Oh motherhood. How it changes us. We learn patience, how to rid blowout stains from onesies, and how to function off half the amount of sleep you were once used to getting. For me, I started obsessing over the thousands of things in our environment, food, products, vaccines, etc. that could potentially harm my precious newborn. I started spending all my free time researching what to avoid. I hear people say all the time how something is going to kill them anyway so they take the risk, or that there’s only so much you can do. I get it, I understand those arguments. It’s burdening worrying about everything that could harm your family. I do my best to avoid harmful things, and I definitely am not as crunchy as others, but the list that follows is what I feel are the most important things to avoid. I’ve included products that adults use as well as things that can be harmful to your tiny family members too!
- Household Cleaners. ie: Windex, Lysol, 409, Ajax, & Comet, just to name a few that should be avoided. These products contain harmful ingredients that can do a lot of serious damage. Pay attention if they say “danger” or “corrosive.”
At my home, we’ve switched to Method for multi-purpose cleaner, and when I can get away with it (since Matt hates the smell) I use white vinegar diluted with water for cleaning. It works on counters, bathrooms, as an odor eliminator, to clean windows, etc. and you can add Cinnamon essential oil for a more pleasant smell and more efficiency in cleaning germs.
Laundry detergent is also very harmful, and since our skin is our largest organ, we should pay special attention to what we wash the fabric in since it rests against our skin all day. Avoid chlorine and fragrance filled detergents. I use the Sprouts brand detergent which isn’t filled with ingredients I can’t pronounce and is plant-based.
2. Make-Up. Most contain carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors… and the list goes on. Since there are so many dangerous ingredients, check out this link to see what to avoid in make-up and why () http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/04/10/you-have-the-right-to-know-17-chemicals-to-avoid-in-cosmetic-and-personal-care-products/
I use Physicians Formula. It’s talc free and paraben free and doesn’t clog your pours. I use this brand in mascara, blush, bronzer, and cover up and I am very pleased.
3. Body Washes, Shampoo/Conditioner & Soaps. Suave, Herbal Essences, Pantene, Johnsons baby wash- just a few of the no no’s. I started by avoiding parabens, sulfates, dyes, and synthetic fragrances in my products.
I get my body wash, shampoo/conditioner, and face wash on Amazon. The face wash I use is called 100% Pure African Black Soap. It’s no cure for acne but I feel like it really cleans out my pores and keeps my skin under control to some degree. It’s not drying either which is nice. I use Argan Oil Shampoo right now which is sulfate free but I’m still searching for a better brand with more plant-based ingredients for my shampoo and conditioner. They’re out there, just a bit more pricey. For Roen’s bathtime I use California Baby body wash, which is completely plant-based, and after some research I stopped washing his hair with shampoo. It’s completely unnecessary and eventually leads to the constant complaint many women like me have of greasy hair within a day of washing. I rinse Roen’s hair with warm water and only use the body wash once a week (unless he’s super dirty) because the germs on our bodies are actually really helpful, and showering daily weakens the immune system and the bodies natural defense. And he still smells great!
4. Air Fresheners. Airwick, Glade, Febreze, are all dangerous. When we use air
fresheners, the phthalates are released into the air where they may be inhaled or may land on the skin and be absorbed. Once these chemicals enter the bloodstream, they can alter hormone levels and cause other health problems.
I love having a home that smells like the holidays so it was hard for Matt and I to throw out our precious scented plug-ins, but we did it and feel much better about our home and what Roen breathes in. With the help of essential oils and a diffuser, our home can still smell like the holidays. I also keep a box of baking soda, which eliminates odors, by the dog bed, under the sink, and under Roen’s changing table.
5. Sunscreen without avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalate, paba and 1,4 dioxane or UV chemical absorbers. I know, I know, that’s a lot of ingredients to avoid. But it’s important! These ingredients are carcinogenic, so while you’re trying to avoid skin cancer from the sun by using sunscreen with these ingredients, you’re rubbing chemicals into your skin that are responsible for cancer.
I’ll end the list here because I know it can get overwhelming. There’s been a lot of back and forth talk about sunscreen and whether it is helpful or more harmful. After a lot of different information I read, I decided that it was in our best interest to only use sunscreen if we were in the sun for more than 15 minutes at a time. Doing this has built up Roen’s tolerance to the sun and he’s NEVER had a burn. Over summer we kept Roen’s sunhat that protects his face and front and back of his neck in the car that way we always had it. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D, but too much of the sun is never a good thing so ultimately, staying out of it after 15 minutes per day is the safest. When we do have beach or pool days we use sunscreen, BUT choosing the right one is essential. We use Thinksport with SPF 50. It contains zero of the ingredients I mentioned above and works great.
Do you have anything to add to the list? What safe brands do you use?