When I first read The Honest Life by Jessica Alba, I had a strong reaction that was immediately rooted in emotion. I was angry that companies were so focused on their bottom line that they were willing to substitute cheaper, toxic chemicals into the produces I used in my household every day. I felt betrayed that the government didn’t do more to protect us. I was upset that the same products our parents grew up using were branded the same, yet were completely different formulas.
Did you know? In the past 35 years, the EPA has restricted only 5 toxic substances and the FDA has banned 11. Meanwhile, the European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals that it considers unsafe in personal care products alone!
If you are interested in learning more about the chemicals in our household products, I highly recommend The Honest Life. I found it to be incredibly approachable and very non-judgemental. I found it did a good job breaking down what is bad for you, why it’s bad for you, and suggestions on how to find a replacement. Breaking into bite sized pieces is critical when beginning a clean product cleanse and I found the information presented there to be digestible and actionable without feeling pressured.
Now! No problems without accompanying solutions. I immediately began a quest to replace all of the items in our house with less toxic versions. The bigger purchases like couches and mattresses created without flame resistant chemicals will likely take us years to replace; however, the smaller items I could take action on immediately. The last few months I have tried to replace our household cleaners, laundry materials, personal care, and makeup with natural, less toxic versions. It’s been a mixed bag of success but I remain determined! I’d like to start a new series sharing the successes. The is a series about the products I feel performed as well as their chemical loaded counterparts and the products I have continued to buy for our family.
Having tried some bareMinerals, Tarte, and other less mainstream makeup brands this is the category I’m finding the most difficult to replicate. The staying power of many natural cosmetics is less than stellar and – as someone who loves her makeup – I expect performance. It should go on smoothy without any funky smells, achieve the coverage I’m looking for, and stay put all day! While I’m still on the hunt for a foundation that checks all these boxes, I have found an eyeshadow pallet I’m very happy with! It is without most dishonest ingredients and has beautiful, pure pigments. It goes on cleanly, blends nicely, and stays for 8-10 hours without touchups. There is some PEG in this eyeshadow formula and so I remain on the hunt for a perfectly clean eyeshadow. I have some on order currently from Honest Beauty – I’ll keep you updated!
Did you know? One hundred percent of women of childbearing age have detectable levels of phthalates (fragrance ingredients that may be reproductive toxins) in their bodies, probably because of cosmetic use.
As deodorant is a more commonly known toxic personal care product due to the aluminum included in most formulas, this was one product that I had already switched before reading The Honest Life. I’ve been using all different scents of LaVanilla deodorant for a few years and have been very happy with the staying power. I don’t get a “fresh” scent like you do with Secret and other mainstream brands but I also don’t get sweaty or smelly – good enough for me! You can find it online and at Sephora. For the gents in your life, I’ve put my husband through the ringer, insisting he tests all sorts of natural deodorants. He was finally willing to switch when he tried Urban Cowboy Deodorant in Dusk. It performed as well as his old Gillette favorite. He’s also been using this one for a few years and continues to be happy with its performance. You can find it on Amazon and at Whole Foods.
Did you know? The average personal care product contains around 126 ingredients. The government doesn’t require pre-market safety testing on any of them.
As we had previously been using Ecos laundry detergent, I was certain that this was one household item I wasn’t going to have to replace. However, upon closer inspection it was full of optical brighteners that have been known to cause rashes and allergic reactions and may also be hormone disruptors. After making the switch, I’ve noticed the very small patches of rash-like bumps on my cheeks and neck disappear – an allergic reaction that I didn’t even realize was happening because they have “just always been there”. In my quest for a new detergent, I also tried the Kirkland Ultra Clean formula and while it was slightly more cost effective and did fine with our laundry, I noticed our clothes were a bit stiff. I’m just as happy with the cleaning power of the Honest Laundry Detergent and our clothes are soft again. [Tip: If you bundle into a monthly shipment the price per ounce drops to very close to the Kirkland version.]
Did you know? The 1968 formula of Tide Laundry Detergent had 8 ingredients, none of which are known to be toxic today. The 2016 formula of standard Tide? It has 27 ingredients, four of which are known endocrine system disruptors.
I’ll be back next week to share three more of my favorite non-toxic finds but please let me know if you have any questions about chemicals in our household products or if there are specific ones you may like for me to share!0