When I started the change challenge this month, I had several other ideas for posts about making changes in your personal care products. Some of them, like the Oil Cleansing Method, I just don’t feel like I can write about right now, and some of them I am right there with you – still needing to make changes and find better products or alternatives to the current products that we use. But, there are a few other changes that I have already made that I wanted to pass along to you.
- Body Wash – it just takes a little squirt on one of those bath poofs and you have tons of soapy lather in the shower. And the citrus scent is so energizing – it’s great for helping me wake up in the morning. I’ve been using it full strength in the shower, but I think I’m going to try to dilute it because it’s so concentrated and that will help it stretch even farther!
- Shaving “cream” – I was never a big shaving cream user. I would just use my regular body wash, so this isn’t that big of a difference, but I do really like shaving with castile soap. It has a lot of lather and because it’s made out of oils, I feel like my razors slides better than when I was just using regular body wash. Also, I feel like it’s pretty moisturizing and haven’t needed to use lotion much this winter.
- Hand Soap – Use a foaming soap dispenser and fill it up with water and then add a few squirts of castile soap. (Another great way to avoid triclosan!) I bought some rose scented castile soap on clearance at Target only to get it home and realize that I didn’t really like the scent. So, I’ve been using it this way for hand soap and because it’s so diluted, the smell isn’t as much of an issue. It’s also great for kids because it makes a lot of fun bubbles to wash with, but without the nasty chemicals in popular kids’ soaps like Kandoo.
- Baby Wipes – I use castile soap and Tea Tree Oil mixed with water as a homemade solution for my baby wipes. These wipes are great for changing diapers, but also great just to use for wiping hands and faces after eating, for cleaning spots of spit-up or other stains off of clothing, just about anything you would use a disposable baby wipe for.
- Homemade multipurpose cleaner – I talked about this last month, but one of my favorite multipurpose cleaners is castile soap and TTO mixed with water in a spray bottle.
- Homemade Disinfecting “Clorox” Wipes – these are a great safe and reusable alternative to disposable Clorox wipes!
Here’s some things that I have read that you can do with castile soap, but haven’t tried myself:
- Use to wash your hair instead of shampoo
- Brush your teeth with (maybe the peppermint would be good for this?)
- Use for laundry
- The bottle also lists uses such as – dentures, deodorant, aftershave, pets, silk, wool and car. If you wanted to, you really could use it for just about anything and everything!
I just really can’t recommend castile soap enough. It may be more expensive than regular soap or body wash up front, but because it’s so concentrated and you can use so little it really lasts a long time, and because it has so many different uses, you can eliminate the need for buying multiple different products.
Also, after finding triclosan and sodium lauryl sulfate in my toothpaste, I switched to using Tom’s of Maine. It’s okay and works fine, but I think I’m going to be on the lookout for a new brand once I’m done with this tube of toothpaste. Any recommendations? Update 1/11 – I have since started using Jason Powersmile (see the comments below) and love it! Great taste and lots of foaming action with no SLS!
Kids and Personal Care Products
Our children are probably more affected by the junk that is in most conventional personal care products than we are as adults, because their bodies are smaller and more vulnerable to exposure to chemicals. So it is even more important to look at the products that we are using on our children, then it is to look at our own.
I have to be honest, though, and say that this is an area that I am still working on making changes and finding balance. We unfortunately stocked up on a lot of the well-known baby products a little over a year ago, before I really understood the effects of the ingredients in some of these products. I believed the marketing and the claims on the bottles that these products were safe, gentle and even natural. I have had a hard time deciding whether I should just throw them away and start over, or if I need to use the products that we have until they are gone and then find alternatives.
One thing that I have been meaning to do is looking up all of our baby products on the Skin Deep database. If we have anything that falls into the high risk category, I will probably stop using that right away, but if we use products that fall under the low or moderate risk categories, I will probably just continue to use them until we run out and then find a new brand.
In the past, we have used and really like the California Baby line of products. They are definitely more expensive than some of the name brand products, something that my hubby is quick to point out to me, but, I figure the amount of money I am saving us through the changes I have made more than makes up for the difference in cost. And I’m not sure that you can put a price on making sure you use safe products for your children.
I’m going to make a commitment here that I will look at our kids personal care products by next weekend and decide which ones we need to stop using right away and which ones we will use up ’til they’re gone. This way you all can hold me accountable! 🙂
Okay, I think that’s about it. Like I said, I’m still working on my skin care routine, and I also need to find a good brand of lotion that’s not too expensive. Overall though, I’m really happy with the changes I have made so far and feel that I am taking positive small steps in the right direction.
I’d love to hear about changes you have made in your personal care products. Anything that you want to recommend to the rest of us?
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I know this was posted a while ago, but I just found out today that Tom's of Maine (at least the whole care sort that we were using) *does* have sodium lauryl sulfate in it.
It doesn't have triclosan, though. So, I guess it could be worse.
We live in South Korea and were thinking of having more Tom's toothpaste sent to us, but I thought to look up the ingredients first. Glad I did. I think we're going to stick with the baking soda we've been using! It's salty, but it works oh-so-great and serves its purpose.
Maybe not every flavor/type of Tom's toothpaste has sodium lauryl sulfate in it, though. I'm not sure.
Try, Vita-Myr. It’s the best! http://www.vitamyr.com I LOVE Castile soap. I’m going to try some of your ideas on using it. I’ve only used it as a body wash so far.
By the way, I found your blog yesterday and love it!
Welcome Stacey! Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy my blog!
This is a rather late post, but I hope it gets seen because I’ve discovered a great homemade toothpaste on diynatural.com by Matt Jabbs.
2/3 cup baking soda,
4 tsp. salt (I use less than 1 tsp. salt. Salt is abrasive and you don’t need much.),
2 tsp. mint extract, and just enough water to make a thick paste.
This takes only a second to mix up. I keep it in a glass jar with a long baby feeding spoon beside it. Sometimes it separates a little in the jar and I simply stir it up before taking a small spoonful. Matt says he dips his brush in, but we find the small spoon works well and keeps it clean for all. It drops off the spoon into your mouth and even then we rinse it off in hot water.
I was having trouble finding a truly natural toothpaste when I found this site. I haven’t bought any toothpaste in ages and at $5-$6 a tube that’s a real savings and I finally have a NATURAL toothpaste.
Sanford arenberg says
What other organic compound can
I use in powdered pot and pan cleaner
to replace triclosan, for commercial use?
I have been using Kiss My Face brand toothpastes for years with excellent dental check ups. My hygenist usually remarks at how incredible my gums look and the lack of plaque. (I’m not a hyper-diligent brusher!)
There’s a whitening one and regular.
KissMyFace.com good stuff!
Here is my suggestion for alternate toothpaste. I have been using Dr. Bronners peppermint diluted in water for years, you just need a 3-5 drops in your mouth and hydrate it with your own saliva, you get a super sudsy mouthfull. BUT if that freaks you out, try http://www.toothsoap.com, they have so many flavours.