Ready To Switch Clean?
Ready To Switch Clean?
Start With These Five Products
For many of us, the decision to begin buying cleaner self care products for ourselves and our family comes long before we actually purchase those safer products. This waiting period between the ‘deciding’ and the ‘doing’ has a variety of causes but often it is due to overwhelm in some capacity. How do we know which products marketed as ‘natural’ truly have safer ingredients? Which brands carry the best products in this new arena? How can we decide where to begin when there are so many choices and options? Where do I find the time to conduct all of this research? Which products are the most important to switch over to clean?
CHOOSING WHICH PRODUCTS TO SWITCH TO CLEAN
This confusion and stress is normal, but that doesn’t mean it has to be this way. And just because you are ready to switch to clean doesn’t mean you need to throw out every single product in your household and start over. (Although this method works best for some people and it’s fine if it is what will make you happiest.) If you would feel more comfortable switching over little by little it can still be confusing to figure out where to begin. When deciding which products are most important to switch to clean think about two things: frequency and absorption. How often are you using that particular product? Is it a product you expect to absorb into your skin or wash off after use?
If you’ve done enough research to want to switch out self care products for you and your family and are ready to throw away more than one old product to make way for a safer, more modern option (but not ready to switch out absolutely everything all at once), this is for you. Below, we have highlighted the five products that are the perfect place to start: Deodorant, Sunscreen, Face Wash, Face Moisturizer, Body Moisturizer. You can begin having increased peace of mind right here and now!
If you are like most of us, you apply deodorant every day. Not only does this product make it into our top five because of how frequently we use it, but many people shave or wax their armpits prior to rubbing in deodorant, which makes it more likely to be absorbed. There are many ingredients in traditional deodorant that we don’t want inside of our bodies, but that do find their way in, including being found in breast tissue. Clean deodorant typically removes harmful ingredients like Parabens, Phthalates, Polyethylene Glycol, and Propylene Glycol, but it is also pretty much always aluminum-free. (The deodorants we offer are always free from all of the above.) It has become clear that rubbing aluminum in our armpits daily is not the best idea, as it can cause gene instability in breast tissue and some worry, encourage breast cancer. Oh, and yes, there are absolutely clean deodorants that work and keep body odor at bay! I have seen it work with my own eyes (and nose) on many people who thought they could never make the switch.
Here is a product that goes on the whole family’s skin, top to bottom, beginning at age six months. Combined with environmental factors, this product category is a no brainer to be included in the top five. To begin with, the active ingredients in mineral (physical) sunscreen, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are deemed safe and also stay on the surface of your skin, rather than being absorbed into your body. The four main active ingredients found in chemical (traditional) sunscreen - avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule and octocrylene - have finally been flagged by the FDA as possibly harmful and requiring additional research, especially oxybenzone, which seems very likely to be a hormone disruptor. Additional benefits of mineral sunscreen are that you don’t have to wait 20 minutes for it to ‘soak in’ as you do with chemical sunscreen so you can jump straight in the water because it is effective as soon as you apply it. One of the best reasons to switch to physical sunscreen is to make a greener choice for our planet. Oxybenzone, in particular, kills baby coral and greatly damages adult coral, as well as being toxic to algae, sea urchins, fish and mammals.
CHEMICAL-FREE FACE WASH
Most of us wash our face once or twice every single day, so even though this is a product we rinse off it still has definitely earned its spot on this short list. Ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), parabens, fragrance, phthalates, and Tricolsan can be found in traditional face washes and once you’ve begun researching possibly harmful ingredients like these you will quickly realize you don’t want to put them on your face daily. (Or ever, hopefully) Teaching older kids to wash their face daily is a great way to encourage hygiene and self care and knowing that they are using a product filled with only safe ingredients that will cleanse and benefit their skin and not harm their developing bodies and organs will feel great.
PEG-FREE FACE MOISTURIZER
Here is a product that many of us not only apply twice daily (hello, Daytime and Nighttime cream!) but that we leave on our skin in HOPES it will absorb in order to work its magic. Guess what? Nature is really, really talented at skin care. There are so many choices now for facial moisturizers full of potent natural ingredients that will do wonders for your skin and that don’t include harmful chemicals. The tradeoff is typically that these products have a shorter shelf life, but that is a small price to pay to know that everyone you are slathering on your face is there to help you, not hurt you. When searching for your new face moisturizer don’t forget that you can try a lotion, cream or even oil.
FRAGRANCE-FREE BODY MOISTURIZER
When considering absorption, think not only about the length of time a product is on your skin, but also size of the surface area. Typically, we are applying body lotion all over, rather than just to our hands or under our eyes like more site specific creams. Even if you aren’t someone who moisturizes your entire body daily, when you do, you’re covering a large area with a product you are hoping will absorb into your skin so the ingredients in that product really matter. As with face moisturizer, don’t forget that natural body moisturizers have a wide variety of names and consistencies to choose from: lotion, cream, oil, balm, butter. And while aroma free lotions exist (we have options on our site, for example) and are a wonderful choice, you can still easily find body moisturizers with lovely scent options that come from essential oils or the scents of the natural ingredients themselves (think cacao butter!) even though you are done using synthetic fragrances.