Healthier bodies and homes. We all want it for ourselves and loved ones, and understand the importance of it, but it can be hard at times to discern which companies and products are not only the best and least toxic, but actually work AND aren’t going to break the bank! I get it!
I became extremely passionate about eliminating toxins in what I put in, on, and around my body (and that of my family as well) when I learned that our skin is the largest organ of our bodies and absorbs a large part of what is put on it into the blood stream. Another common route of exposure is through inhalation in which chemicals and toxins are absorbed by the lungs and into the bloodstream, which then carries these substances to the rest of the body.
Did you know know…
that the EU bans 1400 harmful ingredients from their beauty products and that the USA only bans 30?
that skincare/makeup products don’t need any FDA approval before being put on the market? And that the FDA can’t legally require a company to recall a skincare/makeup product, even if it is found to have harmful ingredients and there are numerous complaints from people experiencing reactions to products?
that 1938 was the last time Congress passed a law regulating the cosmetics industry?
that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. 40 years ago it was 1 in 20 (according to the National Cancer Institute).
About 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil) and other toxic ingredients that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions to name a few. These “fragrances” are almost everything… lotions, shampoos, laundry detergent, cleaning products, you name it!
that the amount of harmful ingredients in the products that we inhale or put on our skin each day is ridiculous due to little to no regulation. The majority of them are directly affecting our endocrine systems - our hormonal health - which in turn can trigger weight gain, cause reproductive issues, and contribute to cancer.
As I started digging deeper I started finding more and more articles about how toxic and harmful the majority of skincare and makeup products are. These are just a few that were particularly impactful:
"Johnson & Johnson Is Just the Tip of the Toxic Iceberg" by Time.com - did you know that for DECADES, Johnson and Johnson’s sold their talcum-based Baby Powder - knowing that it caused ovarian cancer? In Europe, you won’t find talc in baby powders, the skin-lightening ingredient hydroquinone in skin creams, lead acetate in hair dye, formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane in baby shampoos and bath products, or many other toxic substances because they are banned from personal care products. Here, those substances are prevalent in personal care products, with no health warnings.
"Childhood Cancer: More Evidence Points to Chemical Exposure" by ewg.org - This article talks about how many studies are finding a strong connection between environmental toxins/chemicals and how they can turn on and off specific genes in our bodies that contribute to cancer. With more than 80,000 commercially available chemicals on the market today in the USA and the great majority never having been tested for safety (the opposite of how chemicals are regulated in Europe where manufacturers must prove a chemical is safe before it hits the market), it is up to us to make sure the products we are using on ourselves and our families do NOT have harmful chemicals.
Poison lips? Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics - In this 2013 study by UC Berkeley Researchers, they found lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in many popular brands of lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores. The study also noted that children are especially susceptible to heavy metal accumulation and should not play with make up.
Are you aware of the ingredients in your lotion and body wash? Your deodorant, that when applied to your lymph nodes every day is also being absorbed into your lymp nodes? House cleaners? Teflon pots and pans that are leaching chemicals into your food? Please know, this post is not meant to scare you, but simply provide you with the tools to support health in your body as best as you can. I had NO IDEA of all of this until I started digging!
But not only did I need products to be safe, but I needed them to also perform (duh). This is rare though. A deodorant with minimal ingredients is great until you start smelling. And who wants a lotion that is safe but doesn't actually hydrate? Or cleaning products that don’t actually clean? Over the years, I have researched, tried, and experimented with countless products and have compiled them all here for YOU.
My goal is to empower you to be able to take steps toward a healthier life and environment. Below are sections listing my favorite non-toxic products for your body, babies, kids, and lastly, for your home.
All of these products rank 1, 2 or “EWG Verified” (the highest rating) on the EWG Skindeep Database (my favorite way to determine product safety) and ALL of these companies are also focused on Environmental Responsibility, which I support!
Note: Most of the links below are from Amazon or Beautycounter, as they are the 2 companies that I have found to carry safe products that are also convenient and can be delivered to your door! These links also support Healthy Mama Space (at no additional cost to you) and helps me to be able to keep this blog up and running to provide posts like this for YOU, so thank you for your support!
Curious why I love and choose Beautycounter for a lot of my products? Watch this 3 minute video and check out THIS blog post. They have banned more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals, all while delivering products that are safe and perform amazingly.
