So-So Lines– not the best, not the worst
The following statements are my opinion on these brands.
I’m a label-reading mama on a mission to find the safest products on the market, for my family & yours! To read about how I decide what goes where on my rating list, please read this info: https://ecofriendlyusa.wordpress.com/product-reviews/how-i-decide-what-to-recommend-please-read-1st/
MURKY MIDDLE GROUND: I’m reserving the Hall of Shame for the worst offenders. The lines on this list often aren’t terrible, but they’re not the best-of-the-best so I decided to break this project into 3 lists. NUMEROUS lines on this list claim to be paraben-free, but use Japanese Honeysuckle extract which mimic parabens on a cellular level. You can read up on the issue here, and I try to note the lines using that ingredient. If you’re trying to avoid parabens, I would avoid that ingredient also.
100% Pure– Rate OK, have read of people loving the line, but the few testimonials I received on my page make me hesitant to recommend the line without concern. Contains Japanese Honesysuckle Extract, and claims to be paraben-free. Line contains scents like mint chocolate chip, ice cream, strawberry, which many reviews say are overwhelmingly strong, but claim to be from Essential oils. Line and scents are food based, and contain no preservative. Ingredient list looks OK… Testimonials from my page: “I’ve actually grown Staph from their bubble bath. I have had patients with horrible reactions to their products. They have been under investigation with the FDA for numerous complaints. Cross contamination, non-disclosure, formula changes that aren’t listed, bad batches…etc. it’s a long list. Mascara, YUK!!! ““I had a reaction to their (100% Pure) lotion. There wasn’t anything on the list of ingredients I hadn’t used before, so it couldn’t have been allergy. We also felt that the smell of the products was way too intense. I had to get it off me as quick as I put it on. I suspect the % of essential oils used in the formula was higher than what is safe for topical use. I threw the product out and alerted the store I bought it from (which has since gone out of business). Also… a product may not be visibly bad or smell (rancidity or mold) to prove it’s unsafe. You can’t always see that which will make you sick. If that was the case, no one would ever get food poisoning because we’d be alerted to the presence of that which would make us ill.” And finally, I received this from an aromatherapist: “So just FYI, on your first “murky middle” (I think it was called 100% Pure), you wrote “Line contains scents like mint chocolate chip, ice cream, strawberry, which many reviews say are overwhelmingly strong, but claim to be from Essential oils.”I am an aromatherapist. Essential oils can only come from plants, resins, seeds, and the peels or rinds of fruits. They can not come from the fruit of a plant, or any thing that comes from an animal. So if something that is “strawberry” scented says they use essential oils, they are flat out lying. And while things like vanilla or chocolate (or caocao) can be made into essential oils (although more likely it would be an absolute, not an EO), if it is “cream” scented (like in the ice cream) then that too would be a perfume scent, not an essential oil.”
UPDATE 4/6/16: 25 products in EWG rating 1-6: Retinyl Palmitate (scores a 9 in EWG, 10 being the worst) in eye cream. Many products contain both forms of Japanese Honeysuckle (including baby products): Lonicera Caprifolium Flower and Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract.
Acure Organics– 10 products in EWG rate 0-3. Ingredients of concern via EWG: ring lichen extract & clove bud oil rate 5. Flavor, emulsifying wax, chamomile, lactic acid, oakmoss lichen all rate 4. Potassium sorbate & tocopheryl acetate rate 3. Behentrimonium chloride & stearalkonium chloride rate 2. Stearyl dihydroxypropyldimomiumoligosaccharides isn’t in EWG, but anything with a name that long makes me nervous (from body wash- says it’s sugar derived). Long ingredient labels with many things I don’t like to see, even if they don’t rate horribly in EWG. As always, some products look just fine, but not the entire line. I encourage you to do your own research on this line & the ingredients used if interested…And while a lot of these shampoo ingredients are fine, this is a very long list & some are just not the best. BUT, not terrible either, many much worse options out there.
UPDATE 4/6/16: 25 products in EWG rating 1-3. Above info still accurate according to EWG (ingredients of concern). Potassium sorbate in most of line. Baby lotion lists natural flavor?? Perfect line for the So-So list, it’s not awful, it’s not fabulous. I know many really like the shampoo.
