Okay, so these are my favorite lipglosses right now! Crunchi is an awesome brand and I have loved everything that I’ve tried from them so far. I currently also use their primer, foundation, and blush.
Today’s toxic chemicals are ethanolamines, specifically DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine). All of the products pictured below contain these chemicals.
Ethanolamines are a chemical group comprised of amino acids and alcohols with links to cancer and other health problems. They are clear, colorless, have an ammonia-like smell and are used as solvents, ph-balancers, emulsifying agents and detergents. Ethanolamines are organic compounds, commonly derived from soybeans or coconut oils, but “when they are used in the same product as certain preservatives that break down into nitrogen, they can form nitrosamines, [which] the International Agency for Research on Cancer lists as possible and known carcinogens” (source).
- Products that commonly contain these ingredients: products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleaners. They’re also found in eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases and foundations, fragrances, body lotions, hair care products, hair dyes, shaving products, and sunscreens (source).
- What to look for on the label: Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide MEA, Myristamide DEA, Oleamide DEA, Stearamide MEA, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Triethanolamine
- Health Concerns: These hormone-disrupting chemicals have also been linked to cancer, eye, skin and lung irritation, and organ system toxicity (prolonged exposure can result in kidney, liver, or nervous system injury). “…Animal studies with DEA and MEA have shown a tendency for these chemicals to encourage the formation of tumors and to cause developmental abnormalities to an unborn fetus” (source).
- Regulations: Ethanolamines are already heavily regulated or banned in Europe but are still used in U.S. despite the fact that we may be exposed to them 10-20 times per day (source). The European Commission prohibits diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetics, to reduce contamination from carcinogenic nitrosamines (source). The World Health Organization lists DEA as an unclassified carcinogen (source).
- ” The FDA became aware of a National Toxicology Program study (in 1998) that found an association between the topical application of DEA… and cancer in laboratory animals. Despite this, (and according to the FDA’s website, which acknowledges the NTP study), “the FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the use of these substances in cosmetics. However, consumers wishing to avoid cosmetics containing DEA or DEA-related ingredients may do so by reviewing the ingredient statement that is required to appear on the outer container label of cosmetics offered for retail sale to consumers” (source).
So the FDA is aware of the dangers, makes the information about DEA’s potential as a carcinogen available to us via limited resources (you have to specifically search for it in their database), and then basically says ‘buyer beware’ rather than implementing any actual restrictions or stricter regulations.
I absolutely agree with consumer education and encouraging everyone to read ingredient labels and know what is in all of the products they are using. I even understand that the FDA can’t possibly regulate and enforce laws on every single self-care/beauty/personal product on the market (hello lady who sells handmade soaps at the farmer’s market). I do think that laws should be written and enforced especially on giant companies and in certain industries when links to cancer have been found. My biggest problem is with companies who, rather than spending time and money on making packaging and ingredients safer and more transparent to consumers, are actually deceiving people and using keywords on packaging that actively dissuade them from doing their own research:
Safe for Baby/Baby Formulation
None of these are necessarily outright lies (although I would argue against many ‘sensitive’ and ‘baby’ categorizations based on some of the ingredients they often use). They are, however, misleading and giving buyers a misplaced sense of comfort and trust in the products despite the fact that they may contain very harmful and toxic ingredients. There is a term for intentionally misleading consumers when it relates to environmentally friendly or ‘all natural’ products and it is greenwashing. For example, a company may advertise a product as Natural, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, or emphasize that packaging is recyclable, but said product may actually be made with many toxic chemicals that are harmful to our bodies and/or the environment. I will do a post on greenwashing in the future, but the bottom line is the same: read and research ingredients and make choices for yourself about what you want to put in and on your body.
With that in mind, here are some alternatives to the toxic products pictured above:
- Moisture/Shine Shampoo: Evolvh Ultrashine Moisture Shampoo
- Anti Aging Facial Cleanser: Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser
- Acne/Combo Skin Facial Bar Soap: Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap
- Body Lotion: 100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream comes in lots of flavors/scents using no synthetic fragrances! (This lotion contains Japanese Honeysuckle, an ingredient that is becoming controversial in the clean beauty community because apparently some studies have shown that it can be chemically similar to parabens. I have not done extensive research on this ingredient yet but if you are concerned about using it, I recommend using raw coconut oil or squalane oil as a body moisturizer instead)
- Nourishing Hair Care: Josh Rosenbrook Hair Care
- Pump Hand Soap: Dr Bronner’s Hand Soap
I know that it can seem overwhelming to be super diligent about checking ingredient lists for everything that you buy, especially when some of them are so long and the terms are so scientific/confusing sometimes. I hope that information like this can help demystify some of the ingredients you might see and especially raise red flags when you see the chemicals that I discuss in my Toxic Tuesday posts. I promise that it gets easier and quicker to scan labels, and as long as you do your best most of the time, when you accidentally (or purposefully) buy or use an occasional product with one questionable ingredient, the toxic load on your body won’t be nearly as heavy of harmful. I just want to make sure we are making informed and deliberate decisions about most of the products and chemicals we use. If everyone became just a little bit more aware, imagine how much of a difference it could possibly make for our collective health and our environment!
