!!” This is not an overnight thing. It took me a good decade because we’re essentially talking clothes, mattresses, furniture… So relax, make priority lists, use gift giving opportunities strategically to help you towards bigger ticket items by suggesting vouchers from everyone to the same store… My number 1 is filtered water. We drink litres and litres of it a day and it better be good. Next I’d go body lotion because it covers the largest surface area of our skin. Then I’d go a pure wool mattress topper so that you’re sleeping next to natural fibres rather than a synthetic mattress. Then I’d do Tooth floss given it’s getting right into our gums and is commonly coated in - get this - TEFLON! Do a few things that will make a BIG impact first, and then work down the list of all the rest.
Whatever you do as you learn along the way, don’t feel guilty about what you didn’t know yesterday, but instead feel excited about what you’re going to change from today! Alexx x