Rules for Success
I set out to make a list of all the non-toxic products that Aston and I regularly use in our daily lives. Two weeks later I hadn't completed it.
I realized that it's hard to boil down years of research and testing products into a quick post.
In order to be helpful to you, I'm starting with the simplest version of this list and I'm committing to continuously update this article with more details and any new information I find into the future.
Update: This article was recently published by CNN confirming the major health crisis phthalates in everyday products are causing to human health.
- DON'T DO OVERWHELM - Just decide now that this transition is going to take time and you're not always going to get it right. Every choice towards less toxin exposure you can make today is better than where you were yesterday. Your body will never complain about less toxins.
- Just because a brand says it's "natural", "all natural", or "non-toxic" doesn't mean anything. There is no legal regulation of these statements and it's often broadly applied to all kinds of ingredients and processes that are not natural and often not safe. Having said that, I would at least start with the brands that claim they're making non-toxic products, rather than those that aren't making that claim at all.
- Just because a brand makes one product that is truly non-toxic, doesn't mean all the products made by that brand are non-toxic or safe.
- Just because a brand makes all non-toxic products this year, doesn't mean they'll still be following those same standards next year. This can happen for many reasons, but a common one is when the company is bought out by a larger company and the new ownership makes changes to ingredients or materials.
- Just because an ingredient isn't natural doesn't mean that it's toxic or unsafe. There are many naturally occurring biochemicals that are toxic.
- You can always cross reference the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep Database to see if they've studied the product and concluded it's non-toxic.
- They also have an app, called EWG Healthy Living, that includes the Skin Deep Database as well as ratings for many other types of products that make up your daily purchases. You can actually scan products while you're shopping!
- Don't get discouraged. Most of the products you find in your standard grocery store and many of the products in "healthy" stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc. will still be toxic.
As you can tell, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of effort. It does take consistent follow-up to be confident that you and your family are using products that are safe.
So, sometimes the natural brand you love gets bought out by a bigger company and you won't know until a year later and the product is no longer non-toxic. Oh well!
Go back to your usual research points, find another product to try, and move on!
The Farquharson Family's Household Products
*Quick Note: I've linked directly to these brands' websites as I try avoid ordering on Amazon as much as possible.
Additionally, NuSpecies is not an affiliate of any of these brands. We're just happy to share the safe products that we use with you.
*I also use the hair conditioner on my legs for shaving. A little goes a long way and I don't have to buy or research an additional product.
This micro-exfoliant is especially helpful to Aston's face to help reduce ingrown hairs and bumps that can result from shaving.
Charlie's Soap - They're finally listing their ingredients on their website and I really don't know how to tell if those crazy words mean anything dangerous, although they have a lot of information on their site claiming that their products are non-toxic for humans and our habitat. Previously, I took their word for it due to their third party testing, but I could never be 100% sure. They're products really work though and don't contain all the scariest chemicals I've kept my eye out for.
Sonnett - I linked to their Facebook page. I don't think they sell directly in the U.S. so you can pick a retailer that you like.
Poo-Pourri or any product like it. They claim their product is completely natural, I just don't have the essential oil expertise to say for sure. I just know it's better than spraying aerosolized chemicals in the air to deodorize.
Babo Botanicals 3-in-1 Wipes - These are marketed for babies, but really anyone can use them has face, hands, and "other areas" wipes. I keep a pack in the bathroom. Don't flush them though!
Kinder By Nature - Diapering babies is a killer for our landfills and it also laden with chemicals that absorb into our babies' skin. It's worth the investment for your baby's health to go natural and environmentally friendly when it comes to diapering.
BeautyCounter CounterSun- Daily Sheer Defense for Face - very light, no residue, and it works. I also use it on my arms, shoulders, chest, calfs and thighs when golfing or working/playing in the yard for hours.
When you can't switch out all your furniture and mattresses and area rugs and carpets (I know, it's a lot), the least you can do is invest in purifying the polluted air that all these toxic products create.
I keep a small one in my car to reduce my chemical exposure from the manufactured materials that my car's interior is made from.
Le Creuset - These are expensive. You can often get lucky and find them at HomeGoods or Marshall's at a great discount.
Pots & Pans
A new brand I'm trying, which is going well so far: Our Place's Perfect Pot and Always Pan
Xtrema Ceramic pots are also great, but we've broken or cracked every one of them and it costs too much to keep replacing them, so I switched. My cast iron sink and children didn't help. If you don't have those hazards, you may want to give these a try.
The main source of dangerous toxins in your sofa comes from the materials being treated with fire retardants. Luckily, there are non-toxic forms of fire retardant materials that sofas can be made from that don't require chemical treatments to comply with the law.
I haven't yet invested in a fire retardant free sofa yet, but I eventually will and will let you know what I think!
In the meantime, we keep an air purifier in most rooms of our house to reduce our exposure to the airborne toxins that may be off-gassing from our current furniture.
Keep in mind having older furniture doesn't reduce the risk. A lot of the toxicity that comes from a sofa is related to the foam that the sofa is made from. That foam breaks down over time, releasing more toxins into the air than when you first purchased it.
You probably spend more time on your mattress than your sofa, and although it's very frustrating to imagine that something so toxic could be allowed to be sold for us and our children to sleep on, it's true, most mattresses are straight up dangerous. It's a worthwhile investment. Again, if it's not in the budget right now, get an air purifier for your room.