Tag Archives | EWG skin deep database

Starting With The Bathroom ~ It’s Time To Chemical DeTox!

I’m taking a question from the audience with this article because the timing is perfect!  Angie emailed asking where a mom that has no idea how to become eco-friendly should start?  With the number of new parents finding Mommy Footprint I’m going to answer this question room-by-room starting with the bathroom for several reasons  1) more than two years after writing the article ‘Phthalates  Are Making Big News in US‘…today Canada announces they will be eliminating the same class of 6 phthalates in our country 2) I find phthalates to be very scary as they continue to lurk in every corner of a traditional bathroom because they haven’t had the media spotlight our friend ‘BPA’ has been hogging for three years 3) I’m excited to point you to an awesome online store called Saffron Rouge that is making this change easy and affordable by carrying the largest selection of organic brands (that I love) online. Even savvy organics consumers should be thrilled to discover this store because you can request free samples and can ask questions through online chat!

Okay so first – why should a person detox their bathroom?  Once you understand that becoming more eco-friendly in the bathroom isn’t just about helping our environment by not washing chemicals down the drain, but more about not letting chemicals soak into your body…it’s much easier to not want to purchase that container of shampoo for $.99 at Walmart.  Or – and I cringe typing it – the Johnson’s & Johnson’s crap for the next baby shower you attend. The movement behind removing chemicals that surround your most intimate place of refuge (the bathroom) is not about ripping off consumers – it’s about trying to help them flush the phthalates (chemical from these products) out of your body.  Are you trying to get pregnant?  Are you pregnant?  Do you have young children?  You are the consumers being targeted with detoxing your lives…but how I see it…you are the perfect candidates for this action!  I still haven’t answered poor Angie’s question and if she’s new to Mommy Footprint…she might not be used to my rambling.  Here I go Angie…

Want to start a household detox of chemicals?  I would recommend starting in the bathroom. It will be the most affordable room to start in because you will streamline what beauty products you’re using and replace with less, while purchasing quality, organic items. Never throw traditional bathroom products away just to ‘green’ your life. Put them on a top shelf because we all run out of things and it’s the perfect time to use this stuff up! To start checking the products your currently using in the bathroom, you’ll need to discover EWG Skin Deep Database. This stands for Environmental Working Group and they created a database that ranks most beauty products…from shampoo, conditioner, makeup, sunscreen, etc! You might find that some of your products are actually quite safe and eco-friendly so they can stay. The products that rank poorly should go on that top shelf. Now what? If you’re a newbie – you’re finding the site Saffron Rouge at the perfect time because US customers get free shipping over $50, Canadians get inexpensive shipping rates, and you can request free samples of products when you place an order. (Do you see what I mean about the timing of this article? It’s perfect!)  If your plan is to simply replace traditional beauty products when they run out – you can skip the EWG Skin Deep Database checking because Saffron Rouge uses the EWG as one of their tools for sourcing so the safety is already in place for the consumer.

I’m a huge fan of one stop shopping so don’t only green your beauty products in the bathroom but purchase the only cleaner you need.  Yes, I’m still talking about Dr. Bronners and I’ll keep talking about it for a longggg time. It is the only cleaner I have in my house – it’s all you need and it’s so safe for your family!  This liquid soap (the cleaner) and the bar soaps (for body), body lotions, and shaving gels for men are all available here. So many of the brands available are amazing and it’s easy to narrow the scope with budgets and preferences because of the range that’s available.  So I’ve got you covered for personal care and cleaning in the bathroom. If you have a Glade Plug-in or other artificial air fresheners that plug into the wall or are sprayed in a bathroom (Febreeze, etc.) this is the rule breaker for putting on a top shelf.  These need to go immediately. They are so incredible toxic to your health, pets, children, fertility, and babies. To make a statement I would take them to the hazardous waste dept in your area,but if you don’t have time….just recycle. What is your replacement?  Open a window and put some plants into your bathroom.  Anything that is marketed to ‘air freshen’ is only masking odor with chemical fragrance ….only outside air can help ‘clean’ the air. Read more on plant suggestions and air quality tips here.

