What this blog is about!

Now that we know most of our department store cosmetics and household products are full of harmful, cancer-causing and hormone-interrupting chemicals, what can we do about it? This blog is to help us all share ideas on what products we have tried, what products are relatively safe, what is affordable to the general public and what we have found to REALLY WORK! We are in this together!

It probably makes the most sense for you to start with the first post, and work your way up to the current one! We welcome your comments!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Step One - How About Toothpaste

Take a deep breath -- today you can tackle one item. Maybe you can handle one item a week or one item a month -- just as long as you are making progress and moving forward! Keep in mind that your skin is your largest organ, so what goes ON your skin goes IN your body. And nobody is in charge of watching out for what ingredients go in personal care products. What? Didn't you assume the FDA was watching out for us? Wrong! Manufacturers of personal care products can use pretty much anything they want in their products and list (or OMIT) anything they want on their labeling. Not too comforting, is it? That's where we come in. It's about time we reclaim our health by sending a message (go to www.safecosmetics.org) that we are not stupid and we DEMAND that these harmful chemicals be removed from our personal care products. Guess how you can do this? DON'T BUY THEM! Find a healthier alternative. Just so you know, there is now an organization (www.cosmeticdatabase.org) who is purchasing just about every personal care product on the market and having them independently tested. What an eye opener! Many of the manufacturers make claims that they do not have harmful chemicals in their products, but testing proves otherwise. Listen to this -- ANYONE can claim that their product is "all natural" or "100% organic" and that pretty much means nothing if they are still using garbage in their products. Anyway, don't get me started on that one. It is not necessary that you do what I did - take several Hefty bags into my bathroom and just start dumping hundreds of dollars of personal care products in them. I really did! I can't read all of those little tubes of "make you look 20 again" creams from Lancome's free gift with purchase! So out they go. But, I digress. We need step one for you to accomplish right now. What is the first personal care product you use when you get up in the morning? For me it is toothpaste. These are the ingredients you want to avoid in your toothpaste: triclosan (classified as pesticide by EPA), sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, DEA. Those are the main offenders. And many people these days are wanting to avoid sodium fluoride. If you want an excellent run-down on these harmful ingredients, go to http://www.livestrong.com/ and do a search for "harmful ingredients in toothpaste." So now you are looking at your tube of toothpaste (put your reading glasses on if you need to) - I would be willing to bet that tube has at least 2-3 of the harmful ingredients listed above. Chuck it! Here are the two "natural" toothpastes I have tried, where I got them, and what I think of them:

Nature's Gate Natural Toothpaste (at Whole Foods, WalMart)
Results: Taste is weak, cleans teeth but no whitening effect at all
Don't like it --kept it on hand just in case

Burt's Bees Natural Toothpaste (fluoride whitening)
Burt's Bees is carried at most grocery stores
Results: Much stronger/better taste, some whitening effect
Does contain fluoride, however

Let me know what brands you have tried -- Read your labels!

I will keep you posted on what else I end up trying. Keep in mind that the non-harmful products cost a little more money. If you were buying your toothpaste at the Dollar Store, stop it! Your health is worth more than that. You are going to end up paying $3-6 (possibly a little more) for safe toothpaste, but as the L'Oreal commercial says, "I'm worth it." Speaking of L'Oreal, many of their products are FULL of harmful chemicals, so don't get me going on that one, and who is worth what. And yes - I do fully intend to name drop on this blog. What's the point if I don't? Just pat yourself on the back for accomplishing one small step toward better overall health today. Don't just keep using your same old toothpaste because you have used it for a million years. Check that label and if it contains harmful chemicals, CHUCK IT! Make sure you check your kids' toothpaste, too -- and after you settle down from freaking out, CHUCK IT!


  1. Wow! What an eye opener. I have been fighting these soars in my mouth for a couple of years now. I have been to multiple Docs. trying to figure it out. Every time I brush my teeth my mouth and tongue stings and hurts really bad. And the soars just cause general discomfort quite often. I have had the thought before that my mouth was irritated by the toothpaste. I am for sure going to good earth tomorrow to try something without sodium lauryl sulfate which is what is in Colgate. I tried to look at Crest but I don't have the box it came in anymore and it doesn't say what it has in it on the tube. Also my kids totally eat the toothpaste when they brush. They are for sure getting a new one tomorrow.

  2. Sandy - we have had the exact same thing happen around here with sores in the mouth that nobody could figure out. After getting rid of toothpaste with sodium laurel sulfate and starting one without it, the sores miraculously disappeared. Give it a try and let us know if it works for you - I sure hope so!

  3. That should be sodium lauryl (not laurel) sulfate on my previous comment! So watch for sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Unfortunately, it is usually the whitening agent in the toothpaste that causes the sores. And be prepared to start getting really mad at all of the garbage that is in the products for your kids!

  4. Wow! I am for sure changing tomorrow.