Hi there! My recent series on Food Dyes and our family's journey has been pretty popular. In fact, I've gotten lots of comments and questions about some of the specifics of our families journey. So, I'm going to try to answer some of them in this post (and perhaps another follow-up post soon. If you have questions, please feel free to ask!).
This post contains some affiliate links to products I mention. If you click on the links and order, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For full disclosures, please read this page.
In this post, I am going to specifically focus on toiletries and cleaning supplies. Why are these important? Well, research has shown that much of what touches our skin is absorbed into our bodies. You are essentially ingesting anything that comes into contact with your skin. Naturally, this extends to products we touch. Thankfully, our bodies are equipped to filter much of this out and eliminate it, but every time you put a chemical on your skin, you are taxing your bodies systems that much more.
In our case, we've decided that the goal is to first eliminate all food dyes, because they are among the most harmful (and unnecessary) of these chemicals. Second, we try to reduce the work load on our bodies as much as possible.
We have been gradually implementing these changes for the past year. You don't have to do it overnight. But every step in the right direction is a good step, so the most important thing is to start.
Where to Start
There are more choices and resources in this area every day. One of my favorite resources is EWG's Skin Deep Database. This site ranks products based on their overall toxicity and gives specific information about each ingredient in the products you use.
Once you gather some information about brands and ingredients, the next step is to price-shop and see what options you have within your budget. Not every product will have to be organic, specialty, or expensive.
There are many, many recipes and resources for making your own toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. Some of the recipes are geared towards saving money, others are geared towards healthier products, and still others are focused on making things in bulk for fewer trips to the store.
The Benefits of DIY Products:
- You control what's in them!
- You can tweak the recipe over time to find what works best for you.
- Often there is a price savings in making your own products.
The Downsides to DIY Products
- You often have to try several recipes to find what works for you.
- There is definitely a time and space (storage) investment
- You can't just run to the store when you run out.
So, now that you know what the options are, here are some more specifics. Below, I will list a few specific product choices for both store-bought items and their homemade counterparts. There are many other choices available, so this is just a place to start. I've marked with an asterisk* the ones I have tried or personally use.
Store-bought Healthier Options
- Modere is now my new favorite brand for toiletries and laundry products! I discovered them after the original writing of this article, but now I've tried nearly all their products. They're the real deal! Best of all, I have a $10 off code to share, so drop me a comment if you'd like it!
- Tom's of Maine Kids Toothpaste*
- Arm & Hammer Antiperspirant (Aluminum and food dyes-free)
- Castile Soap* (dilute for handsoap, many uses in household DIY)
- Dove GoFresh Restore Deodorant (most Dove products are better then average)
- Dove and Biolage are two of the healthier common brands. There are many organic, natural shampoos available, like The Honest Company and Kiss My Face to try as well.
Ok, here's the deal. Store bought cleaning products are rarely healthy (food dyes or not). The healthier ones are usually very expensive, and in my opinion, not very effective (edited to add: see my above note about Modere... healthy and effective!). I have found some success in making my own, though.
We are a work-in-progress in this department. I make my own shower cleaner, stain remover, bug repellent spray, bath bombs, drain cleaner, and oven cleaner. I do not yet make toothpaste, shampoo, or deodorant, though these are all on my list to try soon. I collect recipes I want to try here on my Pinterest Board.
You can check out my board, and follow me on Pinterest to see more ideas. I plan to try out several more products and I promise to blog and review them when I do.
Here are links to the recipes I have tried and liked (some of these I will review on on the blog soon):
- Shower Cleaner from Couponcloset.net (I use this in the microwave too!)
- Drain Cleaner/unclogger/deodorizer from Tidy Mom
- Stain Remover from Mommy Scene (especially good for baby stains)
- Bug Repellent from One Essential Community (My review is here)
- Bath Bombs/Shower Steamers from One Essential Community
- Hand Soap from My Chocolat Moments
- Oven Cleaner from Cha Ching Queen
- Vericose Vein Treatment from The Herbal Spoon (I used this during pregnancy- it works!)
In my post, My Top 10 Money-Saving Amazon Products, I listed some bottles and roller ball bottles that I use for some of my DIY efforts. There are many other options on Amazon, or you can reuse bottles you already have (just make sure to wash and clearly label them!).
What healthier choices have you made in cosmetics and toiletries? Please share in the comments!
P.S. - Want $10 to try some clean living products from Modere? Drop me a comment and I will email you a coupon code!
P.S.S - The rest of my Food Dye Series can be found here.