Toxic and Safe Products

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While I was pregnant I happened to do some research on safe products for babies, as I was aware that some contain toxic chemicals. The more research I did, the more I was horrified at just how many toxic ingredients are in ALL the mainstream products sold for babies and adults (with the biggest baby brands being the worst!). I was very adamant about buying only safe and natural products for my baby; yet it was only recently that I thought to myself, if I’m doing this for my baby then why are my husband and I not doing it for ourselves too. I know it can be more expensive and often difficult to find (as supermarkets don’t stock natural products), however, in my opinion it is definitely worth cutting back on other stuff in order to go natural… as what we put into our bodies is very important. After A LOT of research and testing various products, I have managed to find our favourites (which I have made a list of below).

Everyday chemicals, including organophosphates, flame retardants and phthalates, can be found in food, plastics, furniture, food wrap, cookware, cans, carpets, shower curtains, electronics and even shampoo. They are pretty much everywhere around us. Scientists and researchers are concerned that many of these chemicals may be carcinogenic [having the potential to cause cancer] or wreak havoc with our hormones, our body’s regulating system. But the impact of these chemicals may be most severe on the developing brain – Nadia Kounang, CNN.

Labels on cosmetics and body care products are a tough code to crack. The industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products. A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is misleading. Companies are supposed to use an organic label only if all ingredients are certified-organic, but they can also say it’s “made with organic” if it contains a minimum of 70 percent certified-organic ingredients. Regardless, 30 percent still leaves a lot of room for toxins. The whole industry has a “innocent-till-proven-guilty” approach to ingredients … The best thing we consumers can do is read ingredient lists carefully in order to avoid chemicals that are known to be harmful, even though they continue to be widely used – 20 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid, Tree Hugger.

I won’t cover everything that contains toxic chemicals in this article (as it is simply too much to include). Apart from the things mentioned above, they can range from cleaning products to beauty products, toiletries, etc. I will recommend a list of our favourite natural toiletries and products for babies and adults.

If you are interested in looking into this further, there is a fantastic website which I always refer to: Gimme the Good Stuff (if you are in the UK or anywhere else, some of the suggested products may not be available, as the article was written in the US). It is worth familiarising yourself with the main toxic ingredients to look out for and doing your own research on any product you buy; as even those that claim to be ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ may still contain many harmful chemicals. So check the ingredients of products and don’t believe everything they say on the label.

As I don’t want to advertise any businesses, I won’t include suggestions on where to buy them, so if you type the items in a search engine online you should be able to get a list of places that sell each one; however I will provide links to the product’s website just so you know what it looks like. I would also recommend shopping from local individual stockists rather than chain shops or supermarkets.

Baby Toiletries 
Most of these products can be used from newborn. I would strongly recommend staying away from the main baby brands such as Huggies, Pampers and Johnson’s, as well as Supermarkets’ own brands; as ALL of their products contain the most harmful chemicals.

  • Wet wipes: Water Wipes
  • Nappy cream/all round moisturiser: Kokoso, or any virgin coconut oil will do and is a lot cheaper
  • Shampoo and body wash: Kokoso (the softly scented one is my preferred choice)
  • Toothpaste: Our current favourite is Kingfisher (fluoride free). There is also Jack N’ Jill or Green People Organic Children (these are both also fluoride free); or
    Kiss My Face (they have both a fluoride and fluoride free toothpaste for kids – but the fluoride toothpaste is only recommended for kids that can spit toothpaste out)


Adult Toiletries

  • Shampoo and conditioner: Faith in Nature (I personally found their coconut scented one to be the best)
  • Skincare: Shealife shea butter hand cream (this one has worked great on me – and I get eczema on my hands – but it doesn’t smell too great!), Faith in Nature coconut handcream, or one that I have recently discovered which smells lovely and is available in some UK supermarkets is Yope (but I haven’t done enough research on this one)
  • Soap/shower gel: Faith in Nature (again I would recommend the coconut soap and the lavender shower gel which doubles up as bath bubbles)
  • Handwash: Faith in Nature (my favourite is the grapefruit and orange one, but the coconut and lavender are also nice)
  • Toothpaste: Kingfisher (we personally use the one with fluoride but they also have fluoride free), or Sarakan (which is fluoride free)
  • Deodorant: I have tried so many natural deodorants, and as someone who sweats quite a lot, the only one that has worked for me personally is the Urtekram crystal deodorant (aloe vera). However, there are other brands such as Jason , Lafes or Faith in Nature, which I know many people use and are happy with. You may have to be patient and try a few different brands with this one!
    My husband has found that the crystal rock deodorant was also the only one that has worked well for him
  • Make up wipes: for this I use either the Water Wipes which I use on my baby, or when they are on offer the Faith in Nature make up wipes are great. I have also recently discovered a ‘magic’ make up remover cloth which you buy once and wet to use, and it works wonders (even on waterproof mascara), which is available all over the internet.
    (Don’t be fooled by brands such as Simple, as even they have many toxic ingredients!)
  • Feminine hygiene products: Natracare.
    There are also many brands of ‘period underwear’ which are designed specifically to absorb the blood and do not require the use of any products!! I have yet to try these as I need to save some money first due to the price tag (but they have had great reviews and are much more Eco friendly!)

Cleaning Products
So I recently discovered a hype online of an ‘all around cleaning product’ called Koh

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I decided to give it a try as it is non-toxic and I got sucked in by the amazing customer videos and photos on their website/Facebook page! It arrived two days ago and we are so amazed and excited by it that I just had to add it here!

It can be used on any surface in the home (i.e. cooker/oven, windows, shower screen, sink, etc) and can replace all of your other cleaning products… so you only need this one product for everything. It is unscented, but if you want to add a scent to it they say you can add just a couple of drops of an essential oil into the spray bottle. We ordered the starter bundle kit and it was totally worth it. The most impressive job that it has tackled so far, is the massive ink stain which our little one managed to draw on our sofa! I had previously washed the sofa cushion twice with other stain removers and had no luck at removing it. So I sprayed on the Koh, then kept rubbing at it for a few minutes with one of their cloths, and it was out (no washing required)! I have also used it to clean my jewellery and to clean rust.

Here are some photos of the other jobs I’ve tackled:

 

Koh has replaced all of our other cleaning products, apart from the washing up liquid. For this we currently use Ecover. However, Ecover has been on the sneaky stuff list on Gimme the Good Stuff, and is now on ‘the best of the worst’ section (with an explanation of why in the above link). 

If you are feeling brave enough, you can also attempt to make your own cleaning products. I have recently discovered a great article by Happiness is Here which gives a list of all the recipes the family use for each cleaning product.

 

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