Format and info of my Toxic Tuesday posts adapted from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website
*UPDATE: As of August, 2017, I am not using this product anymore. It contains carrageenan which is an ingredient I am choosing to avoid for now. For more info, check out my August Empties post here.
So now that I am on my second tube of Davids natural toothpaste, I thought I’d write a little review just to explain why I like it so much. There are a few great natural and safe toothpastes out there (Dr. Bronner’s and Dr. Brite are also good) but this is my favorite so far.
First of all, Davids is fluoride free. According to the Environmental Working Group’s SkinDeep database, concerns of fluoride use and exposure range from developmental toxicity to musculoskeletal toxicity and its use is restricted in cosmetics in Canada (source). Fluoride is a pretty hotly debated topic, especially when it comes to requiring children to use it as cavity prevention and whether or not it should be added to everyone’s household and drinking water without our consent. There’s not a ton of specific and hard evidence saying that fluoride use and ingestion is absolutely 100% toxic. I, however, choose not to use it in my dental care products and we also use a water filtration system in our home to avoid drinking fluoridated tap water. As always, I recommend researching this chemical yourself to decide what is best for you and your family’s health.
The second thing I like about Davids is that it doesn’t contain sulfates. Many conventional toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which acts as a foaming agent. Unfortunately, SLS is also an irritant and can cause or worsen allergies. It is also suspected to be an environmental toxin. For more info on SLS, read my first Toxic Tuesday post that discusses it here.
Third, Davids is family owned and operated and 100% made in the USA. I love supporting American businesses, jobs, and ingredients.
Davids toothpaste is also all natural, EWG verified for safety, has no artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives, is vegan and cruelty-free, is made from sustainable and recyclable packaging and the carton is made with 100% wind power. I mean, it’s hard to find something not to like!
It smells and tastes great, really cleans your teeth, and I do think it has a subtle whitening effect.
This toothpaste also comes with a metal turn key that slides onto the end of the tube to help squeeze out all of the product as you go. If you have a curious and mischievous person in your household, I recommend keeping the key hidden until the tube is at least half empty. My husband put it on and turned it too many times after a couple of uses and I had an overflowing tube of toothpaste for a few days, haha.
As you can tell, I really do love this toothpaste. If you’re interested and don’t mind carrageenan as an ingredient, I recommend checking this brand out and seeing if it works for you!
I love multi-use products. I especially love lip/cheek combo creams because 1) they are so easy to apply, 2) I think matching blush and lips creates a clean and uniform makeup look, and 3) cream based face products work best for me in my hot and humid environment (south Florida).
Got an Oscars or red carpet themed party coming up? Below are the products I used for this look!
Hynt Beauty Concealer in Light as full coverage foundation
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Spell as Blush
Lily Lolo Eye Palette in Smoke and Mirrors on eyes
Vapour Organic Beauty Mezmerize Eyeliner in Black
Lily Lolo Mascara in Black on lower lashes
Battington 3D Silk Lashes in style Monroe, applied with True Glue all-natural lash adhesive
EcoBrow Defining Wax in Penelope on brows
Vapour Organic Beauty Halo Illuminator in Moonlight as highlight on cheeks, nose, under brows and inner eyes
RMS Lip2Cheek in Spell as lipstick
That’s it! Easy, clean and all natural! What are your favorite clean beauty products for a more dramatic look? And any tips for applying fake lashes?? They took me FOREVER to apply and it got a bit messy, haha.