Skin, Bath & Body
Best Face Cleanser - If you are acne/oil prone, I LOVE Beautycounter’s Charcoal Cleansing Bar. The charcoal draws out the impurities from the pores and coconut oil keeps you from drying out. This bar completely cleared up my skin (I used to use Proativ before I knew how toxic its ingredients are) and lasts me over a year of using it nightly! If you have drier skin, Beautycounter’s Countermatch Cleansing Milk gently cleanses without stripping your natural oils.
Best Daily Face Moisturizer - Beautycounter’s Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer. Hand down. This one wins. It is light, but extremely moisturizing (it adapts to your skin’s needs throughout the day) and perfect as a base for their dew skin tinted moisturizer (if you want just a glow and SPF) or foundation if you want more coverage.
Best Night Face Moisturizer and Eye Cream - Beautycounter’s Rejuvenating Night Cream and Eye Creams. These night and eye creams are from their anti-aging line and work wonders to reduce the appearance of pores, lines, and wrinkles while also firming and nourishing the skin and the green tea extract in the eye cream helps combat puffiness. I love the fact that these products are so concentrated, so a little goes a long way and they last a long time!
Best General Skin Lotion - Beautycounter’s Countermatch Adaptive Body Moisturizer is my favorite! It is extremely hydrating and restores elasticity without being oily or sticky.
Best Dry shampoo - Primally Pure Dry Shampoo - finding a non-toxic dry shampoo is more difficult than you think! Yes, you lose a little bit of the convenience of a spray, but it is WAY safer. Spray dry shampoos use LPG’s (Liquid Petroleum Gas) Butane, Propane and Isobutane as the aerosol ingredients and not only is this gas harmful to our ozone layers, but breathing it in is also harmful to you (and anyone around you). Talc is another ingredient in most dry shampoos that has actually been linked to cancer. Primally’s Pure’s Dry shampoo is safe and effective. Make sure to use the code HMS10 for 10% off of your first order!
Best Body Wash for Women - Everyone 3-In-1 Soap, Lavender and Aloe - Body wash is one of those things that I do NOT buy from Beautycounter due to budget. Although I still need body wash to have safe ingredients (this body wash is rated “EWG Verified”, one of the highest safest ratings), it doesn’t sit and get absorbed into the skin as much as other skin products like lotion. I like to prioritize spending more money on products that I REALLY need to perform such as my face and eye creams and makeup.
Best Shampoo for Women - Beautycounter Volume & Shape or Smooth & Control shampoos and conditioners. Hand down. I have tried a lot of different shampoo brands and they just didn’t perform! They would leave my hair just a little bit greasy (requiring me to shampoo every day) or dull my hair. I have fine hair, so I LOVE BC’s Volume and Shape line. If you have curly, thicker, or frizzy prone hair, I would highly suggest the smooth and Control line.
Best Deodorant for Women - Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is my absolute favorite! I cannot stress the importance enough for switching to safe deodorant. Conventional deodorants are filled with harmful ingredients such as aluminum, fragrance, and paragons, that are absorbed into your lymph nodes (where cancer usually finds itself) from your armpits. Read this to learn more. Also, want to know how many brands I tried and that DIDN’T WORK? —> Crystal Essence Mineral Roll-on Deodorant, Herban Cowboy Natural Grooming Deodorant, Desert Essence Deodorant, Every Man Jack Deodorant, and Tom’s Long Lasting to name a few! Primally Pure also has a couple different scents to choose from (my second favorite is lavender) and make sure to use the code HMS10 for 10% off of your first order!
Best Deodorant for Men - Primal Pit Paste (Royal and Rogue Scent) - My husband is a CrossFit Athlete and trainer and believe me when I say he sweats and smells, ha! I made him try countless different deodorants and this is his favorite for keeping him smelling fresh all day… which is a considerable feat!
Best Body Wash/Shampoo for Men - Everyone 3-in-1 Soap, Coconut and Lemon - My husband goes through a LOT of body wash due to working out so frequently and really only has like 1/2 inch of hair, so like I mentioned above, this is one of those things that I do not buy from Beautycounter due to budget and wanting to spend more money on products that we REALLY need to perform. If your man struggles with body acne at all, then Beautycounter’s Counterman Charcoal Body Bar is a must!
Best Men’s Body Lotion - Everyone Body Lotion, Unscented - this particular scent is rated well on the EWG Skin-deep website. If you do choose to get another scent, please check it on the EWG website first since a couple of their other scents did rate as a 3 (I only use products that rate 1, 2, or EWG Verified).
