Life

Why Lipstick is a Good Place to Start Your Clean Beauty Journey

How can I be smart about what I'm putting ON my mouth?

We all have our favorite lipstick. The one that we wear practically every day, is acceptable for work and going out, and that you are always sure to buy extras of, just in case the store runs out. Maybe yours is bright red, a nude pink, or maybe you like to go all out and wear a different shade every week. Regardless of how you get your perfect pout, it might be time to put on your detective hat and take a deeper dive into what makes your lips shine.


So what's in my lipstick?

Believe it or not, metals in cosmetic products are not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (1). Even the European Union (EU), which is known for having more stringent safety standards, does not have a comprehensive list for 100% non-toxic lipstick. One of the biggest worries about lipstick is that it contains lead. Several independent studies on a variety of lipstick brands have found levels up to 3 parts per million (a measurement of chemical levels) of lead, with most lipstick brands averaging 1 ppm. In addition to lead, the Environmental Working Group (one of the databases we use for our round-up of non-toxic products) examined 711 lipsticks and found that 28% of the lipsticks contain ingredients that are associated with increased cancer risk (2). Two other metals of concern are cadmium and aluminum, which were found in levels way higher than the recommended safety levels (3). Unfortunately, these studies haven't been able to figure out if a certain brand, color, or finish contains more toxic ingredients than others.

Why should I be worried?

According to the CDC, there is no safe level for lead exposure, so that means even if there's only trace amounts of lead in your lipstick, it's still negatively affecting your body (5). Lead exposure, while not healthy for adults, is of even greater concern for pregnant women and children – it can impact cognitive and motor development. If your child decides that their favorite activity is playing with your makeup, it might be worth investing in some non-toxic lipstick! Research has also shown that cadmium is a human carcinogen, with chronic oral exposure leading to kidney and bone impairments, and aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's and potentially breast cancer (4).

While it may not seem like such a big deal for such a small amount of lipstick you're putting on, if you use lipstick every day, or are reapplying every couple of hours, it definitely adds up! Since your lips are not a good barrier, they will absorb chemicals from your body the entire time you are wearing lipstick. AND, if you're in a hurry like me, half the time during the application process, the lipstick just ends up on your teeth or in your mouth, and you end up swallowing it. The chemicals you are ingesting build up in your body over time and can result in all the negative health effects we've mentioned. Definitely not worth it, if you ask us!

How can I be smart about what I'm putting on my mouth?

Since scientists haven't been able to pinpoint a certain brand, color, or finish is more toxic than others, we can't recommend any specific lipstick styles. However, here are some of our general recommendations.

  • Take a look at our "giving your makeup a makeover" piece for some awesome tips on purchasing clean beauty products without toxic ingredients.
  • Try and have a clean beauty lipstick on hand for everyday wear, and save the ones that are more toxic (but might be your fav now!) for special occasions. A couple brands that we like are ILIA, Kosas, Lily Lolo, Vapour, Juice Beauty, Beautycounter and Kjaer Weis. There are some great clean beauty retailers that carry lots of options like the Detox Market, Credo Beauty, Follian, and even Sephora has a clean beauty section now.
  • Know that price point doesn't dictate safety - your $30 lipstick is not any safer than a $5 drugstore one.

It might be hard to believe that such a small tube of lipstick contains so many chemicals, but until we pass some stronger cosmetic regulations, it's best to make sure what you're putting on your mouth is safe. So, the next time you're picking out a new lipstick, consider switching to a more green beauty brand to keep those lips (and your body!) ready to rock, anytime.

References

  1. https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1205518
  2. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/anonymous?p=AONE&sw;=w&issn;=&v;=2.1⁢=r&id;=GALE%7CA143164538&sid;=googleScholar&linkaccess;=abs
  3. http://www.spexchina.com/Uploads/File/Application/AppNote_Lipstick.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5651828/
  5. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/PHS/PHS.asp?id=92&tid;=22

Tired of changing and throwing away tampons or pads every month? Want a zero-waste alternative for your period? Heard of menstrual cups and period underwear, but not sure which one to pick? Well, look no further! We rounded up the 10 best-reviewed non-toxic menstrual cups and organic period underwear options for you to try out. All of the menstrual cups are made of a flexible medical-grade silicone that collect fluid instead of absorbing it. The period underwear options we found are made with organic cotton, and can be washed.

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Family

Environmental Factors May Have a Bigger Impact on Fertility than You Think

Breaking Down the Science and Ways to Limit Harmful Exposures

Trying to get pregnant should be an exciting time of planning for the next stage of your life, not one full of doctors visits, constant testing, and worrying about body temperatures. But, if you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you are not alone. According to the CDC about 12% of women have impaired fecundity, which is another way of saying that they are having difficulty getting or staying pregnant (1) [there are no statistics on infertility in men, but there is science showing that overall sperm count is decreasing(14)]. And, the science is clear, environmental factors definitely impact reproductive health - for both men and women. Some of the biggest impacts come from air pollution, pesticides, and endocrine disrupting chemicals (2), which are in all sorts of products and affect the way hormones interact with your body.

