How To Ditch And Switch - A Guide To Toxic-Free Living
Did you know, according to this HuffPost Article, that the average woman puts on 515 synthetic chemicals on her body every day without knowing? Yikes!
Ditching your every day go-to products can be hard, but trust us. Once you make the switch, you'll feel so much better knowing that you are taking care of yourself, your home, and the people you love. We'll guide you through 3 main areas to focus on: Personal Care Products, Cleaning Supplies, Household Supplies
Start with Personal Care Products
The top 3 chemicals to avoid in personal care products are big ones in terms of links to breast cancer or hormone disruptors.
- What is it: A toxic metal that can have estrogen-like effects in our systems, disrupting the healthy functioning of our endocrine system.
- Most commonly found in: underarm deodorant
- Our personal faves: SmartyPits, Native, and Schmidt's.
- What is it: A synthetic preservative with a chemical structure similar to estrogen that is linked with an increase risk of breast cancer and reproductive problems
- Most commonly found in: any personal care product that contains water. Look for ingredients listed as methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-, and benzylparaben.
- Our personal faves: Herbivore, Youth To The People
- What is it: The FDA allows companies to list "fragrance" as one ingredient but it could contain 100+ ingredients under this one name. It's an outdated law that was originally intended to keep company's trade secrets for their perfume blend. The problem is, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), fragrance is one of the biggest cause of cosmetic contact dermititis.
- Most commonly found in: many personal care products from lotions, to perfumes, shampoos, conditioners, body washes.
- Our personal faves: Dr. Bronners, Honest Company
Get Really "Clean" With Your Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning supplies don't always show their full ingredient list so it can be tricky. A great rule-of thumb is, if they are hiding the ingredients then watch out, and second, use technology! Look up products on EWG's website, or get the app ThinkDirty. Both will give you a breakdown of the ingredients and their potential harm.
- What to watch out for:
- Phthalates, which are used in fragrances. And you guessed it, you probably won't see this listed because it will be hidden in "frangrances".
- Ammonia, which gives glass cleaners that streak-free look. Highest health risks are people with asthma, lung issues or breathing problems. And watch out, when this product is mixed with bleach, it can create a poisonous gas.
- Our personal faves: Seventh Generation, Shabby Chick Cleaners
We've listed a few common household products, what to look for and our personal favorites.
- What to look for: clean ingredients, fragrance-free, and find surfactants (foaming agents) that are plant-based derivatives. The Spruce is a great website and they did a round-up of the best detergents for sensitive skin. We also tried one of the most eco-friendly, natural products out there: soap nuts, or Sapindus Mukorossi Shells. These contain saponin, a natural surfactant. A handful of these soap nuts can be used in 4-7 washes. When you’re done, they’re compostable.
- What to look for: Fragrance is the biggest concern, as dryer sheets tend to have a heavy dose of fragrances. Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” or compounds containing acetaldehyde and butane all cause health concerns for those with asthma, lung issues or breathing problems.
- Our faves: we love making our own with wool balls and a few drops of essential oils. Reusable and great for the environment.
What are some of your favorites?
Let us know if you have some favorite products that are non-toxic and safe to use!