Our Toxic Product Ditch And Switch

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Here is a look into my family's toxic product ditch and switch, eight months in. You might be surprised how toxic your everyday products are.

When I was in college and stressed out, I would clean. It was a way for me to calm myself down and refocus before working on whatever school assignment I needed to do. I knew handling Clorox wipes with my bare hands and breathing in cleaning products wasn’t good for me, but I really didn’t pay much attention to it.

After getting pregnant several years later, I started really thinking about the chemicals I was inadvertently putting in my body, or exposing it to. I started wearing gloves when using Clorox wipes and trying to hold my breath while using bathroom cleaners. After our preemie daughter was born, I would make sure she was across the house from whatever room I was cleaning so she wouldn’t breathe in the chemicals. One day I realized how silly the whole thing was and decided to look into safer cleaning products–but I was not prepared for what I found.

My family is eight months into our toxic product ditch and switch. It’s been a slower process than anticipated, but there’s a lot of trial and error that comes with picking out the products that make up your life. We still have a ways to go, but I am so happy that we’ve gotten rid of many toxic chemicals in our every day lives.

Here is my family’s toxic product ditch and switch journey.

non toxic personal hygiene products

What Are Toxic Products?

Your skin is the body’s largest organ and it absorbs chemicals from the air, water, and anything that comes in contact with it. When chemicals are absorbed through the skin, they go directly into your bloodstream. By using products like hand soap, makeup, laundry detergent, face wash, bathroom cleaner, or dish soap that contain toxic chemicals, you are mindlessly putting those toxic chemicals into your body.

Regular exposure to these chemicals is as bad for you as smoking cigarettes. They’ve been known to cause asthma, reproductive issues, neurological problems, and even cancer. Toxic overload (overwhelming your body with chemicals to the point your body is unable to rid the body of toxins) is very real and you might not even realize it’s happening to you.

Through a toxic product ditch and switch, you can make sure the products inside your home are safe for your body.

Not So Fun Fact: Your laundry detergent may be the product doing the most harm in your home. You breathe in its chemicals day and night without even noticing it, because you wear clothes, sleep on sheets, and dry off on towels that have all been washed with it.

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What Is Ditch And Switch?

A toxic product ditch and switch is when you get rid of the products containing unsafe ingredients you’re currently using and switch them out for safer, non-toxic products. It’s more difficult than it should be due to the common practice of greenwashing. Labels with words like “green”, “natural”, and “organic” make you think the product is good for you (and for the environment), when in reality it’s just a marketing ploy.

It is important to know that you don’t have to go ditch and switch everything in your home tomorrow. That would be really hard to do and it would cost a lot of money. My advice is to switch to a new product when you run out of the one you currently have. That will give you time to budget accordingly (you would need to replace that item anyway) and research a replacement.

When you have successfully switched your product, you need to physically get rid of the toxic product. It can still do harm just by being in your home. How scary is that?

Note: There are some companies that offer every non-toxic product you need in a one-stop shop. While convenient, in my research they’ve been multi-level marketing companies, and I’m not interested in buying into that. But, to each his own.

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What Should I Look For?

You don’t want products with parabens, fragrance or parfum (unregulated–can be any mixture of chemicals and doesn’t have to be disclosed), phthalates, octinoxate, oxybenzone, or sodium laureth sulfate in them.

Be cautious of labels with the following words: botanical, dermatologist recommended, earth-friendly, gentle, plant-based, pure, and raw. Those are marketing buzz words.

Look for EWG verified or USDA Certified Organic products.

Note: You can always make your own household cleaners, but that’s not for me.

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Our Toxic Product Ditch And Switch Journey

I made ditching and switching one of my New Year’s resolutions. It was very overwhelming at first, but I’ve educated myself on the basics and relied on the EWG website and Think Dirty app to help guide me when deciding what to buy.

