To help find healthier products, there are two websites that I like to reference - the EWG database and GoodGuide.com. This might not have been a perfect system, but I basically tried to find all products that were rated "green" on both of the sites. Honestly, trying to understand the complexities of all the toxins and harmful chemicals enough to where I could navigate shopping on my own was too overwhelming, so I figure a green rating on both sites was a good place to start.
Shopping for healthy cosmetics and toiletries is difficult because there are essentially no regulations on this industry. They can use almost any ingredient that they want, claim whatever what they want, label it however they want, and they don't have to disclose everything on their ingredient list. And I feel that many companies take advantage of this to sell Americans cheaper-to-produce and more toxic products that are illegal for them to sell in other countries, because of their toxicity. Johnson & Johnson, anyone???
Current events rants aside, my other main focus with all of this was keeping it price-friendly. Because...well...this momma's on a budget. So all of these products are similarly priced to other mainstream national products, and some are actually a little bit less expensive. I also tried to limit it to products that you can buy in-store, but you can also check out Amazon and drugstore.com if you want to buy online.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps - love these products. Apparently the actual Dr. Bronner was a little crazy, and the labels on the products are definitely crazy, but seriously...these soaps are fantastic. I initially bought the castile soaps to use in my green cleaning mixes, and then I also tried it for body wash and face wash, with good results. I read that some people use it as a shampoo but I didn't try it and therefore can't vouch for it. Their lotions also seemed to be great, although they have a very limited scent selection. You can find these products at Target (for the castile soaps, in the cleaning section), some Publix locations (castile and bar soaps), and Whole Foods (soaps and lotions). The best thing about Dr. Bronner's is that the ENTIRE brand line is rated green on both sites...not something a lot of companies can claim!
|image from drbronner.com|
Tom's of Maine - love this company too. I use their toothpaste, deodorant, and lavender body wash. I can find it at Target, some Publix locations, and Whole Foods. For this brand, if you're trying to stay in the "green", you'll want to look up the individual type of product that you're looking at...depending on the ingredients some products are on the low yellow side.
|image from tomsofmaine.com|
|image from aveeno.com|
Bumble & Bumble Straight Shampoo
Burt's Bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar
California Baby Hair Shampoo & Conditioner: Calendula
Pure & Basic Volumizing Peppermint Conditioner
Coastal Classic Creations Shampoo & Conditioner
Alba Botanica Hair: Medium Hold Hair Spray
Sunscreen: California Baby or Badger sunblock are both rated green, and we use California Baby exclusively for Anna. I also use Neutrogena Baby Pure & Free sunblock although it isn't rated green (it's a very low yellow). It's half the price of the first two that I listed so sometimes economy wins out, especially for sun-filled summers at the lake. California Baby and Neutrogena Baby Pure & Free can be found at Target, Badger can be found at Whole Foods, some Publix locations, or Ulta.
|image from simple-momreviews.com|
For more information, I found this section on EWG.com to be very helpful: