In this day and age, I am fairly certain that the majority of the things we eat, breathe and apply to our hair, skin and face contain SOME sort of chemical(s) and/or ingredient(s) that can be harmful to our bodies. Though a lot of these harmful ingredients we find hard to avoid or may not be aware of, I am all about controlling as much as we CAN control. Some of the daily household items that we use the most are products that can cause damage to our bodies over time without us even knowing. Here are 5 basic, everyday items that I have found good natural substitutes for everyday products. Through experience, I have tried various brands and these are all brands I have stuck with because they have worked well for me and I hope can do the same for you.
*Note: We do not earn any affiliate fees from any links mentioned in this blog. Every product has been mentioned based on our personal experiences and preferences. We own or claim rights to any of the images used.
Deodorant - Antiperspirants often contain two specific preservatives that are components of formaldehyde. Look for avoiding Paraben preservatives or alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl) which are hormone disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer. Also DMDM hydantoin which can also act as a hormone disruptor and a carcinogen. Be on the look out for Propylene, which can link to brain, liver and kidney issues. These are just a few of the many ingredients to avoid. (Green Living) Deodorant was a tricky one for me because like most folks that are constantly in a gym, I'm either outside, working out, sweating or all of the above. Some that worked well for my friends stood no chance with me. After trying multiple brands, I have been extremely happy with Green Tidings All Natural Deodorant which is (In Amazon product description): "Non-toxic, Organic, Vegan, Gluten-free, Corn-free, Soy-free, Paraben-free, SLS-free, Aluminum-free, Propylene-glycol free, Fragrance-Free, Petroleum and Petrolatum-free, Pthalate-free, Paraffin-free, Mineral Oil-free, no artificial colors, No Silicone Oil, No Menthol, Phenol, or Salicylic Acid, Certified Cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, & made in a solar powered facility." I personally suggest lavender, but there is also unscented and peppermint!
Soap -Many of you may use body washes and cleansers in the shower and bubble baths at times in the bathtub. These products may contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES.) SLS is a chemical responsible for making cleaning products seem foamy and sudsy to make consumers think its working. Both SLS and SLES can cause skin irritation and redness of eyes and neither SLS or SLES is really required for cleaning products to work. Many soap like products may also contain DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) or TEA (triethanolamine). These chemicals are also ones that foam and contain carcinogens and hormone disrupters, which can prematurely age you. (Healthy Choices/Healthy Child) I have been using Grandma's Soap for over a year now and love it! They also make bars specifically for pets and babies, as well as many other specific needs. There are no added chemicals or detergents to irritate skin and it leaves my skin soft and hydrated.
Toothpaste - This is a big one for me. Most folks usually shop for toothpaste looking for good brand names with extra whitening promises. These same people probably use the toothbrushes and toothpaste they get free from their dentist every 6 months. Don't act like you don't, free is always better, right? Not always. Triclosan is an ingredient in many toothpastes that can alter hormones or interfere with muscle function. SLS and DEA (mentioned above) are also in many toothpastes, SLS contains powerful carcinogens and DEA can lead to an increased risk of liver and kidney cancers. (DIY Natural) A good alternative is Eco-Dent (seen below). I have been using eco-dent for at least a year and I am a big fan. This is a powdered toothpaste which is not what most are used to and its not as sweet or minty as your usual go-to brands. Eventually, you get used to the change, and it definitely leaves your mouth feeling clean and cool! I personally am a fan of the cinnamon, but have tried all flavors and none of them I dislike. They carry other dental products as well on their site, the main cleaning agent is baking soda, it is fluoride free and their flavors are created with natural essential oils.
Mosquito Spray- Living in mosquito country down south in Houston, Texas, it's not out of the norm to use TONS of mosquito spray in these summer months. The two main ingredients to look out for and stay away from in store bought mosquito sprays are DEET and permethrin. DEET (Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is in many products available even though it is toxic to humans. DEET affects cell function in the brain and messes with the receptors and neurotransmitters, resulting in side effects including (but not limited to) memory loss, headaches, muscle fatigue and tremors. Permethrin is also an expected carcinogen, liver toxicant, endocrine toxicant, neurotoxicant and reproductive toxicant that causes tumors and is extremely toxic to animals. (Outdoor Life) I use Lavande Farm Lavender spray as a natural repellent. The description on the site explains it perfectly: "Safely shields skin from pests with this aromatic, chemical-free spray. Lavender disturbs the mosquito's nervous system, preventing it from landing, and provides you and your loved ones with roughly five hours of beautifully scented protection. You can also use this spray around the house to freshen linens, your dog, or in the AC vent to freshen the whole house." They certainly aren't lying, every time I spray it I have someone compliment and ask me why I smell so good!
Water Bottles - I'm sure you have all heard that plastic water bottles aren't good for you. The plastics may contain chemicals that make their way into the water in the bottles, especially if exposed to heat for long periods of time. Some chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors and have been expected as links to other illnesses. (Mind Body Green) As much as I am in the gym or just living day to day in Houston, I am constantly drinking water and when I forget my water bottle, I am drinking from a plastic water bottle. To replace that habit, I purchased a heavy duty water bottle called a Hydroflask. This water bottle is nearly indestructible and it holds 40 oz of water (some bigger and some smaller), while also being BPA free and having double-wall insulation. Did I mention it comes with a lifetime warranty?! When I fill it up in the mornings I usually add 10 ice cubes which stay frozen in there for a good 6-8 hours while sitting out at the gym. Not only is it getting rid of the plastics for me, but it's keeping my water ice cold and refreshing!
As you know, these are just five of the hundreds of everyday products that I personally use. I also expect that most people do the same without really realizing the effect they can have on their bodies. Just because these work for me, doesn't necessarily mean they are the best options for you, but through trial and error, I have found better alternative products than I was using before. Educating yourself on chemicals and ingredients to stay away from in everyday products can certainly benefit you, the environment, your children and animals. I urge you to examine one item you use daily and see if you can find a better alternative product that is natural, free of toxins and overall just better for you! http://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/survivalist/2012/04/toxic-truth-about-deet-and-peremethrinhttp://www.diynatural.com/what-is-toothpaste-made-of/http://www.healthychoices.co.uk/dea.htmlhttp://www.healthychild.org/easy-steps/skip-products-made-with-sles-and-sls-too/http://www.greenlivingonline.com/article/six-makeup-chemicals-avoidhttp://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11193/7-reasons-to-never-drink-bottled-water-again.html*Note: We do not earn any affiliate fees from any links mentioned in this blog. Nor do we own or claim rights to any of the images used.