Are Your Toiletries Toxic?

Boy, am I in a detox kind of mood. Sometimes, when you open your eyes to one thing, it can be like a cascading slide of dominoes – you start to see the world differently and start having new realizations daily. In other words, you truly have “light bulb” moments.


After finishing my two week Be Well cleanse, I started thinking more and more about the things around me that aren’t so healthy. Chemicals with which to clean – in both the household and whole body arenas – are everywhere. Like, ev-er-y-where.

I have started a chemical peel around our house, but not in the traditional dermatological sense that many of us experience to try and rid us of our acne-scarred youth. This time, I’m peeling all the chemicals OUT of our lives.

What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body, and I don’t know really what took me so long to connect these dots as diligently as I’m now doing. I have been buying some Seventh Generation cleaners for years, but, we still have plenty of chemical-laden cleaners in our house. We also have all the usual suspects – shampoos with parabens, metal-containing deodorant, toothpaste with fluoride (not good for you, no matter what anyone says).

So, in my ever-expanding quest to clean up our lives, I’m making some changes (for myself to start – 2Chili will eventually come along for the ride).

Things that are out – and this is just a start! If you have suggestions for quality products that you like, please leave them in the comments for all to benefit.

  • Deodorant with aluminum. Here is a good article on why deodorant/anti-perspirant with aluminum is bad. You are basically applying heavy metals directly into your body! Be careful in choosing a deodorant, as even some “natural” brands have it. I looked at the back of a Tom’s of Maine deodorant and the main ingredient was aluminum chlorohydrate. It may be “natural,” but it is by  no means “healthy.” I opted for one from EarthScience called Rosemary Mint. For what it’s worth, I picked this up at our local FredMeyer, which is a chain grocery store type place.MP900437380[1]
  •  Toothpaste with fluoride, artificial colors, sodium laurel sulfate, or parabens. To just boil it down, those items are bad, bad, bad. The brand I found that both works and doesn’t contain any of these items is Jason Powersmile. It has a pleasant taste and I don’t have to worry about accidentally swallowing toxins.
  • Traditional Dryer sheets. Did you know most dryer sheets include a list of toxic chemicals, including chloroform? Yikes. For now, I bought a box of Seventh Generation dryer sheets, but I am iffy on its first ingredient, “Di-(palm carboxyethyl) hydroxyethyl methyl-ammonium methyl sulfates,” which seems to be non-carcinogenic and biodegradeable, but I would like to find a better solution than this even, so if you have one, let me know!
  • Shampoos with Parabens. Shampoos have lots of not-so-great things in them, including parabens, and the omnipresent foaming agent, Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which is a xenoestrogen. I am really trying to get all synthetic estrogen out of my life – it’s conducive to hypothyroid conditions – and there are so many xenoestrogens in our daily, modern lives. I am really still researching this category, but for now picked up some Yes To Carrots cucumber shampoo and conditioner.
  • Bath soap. The soap we were using – Zest for what it’s worth – is packed with all kinds of chemicals and food dyes, as well as perfumes. So, to replace it, I settled on Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap. Here is a little side-by-side ingredient comparison:
ZestFragrance(s)/perfume Tetrasodium EDTA, Pentasodium pentetate, Chromium trihydroxide, FD&C Green #3, D&C Red #33, Tetrasodium etidronate, FD&C Red #4 (CI 14700), Sodium chloride, Water, FD&C (or D&C) Yellow #1, Sodium tallowate, Titanium dioxide, Coconut fatty acids, Sodium cocoate, Palm kernel ac, Sodium cocoglyceryl ether sulfonate, Magnesium cocoate, Palm kernelateDr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castille
Organic coconut oil, organic palm oil, sodium hydroxide, water, mentha arvensis, organic olive oil, organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, organic peppermint oil, salt, citric acid and tocopherol.

This really is a partial list of the great chemical clean out of 2012 around our house, and it will continue for some time, as you just can’t do it all at once and stay sane. Big change requires lots of little steps. We already use Seventh Generation laundry and dishwashing soaps, but I will continue to research and refine our selections, especially as we continue to remodel our house and start having finished rooms that we need to clean!

What are your thoughts? Do you go out of your way to find natural products, or stick with the status quo?

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