Best Chapstick/lip balm - Primally Pure Nature Lip Balm - I was astounded when I started looking into chapstick/lip balm ingredients and how toxic they were! Especially since you ingest the ingredients since it’s on your lips. Primally Pure’s chapstick is very moisturizing, has clean ingredients, and is very reasonable! Beautycounter does have a lip conditioner, but it is much more expensive and I don’t feel like it deeply nourishes my lips (I struggle with very chapped lips). Make sure to use the code HMS10 for 10% off of your first order!
Best Toothpaste - JASON Sea Fresh Strengthening Fluoride-Free Toothpaste, Deep Sea Spearmint - Did you know that fluoride is a toxic substance? It has been used in pesticides and rodenticides and the FDA now requires all fluoride toothpaste to have a poison warning in case it any amount larger than what should be used for brushing is ingested? That 97% of western Europe has rejected water fluoridation? And that 53 studies have linked fluoride with reduced IQ in children? Other studies have also shown an Increase male fertility, decrease in thyroid function and preliminary research is now suggesting that high levels of fluoride may be toxic to brain and nerve cells. To learn more about why our government started this mass fluoridation of water in the 1940’s and recent studies are showing this to actually be harmful, read “Is Fluoridated Drinking Water Safe?” by Harvard Public Health. This is why we choose fluoride free toothpaste for our family. Jason’s is an affordable and clean toothpaste that is fluoride free. Another GREAT option is Davids Natural Toothpaste, however it is a little more expensive than Jason’s.
Best Sunscreen - Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen. This sunscreen is what first brought me to Beautycounter! I had been searching for a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen. This ingredient is extremely important since it’s a physical blocker that sits on top of the skin instead of being absorbed into it like chemical blockers do (which are HUGE hormone disruptors). I tried countless brands and BC was the first one that not only worked but also rubbed in and didn’t leave us looking like ghosts. Want to dive in deeper into why chemical sunscreens are so toxic? Read this article from EWG: The Trouble with Ingredients in Sunscreen.
Best Insect Repellent - Primally Pure’s Nature Spray - I feel it’s important to avoid DEET at all costs, so have always used essential oils to naturally repel mosquitoes. This is a great non-toxic spray that is made from all organic ingredients and essential oils. Make sure to use the code HMS10 for 10% off of your first order!
I LOVE Beautycounter’s baby products. And Real Simple recently named it their top choice for natural baby products!
Best Baby’s Bodywash/Shampoo - Beautycounter’s Baby Gentle All Over Wash - The wash is for both body and hair, tear free, and a great cleanser that is gentle and not drying.
Best Baby’s Lotion/Oil - Beautycounter’s Daily Protective Balm and Soothing Oil - The Daily Protective Balm is a MUST that I recommend to every mama. It has so many uses. The main one use is as a diaper cream. It is coconut oil based, so naturally anti-bacterial and very soothing and moisturizing. Anytime I see even a hint of redness, I apply this to his booty and it goes away. It is also great for any really dry skin (especially the knees) or even for eczema. I’ve had multiple friends who had babies with eczema and were told by their doctor that their only option to clear it up was by using steroids. I had them try the baby balm and it cleared it up - amazing! The soothing oil is a quick-absorbing skin nourisher that I use on my kids. They LOVE their after bath mini massages that they get with this and it’s great for keeping their skin moisturized, especially on areas such as the face/arms that get a lot of sun exposure and knees/legs that get scraped up.
Best Diaper Cream - Beautycounter’s Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream - Our first kid never really got bad diaper rash, but our second struggled with it a bit more and this has been a lifesaver! A diaper rash cream’s job is to provide a safe, physical barrier between the skin and the diaper's contents. Most diaper creams are not all that simple and use a lot of toxic ingredients (petroleum derivatives and preservatives), so I was relieved to find Beautycounter’s that is safe and effective. It uses beeswax and shea butter to nourish baby's skin and zinc as the barrier.
*Interested in my top Non-Toxic Baby Essentials (diapering, bath, bedding, car, baby room items, feeding, and health? See this post!
Best Toothpaste - Hello Oral Care Kids Fluoride Free Toothpaste - Fluoride free and also free of dyes, SLS/sulfates, artificial sweeteners/flavors, microbeads, triclosan and gluten. Curious why we choose fluoride free? Read the section under “Best Toothpaste” above.
