Friday, October 1, 2010

Reading labels

Ahhh, yes, the crazy continues.

Do you pay attention to the parabens, phthalates, sulfates and other -ates in the myriad of products in your bathroom? I swear, I'm just now getting a handle on the food in our house and the sunscreen we use, and now I feel the need to tackle every other product in our house.

I don't know where I picked up the bug, but it seems there has been an article in every magazine that has entered our house in the last few months about the dangers of lurking chemicals. I have paid pretty close attention to the products we use for Girly, but you will be surprised by the 'dangerous' chemicals that are in a lot of those products if you read carefully. Just because it looks healthy or natural doesn't mean it is. I haven't thought much about what the adults in this house use, which is kind of silly. If I care about one of us, I should care about all of us.

There is certainly a lot of debate about whether these things are actually dangerous or not. I guess I am choosing to err on the side of caution ... if I can find a product that is equally good without them, why not use it?

Therein lies the problem, though, because it can be a big challenge to actually find a product that you like equally as well. I have searched a lot on the Cosmetic Safety Database, which seems to be a good resource, but it can be a challenge to find a lot of their highest rated products without going to the ends of the earth or spending my whole paycheck on internet shipping.

This is a (seemingly) balanced article from Real Simple: What are parabens and do I need to worry about them? I think it makes sense to take a logical approach to changing your products. Start with the products you use the most (hand soap, body soap, shampoo/conditioner, lotion) and those that cover a large percentage of your skin.

I've just been replacing products when they run out with a 'better' option. It seems wasteful to run out and replace everything all at once. I'm also pretty budget conscious, which can be challenging because many of these products are $pricey$. So far, I am liking the Kiss My Face lotion and Whole Foods 365 mint shampoo and conditioner. Surprisingly, Costco also has a citrus bodywash and shampoo and conditioner that are paraben and phthalate free. I really like the California Baby stuff for Girly, but Johnson and Johnson just came out with a Natural option that looks promising. I had already been using an Arbonne skin care system, which is also free of a lot of the nastiness. Sadly, our beloved Cetaphil does have some of the nastiness, which is just sad because that is a good product that is hard to replace.

I haven't tackled shaving cream yet, or make-up or hair products. You curly-haired girls know what I am talking about - it is quite the gamble to switch up the products and I hate to spend money on something that might not work. Baby steps ....

What are the good products you use?

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