Before we dive in and you think I’m some sort of clean-living unicorn, you should know who I used to be. I was the girl who drank Pepsi through straws made from Twizzlers. I’m not delivering this list of clean living swaps from my high-horse. Instead, I just want to share some easy ways to limit chemicals from your daily routine.
In 2018, a magical human named Heather (of The Modern Life Mrs.) changed my life. She didn’t know it, but I learned so much from her about chemicals (in our food specifically). Taking her tips, I lost 16 pounds in 6 months without exercising or counting calories. More importantly, I felt so much better. I quickly realized the impact chemicals had on my body and my journey to clean living began. So, without further ado, let me tell ya about the ways I’ve cleaned up my act.
Did you know skin is our largest organ? And that it absorbs roughly 60% of what we put on it? Every time we slather on lotion, face wash, or even sunscreen that is filled with chemicals, we’re poisoning our body. What we expose our skin to matters.
Primally Pure Skincare
A few months ago, I went to my doctor over some dry, painful, flaking skin by my eyes. She recommended the typical products and gave me a referral to another doc, but after looking into the drugstore product ingredients, I ran the other way.
Instead, I ran to the Primally Pure website, desperate to find something that would help my skin without sacrificing my health in other ways. I went all in on the sensitive skin regimen and am so happy I did. I had tried other products such as Beautycounter in the past, but my skin broke out like crazy. These products have kept my skin clear while adding much needed hydration.
About 3 weeks into using Primally Pure, I had my dermatology appointment and they diagnosed me with seborrheic dermatitis. They pushed some harsh prescriptions on me and sent me on my way. Again, I’m all for a cure, but I was less than enthused at the thought of having to use these repeatedly. Instead, I started looking up natural ways to sooth the condition. Lo and behold, many of the ingredients in the PP Everything Spray & Soothing Mask are known to naturally calm eczema / psoriasis.
For a short time, it was able to bring me relief and I’m so happy that it comes without a toxic price.
Prose Shampoo & Conditioner
Growing up, I had to use baby shampoo because my scalp was so sensitive that anything else would make it burn. Eventually, I was able to use a different brand, but as I got older, I started noticing some flaking and itching on my scalp. It just kept getting worse and worse until I tried using Clean Hippie CBD haircare (created by the makeup artist from my wedding). It worked great to calm the skin on my scalp without the extra junk other companies use.
It took me a hot minute to get use to shampoo and conditioner that doesn’t produce suds, but after learning that the chemicals they add to make that happen are not only harmful, but completely unnecessary, I welcomed my suds-less showers.
The main reason I switched over to Prose was because of price. I wanted to see if a custom shampoo and conditioner for 1/2 the price would still get as good of results. I took their hair quiz and asked them if we could be sure to include CBD in my formulation. They did and the results have been great. All the hard water build up on my hair broke down and my scalp (with the help of a silicone scrubber from Amazon) feels great despite my skin condition.
I personally chose to go fragrance free with my formula, which is another bonus of Prose over my old products… We know synthetic fragrances are tied with hormone disruption. Any way I can limit that in my life, I’m all for!
Do you hate the smell of cleaning products as much as I do? Not because their scent is undesirable, but because you know when you spray them, you’re breathing in something harsh that you know deep down isn’t good for you? Okay, stay with me because these three items were the biggest game changers in our household. The best part is that each one of them has actually saved us money too!
Norwex Laundry Detergent
You’ve heard it before. Sensitive skin. Rashes. Itching. All my issues for way too long. We also discovered our dog was losing hair because he was allergic to one of the ingredients in our laundry detergent, so we sought out a new solution. I tried many of the hypo-allergenic formulas and honestly, they were fine, but still full of chemicals that would consequently sit on my skin all day via my clothes. No thanks!
So, we switched to Norwex detergent. It’s made with 97% plant and other renewable resource ingredients and comes in a MUCH smaller bottle than normal detergents. (Think a soda bottle versus two gallons of milk.) But it’s much more concentrated, so one liquid bottle lasts longer than the normal detergent anyway. Better for us and better for the environment. Win-win.
Wool Dryer Balls
Wanna hear one of the most counterintuitive and crazy facts of all time? Dryer sheets are bad for your dryer. Oh, and even more… they’re bad for your clothes! (Insert mind-blown emoji here.) A lot of the owner’s manuals for dryers literally say this, but yet we’ve all become accustomed to using them. Here’s what happens when you do:
- The very chemical that makes your clothes feel softer coats the drum and filter, making it less efficient and clogged each time. We all know how it feels to slam the dryer door to dry the same comforter for the third or fourth time because our dryer sucks. Hate to say it, but it’s our own fault.
- Those same softness-creating chemicals make your fabrics less absorptive, which means your towels and moisture-wicking workout clothes can’t do their job.
Instead of using those pesky dryer sheets that seem to get everywhere and create even more trash to go to the landfill, we opted for wool dryer balls. Not only do they help reduce static and soften clothes, they actually decrease dry time by separating the fabric as they tumble around. Hello, dry comforter in one cycle. Thanks to my client, Brit of Homestead Wisconsin, I also now know that wool is naturally hypoallergenic! Make the change – your dryer will thank you!
I am NOT a Norwex consultant, so I can’t give ya the details like they can, but here’s the gist. Norwex is the champion of microfiber. Their cloths have silver weaved into them, giving them antibacterial properties. This means you don’t have to use harsh chemicals to clean your surfaces. If you wouldn’t eat off a surface after cleaning it with one of your sprays, you probably shouldn’t be breathing it in either.
For example, I used to hate cleaning our bathroom mirrors because I was trapped in a room with spray chemicals that I knew weren’t good for me. I would literally hold my breath while furiously wiping the mirror so I could get out. We swapped our sprays with both the Norwex EnviroCloth and Window Cloth. When you use them together, I swear to you, your glass and mirrors will never look cleaner. (Not to mention, you’ll be able to breath easy while you clean them.) And once again, because we’re not buying those cleaners anymore, we save even more money in the long run. Out of all the clean living swaps I’ve made, this might be my favorite for practicality!
There is no magic product here, but here are few tips:
- Eat whole ingredients as much as possible by shopping the perimeter of the store (aka produce and meat).
- Shop organic where it counts most… Google the Dirty Dozen.
- If you want to eat something that is pre-made, such as hummus or pico, look at the ingredients. Say no to dyes, artificial ingredients, and preservatives.
Clean Living Swaps Pep Talk
I am not a clean-living expert whatsoever – remember the story about the Twizzler straws? As I said at the start of this, I learned most of what I know from others. Do some research of your own and make the changes most important to you. The only way to be successful longterm is to implement your clean living swaps slowly and intentionally. Cheers to a healthier life – one decision at a time!