While a product score of 0 to 1 on these databases is excellent, I aim for a score of 4 or less. Most of the products we were using rank 8 to 9, so I feel this is a big improvement. A lot of information on the EWG app is “limited”, so I depend more on Think Dirty and my own research when making decisions.

I’ve also realized how marketing has shaped our minds when it comes to cleaning/personal hygiene products. We think we need different soap for our bodies, face, hair, floors, and dishes when in reality, soap is soap and should be safe to use across the board on everything. We don’t need a separate cleaning product for every aspect of our lives, but we’ve been conditioned to think we do.

Below, you will find a list of the products we’re now using and what it replaced. Next to each product are its EWG and Think Dirty scores (if available). What has worked for us may not work for you, but I hope it will at least help you start your ditch and switch journey.

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Ditch and Switch: Skincare Products

This is where I started my toxic product ditch and switch journey. I had been using these products for years so it was really difficult for me to change my routine up initially. But, I’m really happy with these swaps!

OSEA Ocean Cleanser (EWG: 3)
OSEA Cleansing Mudd (EWG: 2)

Replaced Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (Think Dirty: 8)

OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream (Think Dirty: 2)
Replaced Bliss Triple Oxygen Ex-‘Glow’-sion Vitabead-Infused Moisture Cream (Think Dirty: 8)

OSEA Red Algae Mask
Replaced Freeman Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask (EWG: 3, Think Dirty: 8)

OSEA Salts of the Earth Body Scrub
Replaced Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub (EWG: 6, Think Dirty: 8)

OSEA Sea Minerals Mist

Shop through this link to receive $20 off your first OSEA purchase of $80+. 

OSEA face products on counter

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Personal Hygiene Products

There was a detox process involved with switching my deodorant and shampoo. When changing to a natural deodorant, it takes around three weeks for your armpits to detox. You won’t smell great, but your body has to rid years of chemical buildup. Gross, right? Be consistent. After a few weeks you will know if a deodorant is going to work for you or not.

Tip: You may have to apply your natural deodorant more than once a day. That’s totally normal!

The same goes for shampoo and conditioner. This was a hard adjustment at first. Your hair won’t feel as silky smooth in the shower, but I promise it will feel and look better when it’s dry.

Puracy Natural Shampoo (EWG: 2)
Replaced Redken All Soft Shampoo  (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)

Puracy Natural Conditioner (EWG: 2)
Replaced Redken All Soft Conditioner  (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)

Puracy Natural Body Wash Citrus and Sea Salt (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 3)
Tried Rocky Mountain Soap Company Everyday Hero Natural Shower Gel (Think Dirty: 0)
Replaced Dove Body Wash  (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)

Native Lavender & Rose Deodorant (EWG: 1, Think Dirty: 0)
Tried Tom’s of Maine Natural Strength Deodorant (Think Dirty: 3)
Replaced Degree for Men Dry Protection Sport Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)

Puracy Organic Hand & Body Lotion (EWG: 2)
Tried Rocky Mountain Soap Company Lavender Body Butter (EWG: 1, Think Dirty: 3)
Replaced Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 5)

Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Toothpaste (EWG: 1, Think Dirty: 2)
Replaced Crest + Scope Complete Whitening Toothpaste (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 5)

Shop through this link to receive $10 off your first Puracy order!

Puracy, Native, and Tom's of Maine products on counter

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My Husband’s Personal Hygiene Products

My husband tried Brickell’s free sample kit and immediately loved their products. Six months later, I swear his skin has never looked better.

Brickell  Clarifying Gel Face Wash and Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
Brickell Face Scrub
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)
Dove Men+ Care 3 in 1 Bar (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Brickell Daily Essential Face Moisturizer 
Neutrogena Deep Moisture Day Cream (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Brickell Purifying Charcoal Face Mask
Replaced Freeman Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask (EWG: 3, Think Dirty: 8)

Brickell Polishing Body Scrub
Replaced Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub (EWG: 6, Think Dirty: 8)

Brickell Invigorating Mint Body Wash
Replaced Dove Men+Care Body Wash (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Brickell Daily Strengthening Shampoo
Replaced Redken All Soft Shampoo  (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)

Brickell Revitalizing Hair Conditioner
Replaced Redken All Soft Conditioner  (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 8)

Shop through this link to receive $20 off your first Brickell order!