Hey guys! Today’s toxic chemical is Benzophenone, a fragrance ingredient and ultraviolet light absorber found in many personal care products including all of those pictured above. It can be absorbed by ingestion, inhalation, and through the skin (source). It has been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and organ toxicity. It is also an environmental toxin that is harmful to fish if they are exposed to high enough concentrations (such as a crowded beach full of people wearing sunscreens containing this chemical that then all go swimming day after day for months or year round in warmer climates). It has been shown to be persistent and bioaccumulative in the environment (i.e., it doesn’t break down or decompose faster than it accumulates) (source).
- Products that commonly contain this ingredient: sunscreens, foundation and moisturizers with spf, lip balm, nail polish, shampoo/conditioner, and synthetic fragrances & perfumes
- What to look for on the label: Benzophenone or Oxybenzone
- Health Concerns: cancer, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, irritation, bioecotoxicity (harmful to environment), animal carcinogen (source)
- Regulations: benzophenone is restricted in cosmetics in the United States, and oxybenzone is restricted at 10% max concentration in the EU (source)
More info: To avoid exposure to benzophenone & oxybenzone, read labels of all products that have SPF carefully and choose sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead. STAY AWAY FROM SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES in cosmetics, skincare, and household products.
- Sunscreen: I haven’t tried many nontoxic sunscreens yet, so I don’t have a favorite to recommend, but Coola Suncare Suncare Unscented Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 and Raw Elements Eco Form Sunscreen SPF 30 Plus are both good oxybenzone-free options that are also organic. I really recommend tossing out all sunscreens and spf creams/makeup/lotions etc. that contain oxybenzone since its effects are possibly so dangerous and it penetrates skin so easily.
- Lip Balm: My favorite all natural lip balm that I have tried so far is this one by 100% Pure. It smells amazing, is so smooth and makes my lips really soft. Bonus for being USDA Organic certified.
- Nail Polish: I don’t really wear nail polish anymore, especially because it is literally impossible to find a completely clean alternative, but this Kid Licks polish for kids is organic and edible! It’s not going to look or perform like OPI or Essie nail polishes, but it’s so fun for kids and made of organic fruits and vegetables. Such a fun thing to do with your little ones and it is 100% safe for them to use! It even washes off with soap and water, so no need for toxic nail polish remover either. Fair warning, some of the reviews of this are mixed (it doesn’t stay on well, has a shorter shelf life than normal nail polish, etc.). But, if you buy it not expecting a traditional nail polish and wanting a safe option for your kids to use/wear, I think it’s a great idea!
I am really having a hard time finding nontoxic fragrances that I like, but I will keep you updated on what I try and when I find something that I love! As always, let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
Hey guys! So I have a new addition to my everyday essentials, the Sensitive Unscented Deodorant by Primally Pure. It is the first “real” natural deodorant that I’ve tried, and I really like it! (I was using aluminum free deodorant already, but it still had triclosan and some other bad ingredients in it.)
I’ve been seeing lots of deodorant posts on clean beauty blogs and social media lately, and it is kind of overwhelming which one to choose! My biggest concern is scent, since that is basically always my number one make it or break it aspect of a product (especially with natural products, where scents can be so strong and herbal sometimes). I chose this deodorant to try first because the ingredients are super clean and simple, it comes in an unscented option, and I love the design and packaging. I chose the sensitive formula because most baking soda based deodorants suggest trying the lower strength first (if they offer it) to avoid possible irritation. I also ordered the brand’s Everything Spray to try, and my thoughts are below!
Primally Pure Sensitive Unscented Deodorant
Ingredients (unscented): Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil*, Tallow from Grass-Fed Cows, Organic Beeswax, Baking Soda, Non-nano Zinc Oxide, White Kaolin Clay
Packaging: BPA free plastic twist up tube with screw on cap.
Product info: “Primally Pure deodorant will keep you smelling fresh while also pampering your pits with good-for-you ingredients like tallow from grass-fed cows and organic + fair trade coconut oil. This deodorant is not an antiperspirant – sweat is a HEALTHY and NORMAL part of being human! And since our deodorant doesn’t contain any of the toxic chemicals found in conventional deodorants, it won’t interfere with your body’s natural and necessary detoxification process (also known as sweating).” From product page.
Smell/texture: Because it is all natural (and therefore doesn’t contain chemicals to mask fragrances of ingredients), this deodorant has a very mild coconut smell in the packaging. I don’t notice a scent while wearing it, though, so it is as close to unscented as I imagine any natural product can be. This makes it great for men, women, teens, everyone! The texture is like a creamy thick paste, but it applies surprisingly well and similarly to a conventional stick deodorant. If you over apply, there is some residue and balling, but duh and it isn’t the end of the world.
