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Monday, May 27, 2013

nobody gives a sh*t about your health


True story.
Especially not the FDA.
And definitely not companies that manufacture products and grow the food that we ingest. It is all about the mighty dollar.

I've felt for some time that environmental toxins are playing a role in the growing number of couples that experience infertility. As such, you can imagine my disgust when my local support group sent out this warning and video. Take a look at this news report.

 After watching the video, I took inventory of the products in our home specifically looking for triclosan. The ingredient was in every one of our Bath & Body Works hand soaps. I throw them in the trash and began my search for safer, healthier, more natural personal care products and cleaning supplies.

From my research, the following are a few more hazardous ingredients contained many personal hygiene products:
Phthalates - linked to male infertility by impairing production of testosterone
Parabens - can cause hormone imbalances, fertility issues and has been linked to breast cancer
Formaldehydes - one of the most toxic chemicals and can be a by-product of some of the other chemicals used in personal care products

All this makes me want to become a hippy. Seriously. We already buy organic food and produce whenever possible. If I had the time to make my own personal care products, I would. But since I can't, I've been searching for products with as many natural ingredients as possible. 

Here's what I have found so far.


Method hand soap - Triclosan-free and naturally-derived. 


Jason - Our bar soap has been replaced with this liquid body wash. It contains natural lavender and marigold extracts, vitamin E and Pro-vitamin B5. It states on the bottle that it doesn't contain any of the above harmful, toxic ingredients above.


Alba Botanica - I'm attempting to find a new shampoo and conditioner that is more eco-friendly and natural. The Drink It Up Coconut Milk contains certified organic coconut, pineapple, papaya fruit extract. It also has coconut and macadamia seed oils to leave your hair shiny and soft. So far my only complaint is that you have to use a lot of product for your hair to feel clean.



C. Booth - This is a product line that my friend gave me last year for my birthday. 
Tagline: Simple. Natural. Trusted. 

I love the entire C. Booth line-up, including the ginger body scrub and the multi-action lemon sugar body lotion. The lotion smoothes away dry, dull skin cells, then soothes and protects with sweet almond, apricot kernel and shea butter oils, and even caffeine, to perk up your skin.


1. My Oil of Olay facial serum got swapped for this organic Vitamin C Renewal Facial Serum. It isn't as moisturizing as my old serum but it's supposed to be age-defying. So hopefully I'll see some long-term results.

2. This Herbal Clear Deodorant is supposed to be a good substitute for the aluminum-based anti-perspirants that could potentially cause cancer. All of the studies are inconclusive but just in case...I thought I'd give this a try. The verdict: my pits were a little damp and smelly on a hot day. I don't recommend this product and currently seeking a good, natural replacement.

3. Tom's of Maine - This is the only natural toothpaste that I could find at Target. I haven't tried it yet so I don't know how well it works but I'll get back to you on this one.

What I've learned through my digging, researching and exploring is that labels can be super deceiving. You don't always know what you are putting onto your body. Your skin absorbs all of the toxins and it can be worse than ingesting toxins. As with everything else, you really have to put some work into making sure your products are fertility-friendly...or just safe in general. As you can see in the news report...just because it's on the shelves at your local store, doesn't mean it is safe.

I wanted to share my natural product finds with you but I'm definitely looking to expand this list. 
If you use any fab natural personal care products, please share them in the comments. 

36 comments:

faithtrusticsidust said...

Love this post! I'm in the process of detoxing our lives too. My acupuncturist was talking about everything that causes infertility. Plastics are a big one too. Lots of BPA free ones are on the market but they just chuck another just as bad toxin in there. I'll be checking back to see what others suggest as replacements. Thanks for postings this; I'll definitely be looking in to your suggested natural products! I find deodorant the hardest one. The aluminum in deodorant is also related to Alzheimer's. It's a scary world we live in!

Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said...

Wow, thanks for the info! I never knew this. We love those Method hand soaps!

B&B said...

Have you looked into arbone products at all?? I have friends who swear by it! I've used some of their face wash, but never in correlation with ttc.

Aubrey said...

Thank you for this post! This is so interesting.... And scary!!

JoJo said...

It boggles my mind that we have been toxicating our bodies all these years without the realization of how bad it affects our bodies.

Mrs B. said...

This is scary! I do love all Method products they are fantastic.

Emily said...

I couldn't agree with you more. It's more than ironic we have so much infertility cropping up, not to mention cancer and autoimmune disease these days. There is no doubt in my mind some of it is tied to the products we use and the foods we ingest.

I use that Jason aloe vera body wash right now and love it!

For skin care, I love the Eminence Organics skin care line, and I also use Belli skin care face wash and face scrub (both safe during pregnancy). I love Tom's toothpaste and mouthwashes too.

One really cool tool you can use to rate the toxicity of certain products is Skin Deep... http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Just type a product into the search bar and you can see how it's rated. I try to use only products that score a 1 or 2, but it definitely takes some effort! It took quite a while to phase out to mostly natural products and I def went through a few that I had good intentions with but just didn't like. Shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant are the hardest ones.



P.S. That Avalon Organics face serum has arnica in it (contraindicated during pregnancy just fyi). Even with natural products, it's an extra step to make sure all of the ingredients are safe for pregnancy. I know it's exhausting! I wish we had better laws protecting our health in this country, but I'm glad you are taking matter into your own hands!

Erika said...

We've been trying to overhaul our personal care products as well. Totally agree- all of the natural shampoos I've used, I feel like I have to use a freakin gallon in order to get it all throughout my hair!! So annoying. And I've already ranted at length about how dissatisfied I am with the end-result of natural hair stuff, anyway. Ugh. BUT. Don't know if you have a Trader Joe's anywhere near you, but I've been very happy with their body washes and shaving lotion, which meet the scary-chemical standards.

Gypsy Mama said...

Oh my gosh this is crazy!! You know, a few years ago when I was more into my hippy roots, I used a lot of the products you listed here. Ever since Bath & Body Works opened up I've been using their stuff!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, I'm definitely switching back.

I think deep down we all know that natural beauty products are healthy for us, yet we still choose the ones that smell good (although lots of organic things smell good) or the brand name items. Reading your blog post today made me realize I was purchasing without questioning.

Do you guys have the store Lush in the U.S.? I buy a lot of stuff from them and they are all natural etc.

Darcy Kristy said...

Amen, friend! I've been on this journey for some time... replacing things in my house for homemade or more natural, safer alternatives. I, too, have been trying to research it as much as possible. Fortnuately, I have a very true hippie for a sister, and she gives me lots of info and advice. :)

I like the stuff you posted. I'll have to try some of it. Here are some things I've used for awhile and liked.

Facewash: a good esthetician friend of mine recommnded mixing a little organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, and a tad of water in a bottle and using if for a facewash. It sounds oily, and it is, but you know what?? It's great. My skin is actually less oily, instantly moisurtized and I've had far less break outs. I love it. It's simple, easy, and totally safe. If you want a scrub, just pour some baking soda in your hand on top of the mixture and use that. It does wonders I tell you!!!!

Shampoo: I buy this stuff of of Amazon. I find I don't have to use too much of this kind. I don't like the conditioner at all, but it's my favorite shampoo thus far: Avalon Organics Biotin Thickening Shampoo
http://www.amazon.com/Avalon-Organics-Shampoo-B-Complex-Thickening/dp/B0016BC2BM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369752031&sr=8-1&keywords=avalon+organics+shampoo

Conditioner: Kiss my Face Anytime Conditioner. I really like this conditioner and a little goes a long way. The value size it a great deal on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-My-Face-Whenever-Conditioner/dp/B003EUP3O6/ref=sr_1_1?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1369752403&sr=1-1&keywords=kiss+my+face+conditioner

lip balm: I either rub some coconut oil on them (at home) or I use this mostly organic when on the go EOS Organic Smoothers
http://www.amazon.com/eos-Organic-Smooth-Sphere-Balm/dp/B009QTDYYA/ref=pd_sim_bt_6

face moisturizer: like I said, I don't need much of a moisturizer anymore, but living in the dry heat of central CA, sometimes I need more. And, I love this because it has tint in it and so I can usually skip an foundation or powder on a regular day: Bare Minerals Advanced Protection
http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Protection-SPF-20-Moisturizer/dp/B007RHYF14/ref=sr_1_2?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1369752692&sr=1-2&keywords=bare+minerals+tinted+moisturizer

Just T said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post! So very informative and now I can look at the products I have been using forever. Maybe it is time for a change, can't hurt!

Jennifer said...

Good post Jess - all very true. I started examining labels a few years ago, mostly as a parent, when I realized that our country does NOT protect us like other countries do where a lot of this crap is outlawed! We have landed on a few other great products as well as many of the ones you pointed out (Method hand soap is a staple in our house, and I love C.Booth hand cream!). Check out GUD by Burt's Bees for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotions with no phthalates, paragons, or petrochemicals. They have it at Target in the natural beauty aisle. Some other good products: Badger and Alba mineral sunscreens are both 1s on the Environmental Working Group's website (search EWG sunscreen if you are unfamiliar with that site). I now check just about all of our bath/body products on the EWG ranking website. Yes to Carrots has some great products too - I just switched to one of their face moisturizers because it has a non chemical sunscreen in it (mineral based instead). We use 7th Generation dishwasher powder and dish soap - the unscented kind. And the only products we really use on N are California Baby (which we also use like their calendula cream and sunscreen). Coconut oil makes a great skin and lip moisturizer, too!
I took a health class for my teaching credential when I was pregnant with N and after that, we basically banned all petrolatum in our products (it's hard - it is in just about all lotions and lip glosses...) and BPA from our home. We switched to glass food storage containers that I bought at Costco, we use BPA free or stainless steel water bottles (no more plastic deposable water bottles at all) and I switched to Tetra packaged tomatoes, soups, or beans whenever possible. I even cook my own dry beans (canned goods are lined with BPA to preserve freshness and lengthen shelf life). We cook on stainless steel and cast iron only now (got rid of our non stick since Teflon has been proven to be a major health issue - so much so that it will be phased out over the next few years). You can't do it all overnight, but for our health and future health, we decided it just wasn't worth waiting for our country to come around and ban this junk like the European countries did 10+ years ago. :-(

Natosha Zachary said...

Your title is so true. I have been in the process (ha) of cutting out processed foods from our diets and going organic and non-GMO. It's really hard at times. Our next step is to do what you are doing with personal care and cleaning products. It is so sad that our own government allows all the sickening and deadly poisons into our food and other products. Thank you for the list of personal care products you have tired. It is very helpful.

Becky said...

Amen! It's pretty scary what is "ok" to put into products and food these days. One thing I also love about many of the products you posted is that they don't test on animals either. Happy animals and healthy people..yay!

Anonymous said...

I discovered the same ingredient while researching my infertility and banned triclosan from the house! I use Giovanni shampoo/conditioner, which is great for me. I had a hard time finding a conditioner that was conditioning enough, but this works fine. I also use the leave-in conditioner spray. As for deodorant, I use Tom's unscented, and it's "decent". There is no winner in this category. Some people like "Crystal" because it's made from non-aluminum salts, but I just didn't try it because it does contain other salts. For toothpaste, we use Tom's as well, and my favorite is the "wicked fresh". Some of them aren't "minty" enough, but I just remind myself that it's organic. I do use a fluoride version because I couldn't find any info that fluoride was going to kill me. Since I basically only drink bottled/osmotic water, I decided fluoridated toothpaste was fine. Hand soap - we love Mrs. Myers. Good luck in your new quest!

Laura Rahel said...

oh my goodness- did you see my recent post on the link between tephlon/non-stick pans and infertility? http://laurarahel.blogspot.com/2013/05/teflon-contributes-to-infertility-mind.html

I was wondering what else is out there that I dont know may be affecting me. Thanks for this informative post! Ive been thinking about switching to baby shampoo already because it's gentle on the hair. I already use green cleaning products. BUT all my lotions are from Bath and Body!

Team Harries said...

I've been meaning to make a post about Chemicals for awhile now as a few months ago I watched a show and have been reading up on how awful they are for our bodies, ever since! Ugh! I'm actually going to start making my own soap too!! Thanks for the reminder of the importance of finding all natural products, and for listing them too!

Whitney B. said...

Thanks for the warning!! Had NO idea and now I'll be going through our stuff as well, I really appreciate this post!!!

Betty said...

Wow...I didn't know about this. I will definitely be going through our products!!

HoagsandKisses said...

Thank you for sharing all this helpful info and great recommendations for better replacements of chemical products. Time to detox my house and hop on the hippy train! Seriously, anything to combat infertility!

Lauren ♥ On Fecund Thought said...

I haven't written about this, but I have long suspected that chemicals on your skin are a bad thing. My rule is, if I can't say it or don't know what it is, I neither eat it nor put it on my skin!!

I've avoided parabens, phthalates, dimethicones, and most chemical sunscreens for a while now. (BTW, your C. Booth body scrub has 5 parabens in the label.)

I like Juniper Seed Mercantile on Etsy for my face cream. I use pure shea butter to moisturise; Dr. Bronner's soap for my face and hands; EO and Nature's Gate for shampoos and conditioners. Weleda lip balm and hand cream.

I noticed since banning chemical nasties my skin is much healthier and glowing. I wonder how my internal organs look by comparison!

shay said...

I just switched to a 7th Generation body wash. Also Lush uses all natural and vegan products so i started using some of their stuff!

Nikki said...

Well shit. Now I have to throw everything I own away.

JenS said...

My husband was convinced environmental factors played a role in his sperm count (mostly because he has an identical twin brother with great sperm so he was tying to figure out why his is bad) we replaced all of our tupperware with glass containers, got a coffee maker with no plastic, had me carry his cell phone in my purse so it was away from "the boys", plus some other stuff. He didn't get as far as hygiene products (though we already use method soap) but I'm sure that would have been next. Even if it doesn't lead to infertility it can't hurt to make some of those changes anyway.

Elizabeth said...

Don't forget your makeup! We can talk about all the products I have researched over tea. Here is the website I use to get ratings for my products:

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

The Bird said...

Ugh. Crazy and scary, isn't it? Have you checked out EWG's Skin Deep database? It doesn't have ALL products in it by any means, but it is a good first step when looking into product ingredients and safety.

cevapa said...

Ive been using Method products and love them - they leave the house so clean - added bonus they're better health wise too

Sadie said...

This is something I worry about a lot. I'm not someone who's very into cosmetics anyway, and animal rights are also important to me so I try to be very careful with what I consume. In Canada or Europe, I shop at Lush, which is all natural/organic, usually fair trade, and not animal tested. Their stuff is a bit expensive, but so worth it! But not sure if it exists in the US...?

Ashley said...

Thanks for the reminder! I started switching to organic products when I was diagnosed with endometriosis (a disease that causes infertility) and found a few studies about how chemicals are linked to it. Now that I have a baby, I'm trying even harder. I make my own laundry soap, disinfectant, and body wash, which really only takes a few minutes (and I've even gotten my hubby involved)! For lotion, I use pangea organics and it works better than any other lotion I have tried for my KP. I'm now going to go check the ingredient list for my hand wash!

Samantha N said...

I completely agree and I'm trying to cut out products that are unhealthy. I'm in the UK so I don't know if some of the products are here but it most probably has the things you've mentioned in them. Thank you for this post x

Em said...

I bought some natural deodorant for TWENTY DOLLARS (yikes...I know) online and I feel like it doesn't work. Bummer. I've heard that Arm and Hammer Naturals works great and is super cheap, but I haven't checked the ingredients.

Non Sequitur Chica said...

I started reading up about all of the awful chemicals in our products and food a few years ago and made some major changes. You also have to watch out for SLS (sodium laurel sulfate). I use Alba on my hair but you do have to be careful with the organic toothpaste. I started to get more cavities and the dentist told me to switch back to a regular brand of toothpaste because Tom's and other organic brands do not have enough fluoride for your teeth!

Amber said...

I love that you share all this info with us. You are a great advocate for health.

aimymichelle said...

i bought some chemical free shampoo from trader joes. just to try it since i've had super dry skin and an itchy scalp lately. and cause i've been reading about the chemicals in shampoos. but it totally has done the trick for my scalp so thats awesome. gonna go pick up some body wash and conditioner today.

Charity said...

I meant to comment on this a few days ago. I agree with a lot of what you have said hence the reason I make a lot of my own products and use the things that I cannot make but they have to be organic or chemical free. It's also caused me to only buy organic foods to cook the chemicals have my body being wacko. Right now I make my own laundry detergent, I used an organic mudwash for shampoo, I no longer use anything plastic in exception to the BPA free things I already own, and tomorrow I am shopping to by the needed ingredients to try my hand at making my own toothpaste and mouth wash. I use dr bronners soap for a bodywash thats diluted, and I used milk of magnesia for deodorant, and I make my own moisturizer from a recipe I found online. For my facial cleansers I used Juice Beauties line. You have a pretty good size following maybe they will let you try it in exchange for a review. I could go one forever about this but let me know if I can help or suggest anything for you. Oh and for cleaning products I used baking soda and vinegar and then some of biokleens line. I purchase from vitacost.com.

Charity said...

Oh and one last thing, I did not read the comments so I don't know if anyone mentioned this already but if you want to check the toxcitiy of the new products you are using type them in at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. I hope I helped you some.

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