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Roundups

9 Stainless Steel & Glass Tumblers

For iced coffee, iced tea, and smoothies on the go

Getting iced coffee in a plastic cup with a plastic straw is a lot harder to do after watching that video of a plastic straw being removed from a turtle's nose. Plus there is also that pesky condensation that creates a pool of water at the bottle of your cupholder or on your desk. So we found the 9 best reviewed stainless steel and glass tumblers, so that you can have your iced beverages in style this summer. Many of the brands have different sizes ranging from 20oz to 30oz and variety of colors. We prefer stainless steel or glass because many of the acrylic or plastic tumblers may have chemicals similar to BPA. We also link to some stainless steel straws because not all of these tumblers come with straws. And if you're like us, drinking iced coffee through a straw is just synonymous with summer.

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Life

Easy Ways To Keep Your Car Smelling Fresh Without the Synthetic Scents

Cause Traditional Car Air Fresheners Are No Good For Your Health

Those little tree-shaped air fresheners dangling from a rear-view mirror or air vent clip-ons may feel festive, but most car air fresheners can be bad for your health. They seem so innocent, so how is that possible you might ask?

One of the biggest issues with these products is the mystery behind what goes into them. Believe it or not, It's actually hard to be 100% certain about what chemicals are in air fresheners. There's a ton of secrecy into what actually goes into a fragrance product because companies can claim their ingredients are trade secrets. We definitely can't say a product is safe if we don't even know what is used to make it.

However, we do know that most air fresheners are made up of a ton of synthetic fragrances. There are literally thousands of chemicals manufacturers can choose from when making a product with synthetic fragrance. And a lot of these chemicals are known to have negative impacts on our health. (1)

On top of that, fragrance in air fresheners usually contain both phthalates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (2). Although these chemicals can make scents powerful, they can also be allergens that cause coughing, headaches, and runny noses (2). Phthalates are also hormone disruptors and VOCs can be carcinogens. We definitely don't want to be constantly breathing in those chemicals, no matter how good they might smell!

The amount of space inside your car is also a reason we don't like traditional car air fresheners. A smaller space = more concentrated exposure, and since you probably have your windows closed 90% of the time, a car is one of the worst places to keep a strongly-scented product.

Luckily, there are easy, nontoxic ways to make your car smell fresh! You can keep a container filled with baking soda or a baking soda freezer pack hidden somewhere. Baking soda is a completely natural way to eliminate odors and a box is only a couple of dollars! Using scents from natural sources are also a great way to add a little freshness to your car. You can put a few drops of an essential oil onto a clothespin or another wooden item and leave it somewhere in your car (3). When the smell goes away, just replenish with a few more drops of oil! If you prefer something a little more contained, we also love putting satchels of lavender or rose petals around our car.

But perhaps the easiest way to get rid of a bad smell is to simply roll your windows down! Maybe rolling down the windows will help make your commute a little more relaxing too.

References:

  1. https://www.nrdc.org/media/2007/070919
  2. https://kellybroganmd.com/is-your-uber-air-freshener-making-you-sick/
  3. https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/how-to-make-3-naturally-scented-air-fresheners-for-cars/
Roundups

12 Best Non-Toxic Diaper Creams

Our top recommendations for your baby's bottom that parents love

Updated for 2019!

We get it- you're busy but you also want the best for your baby. But who has the time to sit down and do hours of research on the best diaper creams for your baby's bottom? That's why we're here! We have nothing butt (get it?) amazing products for our non-toxic diaper cream roundup. These 12 products are free from irritants like fragrances and use soothing ingredients to keep diaper rash at bay. Some options have non-nano zinc oxide to protect the skin, and some work more as an ointment to prevent redness. Looking for an organic diaper balm? We've got those too. As always, we thoroughly researched consumer reviews to ensure you're getting a stellar product that actually works and that parents love.

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Home

10 Places to Buy PVC-free Wall Decals

Why it's worth considering before your next redecorating project

Wall decals are the perfect decorating solution for nurseries, kids rooms, renters, dorm dwellers, or basically anyone who is a commitment-phobe. There are endless designs that can add just the pop you need, and they are easy to remove for when you want to change it up. But most wall decals are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), otherwise known as vinyl. These vinyl stickers have added phthalates which make the plastic stickers super thin and flexible, yet durable enough so they don't rip easily. Phthalates have endocrine disrupting properties that can wreak havoc on your hormones and have been linked to a variety of health issues like cancers, infertility, preterm birth, impaired brain development, and asthma and allergies. Basically, not good stuff. Plus, the manufacturing process of PVC is really bad for the environment and communities where it's manufactured (1) and there's no way to recycle it. Eek. Not good all around.

So next time you're shopping for a wall decal, check the 'details' section on the product page. A decal that says vinyl or doesn't specify anything is probably one you want to avoid. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites that make PVC-free options that still get high marks from designers. We pulled together our top 10 favorites sites down below.

  1. Chocovenyl
  2. Eco Wall Decals
  3. Koko Kids
  4. Love Mae
  5. Oopsy Daisy
  6. Petit Collage
  7. Pop and Lolli
  8. Sunny Decals
  9. Tiny Me
  10. Wall Dressed Up


References:

  1. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/vinyl-chloride.pdf
Family

5 Tips for Healthy Kid-Friendly Meals (cause the struggle is real!)

Dreading dinner time every night? We're here to help.

Let's face it, getting a child to eat, no less a picky eater, might actually be the most daunting task in the world. Whether you've been on the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches only train for the past week or past month and just want your child to add something green or leafy to their palate, we've got you covered. We've put together some overall suggestions to incorporate into meal-prep that are not only more kid-friendly, but will also help you avoid processed foods that might be less healthy or have added toxic chemicals.

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