Best Bodywash/Shampoo/Conditioner/Bubble Bath - Everyone 3-in-1 Soap for Every Kid Safe, Gentle and Natural Shampoo, Body Wash, and Bubble Bath, Lavender Lullaby - Beautycounter has a kids shampoo, conditioner and body wash that are great as well, but I was looking for more of an all in one product for my boys (because, well, BOYS, and they don’t have a ton of hair, ha!). Also, I love that this is an EWG verified product and has bubble bath, something that has our oldest LOVES and helps him stay in the bath longer!
Hand Soap - Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castille Liquid Soap - Citrus - Believe it or not, hand soap can have a LOT of harmful ingredients in it. Read this article from the FDA: Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It, Use Plain Soap and Water. I’m SO grateful that in 2013 the FDA finally banned triclosan, which is a very toxic ingredient that messes with your hormones (and that they have found in the umbilical cords of babies). However, there are still other triclosan-containing products currently on store shelves which is why it’s important to read your labels and the ban also does not apply to hospitals or to hand sanitizing products. Essentially, avoid antibacterial and most conventional soap and hand sanitizers. I LOVE Dr. Bronner’s for their clean and basic ingredients and use this to make my own hand soap for our kitchen sink and bathrooms. I fill up these glass foaming soap bottles 1/3 of the way with the soap and the rest with distilled water (you can use regular tap, but I prefer distilled to keep from hard water deposits from forming inside the bottles).
Candles and Air Fresheners - Please, please, please get rid of all candles (paraffin, soy, etc.). Paraffin wax candles creates toxic carcinogens called benzene and toluene when burned which is the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes, not to mention a plethora of other toxins that are released into the air. Almost all candles also have artificial scents and dyes, which are toxic when breathed in. And don’t even get me started on air fresheners! The chemicals used to make those scents is extremely toxic to your nervous system and brain. I also prefer to avoid soy for everything. Not only is soy usually always genetically modified, but also harmful to our hormones. I have grown to love using fake candles (these are my favorite that I have in my bathroom for taking relaxing baths) but if you do want the real deal, you can order pure beeswax candles, which are safe and actually clean indoor air as well. The other option that I love is diffusing essential oils! I personally love and use Young Living since they are one of the few companies that own their own farms and control the entire process from planting to extraction and creating the oils. Their high quality oils means that there are also health benefits through diffusing the oils. Be aware that most essential oils you can buy in stores such as Whole Foods and Sprouts are diluted and not high quality.
Cleaning Products - Most conventional cleaners are made with hazardous ingredients. Period. I cannot stress how important it is to use natural cleansing products in your home. We breathe the air in our home, our kids play on the floor (and sometimes lick it, or at least mine do, ha!), our food sometimes makes contact with our countertops, the list goes on. Read Cleaning Products 101 for more details. I have many different brands and cleaners my favorite is now Branch basics! I ordered their Starter Kit + Oxygen Boost this last year and now solely use it for all of my cleaning products, which cuts down considerably on cost and amount of bottles I have under my sink! It includes one 33 oz. Concentrate (you create all of the cleaners using that), three empty spray bottles (windows, bathroom, and all purpose with easy directions for how much concentrate and water to add), one Foaming Wash bottle, one Laundry bottle and one Oxygen Boost (which works WONDERS on my white baths, showers, and grout)! Their concentrate is plant and mineral based, free from harmful toxins and preservatives, and safe. Also, if you use this link, you get $10 off your first order!
Laundry detergent - Branch Basics - I usually use Seventh Generation, but have recently changed over to Branch Basics and feel it cleans better. Read this article on why it is essential to use a natural laundry detergent. Dangerous Detergent: Is My Laundry Detergent Toxic? Ingredients such as fragrance (avoid this in EVERYTHING at all costs), phosphates and nonylphenol ethoxylate are just a few of the toxic chemicals found in conventional laundry detergent and that can be transferred to our skin, by our clothes and are endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins and possibly contributing to cancer.
Stain Remover and Whitener - Branch Basics - Yup, Branch Basics again. Please throw out the Oxiclean and Tide Stain Remover. As I discussed above with the laundry detergent, there are toxic chemicals in those products. I use the Branch Basics all purpose spray as a stain remover and as a mama who deals with insane amount of food, grass, and poop stains, I have been AMAZED! Anytime my baby has a blowout I just rinse the clothing, spray it down, let it sit for bit, and throw it into the wash! No scrubbing or anything. It is incredible. I add their Oxygen Whitener to my white clothes and for deep cleaning/whitening my white dining chair covers and outdoor couch cushions and it works even better than oxiclean but with SAFE ingredients!
