Trashing the Toxins! – Week 5

May 29. 2019

Who’s ready to trash toxic choices with me?

What’s the criteria for this series? Products need to be:

  • A better (healthier, cleaner, etc) version of a product I would ordinarily purchase. Ideally organic, but we’re going for improvements that will actually be embraced by the fam (I live in a household that still eats toaster pastries, so… baby steps).
  • A readily available item that can be easily found (either online or via multiple retail locations).
  • Sold at a “reasonable” price point. While some items might be considered upscale or boutique, I’m not trading in a $5 mascara for a $70 mascara… we are about to do an expensive home reno…
  • A realistic, unintimidating option. Nothing that will add exponential time and bother to any mom’s already nutso schedule.

With an eye towards simple, sustainable swaps in our daily routine that will lead our family towards better health, this weekly post is an attempted “toe-dip” into smarter choices. Nothing radical – just some carefully considered substitutions that can be instituted gradually. Some featured products are new, others are just new to me. 🙂

Three Cheers for Target’s Fab Browsing Filters – I love that some of our most convenient retailers like Target are riding the wave of conscious consumerism! You can now search Target online by both Health Facts (non-toxic, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, etc.) and by Sustainability Claims and Certifications (cruelty-free, non-GMO, biodegradable, etc.), making it simpler to choose a product with qualifications that are important to YOU. Just go to the category and product type you’re shopping and click the boxes to filter results. Rah Rah Rah Target!

A Darker, Craving-Crushing Chocolate Bar – As a confessed chocoholic trying to make better choices, I’ve turned to darker, richer options that will kill the craving without a crazy sugar count. Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Bar and Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar (85%) are for serious fiends – they have an intense, cocoa flavor with a slightly bitter note – almost one step from a baker’s chocolate. When studies reference the heart-healthy benefits of chocolate, this is the kind they are talking about. I can have one square of either and the craving disappears without me wanting to eat the rest of the bar. You get what you pay for – the organic option sells for around $3.50 at most mass retailers and the TJ bar is a bargain $1.79, but with non-organic ingredients and with soy lecithin and natural vanilla flavor instead of organic vanilla extract. Both turn the sweet on its head.

Simple, soft everyday eyeliner

A Less Toxic but Still Luxe Eyeliner – You may not be so familiar with the BDIH-certified German brand Benecos if you live in the United States, but they’ve been big news in the natural makeup sphere overseas for a while. In 2016, Benecos’ Natural Kajal Liner was highly commended by Natural Health magazine’s International Beauty Awards, and it’s one of their many products that’s won accolades. Kajal, a natural kohl that produces a soft but intense line, is simple to apply and I love how the brown gives a defined yet natural look for everyday wear. All products from the line are non-GMO, soy, gluten and cruelty-free. I was able to find this liner at Target for only $7.99 and it also looks to be available directly through their North American distributor True Natural’s website for $8.99.

A safer choice for dishes
(See the magnets? lol)

An Alternative to Dirty Dishwasher Detergent – How has this never been a priority for us before? Swapping a product that we probably partly ingest seems like a total no-brainer. This week, I tried the Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Powder (75 oz for around $6.50) and was really pleased with the results. The dishes and glassware came out clean and sparkly with no residue left behind. I’m used to using a gel but chose the powder option from this brand due to the many favorable reviews (customers seemed to prefer the powder over the liquid). It’s not perfect – I haven’t found a dishwasher detergent that is – but it’s leaps and bounds better than the big box retailer jug that we were using before and it’s an affordable swap. The former says if ingested, call a Poison Control Center. This one just says drink water and consult a physician. LOL. It’s USDA Certified 87% Biobased and Seventh Generation is a Certified B Corporation. I’m a convert. Available at most supermarkets, drugstores and mass retailers – click here for a store locator (which includes price info).

A Swipe-able Baby Lotion for All-Over Softness – In Trashing the Toxins – Week Two, I swapped my eczema-prone daughter to this EWG-verified shampoo and body wash ($14.39 on Amazon) and loved how gentle it was for her skin (and for my makeup brushes!). This week, I ordered the New Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Daily Hydra Lotion ($12.95 on their site) to accompany it – and I don’t know if I’m giving it back to her. It sinks right in and turns rough skin smooth with oatmeal, shea butter and jojoba oil. It’s not greasy, thick or sticky but leaves this lovely subtle soft glow and it’s truly fragrance-free (not one of those creams that says they are but really they smell gross). Honestly, I sounds like a sponsored ad but there are too many good things to say about this – EWG-verified, Certified B, vegan, even autism-approved? This is just pure, unadulterated love. This is a new staple in my bathroom, as well as hers. Babo, if you see this, please make a vat of this for sale. Or at least a gigantor-sized pump. This is totally this week’s winner.

(All products were chosen by me independently and all opinions are totally my own… I started this blog about three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored- I just love sharing great finds)

– Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Love this post? Share the link and follow me on Facebook or Instagram @themomreno! Have any suggestions for future toxin free swaps? Email me at themomreno@gmail.com or feel free to leave a comment below

Trashing the Toxins! – Week 2

Who’s ready to trash some toxins with me?

With an eye towards simple, sustainable swaps in our daily routine that will lead our family towards better health, this weekly post is an attempted “toe-dip” into smarter choices. Nothing radical – just some carefully considered substitutions that can be instituted gradually.

What’s the criteria for this series? Products need to be:

  • A better (healthier, cleaner, etc) version of a product I would ordinarily purchase. Ideally organic, but we’re going for improvements that will actually be embraced by the fam (I live in a household that still eats toaster pastries, so… baby steps).
  • A readily available item that can be easily found (either online or via multiple retail locations).
  • Sold at a “reasonable” price point. While some items might be considered upscale or boutique, I’m not trading in a $5 mascara for a $70 mascara… we are about to do an expensive home reno…
  • A realistic, unintimidating option. Nothing that will add exponential time and bother to any mom’s already nutso schedule.

Did you know that you could easily find safer products on Amazon by typing EWG-verified into the search bar? I didn’t! (The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit watchdog, dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.) Talk about an effortless way to find great choices! I also learned, thanks to following celeb makeup artist Cassandra McClure on Instagram, that the EWG has a Healthy Living app – download it and you can type in a product name or scan the barcode to get an ingredient scorecard (flagging the ones with allergy, cancer or developmental concern) – Conscious consumerism? Check!

RMS Beauty “Un” Powder – Reporting in on the translucent setting powder that I purchased from clean beauty mecca Follain’s online site… two thumbs up! I’m a definite convert to this completely toxin-free (no talc, no perfume, no parabens) setting powder – its invisible finish maximizes makeup staying power and absorbs excess oil. After having an allergic response to one of the more cult, mainstream brand setting sprays, I was willing to ante up ($34) to try a fear-free option from one of the hottest lines in this sphere. RMS Beauty’s mission is pretty impressive, and the brand was dreamed up by a leading makeup artist, so they know their stuff (Those J. Crew model glowing faces? All Rose-Marie Swift). Looks like new customers can snag a 15% discount on their website if you subscribe to their newsletter. I plan to do so with my next product try, since I imagine it could be a good resource.

Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance Free Shampoo and Wash – I swapped my eczema-prone daughter to this EWG-verified shampoo and body wash ($14.39 on Amazon) this week and I’m really pleased with it. It gives a decent lather for a sulfate-free option and boasts natural oat proteins, organic calendula and shea butter for a soothing soak that won’t dry out sensitive skin. I believe they are also dairy, soy, gluten and nut-free. I want to try their new sunscreens next. You can get 25% off your first order if you visit babobotanicals.com and join their family rewards program- sometimes Amazon’s price is more competitive, but the full product line offering is available on their site. I’ll pretend I didn’t steal this wash to also clean my makeup brushes this weekend (I’ve always used baby shampoo so as not to strip them) – it worked great for that too!

Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls Organic XL 6-Pack – I’d heard about the idea of throwing a few of these in the dryer instead of scented dryer sheets, but I was still buying those in bulk at Costco. I finally took the plunge with these babies. Our clothes came out soft and fluffy and no longer smell like an imagined version of the great outdoors. Fewer chemicals coating our clothes, rubbing onto our skin. Can’t be bad. They are hypoallergenic and good for 1,000 loads – I chose the Budieggs brand because almost all Amazon buyers gave them five stars, they were only $11.76, and who doesn’t love a good sheep graphic. (Also good for indoor impromptu “snowball” fights with your kids?)

Cape May Honey Farm Wildflower Honey – I picked up this honey pot while vacationing as a family last summer – we passed the Cape May Honey Farm shop in West Cape May while driving out of town and I yelled to stop the car. I’ve been using honey a lot more recently – drizzling it on top of yogurt, mixing it into Shalice Noel’s energy ball recipe (prior post), and sweetening up other yummies in lieu of refined sugar. Many people believe that local honey can improve allergies (thanks to exposure to local pollen, building immunity), and the count is so high outside right now that I’m ready to submit to anything worth trying. This wildflower honey is some of the best I’ve had and comes in a generous 16 oz. pot for $9.99. The farm also sells flavors like cinnamon infused NJ clover (which I tried there… delish!) and NJ Blueberry Blossom. They ship, or you can simply find some local honey in your area. A natural alternative that supports local business!

(All products were chosen by me independently and all opinions are totally my own… I started this blog three seconds ago… so obvs nothing is sponsored- I just love sharing great finds) – Till next time! xoxo TheMomReno

Have any suggestions for future toxin free swaps? Share them with me below or email me at themomreno@gmail.com. Help a girl out!