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Natural swaps

October 19, 2010

Morning! I couldn’t sleep at all last night — tossed and turned for an hour-and-a-half after getting into bed, then was wide awake and ready to get up at 5:45 am! (My normal sleep schedule is 10:30-6:15.)


Maybe it was those three cups of coffee I had yesterday…? 😉

While showering and getting dressed, I started noticing all of the ‘natural’ swaps I’ve made in the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom.

For instance, goodbye Crest. Hello, Trader Joe’s. (see, you really can get everything there!)

I had two shopping lists the other night: one for TJ’s, the other for Safeway. On the Safeway list were spices (which ended up being way cheaper at TJ’s, where nutmeg was $1.99 for a full-size bottle versus $5.99 for a half), yeast (just .99 at TJ’s) and toothpaste.

Ingredients in Crest Whitening Plus Scope: Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride 0.243% – 0.15% W/V Fluoride Ion  Inactive Ingredients: Hydrated Silica , Sorbitol , Glycerin , Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate , PEG-6 , Disodium Pyrophosphate , Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate , Flavor , Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Alcohol 1.14% , Xanthan Gum , Sodium Saccaharin , Carbomer 956 , Polysorbate 80 , Sodium Benzoate , Cetylpyridinium Chloride , Benzoic Acid , Domiphen Bromide .0002 wt% , Titanium Dioxide , Blue 1 , Yellow 5

Say what??

Ingredients in Trader Joe’s all-natural toothpaste:

Fennel, myrrh and peppermint oil? I know what those are!

Okay, I don’t really know what myrrh is but one of the Wise Men gave it to Baby Jesus so it can’t be too bad… 😉

Other personal care swaps I’ve made over the past few years include Tom’s of Maine deodorant in place of Dove, Desert Essence with Tea Tree Oil face wash instead of Neutrogena, and a scented piece of tree bark to replace my usual soap.

Okay, that last one might be a lie. 😉

This all feels very Trading Up Downtown but with beauty supplies — too bad there’s no NuVal score for the personal care aisle. Maybe there should be.

One of my favorite resources when looking for green products is GoodGuide. Whether I’m shopping for new cleaners, laundry soap or even some foods, the site breaks down all of the positive and negative environmental and societal factors.

For instance, my Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash scores a 10/10 for health (‘This product has no ingredients that raise a health concern’), a 7.5 for environment (‘Compared to other companies, this company scores well on reducing climate change emissions’) and a 5.3 for society (‘Compared to other companies, this company receives an average rating on working conditions & benefits.’)

Interesting and helpful to know, right?

(GoodGuide didn’t ask me to write about the site, I just really enjoy using it and think it’s a great resource to share!)

Just something to think about next time you’re shopping for toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, etc.

Time for me to down this cup o’ joe and hit the road. See you lata!

What natural swaps have you made? Do you read the ingredients label on personal care items?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew permalink
    October 19, 2010 7:30 am

    TJ’s sells this really great natural orange-scented roomspray. It’s only ingredient is orange zest, and its works just as well and smells a whole lot better than the chemically stuff.

    • October 19, 2010 6:31 pm

      Ooh, I’m going to check that out. Thanks!

  2. October 19, 2010 9:18 am

    I switched out my toothpaste recently, too, to Burt’s Bees. The Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in most toothpastes is a contributor to canker sores and since I wear a mouth guard and my mom gets them frequently (both additional causes) I figured I would try to reduce the chances just a bit.

    • October 19, 2010 6:32 pm

      Aren’t Burt’s Bees products great? Love the chapstick!

  3. October 19, 2010 10:39 am

    Oh excellent. I’m going to take a look at that good guide!

  4. October 19, 2010 12:31 pm

    I don’t usually look at the ingredients for my personal care products, but I think I might. That Crest list of ingredients looks like way too many for toothpaste. I will check out that goodguide too. Thanks. 🙂

  5. October 19, 2010 4:12 pm

    I use Dr. Ken’s toothpaste from Whole Foods and I love it. I now shop there for most of the bathroom goods – except for deodorant. I’ve tried natural brands so many times, always to fail. I’m too stinky for that stuff!

    • October 19, 2010 6:33 pm

      Love natural deodorant — don’t notice the stink but *do* miss antiperspirant power!

  6. Kristin permalink
    October 19, 2010 6:39 pm

    I use Aubrey’s shampoo and conditioner ( because of the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (linked to cancer, possibly? I think…) in other hair stuff. It freaks me out. Aubrey’s is 100% natural and amazing! The only thing that’s hard to get used to is that the shampoo doesn’t really foam because it doesn’t have the sodium stuff in it, but I shampoo twice in the shower and that seems to work really well.

    I also use Tom’s of Maine soap because other soap, even Dove sensative skin, TOTALLY messes up my skin. I can’t use any chemicals really on my body, but that didn’t start bothering me until I was 21… (I’m 24 now). Then everything changed and now I try to be really careful.

    It’s fun to find new products to try, though! Thanks for sharing about the guide!

  7. October 20, 2010 5:49 pm

    I hear you on going au natural. I switched to Dr. Bonner’s lavendar body wash from Whole Foods. A big, burly male tattoo artist turned me on to it, isn’t that funny?! It makes my skin soft and its better for the environment too, so bonus.

    Can’t deny that I still use Crest though. The majority of those chemicals are for the coloring. Only the flouride (cleaning agent) and hydrated silica (chemical abrasive) clean your teeth.

  8. October 24, 2010 4:37 pm

    I noticed that TJ’s toothpaste lists Xylitol as an ingredient. #koreamuch

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