Daily products that have antibacterial ingredients should be looked at too. Did you know that washing your hands with regular bar soap is effective for fighting the flu and colds?  Some products that contain antibacterial properties also contain triclosan which is a chemical that was created for surgical scrub rooms in hospital? Children should not be using products containing triclosan or microban antibacterial protection. Two places to check in your bathroom are plastic handles (toothbrush, toilet bowl scrubber, hair brush, etc.) that are packaged with antibacterial marketing, containing microban protection. Triclosan can often be found in hand disinfectant or toothpaste. Gross I know and more information can be read here on these chemicals.

Since Angie does have children..I’m going to take this bathroom detox one step further. The bath toys sitting in your tub? Are they a soft plastic?  Chances are they contain phthalates and the chemicals that make the plastic soft are what Canada is legislating to have banned by the summer. Think of your child or baby sucking on one of those bath toys like a sponge with chemicals on it.  I’m sorry….but the image really helped me when I got rid of them a few years ago. I love bath toys because all my kids enjoyed playing in the water but the soft, plasticized bath books and bathtub toys need to go.  I’ve used the Green Toys tea set and Boon bath toys with my smaller children. Naturally finished wooden products made for the water are another great option for tubby fun for older children.

A few bonus tips for the bathroom include sanitary product recommendations for women.  Have you ever thought that bleach on a tampon is toxic and the place it’s going is super absorbent?  This was the only product I couldn’t finish using up after I researched the article about tampons and pads. The thought of the bleach just made my stomach turn. I wrote an article regarding why women should use more natural alternatives and if you ask someone that’s tried a Diva Cup or reusable pad – they love them!  Saffron Rouge carries natural personal lubricants, all-natural deodorant and highly rated sunscreens.  These products are difficult to source so spend some time and poke around their site.  You can’t beat their everyday savings and product knowledge experts that are available through on-line chat to answer your questions.  If you have any for me – please post a comment and let’s discover that a household detox is actually much easier than it used to be. Writing this article almost 3 years after first discovering phthalates and writing about them has me pleased that Canada is taking action against this chemical but at the same time I’m sad at the lack of consumer knowledge. Forward this article to the people you love and ask them to start a chemical detox. It’s not about consumerism…it’s about making healthier changes in our lives with products we need to purchase for our home. Feel the power of educating yourself and starting a chemical cleanse.

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Thera Wise – Natural Healing

I’ve had my Thera Wise products waiting in the wings to review for months, but because I like to test products, I’ve been waiting for hemorrhoids, cuts, acne, or chest colds to strike and happily we’ve been clear and healthy for some time. The great buzz regarding the product line from Thera Wise is these ointments are made with all-natural plant extracts used to heal and restore the skin. Thera Wise products include these 4 healing ointments: HmR – Hemorrhoids, SHO – Bio Active Skin Healing Ointment, VpR – Bio Active Vaporizing Decongestant, and Ac+ – Bio Active Acne Ointment.  I have to admit it’s a great arsenal to have at home for cuts, colds, and accidentals that happen with no planning.  I have not tried the Hemorrhoid cream, but think it would be a great product to add to a hospital suitcase before having a baby. I checked out the cream on EWG skin deep database and it’s included in the top 10 creams out there for hemorrhoids. Anyone that’s had a baby knows that hemorrhoids are unavoidable and how great is it to have an all-natural, plant-based solution for your body?

My review of Thera Wise is concentrated on the SHO – Skin Healing Ointment cream. I recently had the opportunity to actually need a cream like this and have been recommending it to friends with children suffering from open cuts/inflammation from eczema outbreaks. It has literally been close to 2 years since my Isabella had bleeding or infection with an eczema outbreak – but very recently that happened. She had a patch of really dry skin that spread from her cheek to behind her ear and it cracked and caused a deep cut. I tried using my usual moisturizing cream, but I needed something with healing properties.  I applied the Thera Wise cream and the cut became better after a few treatments. I found the Skin Healing Ointment very effective and was relieved to have something that could help Isabella that was plant-based and natural! The Skin Healing Thera Wise cream would not be a replacement for me as a daily moisturizer, but was great with treating the open sore caused by skin irritation.

Another Thera Wise product that I think is a wonderful natural replacement to a traditional treatment applied to children (and adults) is the VpR Decongestant Rub.  Because it’s made with botanical extracts it’s a great replacement for vapour rubs to provide relief for a chest cold. This product has an amazing rating of 1 from EWG – this natural way to vaporize is a wonderful treatment for anyone that enjoys the relief of congestion that eucalyptus, white pine, peppermint and other plant based ingredients provide.

Also interesting, I just noticed on the Thera Wise site from a customer testimonial that the Skin Healing Ointment was used successfully on a wart.  I have a child with a wart on his toe so I’m testing this cream on him and will post if it works to remove his wart.  Because it is small and not bothering him, I would never go through applying acid or ‘burning’ it off his foot. The wonderful thing about a multi-functional cream like this is that it’s plant based and with no petroleum you can try it on many different skin inflammations and feel like you’re making a better choice than the cortisone creams or prescription medicines that your family doctor will readily prescribe.

Thera Wise provides a great suite of products for anyone looking for plant therapy ointments and I’m happy to add these ointments to my personal medicine kit for cuts, burns, or accidentals that you can’t plan for with kids. For a list of stores that sell Thera Wise ointments, click here.

Related Articles:

All-Natural Tips For Managing Childhood Eczema

Top Organic Sunscreens for 2010 & Tips For Purchasing

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Top Organic Sunscreen 2009

Last year I had a near impossible quest of sourcing where to buy organic sunscreen for my children when the hot summer weather rolled in.  California Baby was rated #1 by the Environmental Working Group for health hazard score (chemicals within the product) and sun hazard score (UVB and UVA) in 2008.  My quest to purchase California Baby in Canada turned up being very difficult, but after trying Badger Sunscreen and TruKid I was happy with my selections.  Because both of these sunscreen were so effective and safe for my kid’s skin, I was pleased, but one of my children complained bitterly about the very strong scent from the Badger sunscreen brand ~ so I’m always on the look-out for new products.  Since writing my article last July about sunscreen selection and safety, I’ve learned about a Canadian e-store that does carry California Baby Sunscreen called O’Baby Organics.  Since California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance SPF 30+, California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/Year Round SPF 30+, and Badger Sunscreen SPF 30+ were rated number 6, 7, and 8 out of a possible 1,104 sunscreens in the EWG skin deep database for 2009, they are definitely worth mentioning again.  Both of these brands have proven to be strong leaders in the cosmetics industry for not using harmful chemicals within their sunscreens, while providing very effective blocking for both UVA and UVB rays.

For 2009 the top organic sunscreen is Soleo Organics.  I’m so excited thanks to the EWG watch dog group, there is another tested and safe sunscreen option for families this summer.  Here is a picture of the Soleo sunscreen packaging, picture courtesy of Saffron Rouge website:

Saffron Rouge Organic Beauty is widely available to Canadian and US customers and they currently carry Soleo Organics Sunscreen SPF 30.  We love more options this year for non-toxic, safe sunscreens, so with the weather heating up this beautiful spring, start sourcing these brands right away.  I remember checking widely available American websites for California Baby products last year (Target, Amazon, etc.) and this brand was available by wait-list only.  Cross off one more product from your list, shop early, and ensure you are protected from the sun this year.  With parents having a heightened awareness that traditional sunscreens contain harmful chemicals, organic sunscreen companies are predicting stores selling out of popular brands early this summer.

For related articles:

Safe Sunscreen Guide For Children

Just Arrived – 2008 Safe Sunscreen Report From EWG!

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