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How To Take The First Steps to Clean Living and Easy Swaps You Can Make to Start Today
“Clean” living is all the rage right now, but just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it is ridiculous. Natural products and clean living makes for a healthier home and family and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or crazy expensive. I think when you decide you are ready to detox your home you can break it down to three main areas: cleaning products, what we put in our bodies (food, drink, vitamins, supplements, and even medicines, as well as feminine hygiene products), and what we put on our bodies (skincare – including deodorant-, beauty products, and hair care). Here are a few simple ways to swap out your current chemical-filled products for safer and non-toxic ones.
How To Start Your Clean Living Journey
Just because something says "all-natural" or "organic" doesn't mean it is free of toxins or considered clean and safe. Learn to read your labels and the ingredients of the things you put in and on your body. Let me repeat that: educate yourself on the ingredients of what you are using and what some of those ingredients mean. For example, Propolyne Glycol is another name for what we call antifreeze. You know, the toxic poison that can kill you if ingested that we use in our cars! It is included in SO many products we use on our bodies, which is really shocking. It is always better to check the ingredients. Better yet, look for an EWG verified product or check it at the
EWG database (a non-profit that rates products' toxicity based on their ingredients).
Make Your Own Home Cleaning Solution
I barely buy any cleaning products for my home anymore. I have ditched dryer sheets for
wool laundry balls. I do use laundry detergent but I use one from companies like Seventh Generation or Honest. At the very least you should purchase one that is "Free & Clear." I make my own cleaning solution in a big spray bottle. It consists of white vinegar, water, and a few drops of essential oil like lemon and tangerine. I use this to clean pretty much everything: my kitchen, bathrooms, for dusting surfaces, and even my floors. The only cleaners I still buy are dishwashing detergent (if you've found a more natural one that you love and that works, please share!) and toilet bowl cleaner.
You don't have to spend a ton of money to make your own cleaning products either. A few big spray bottles, the biggest jug of white vinegar you can find (which is still under $5!), and water are all super cheap. You can even find good essential oils for reasonable prices -- just make sure the ones you choose are pure and high quality. I love
Simply Earth oils because they source their oils from farms all around the world, wherever the oil grows best. They bottle them in-house, to control quality. They double test everything to make sure it is pesticide free and pure, and they do so without charging a fortune like big oil companies do. Oh, and they donate a percentage of sales to fight human trafficking.
Clean Up Your Beauty Routine
Your skin is your largest organ and is also the thinnest, which means anything you put on your skin can make its way into your bloodstream. Why do we think we can use products full of toxins and chemicals on that organ without suffering consequences that can seriously impact our health? I started doing even more research about what is allowed and is used in many of the most popular brands and common beauty products and the information was very eye opening, So I started researching clean brands and slowly trying new products. I have been doing it gradually so as to not overwhelm myself (or my bank account). I wasn’t expecting to find many clean ingredient products that I loved and found to be as effective as the stuff I was already using. To my surprise, I have not only found things I like as well or that work as well, I have found things that I love even more! I even fell hard for one of these brands (
Beautycounter) and ended up joining the company since I loved how effective the products were on my skin and wanted to share my honest experience. I also love helping other women who may not realize how seriously the lotions and makeup and sunscreen we use can affect our health in such negative ways.
Start small. Swap out your skincare regimen for a cleaner one, or when you run out of a favorite product replace it with a clean version. Or commit to swapping your skincare and makeup by body part: eyes first (so get a
clean mascara, eye cream, and eye makeup remover), then lips (go for a clean lipstick and balm), then face (swap for a new clean regimen), etc.
Detox Your Most Personal Products
Speaking of harmful ingredients, have you ever researched the ingredients of the most popular deodorants or tampons? The list of chemicals is downright scary! Swapping out these two very personal products (just think about where you put them on/in your body) for clean versions goes a long way.
Instead of using mainstream tampons or sanitary pads, consider a menstrual cup. I have used
this onefor a while and find that they are safer, more affordable in the long run, and more convenient than tampons (you need to wash/rinse it, but that's about it). They also help you to track your flow (how much, what consistency, any abnormalities). I will say that they do have a slight learning curve, so it is best to try one out when you'll be home in case of a leak or other issue as you figure out how it works. Sometimes though, dealing with a cup takes more time than the 30 solo bathroom seconds I'm allotted by my kids, in which case I always have a safe organic cotton tampon on hand to use. I like the L brand I usually get them at Target) and the Cora brand from Amazon. I've also heard great things about the ones from Honest and Lola. Regardless, make sure they are organic cotton, bleach and chlorine-free, fragrance free, and don't use adhesives.
Check the ingredients on your kids' bath and body products.
So many baby and kid products -- including ones that say they are "gentle, pediatrician-recommended, hypoallergenic" -- are filled with ingredients that look like a science experiment. Why would we use these products on our little ones when there are clean alternatives out there? I love
this set from Beautycounter (and it is concentrated so a little goes a long way and the products last me months). I'm also a fan of the products from Honest and Babyganics. Just look at the list of ingredients to find products you feel comfortable using on your babies.
Use Essential Oils
Incorporating essential oils in place of any store-bought cleaner or air freshener is great way to swap chemical-filled products for something safe and all natural. There are so many recipes out there to be found courtesy of google and pinterest, or you can sign up for a Recipe Box from a company like
Simply Earth, where they send you all of the ingredients for a "recipe" to help make your home cleaner and greener.
DIY All-Natural Furniture Polish
You might not realize that you can make most of your own cleaning products at home, ensuring they are natural or chemical-free. Check out
this DIY for an all-natural furniture polish to get inspired.
It isn't as hard as you'd think to eliminate toxins and chemicals from your home. Your family's health (and your own) will thank you.
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