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 family. 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…

Advertisements

46 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gabriella Calvi-Rooney
    Feb 20, 2014 @ 19:03:17

    Please review my company, Just Skin Food. We are listed on EWG and all of my products are either a 0 or 1. 3 items are only 2.

    Reply

  2. Gabriella Calvi-Rooney
    Feb 22, 2014 @ 03:46:53

    Yes I will send you a package. Please send me your address. Thank you, Gabriella

    Reply

  3. Kelly Bonanno (@Savvysuburban)
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 05:02:15

    I am a serious label reader too. Have you heard of Ava Anderson Non Toxic? It’s the best line I have found and I’ve tried them all! It’s a full line of personal care & household products. They are amazing and they ALL rate 0-1 on EWG. You can check it out here: http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/savvy

    Reply

  4. Stefano fisher
    May 30, 2014 @ 19:34:20

    I was wondering if you could send me a link to the products I can buy that you do suggest?

    Reply

  5. Becca
    Aug 05, 2014 @ 13:02:00

    I don’t think EWG should be trusted so blindly…

    https://www.activistfacts.com/?s=environmental+working+group+

    Reply

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Aug 05, 2014 @ 13:06:26

      I don’t trust it blindly. I’m the 1st to point out it’s not perfect, no system analyzing 70,000 products will be. What it HAS done is help me become familiar with ingredients of concern, and taught me that no matter what the score they give, you ALWAYS have to look at individual ingredients. I was very disappointed with their sunscreen guide, some that they gave a 2 score to had very icky ingredients. It’s a starting point, not an end point. I always take their scores with a grain of salt.

      Reply

      • Becca
        Aug 05, 2014 @ 14:30:06

        That’s good. I just wanted to show you some information on EWG. A lot of their ratings are based on very little scientific evidence and/or poorly conducted, non-peer reviewed studies. It’s important to try to find information that is scientific and from non-biased sources, and EWG seems to be a very biased source. I agree that their website can be useful since it is a searchable database of products and their ingredients; I use it for that myself, but ignore their ratings.

  6. Jade Keeler
    Sep 02, 2014 @ 18:29:38

    What do you think of then Au Naturale cosmetics line?

    Reply

  7. Frank Wilson
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 23:11:24

    Hello, please visit my site:www.mysmilebaby.com. MOMiN is a 100% Natural USDA Organic Baby Skin Care Products that are made in the USA.

    Reply

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Oct 29, 2014 @ 19:34:04

      I like what I see! What can you tell me about the mixed tocopherols?

      Reply

      • Frank Wilson
        Mar 19, 2015 @ 00:22:04

        Tocopherols are a family of vitamin E compounds naturally found in vegetable oils, nuts, fish, and leafy green vegetables. The nutritional benefits of Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) and its importance as a daily part of the human diet have been well documented. The gamma- and delta-tocopherols present in a Natural Mixed Tocopherol product have great utility because of their ability in protecting the oils and fats in edible oilseeds from oxidation. Natural Mixed Tocopherols have great utility in preserving the taste and preventing the oxidation or rancidity of many foods that contain oils and fats. Please visit: http://www.mysmilebaby.com

  8. Jamie Hornblad
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 23:57:35

    I would love to see Radiantly You products on your approved list. Have you checked them out?

    Reply

  9. Slightlycrunchymama
    Jan 18, 2015 @ 19:33:14

    The link for for fakers versus nonfakers tells me I don’t have permission to view, even after creating an account 😦

    Reply

  10. Kristin M
    Jan 27, 2015 @ 17:09:31

    Reply

  11. Lindsay
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 02:17:28

    So if you had to recommend 1 brand for your kids to use which would you choose? I use Honest Company right now but clearly that isn’t good enough after reading this!

    Reply

  12. Jamie
    Mar 21, 2015 @ 19:39:15

    What are your thoughts on Green shield organic laundry detergent? I didn’t see it on your lists and on the ewg website it seems really good, but I’m still trying to navigate all the dangers that aren’t so readily apparent. I also liked that I could order it through amazon. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Reply

  13. TAnderson
    Apr 19, 2015 @ 23:35:21

    Would love your opinion on Beautycounter – I love it!

    Reply

  14. Leanne
    May 25, 2015 @ 18:17:56

    Just wondering if you have checked out Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Co. All their products are certified 100% organic and are amazing. Their shampoo bars are the best thing I have ever used on my hair, and no nasty chemicals. Since I started using their products I won’t use anything else. Even though I live in Australia, it is worth having them sent from the US.

    Reply

  15. Divya
    May 26, 2015 @ 10:19:24

    I am using Amway G&H body shampoo …contains following chemicals ..Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide DEA, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid …is this chemicals are harmful?

    Reply

  16. Christie
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 19:38:07

    I don’t see anything about Jane Iredale make up. Have you heard of the products?

    Reply

  17. Judy Belc
    Jun 19, 2015 @ 09:29:33

    Hi! I’ve done some research about EWG, and I’m not impressed. When you have time, would you check out this link and get back with me? Wondering what you think since you referenced them. Thanks!

    Reply

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Jun 22, 2015 @ 20:36:14

      Hi! Yes, I’ve read that. I always say you have to take any database with a grain of salt. It’s not the end all & be all. But it has really helped open my eyes on ingredients of concern & I love that they link to the scientific studies when possible so you can read more. There will never be a perfect database. And EWG has many flaws. 0 is a default if they have no data on an ingredient, so that obviously skews things. Also, many go with the upfront score & say “it scores a 2, great”, but when you click on the product you may see individual ingredients that rate 5-6, or higher. The easiest thing, that many in the natural/organic community live by: if you can’t pronounce it, if you HAVE to look it up, avoid it. That’s pretty easy to do! There are many great lines on my ‘approved’ list that have very easy to read & understand labels!

      Reply

  18. Judy Belc
    Jun 19, 2015 @ 11:22:40

    Reply

  19. Margaret Santoro
    Feb 21, 2016 @ 14:40:57

    I can appreciate what you are doing and it is a huge undertaking. I can tell you right now the information you have on Arbonne is outdated. The baby products DO NOT have those ingredients in them. I have extensively researched the ingredients in Arbonne I found it to be one of the safest product lines out there. Yes they still use Retyinyl Palmitate but they use less than .1% in there products, which is very safe. They are working on way to harvest natural palm that will not hurt the environment but these things take time and eventually this ingredients will disappear. Arbonne is a company that is committed to pure products but it does not happen overnight. So before you go bashing a company thats really trying to make a difference really do your homework.

    Reply

  20. Amy 'Goke' Evans
    Aug 26, 2016 @ 18:05:26

    I am a new NYR Consultant and I’m wondering why you put NYR on the so-so list, thanks! 🙂

    Reply

  21. Heidi
    Oct 18, 2016 @ 03:18:37

    Thank you for all the info. I’d like to know what you think of Puracy products?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: