A few months ago, at the urging of a friend, I downloaded the app Think Dirty.
Friends, it was not as fun as it sounds.
I’ve been a crunchy product lover forever, and for the most part I thought I had a handle on the types of chemicals I allowed into my home and onto my skin. I regularly bought from companies like Method and Burt’s Bees. A large percentage of the products on my bathroom counter have blurbs like “97% Natural” and “Plant-based” and “Organic.”
Well, I have since learned some things. For starters, did you realize there is no regulation in place for the label “Fragrance?” For intellectual property purposes, companies do not have to disclose the ingredients that make up those April Fresh smells–and that one label can represent a combination of dozens of synthetic chemicals. “Fragrance” is not only the leading cause of contact dermatitis, but chemical analyses of cosmetics and personal care products containing undisclosed “fragrance” ingredients have identified known allergens, asthma triggers, sensitizers, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and neurotoxins.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to find products that are truly fragrance free. While scanning the contents of my makeup drawer on the Think Dirty app, about 90% of my products ranked at at 8 or 9/10, meaning their ingredients have potential serious negative long term health effects. And most of the time that was because of the fragrance.
Y’all, why in the hell does my blush need to be scented? What kind of smell are they trying to cover up?
It’s not just makeup. Shampoos, conditioners, body washes, face washes, hand soaps, lotions, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, cleaning products… the list goes on and on.
Two of the worst offenders are air fresheners and candles. This makes perfect sense now, but it never dawned on me how toxic a product could be that’s designed to, you know, be dispersed throughout the air of your home.
I’ve chucked out those offenders around here, because happily all my good-home smelling needs are met quite nicely by essential oils. Honestly it’s way more satisfying to blend up custom concoctions in my diffuser. And I’ve started making the switch to more natural, mineral-based makeup. Young Living has a fabulous new line. (Pg 110)
Replacing cleaning and skincare products is a little slower though. Ditchin’ and switchin’ ain’t always cheap. I’ve been using lots of baking soda and vinegar and lemon oil to DIY some of that stuff. I have traded in my beloved dryer sheets for wool dryer balls that I add a few drops of essential oils to, and I’ve loved how they work. I’ve been adding essential oils to Free & Clear detergents for my laundry and my dishes, although Young Living has some amazing alternatives as well (Pg 67). And my trusty Thieves cleaner cleans ALL THE THINGS around the house. I’ll be writing more about that beautiful bottle soon.
So no more bleach wipes for everything around here. To be honest, the smell of the detergent/cleanser aisles at the store makes me feel nauseous now. It doesn’t take long to start noticing the difference.
Do yourself a favor and download that app. No, I’m not paid to say that, it’s just worth it. Don’t be like me–too easily swayed by earthy looking packaging and tag lines. And if you want to learn more about ditching and switching, I teach regular free online classes on essential oils and natural living with plant-based products on my Facebook page. Hop on over and check out the upcoming schedule.