Review: It’s a good product and does what it claims! I don’t run marathons or do cross-fit, but this deodorant fits my activity level and sweat/odor production. I usually don’t sweat very much or smell too bad, even when exercising. But I live in south Florida and love beach days and being outside, so I am more comfortable wearing a deodorant than being au naturale 24/7. With it being unscented, I feel like it kind of just mutes any odor rather than masking it or mixing with it (which can be worse than just regular BO sometimes). It is a simple product and I really like how it preforms. Your armpits will sweat, though. It will not hide or mute super strong body odor like if you spend all day at the beach in 90 degree weather and haven’t showered in a couple of days (been there, no regrets). If you apply a lot and then immediately put on a tight black shirt/dress, you may get white marks. Don’t apply directly after shaving, or you might have some irritation. FYI, this also comes in Lemongrass, Lavender, and Tea Tree scents. Primally Pure also makes a higher concentrated version of this deodorant and it comes in all three scents and unscented as well.
Primally Pure Everything Spray
So the other product that I bought from Primally Pure was their Everything Spray. I LOVE the ingredients and really wanted to love the product. I got it because I am looking for an aftershave type spray for my underarms and bikini (basically trying to find a nontoxic version of a BikiniZone spray I have used for years to prevent red bumps after shaving those areas). This product did not help with or prevent red bumps after shaving my underarms. I tried to give it to my husband to use on his face as an aftershave/toner, but he hates the smell of vinegar (and this smells strongly of vinegar), so that was also a no-go. I already have a face toner that I like, so it is unnecessary for me there. I haven’t really found a use for it yet, but I’m guessing it could be a nice relief for bug bites in the summer maybe? Anyway, the ingredients are great and mostly organic, so if this is something you are looking for and you don’t mind the smell of vinegar, I’d still say give it a try.
Ingredients: lavender hydrosol*, distilled water*, witch hazel*, aloe vera juice*, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar*, magnesium oil, essential oils of grapefruit*, lavender*, and tea tree*
I’m still on the look out for an aftershave spray or toner, have any recommendations?? I’ll let you know what I find and try next!
I am so excited that 100% Pure sent me a sneak peek of their Blood Orange Cleansing Balm that launches on February 21! This product is 100% natural, vegetarian, gluten-free, cruelty free, and USDA certified organic.
Product Description: This delicious orange-scented cleansing balm gently cleanses whole leaving skin soft and supple. Organic coconut and olive oils melt into a silky texture. Sweep away stubborn make up and impurities.
Directions: Warm up Cleansing Balm between fingertips and massage gently onto skin. Wipe away excess Balm with a warm damp cloth or konjac sponge and rinse with warm water.
Ingredients: Persea Gratissima (organic avocado) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (organic coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (organic olive) Oil, Cera Alba (organic beeswax), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood orange essential oil), Polyglyceryl-3 Palmitate (derived from coconuts)
Review: First if all, this Cleansing Balm smells amazing! As you can see, I had some actual blood oranges around when I was photographing the product and the scent is spot on. I used the product as directed, and although it doesn’t specify applying to wet or dry skin, I find it is best to apply oil-based cleansers and makeup removers directly to your skin without any water. That way, you can really feel the luxurious texture and literally see the makeup melting off! This product does exactly what it claims to do and is a pleasure to use. I have allergies right now and have been washing my hands a lot so they are so dry, and I actually just used this Balm on my hands (after washing them to not contaminate the product; always have clean hands before putting them into a jar product) and wiped off the excess and my hands and cuticles look and feel amazing. This balm is so soothing and moisturizing! I live in south Florida where temps are in the 80s and 90s regularly, and I honestly can’t see myself using this every day especially during the summer (it would probably be awesome for removing sunscreen, though). I think this is a must have if you live somewhere that is cold right now and you have the heat on inside and your skin is super dry. Also, if you regularly wear a full face of full coverage makeup, this will be a super soothing and luxurious way to take it off without stripping your face of all moisture. I did need a little help from my eye makeup remover at the end to remove my conventional waterproof mascara, but this cleansing balm will definitely melt off any and all natural makeup for sure! Bottom line: if you have dry skin or are worried about stripping your face of oil and moisture during cleansing, love the smell of oranges, like cleansing balms, and/or oil cleansers, this product is a definite yes for you! 100% Pure is a super clean and awesome brand, so definitely check them out if you haven’t already. I just placed my first order for a couple of different products and am so excited to try them out as well! I’ll let you know how I like them.
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