I recently began the process of switching to all natural, non-toxic products and it has not been as easy as one would think. Between needing a background in chemistry, lots of money, and brands flat out lying to their consumers, it’s been quite an undertaking! With that, I wanted to help my fellow mommies by sharing the most helpful tips I have learned along the way in my goal of becoming a chemical conscious mom.
#1 Be Brand Aware
Understand that brands will evolve over time and that is totally okay! Who doesn’t want to see a brand they love to grow and succeed? Understand that technology is constantly changing and this will inevitably affect the way companies make their products. All of this is normal and part of the business. Keeping this in mind, it is important to stay brand aware and in the know about what these companies are doing to their products and the direction they are taking their brand.
I was recently duped by two “all natural” brands that I love and to be honest I’m still a little heartbroken about it. I have to give it to their genius marketing campaigns because I fell for the lies they were selling. I trusted their good reputations within the all natural community instead of doing my research and educating myself about what these companies were doing with their products. Trusting a brand solely on a good reputation is where I went wrong.
As sad as I am to feel like I was betrayed by these brands, I’m thankful that this experience has taught me a great lesson. To stay brand aware and follow along on the journey with brands you love and trust. There are so many great companies out there creating amazing safe and eco-friendly products and impacting their communities in a positive way. Those are the brands I want to support and give my hard earned money to.
#2 Educate Yourself
Natural doesn’t always mean “natural” and just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. The truth is, sometimes chemicals are “naturally” derived. If you really think about it, there are lots of things that our earth produces “naturally” that are extremely toxic to the human body. My findings have ultimately led me to dare say that the term “natural” on labeling really doesn’t mean anything at all. To this day the FDA has not established a formal definition for the term “natural”. Kind of scary right!?
The best thing you can do is to educate yourself about the ingredients that make up the products you use. Know that the ingredients in things like sunscreen, body wash, lotions, cleaning products, etc. can all be absorbed through the skin and travel into the bloodstream. That’s a big reason to care about what you’re putting in and on your skin and body. Becoming chemical conscious is a process that will take time and effort to cultivate.
Here the Organic Authority (a trustworthy resource) lists the TOP 14 Toxic Cosmetic Ingredients
Take sunscreen for example. Sunscreen is a product I use often especially during the summer months. It’s a product that I apply to my kiddos entire bodies almost every day during the summer months because we are swimming and outside a lot. Therefore, the likelihood of toxins from the sunscreen being absorbed into their bodies is extremely high because of the amount and frequency I use. This is why sunscreen, in particular, is something I want to make sure is chemical free.
Another thing to think about is why we need sunscreen now more than in past decades. Its purpose is to protect our skin from harmful UVB rays emitted by the sun because science has proven that UVB causes skin cancer and cataracts. Science has also proven our Ozone layer, the earth’s natural weapon of defense against the sun’s UVB rays, is being depleted significantly. Hense an even more need for sunscreen!
Everything is connected. The depletion of our Ozone is a direct result of pollution being absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere. I truly believe that we should care on some level about what our carbon footprint is and making sure we are supporting brands that care about their carbon footprint as well.
Find out what your carbon footprint is here!
Below I have listed several more reliable resources to help along in your journey to become chemical conscious!
The Wellness Mama – Blog
#3 Find YOUR Balance
I put an emphasis on “your” because we all have different standards and needs. Not to mention we all have different budgets. I know that making the switch to non-toxic and all natural is an expensive process. Personally, our budget effects what I can and can’t buy for my family. Before I go spending all this money on “all natural” products I want to make sure that what I’m buying is meeting my standards.
There are products I refuse to use EVER, there are products that I limit use, and there are products for my everyday needs. For instance, I’m a clean freak and I love Soft Scrub. I swear that stuff cleans like nothing else so, every now and then I will use it to get a good deep clean of our bathrooms. (This might be a mental thing for me so don’t judge!) I always use gloves to protect my skin and I make sure to open windows and turn the fan on to ventilate the room. Again, I don’t use this stuff for my everyday use but every once in a while is okay, to me. Balance!
I’m always making an effort to keep our family’s carbon footprint small. I do my best to support brands that are meeting my standards all while staying within our budget. But, I think the best piece of advice for making the switch to all natural is to strive for balance and not perfection!
Please feel free to share some of your favorite eco-friendly, non-toxic cosmetic and/or cleaning products you use in the comment section below. It takes a village!