Dryerballs - Please read this article about dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Just like laundry detergent, the amount of chemicals found in these products is insane! I personally use 100% wool dryer balls, which don’t leave behind harmful chemicals in your “clean” laundry. Plus, they speed up the time it takes to get your clothes dry (which then reduces damage to clothes since it cuts down on drying time), and reduces static and wrinkles! If the clothes needs a little boost of good smelling goodness (ahem, my husbands…), I add a couple drops of my favorite essential oils to the dryer balls before putting them in the dryer.
Sponges - Pura Naturals Stink Free Sponge. Eco Kitchen/Household/Dish Sponges w/Walnut Scrubbers - Sponges come in contact with the plates, utensils, pots and pans that give us our food, so I think its better to be safe! These are made with no plastics, GMOs, gluten, petroleum by-products, parabens, BPA, chemicals, petroleum by-products, adhesives and glues (usually used to stick the rough sponge section to the soft) synthetics or artificial colors & fragrances that are found in the majority of other brands.
Water Filter - Berkey Systems - Read this article on why it is important to thoroughly filter your water, beyond what a Britta or refrigerator filter would. The amount of toxic elements (lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, chlorine, Bisphenol-A, Cholarmines, Petroleum Contaminants, methylcyclohexane-methaene, pesticides, heavy metals) parasites, bacteria (Coliform and e-Coli) and contaminants (not to mention atrazine and fluoride) that is in normal tap water is astonishing. Berkey Water Systems filter all that without removing beneficial minerals AND it is cost effective since the filters last for years! We bought the Berkey Royal with two black and fluoride filters along with this tool to help prime your filters and this stand for it as well.
Cookware - Oh my… this one is important, and I’m embarrassed to say that I JUST finally transitioned all my cookware and bakeware over to non-toxic options THIS YEAR! It’s all about baby steps y’all. Please read this article: Experts Warn: Throw Away Conventional ‘Non-Stick’ Cookware and Use These Instead to learn the important of non-toxic cookware and bakeware and how conventional options leak highly toxic chemicals into our food and subsequently, our bodies. Fluropolymers such as PTFE and substances PFAs are used to create non stick cooking surfaces, but these materials are extremely toxic to our bodies and the environment. Essentially, when non-stick cookware is heated, it lets off PFOA, which is a chemical compound that has been linked to thyroid disease, infertility in women, organ damage and developmental and reproductive problems. My FAVORITE non-toxic pots and pans are by Le Creuset, but they can be expensive, so other options are using Lodge Cast Iron pans (heavier and requiring more special cleaning to prevent rust) and slightly more non-stick options are Green Pan and Ozeri. We make scrambled eggs every morning in our Ozeri pan and it works GREAT!
Garbage bags - Hefty Ultra Strong Tall Kitchen Trash Bags, Scent Free, 13 Gallon - The artificial scents and fragrances in your trash bags is something that a lot of people don’t think about. These fragrances are very similar to that in air fresheners and are completely unnecessary but are breathed in every time you open your trash can or wherever you store your bags. I ONLY use scent free bags and to combat odor, I put a paper towel with a couple drops of essential oils at the bottom of the trash can whenever I change the bag.
Dishwasher Soap - Seventh Generation Auto Dish Powder - Free & Clear - I love this soap for for our dishwasher! Works much better than the gel (and is cheaper) and uses plant-derived enzymes to get your dishes sparkling clean without chlorine, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, or other toxic chemicals.
Dish Soap - Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner - This is my favorite dish soap. It is made with organic plant-based surfactants, natural fir needle and spruce essential oils and without any synthetic dyes, fragrances or preservatives. A bottle of this lasts me a LONG time. I bought a non-foaming glass soap dispenser and fill it up 1/3 of the way with Dr. Bronners and the rest with water and then shake and use. It’s THAT easy.
And that’s it! Thank you for reading and taking the time to learn about how to reduce toxins and chemicals in your body and home. Remember to check all of your products (skincare and makeup, cleaning, etc. on the EWG Skin-deep Database) and make sure to follow me on instagram and facebook for future blog posts on how to choose toxic free bedroom items such as mattresses and sheets along with another post on my top non-toxic toddler essentials!
I know that switching to safer products for your body and home can be a little overwhelming initially, but I promise, YOU and your family are worth it! Please let me know if you have any questions at all and how I can support you in your journey!