- by Cassie B
It can be overwhelming to begin eliminating toxins from your daily life but so worth it! People often ask, "Where do I start?"
I am a military spouse so what I found to be the most efficient way to approach it is in the same way our family tackles a PCS move to a new duty station: Room by Room!
Start with one room in your house, go through all the cabinets and drawers, pull out all your products, toss what you never use, and replace the items that you use most often.
The only exceptions I would say are deodorant, sanitary pads/tampons, and laundry products. I would drop those first and replace them asap. It's all very important to replace but these are used most often and affect your body the most.
We know that at times companies with great natural products can be sold to larger companies with questionable reputations. These buy-outs can lead to ingredient changes, quality control issues, and more. We will try to update these recommendations as often as we can to keep them as accurate as possible but try to use this as more of a guideline than a textbook on products to use. We are NOT promoting certain brands over others. This simply comes down to ingredients. We don't make money off any of these items.
The best thing to do is learn more about the ingredients themselves and how they affect your body. This will help you navigate labels and determine which products to avoid. A simple rule of thumb I use is to opt for shorter ingredient lists and ingredients I can recognize easily.
All that being said, if you have suggestions or see any of these products that may have changed their ingredients, let us know!
deodorants that contain aluminum and fragrances
to a deodorant free from parabens and phthalates
There is a lot of debate surrounding the question if aluminum salts in antiperspirants are harmful. You'll find many sources claiming they are absolutely safe however, this article from 2009 addresses many of the concerns linking antiperspirants to breast cancer and other links have been found between aluminum and Alzheimer's. But this isn't the only reason to drop traditional deodorants. We know that our bodies are meant to function a certain way so when we introduce products that inhibit our bodies from functioning properly, problems inherently arise.
Antiperspirants keep you from sweating which is one of your body's ways of removing toxins! Additionally, you also want to avoid fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and more that can lead to allergies, sensitivities, and chronic illness. Why take the chance when there are better alternatives?
Best results come after performing an armpit detox regularly for at least 4 weeks. See our blog post on under arm detoxes here.
Clean Deodorant Brands:
(try to stick with unscented even with these and be careful of those that have baking soda as it can cause irritation for some)
Primal Pit Paste
Vermont Soap Company
Each & Every
Meow Meow Tweet Tweet
Clean Pad and
Seventh Generation Free & Clear
Vulvar and vaginal tissues are more permeable than the rest of your skin which means they are also more vulnerable to chemicals and toxins in feminine care products. Exposure to the chemicals in traditional pads and tampons can lead to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive harm, allergic reactions, and more. Tampons in general can create an environment for bacteria growth and are also classified as a cosmetic so are not held to any safety testing standards by the FDA. More on tampon toxins here.
Avoid materials treated with chlorine bleach which lead to a byproduct called dioxin that has been linked to endometriosis and cancer. Opt for organic 100% cotton, unbleached, with no dyes or fragrances.
pads/tampons that contain bleached materials
to sanitary products like organic cotton pads and tampons
greenwashed products that still have harmful ingredients
to detergents free from dyes, fragrances, and toxins.
Even products that seem safe like the sensitive skin formulas, free & clear, and even detergents marketed for use on baby clothes, like Dreft, still require closer inspection. All Free & Clear contains benzathiazolinone which can cause allergic reactions like contact dermatitis.
Just a short list of ingredients to avoid:
Dipropylene glycol methyl ether
Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate
As always, you'll want to still avoid fragrances and dyes as well.
Clean Detergent Brands:
Branch Basics Laundry
Clean Razor Brands:
Feather All Stainless Steel
Lissie Safety Razors
Bambaw Safety Razors
This is one item that didn't cross my mind at first even after I had been dropping toxic beauty care products left and right to swap for better ones.
Moisture strips on razors might seem inconsequential until you realize that they're making direct contact with the delicate tissue under our arms where we have a high concentration of lymph nodes. This means these chemicals are making their way to our lymphatic system as well as the tiny capillaries located there; even more so if a nick is made while shaving.
plastic razors with moisture strips
for cleaner stainless steel options
toothpastes like Tom's that seem safe but still contain harmful ingredients
to a toothpaste like Dr. Bronner's All-in-One
At first glance Tom's seems like a great option! Fluoride free, no artificial dyes or sweeteners. However, it does still contain carrageenan, an additive in many products that comes from red seaweed and has been linked to inflammation, IBS, glucose intolerance, colon cancer, and food allergies.
Fluoride is finally being acknowledged in mainstream news and publications as a neurotoxin (though many in the natural minded communities have known this for years) so at the very least, a fluoride free toothpaste is a great first step.
A short list of other ingredients to avoid:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Clean Toothpaste Brands:
Earthley Tooth Powder
Dr. Bronner's All-in-One
Dr. Brite Activated Charcoal
My Magic Mud
DoTerra's On Guard
Jack n' Jill