By Kyrie Luke
By no means will I claim to be the arbiter of truth when it comes to living a non-toxic life. I’m still learning! However, I have committed to non-toxic living and am always on the hunt for sneaky toxic products that my family is using. It’s frustrating how sneaky they really are – the very brands that boast about being “natural” are littered with harmful chemicals.
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sneaky toxic products I no longer buy and what I use instead video
Why I went non-toxic?
I was all about “natural living” and thought I was living a fairly non-toxic lifestyle. That was until I started digging into what was actually in these so called “natural” products I was using. I became concerned with what I put in and on my body because I was learning that chemicals in products can lead to hormone imbalances, cancer, reproductive issues and birth defects.
When I was pregnant I went on the hunt to find better alternatives for my family. It was my job to make sure my house was a safe place for our new baby and I was determined to do that. I do think it’s all about balance, and it’s important to pick your battles. For that reason, you’ll see that I still use some products that have toxic ingredients, but I’m slowly finding safer alternatives.
COMMON TOXIC INGREDIENTS
There is something called the toxic 12 which are the most common contaminants and chemicals in our products.
- Methylene glycol
- Quanternium 15
- Isobutyl parabens
- isopropyl parabens
- PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl)
That’s a lot of big words but the word you really want to look out for in your products is FRAGRANCE. Many companies wont disclose on their product’s packaging the chemicals listed above, instead they say “fragrance” which is just an umbrella term for the chemicals listed above.
Many of these chemicals are banned in the EU and some in the US – but not enough. Further, many people assume the FDA has our back and will ban any harmful chemicals in products but that’s not always the case. Companies of personal care products don’t actually have to abide by FDA guidelines or even register their products with the FDA.
Read more details here.
sneaky toxic products I used to use
Below are some of the worst offenders when it comes to toxins in our products. I put the brand I used to use in parenthesis because many claim to be all-natural but actually are not.
- Soap (Mrs. Meyers) – Harmful ingredients: Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Citrus Grandis Oil
- Dryer sheets (Bounce) – Harmful ingredients: Softeners, perfume, biodegradable cationic softeners
- Household cleaners (Mrs. Meyers) – Harmful Ingredients: Fragrance, Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, Polysorbate 20, PEG-5 Cocoate, Caramel, Disodium Hydroxyethyliminodiacetate, Methylisothiazolinone (tons more).
- Laundry detergent (All Free and Clear) – This rates F on EWG’s app. Harmful ingredients: Anionic surfactants, buffering agent, stabilizer, brightening agent, non-ionic surfactants, Alcohols
- Chapstick (Chapstick brand) – Harmful ingredients: Aluminum, dyes, petrolatum, unspecified flavor, benzoic acid, BHT
- Lotion (JR Watkins) – Harmful ingredients: Fragrance, Citrus lemon peel oil, Benzyl alcohol, sodium hydroxide, benzoic acid, tocopheryl acetate
- Candles (this was my hardest purge) – They are harmful because they emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air which can enter into your lungs which could lead to heart and lung issues. Also, they are dumped with fragrance.
- Deodorant (Dove 0%) – Harmful ingredients: Fragrance, propylene glycol, BHT
- Sunscreen (Neutrogena) – Harmful ingredients: Retinyl Palmitate, Oxynezone, Fragrance
- Face lotion (Aveeno) – Harmful ingredients: Fragrance, petrolatum, phenoxyethonal, and more.
Aside from these ingredients being harmful, you’ll notice how counterintuitive they are to the product’s intended purpose. For example, alcohols in lotion which dry your skin out. You’ll soon discover that buying non-toxic products actually give you the results you were looking for to begin with.
non-toxic alternatives I switched to
- Soap – Dr. Bronner’s (I use the almond one) – this is in all the soap dispensers in my house, and I use it for body soap too. You can also use it for many other purposes like laundry.
- Dryer sheets – Wool dryer balls from Dropps and essential oils
- Household cleaners – Aspen Clean -I love this brand because they are so clean in terms of ingredients, but the products work so well! They also have amazing microfiber cloths.
- Laundry soap – Dropps – Also a fabulous brand with clean ingredients. My clothes are just as clean as when I used the toxic detergents.
- Chapstick – Primally Pure – This brand is beautiful and I love their story. The products are high quality and non-toxic. Use code Healthfullyrooted10 for 10% off any Primally Pure items (affiliate code).
- Lotion – Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Fragrance Free
- Candles – Diffusers with essential oils. My favorite diffusers are Paddywax – they look so beautiful and simple. My favorite house smell is the Home blend from Revive.
- Deodorant – Primally Pure, either their Charcoal or Blue Tansy deodorant sticks. Use code Healthfullyrooted10 for 10% off any Primally Pure items (affiliate code).
- Sunscreen – Badger – this stuff is amazing! It’s so thick and smells like orange creamsicle.
- Face lotion – Acure – I love the night cream because it smells like lavender.
How to live a non-toxic lifestyle
I mentioned the app EWG healthy living earlier. That’s what I use to see what ingredients are in the products I use. It gives a rating on the product, and then the ingredients are individually rated, then you can look further into each ingredient and why it’s rated that way. Once you get used to what to look out for, it’s just about looking at your labels. Just like food; get into the habit of looking at labels.
Aside from that, you have a few options for purging yourself of toxic products.
- Start looking up the products you use in an app like EWG Healthy Living to see what’s in them. Just being aware is a great start.
- Start getting rid of products that have the ingredient “fragrance” or “parabens” in them.
- Then start purging as much as possible by doing one of 3 things:
- You can do a mass purge and toss everything that is toxic in your home and buy the non-toxic alternatives.
- Slowly use up all your toxic products and switch to the non-toxic version when it’s time to restock.
- A mix of both 1 and 2. This is what I did. There were some things that were so bad I just needed them out of my house. For example, laundry detergents and dryer sheets. Those were the first things I purged. But then there were things that I either had a hard time letting go of, or it was expensive so I wanted to use it up. At that point, I figured if I’ve used it for this long, I may as well use it up.
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- Simply Earth essential oils – They send super fun monthly kits with a theme and everything you need to make that month’s themed product. This month is was non-toxic candles! You can also just buy one-off purchases.
- Primally Pure – Literally the most luxurious products you’ll ever use. Seriously.
- Thrive Market – 25% off & free gift! (where I get a ton of my ingredients)
- Azure Standard: $25 off your order. Code kyrieluke1
- Dutch oven
- Stand mixer
- Boos Block Butcher Block
- 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet