For years I have had to avoid perfumes because they triggered debilitating migraines. I have had to actually send home students who came to school after playing in their parents perfume or even worse, after shave cologne.
I clearly remember my mother scrubbing and cleaning every square inch of the house when I was a kid. She loved Spic & Span for cleaning the floors and Formula 409 for washing the walls. Next would come out the Pledge furniture polish and she would make every wood finish in the house shine so that you could see your reflection on the surface.
Next came several loads of towels and linens all washed with bleach and then hung outside to dry. By the end of her spring or fall cleaning she would sit back and breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy her sanitized home. I, on the other hand, would be in my bed in a pitch black room in agony from a headache so strong it would make me nauseous.
As I got older this reaction to strong smells never went away. All those lovely smelling soaps and beauty products, I can’t use them. The only scented candle I can tolerate is Macintosh Apple from the Yankee Candle Store. Everything else will make me horribly sick.
When my youngest was born he often broke out in rashes. I learned to use only Free & Clear Type detergents on his soft skin, but even then he would still break out, just to lesser degrees.
Then, a few months ago my oldest son started to have migraines too! That really was the last straw for me. I started to do a lot of research on fragrances, chemicals, and what the heck was really in the cleaning products, toothpaste, laundry detergent and shampoo we were all using.
What I found out scared the hell out of me, and if you knew everything it would scare you too! Suddenly I understood why 1 out of every 6 couples is experiencing infertility issues. Suddenly I understood why ADHD seems to affect half of my class room every year. Suddenly I understood why every single adult I know takes a medication for some condition or illness.
I have since made a lot of changes in our house. All kinds of new products showed up, some from Costco, some from the drug store, and some from The Honest Company. (I know there is a major dispute between The Honest Toddler and The Honest Company. For the record I support the Honest Toddler in her copyright claim. However, I can not deny my happiness with The Honest Company products that I have brought into my home. I sincerely hope both sides can come to a happy conclusion.)
Below are the new products that we have been using for several months now and they are all performing very well.
In the Laundry Room
I love ECOS laundry detergent. It is free of all toxic ingredients and scented only with essential oils (think aroma therapy). It really does get our clothes clean with a tiny little amount. I love that this item is sold in bulk size at Costco. If you have read my previous posts you know we are Costco lovers here. So I can do 210 loads of clothes for $12.99. That is a great price.
If I am doing an extremely dirty load (grass stains and car oil) then I will toss in an Honest Oxy Boost. Bye-bye stains. I also buy the Honest Laundry 4 in 1 pods, but I mostly use those for going up north. I toss a few pods in a sandwich bag and we are good to go. I don’t have to worry about spills in the trunk.
In the Kitchen
I love the Honest Dish Soap. It cleans the dishes and the Grapefruit Oil does not cause a migraine. Apparently my brain can handle real smells, just not chemically concocted ones. I have the Honest Hand Soap as well. This one takes some getting used to. I was using Method Foaming Hand Soap from Target and will probably switched back. This is a low suds soap and even though I don’t mind it the kids and my husband are not a fan.
In the Bathroom
It will probably surprise you to learn that I use the exact same products my kids use for the most part. (Casey uses Tom’s of Maine Strawberry Toothpaste, I use Peppermint)
When it comes to oral care I love Tom’s of Maine. The toothpastes are flavored with real mint extract and nothing else. No dyes or artificial chemicals. The same is true for the mouth wash which is minty but with no burn.
The sunscreen I apply every day is Babyganics SPF50. Yes, I use baby sunscreen and it works perfectly on my pasty white easily burning skin. The stick version goes on nice and even on top of my makeup without wiping my makeup off.
I use Honest Shampoo & Body Wash and Honest Conditioner on my hair. They do the job just fine and because they are so gentle they don’t strip my hair color away. After a shower I add a few drops of Honest Body Oil to a little bit of Honest Face and Body Lotion and rub it all in. It leaves your skin feeling soft and dewy but not slimy or sticky.
I used to use Olay Daily Facial Clothes but have since switched to Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleaning Clothes. I can’t tell a difference. I am make-up free when I am done.
Did you know women eat about 7 pounds of lipstick over the course of a lifetime? Since I can’t give up lipstick I switched to Burt’s Bees 100% natural Lip Shimmers. Great color and totally non-toxic. Top it off with a little gloss and you are date night ready.
When it comes to Antiperspirant I had to make a compromise. I tried Tom’s of Maine Aluminum Free version and after two hours I stunk. I can’t walk around being smelly, it just isn’t going to happen. So I switched to Tom’s of Maine Naturally Dry Unscented. It is free of all toxins EXCEPT aluminum. No more pit sweat and no more stinky.
I have tried a few Organic makeups and won’t even bother sharing. Right now they suck. I use tinted sunscreen for a foundation, but when it comes to everything else, I am still using my Clinique for eyes and cheeks.
I hope this review of these products motivates you to try some of them and remove a bunch of chemicals from your home and life.
Also, since we made the switch there has been no rashes on Casey and AJ has had only one migraine.
If you have discovered great products please share below. I am really interested in what cosmetic brands you have found to be chemical free or organic yet actually work.