Brickell men's products on counter

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Makeup

This was another hard switch initially for me. I had been using the same makeup products for years and I absolutely LOVED my Smashbox eyeshadow palette. Plus, COVID has prevented me from trying products in a store without buying them first (I’m so tired of returning things, y’all).

Honest Beauty CCC Clean Corrective With Vitamin C Tinted Moisturizer
Replaced Benefit Hello Happy Flawless Brightening Foundation (EWG: 4)
* This is a good placeholder, but I intend to find something else in the future

Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm (EWG: 1)
Replaced Buxom Lip Cream (Think Dirty: 8)

Honest Beauty LIT Powder Blush
Replaced NARS Blush (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Honest Beauty Eyebrow Pencil
Replaced Tarte Tinted Brow Gel (Think Dirty: 8)

Lawless The One Eyeshadow Palette
Replaced Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Palette

Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer (EWG: 2, Think Dirty: 3)
Replaced Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Honest Beauty makeup on counter

Quit Using: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (EWG: 5, Think Dirty: 5), Benefit Concealer, Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation (EWG: 4), Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Spray (Think Dirty: 8)

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Makeup Remover

My favorite swap has been going from makeup wipes to the MakeUp Eraser! It erases all of the makeup on your face with JUST water. I knew makeup wipes were bad due to all of the chemicals involved, but I didn’t even consider how much waste I was creating by using them. The MakeUp Eraser does a fantastic job, is machine washable, comes in a variety of colors, and lasts three to five years.

Not So Fun Fact: 1.3 billion makeup wipes are used daily.
Actual Fun Fact: 1 MakeUp Eraser is equivalent to 3600 makeup wipes!

The Original MakeUp Eraser
Replaced Bliss Makeup Melt Wipes (Think Dirty: 8)

Receive 15% off your MakeUp Eraser purchase with the code WIMRB.

MakeUp Eraser
The Original MakeUp Eraser is a premium polyester cloth made up tiny fibers that create a “suction” for all dirt, makeup, and oil in your pores. The full size MakeUp Eraser is shown on the left in Neon Green and the 7-Day Set (with laundry bag) in Black is shown on the right.

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Baby Products

Hello Bello Premium Bubble Bath (EWG Verified, Think Dirty: 3)

Hello Bello Lavender Shampoo and Body Wash (EWG Verified, Think Dirty: 3)
Replaced Baby Dove Rich Moisture Tip To Toe Wash (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)
Replaced Baby Dove Rich Moisture Shampoo (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Hello Bello Lavender Baby Lotion (EWG Verified, Think Dirty: 3)
Replaced Baby Dove Rich Moisture Lotion (EWG: 4, Think Dirty: 8)

Hello Bello SPF 50 Sunscreen Mineral Lotion (Think Dirty: 3)

Hello Bello Organic Bug Spray (Think Dirty: 3)

Huggies Natural Care Wipes (EWG: 2, Think Dirty: 3)
Replaced Pampers Sensitive Wipes (EWG: 1, Think Dirty: 5)

Hello Bello baby products

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Around The House

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Hand Soap (Think Dirty: 2)
Tried Rocky Mountain Soap Company Lavender Foaming Wash (EWG: 1, Think Dirty 1)
Replaced Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap (EWG: 5, Think Dirty 8)

Mrs. Meyer's hand soap

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Ditch And Switch

I hope this has helped you understand how important it is to get rid of toxic products in your life and given you a starting point to ditch and switch. I will be updating this article as we continue our toxic product ditch and switch journey.

If you have any non-toxic product suggestions, we would love to hear them!

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Check out some of our other posts:

Guide To Packing For A Cruise

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review & Tips

13 Must Have Baby Items

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our toxic product ditch and switch journey

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