You can’t catch cancer…but you can make small changes

by Lesley on August 25, 2014 · 8 comments

in cancer,stuff to know about

soaps

It’s been almost three years since Jonathan’s cancer diagnosis, and in that time we’ve been SLOWLY making changes to what types of cleaning, home and cosmetic products we use. After cancer we felt paralyzed by all the choices there are when it comes to using “the right products.”

To be honest, the whole switch to safer products felt like a lot of work and potentially more money than we wanted to spend. And when I did sit down to research I became angry.  Cancer fears and conspiracy theories are everywhere and some of them made me feel guilty I hadn’t done a good enough job as a consumer. No one was trying to make cancer feel like his fault or my fault, but it lurked underneath every new article, book or commercial reporting the latest findings.

Hear me when I say: sometimes we simply don’t know what causes cancer or why it happens to him and not her. 

As a couple we made a conscious decision to not live in fear that a certain food, cleaning product or deodorant had contributed to Jonathan’s cells behaving wonky. Instead, we made a few small changes here and there and decided that over time we’d slowly begin researching and buying products we felt might be safer for our family.

Just a few days ago I was reading news about potential cancer causing toxins in toothpaste. The article was a good kick in the butt to sit down and research some of the cosmetic products I’ve been using.

If you’re trying to make healthier product choices for your family but feel paralyzed by the research or the cost, here are my (recently discovered) tips:

1. Check out vitacost.com. The site is like a combination of Whole Foods and Amazon Prime. They have a huge selection of healthy living products at discounted prices. Spend over $50 and you get free shipping. I decided to create an account first which allowed me to build a list of products I’m already using, or that I’d like to start using.

2. Check out www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners for a database of safer cleaning products. We’ve already been using Seventh Generation liquid dish soap, but I keep meaning to research dishwasher and laundry detergents. The EWG confirmed that Seventh Generation is a great product, and Vitacost carries this brand. Easy peasy! I’ll start ordering Seventh Generation from Vitcost.

3. Check out Skin Deep for a database of cosmetic products. This database isn’t as user friendly as the cleaning products’ site so I ended up searching for best selling products on Vitacost and then comparing the ratings on the EWG site. As a result of my research I’ve decided to say goodbye to Cepahil, Jonathan’s Suave shampoo and our Burt’s Bees baby products. We’ll be trying a few new products instead, while holding on to some of our old favorites like my eye makeup remover and Dove bar soap which were rated well.

It took a few hours to go through all the various databases and evaluate the products we’re currently using, but I feel SO GOOD about my discoveries. I hope some of these websites might help your family too.

Also- did you know that Trader Joe’s line of food is all non-GMO? That’s another post for another day…but…just one more reason I love my beloved TJs!

Any tips for finding better cosmetic or home products for my family?

p.s. Interestingly enough, on the EWG site Mrs. Meyers isn’t ranked as high as I’d like for “safe” products. But, I love the scent and decided to keep purchasing their hand soap and countertop spray, at least for now.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share
8 comments
bondsandra
bondsandra

I've started moving to healthier products a while ago and I must say, I find the information that is out there "overwhelming"... I think it's really hard to find all the right products that won't harm you, but I am definitely going to try.  I've been using the EWG-site as a general guide for what I am purchasing these days. Overall, they seem to have the best guidance out there right now.

BrittanyTollberg
BrittanyTollberg

Have you ever heard of Norwex? You can clean your house better than before by using their microfiber cloths and WATER! You can't get much safer than that! The clothes have silver nitrate woven into them, so it kills bacteria once it is picked up. It's continuously blowing my mind with how clean my house is and I feel great knowing my curious two year old can't harm himself with any of their products because they are ALL CHEMICAL FREE. Also, saves a lot of money compared to buying Seventh Generation over and over throughout the year, trust me, one month ago, that was me!

Email me at miraclemama24@gmail.com if you have any more questions, or check out my site at brittanytollberg.norwex.biz

@LesleyM 

marisaloper
marisaloper

I clean a lot with vinegar and hot water. seems to work pretty good and I know it's not harmful! have you looked into cleaning with oils? I've heard you can make counter sprays, bug spray, and other things like that using essential oils. check out young living or doterra for quality oils & mixes. I'm not super into the oil thing (yet) but my interest has been growing in recent months. you start caring a lot more about what's around your house with littles in it!

katiebrown
katiebrown

Thanks Lesley.  What face wash are you using now?  I have always used cetephil, just bought two on sale yesterday :(

Kellie Edson
Kellie Edson

This is so helpful Lesley! :)  I want to look into all of these sites.  I've been kind of on the fence about the burts bees baby stuff too. What tipped you over the edge and what brand are you using now instead?

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@marisaloper I've been curious about the oil trend...especially for when the kids are sick! Let me know if you try it out. I used to clean all my kitchen floors with vinegar/hot water/lavender oil but I've gotten out of the habit. I hate cleaning! :)

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@katiebrown I've always used Cetaphil too! (The normal-oily skin one, which I used, isn't rated as well as some of their other products.) You can read the review here: 


http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/479153/Cetaphil_Daily_Facial_Cleanser%2C_Normal_to_Oily_Skin/


If the new stuff I bought doesn't work well, I'll go back to Cetaphil. I just love it so much. I just bought "Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash with Eco-Harvest Tea Tree Oil and Sea Kelp." Doesn't that sounds so hippie? :) I'll let you know if I like it. 

LesleyM
LesleyM moderator

@Kellie Edson The one we'd been using had fragrance, as a lot of products do, and so it was rated a "3"/yellow which isn't the worst and isn't the best. The EWG says it has a risk for allergies, but not a cancer risk. If you use the  Burts shampoo without fragrance, it's rated quite well! We are trying Dr. Bronner's and see if we like it. In general, perfumes aren't great...but I often like perfumes! ;)