How I decide what to recommend- please read 1st
I’m a label-reading mama on a mission to find the safest products on the market, for my family & yours!
Some have suggested I am unduly bashing companies that aren’t on my best-of-the-best list. In my opinion, that is an extremely backwards view on what I am trying to do here. The ONLY interest I have in mind in publishing this list is the safety of families, ESPECIALLY babies/children who have no choice in what products are getting lathered on them. If you are an adult who can read labels, research ingredients, and come to a decision based on the information presented that you are fine with using any product from the greenwashing list, that is your right!! My goal is to make you more aware of what you are putting on your body, but especially that of your precious child. Most people on my page are here because they are looking for eco-friendly, AND family-friendly products. Every parent I have ever met only wants what’s best for their families. Companies are not known for having the same interests in mind. If you are a company who does not like where I placed you on the list, it’s because I don’t like the ingredients you are using in your products. Please don’t get mad at me, make your products safer! I’m not trying to be mean to anyone, 1/2 of these companies I had never heard of before looking into them. I had no preconceived notions, but went straight for ingredient labels– they speak for themselves!! I wish there were no need for this list. In my dream world, ALL products made by ALL companies would be safe for families & the environment. Sadly, that is just not the case! This list is the result of products folks on my page have asked me about, one-by-one. I finally got smart & started saving my findings, to save myself from having to research the same products over & over when the question inevitably comes up in the future. I HOPE you find this helpful, useful, and not an attempt to bash any company unjustly. While the Greenwashing portion is quite large, the GREAT, AWESOME company portion has grown too!
How do I decide what to recommend? Pretty simple– I don’t recommend anything I wouldn’t use on myself or my babe. I am not a chemist, just a mama who has read a lot of labels, and researched a lot of ingredients. My methodology: I reference EWG’s Skin Deep, and Cleaning Products databases, as well as Good Guide. If I see an ingredient that I’m not at all familiar with, I use Google to find out which concerns are associated with that ingredient. While I enjoy researching, these resources have lots of great information to offer, and depending on where products fall on these databases, I may not have to look any further. Are these databases a definitive answer on the safety of the products in question? NO. Like most agencies, the staff at EWG is surely overworked & understaffed. New products come onto the market daily. Formulations change. Skin Deep has 78,000 products in their database, the cleaning database has 2,000, and still there are numerous products I’ve searched for that aren’t in there, so then I look at individual ingredients. Also, many products/ingredients will have a 0 rating, but there is limited or no info on particular ingredients and/or data gaps. SO, I take their results with a “grain of salt”. But, it’s a great starting point. If I look up a cleaning product and see they give it an F, I don’t look further. If I see they give it an A, I do look further, because ingredients in that product can still rate poorly with some significant concerns.
I don’t use/recommend anything that rates above a 1 on Skin Deep, and prefer to keep it at 0. Anything with lauryl/laureth/methyl/paraben/parfum/sodium benzoate/potassium sorbate are a red flag, as are ingredients whose names are followed by numbers. Many are fine with the using sodium benzoate. Many are not. My feeling is that if there is even a shred of doubt on the safety of a product, I’m not willing to use my babe as a guinea pig. The good news is that there are several product lines using neither Potassium sorbate, nor sodium benzoate, so I figure why support the ones that are… If the only questionable ingredient in a product in sodium benzoate, I will note that, so you can make the call for yourself. Is my opinion a definitive answer of these product lines? Of course not, I encourage you to get familiar with ingredients yourself, and research products further, especially if a product you love gets a negative rating from me. If you’re fine with a product that rate 2 or 3 in EWG, that’s up to you. I’m just sharing what I’m comfortable with, and comfortable recommending. My greatest hope is to get more people reading labels, and familiar with ingredients. Also, EWG can’t keep up with all the reformulations, and I noticed they rate several Dr. Bronner products at a 3, stating they contain fragrance. ALL Dr. B products use essential oils, and I’m not sure if they ever did, or when that changed. So, if I give a product a poor rating because EWG stated they use fragrance, but you’re sure they use essential oils, let me know & I’ll look into it! Many say “Well, it’s better than X product”. That’s not good enough for me, I won’t settle for anything less than the best of the best for my babe. Sure these products may not be available at Wal-Mart, and may cost more than we’d all like to pay, but when used sparingly, they go a long way!
If a company I looked into does not disclose ingredient lists on their website, I get incredibly frustrated, and look no further. If you’re using products from one of the companies where I’ve noted that fact, and you have a link to an ingredient list you’d like me to look at, please send it my way. My feeling is that any company that doesn’t offer full disclosure has something to hide. Also, if ingredients look OK, but the company has made unethical moves in the past (CA baby), I won’t support them no matter how safe a product is (google CA baby reformulation scandal, in case you missed it!). Burt’s Bees is owned by Clorox, and Tom’s of Maine by Colgate. Would you buy those products if they were correctly labeled with the true destination of your dollars? Many would not. I obviously didn’t look at every single products of every line, mainly shampoo/body washes & lotions, which I feel gives me a good idea of the line. If you know of any ethical reason not to support any of these companies, I’d like to know…