As a soon-to-be new mom, I often find myself making decisions from a protective place when registering for gifts or making purchases. Where, for example, can does one buy BPA-free, PVC-free bottles, or organic, non-toxic diaper rash cream? Although I buy organic and local as often as possible when it comes to food, I didn’t used to think beyond sulfate-free shampoo when it came to products.
Spurred to action by pregnant protectiveness, I began obsessively researching products and their chemicals. I was shocked at what I discovered. The average woman absorbs almost 5 lbs. of chemicals through her skin each year. Everyday, she applies up to 175 chemicals (many of which are linked to cancer) to her skin. According to a recent blog post by author Sally Beare, “these chemicals can get straight into the bloodstream, which may make them even more hazardous than actually ingesting them through the mouth, since they cannot be broken down by the digestive tract before reaching the blood.”
What a frightening realization: I’ve used countless products throughout my life in the hope of looking and smelling nice without realizing they might have not-so-nice consequences for my long-term health. My pursuit of the perfect lathering shampoo (the perfect lather comes from sodium laurel and laureth sulfate – known carcinogens), the most tastefully minty toothpaste (containing triclosan and triclocarbon – known to disrupt thyroid function) and the loveliest, long-lasting nail polish (containing pthlates – known to interfere with metabolism, disrupt the endocrine system and cause liver cancer) may actually make me terminally ill? Say what?! If I am a conscious consumer who reads labels, what about the people who blindly go through life trusting that there are processes in place (like FDA testing and approval) to protect them and their loved ones from these harmful agents?
So on my mission to be healthier, not only for myself, but for my little bundle of joy to-be, I looked into some toxic-free alternatives to some of the everyday products that I and many others take for granted. I’ve listed just a few of them so you too can live healthy – and pretty!
Aubrey Organics – This pioneering company has an impressive resume of “firsts,” most impressively that they were first to be certified as organic processors. Find it here.
Sounds strange, but this “no poo” option could save your hair, your health, AND your wallet. Method: mix 1 tsp baking soda with 1 cup water (takes the place of your shampoo), and then rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar (acid vs alkaline for balance). Known to clear up skin and dandruff, this green alternative will also reveal the amazing hair you never knew you had! For more information about this alternative, visit here.
A Wild Soap Bar’s Honey Oat option is made with all natural ingredients such as sweet honey, olive oil, organic oats, and sea salts. Mmmm…decadent! Buy it here!
Skinny Skinny makes organic, vegan, eco-friendly soaps in the most amazing fragrances. My favorite is the Lavender and Black Pepper scent! Find it here!
Organic Mineral Make-Up:
Did I mention I love to support local? This incredible organic cosmetics company is right in my own back yard in North Carolina. Bonus? Afterglow Cosmetics is philanthropic as well with $2 from each sale of their Muse lipstick helping to support YSC (Young Survival Coalition) and women under 40 diagnosed with breast cancer.
Coastal Classic Creations is “a California Corporation committed to the development of cosmetics and personal care products made without any ingredient, which is known or which is suspected of causing harm to all forms of life.” With this mission statement, how can you go wrong? Find it here!
I have always been a big fan of Burt’s Bees’ Milk and Honey lotion. But they recently changed the formula and I fell out of love. Luckily, I found a spectacular substitute: Burt’s Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters Body Lo…. Its non-greasy formula quickly absorbs…and it’s just plain fun to say out loud!
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle CoQ10 lotion brings back the sweet smell of summertime honeysuckle. This lotion will leave your skin silky-smooth and unobtrusively fragrant. More information here.
You can breathe easy letting your little ones have some fabulous fun during sleepovers with non-toxic, kid-friendly Piggy Paint. (I love, love, love the name!)
With all the fast-drying, no-chip, long-lasting polish options flooding the market, it seems impossible to choose chemical-free, even for grown-up piggies. Fret no more, though! Designed for fashion runway shows in New York, London, Paris & Milan, Zoya Nail Polish is the “Healthy New Color of Fashion.” Zoya nail polishes are free of nasty ingredients like toluene, formaldehyde, DBP and camphor. Not only is Zoya Big 3 Free, it’s is also designed to be the longest wearing natural nail polish. Score!
Amy Greene is a eco-event designer, photo-stylist, humanitarian and partner with Going Greene Events LLC, a local and national award-winning sustainable event production firm in Raleigh NC. She can find any reason to host a party and is very active in her community, serving on several executive boards including Me Fine Foundation, the National Association of Catering Executives Triangle Chapter, the Durham Symphony Orchestra and Models for Charity.