Aubrey organics—DEPENDS on product! EWG lists 208 products, which rate between 0-5. Ingredients of concern: fragrance, retinol, retinyl palmitate, which all rate 8. Baby shampoo contains denatured alcohol (4), and scores a 3 overall, thus I don’t recommend it. If you would like me to look at a specific product, let me know.
UPDATE 4/6/16: Our site is currently being updated, please check back soon…. 32 products in : http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/brand/Aubrey_Organics/ EWG rating 1-5. Ingredients of concern noted there: Retinol (9), fragrance (8), PABA (6), and then things such as unspecified oils, etc.
Andalou Naturals– (added 8/20/16): definitely isn’t terrible. A mix of organic & non-organic ingredients. Several labels contain both potassium sorbate & sodium benzoate, not terrible, but I do avoid them & put lines that have them on my so-so list. While many are totally fine with them, I choose to avoid them since alternatives without them are available. I looked at quite a few products & it really does look like a very good option for those not as picky as I am 🙂
Avalon Organics- potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol, limonene (EWG score of 6) linalool (5 rating), both with fair data, in shampoos. Just about everything contains both potassium sorbate & sodium benzoate, if you’re OK with those, some of the products aren’t terrible. Very long ingredient labels (example: http://www.avalonorganics.com/biotin-b-complex-therapy-thickening-shampoo). Many items contain 70% organic ingredients, that leaves a lot of room for non-organic ingredients..
UPDATE 4/6/16: Above still accurate. 42 products rating 2-5 (rare to not see some products with a 1 rating at least!) Shampoo ingredients of concern: Sodium Coco-Sulfate (possibly containing sodium lauryl sulfate, we know after the Honest Company scandal!) Polyglyceryl-4 Esters, Bisabolol, Inulin(1), Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Sulfate, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool. Just about everything contains both sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate.
Babo Botanicals– 13 products in EWG rating 0-3. Ingredients of concern: unspecified oils, emulsifying wax, polysorbate-20, potassium sorbate, tocopheryl acetate. Polyquaternium-80 & quaternium-80, both have 0 ratings, but with NO data in EWG or Good Guide, the company lists these as ‘sugar’, I looked through several databases for cosmetics and there is absolutely no info on these ingredients that I can find. Based on the fact that nearly every product I viewed has potassium sorbate, in addition to the other ingredients of concern, this isn’t a line I would personally use or recommend.
UPDATE 4/6/16: Above still accurate. 19 products rated 1-3. Polyquaternium 10 & Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate 1 score with no data. Carrageenan in several products.
Baby Mantra- Baby shampoo/wash ingredients of concern: Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (EWG rates a 0, but with NO DATA), Glyceryl Stearate & Sucrose Stearate (both EWG rating of 0 with limited data), Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Benzyl Alcohol (EWG rating of 4), Potassium Sorbate (rating of 3). Lotion contains Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate (always leary of names followed by numbers, again, 0 EWG rating, with NO DATA!!) and denatured alcohol, which is a 4 in EWG. Due to the limited data on some ingredients, the inclusion of Honeysuckle extract in not one, but 2 forms, Benzyl alcohol, and Potassium sorbate, this is not a line I would use, nor recommend. Not bad enough to put on the worst-of-the-worst list, but not something I’d ever use…
UPDATE 4/6/16: 6 products in EWG rating 1-2. Above still accurate.
Bathtime Baby– not in EWG. My main ingredients of concern: phenoxyethanol (a preservative with a 4 rating in EWG), and Honeysuckle extract in 2 forms, you can read about why Japanese Honeysuckle concerns me in the links at the top of this page.
UPDATE 4/6/16: Not in EWG, no ingredients posted on their site. Found ingredients on 3rd party site, above comments still accurate.
Better Life Products– Depends on the product, many don’t rate well, but the dish soap rates an A:http://www.ewg.org/guides/brand/6696. Entered individual ingredients I was unfamiliar with & they scored A or B. All-purpose cleaner contains methylisothiazolinone,. Lists “enzyme blend”, I want to know exactly what that blend is. Although the line doesn’t look absolutely terrible, it’s not the best of the best either.
UPDATE 4/6/16: Above still accurate, some products get an A while others get a C. For hand & auto dish soap which are 2 very tough categories to find safe & effective options, I’ve recommended Better Life as likely the best store bought option. I’ve used the auto dish detergent myself & had good results with my hard water. As always, check each product as some are definitely better than others: http://www.ewg.org/guides/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Better+Life&x=0&y=0&page=1&per_page=15. I absolute avoid anything with METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, which several of their products that score poorly do contain.
Biokleen- added 1/26/17: Looking in EWG’s cleaning database, many of the formulas from ’12 received D’s & now they receive A’s based on formulas from ’15. Here is what I find extremely frustrating about EWG & the algorithm’s they use to arrive at their final score, and why you should ALWAYS click on the product to see individual ingredients & how they score, it’s ALL ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS. The 1st product I look at receives an A, the all-purpose cleaner, it has NUMEROUS ingredients that get a C score, including: Laureth-7, Cocamidopropyl betaine (concern: chronic aquatic toxicity, acute aquatic toxicity), sodium lauryl sulfate (concern: chronic aquatic toxicity, general systemic/organ effects, acute aquatic toxicity), and MORE. In total, there are 8 ingredients they give a C score to, 1 they give a B to, and 3 that get an A: water, glycerin, and sodium chloride (salt). YET THEY GIVE THE PRODUCT AN A SCORE……. In fact, upon further inspection, it doesn’t appear that they really improved all that much. They received D scores for many things because the labels were vague, they listed ‘surfactants’, so got dinged for non-disclosure. Now they do disclose which is great, but I still would not give these products an A score, that’s for sure. Next product I look at is the Free & Clear Laundry Detergent, almost the exact same ingredients as the All-Purpose Cleaner, same A score, same ingredients of concern… Now to look at a couple products they give a B to… One thing that EWG does not do a good job of is they will automatically ding for fragrance listings which often times can be synthetic, but Biokleen does state they do not use artificial fragrance. So their Bac-Out in Lav which lists “natural lavender fragrance” gets a D automatically for that ingredient. A couple other ingredients get a C for no data/some concern, but compared to all the ingredients of concern in the products that still get an A, it makes me think their system is really skewed. So where does this leave me in recommending Biokleen: it’s a perfect fit for my So-So list. It’s not the worst of the worst, but certainly not the best of the best either. And this is a perfect example of taking EWG ratings with a grain of salt, it’s a good starting point & good place to learn more about ingredients of concern, but it’s a database & no database will ever be perfect. http://www.ewg.org/guides/search?page=1&per_page=15&q=biokleen&search=biokleen&type=products&utf8=%E2%9C%93&x=0&y=0
Burt’s Bees– Owned by Clorox, a fact many don’t know, and I feel if the label said Clorox instead of Burt’s many wouldn’t buy it. EWG lists 267 products (including old formulations), rating 0-6. Only 7/267 rate at 0, and several rate at 1, but MANY rate 2-6. There are fragrance-free baby shampoos, but the tear-free baby shampoo rates at 3, due to the inclusion of fragrance (nowhere does it state from essential oils). Ingredients of concern: fragrance, retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate (both used only in a couple of products). If you’re OK with your dollars going to Clorox, and the product you like rates to your liking, feel fine about using this line- but, I would check on the specific product in question. Personally, I avoid this line!
UPDATE 4/6/16: 264 products in EWG rating 1-6. Many, many, many ingredients of concern I’ll share the link to them instead of listing them all: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/brand/Burt’s_Bees/. As always, a few products are “cleaner” than others, but I would urge you to find a better line not owned by Clorox…
Cara B Naturally– Small line with basic offerings. Products in EWG with 3-4 ratings, main concern they list is fragrance, it says natural fragrance blend on their website… Potassium sorbate is my main ingredient of concern, otherwise don’t look too bad. .
UPDATE 4/6/16: 5 products in EWG rating 1-4. Ingredients of concern same as listed above.
Celadon Road- UPDATED 4/2/16: some products are certified organic, that’s great & quite a change for sure! Looking at the detangling conditioner, I see “fruit extracts” with no further info. WHICH fruit extracts? It’s important to know for those who have allergies. I see sodium benzoate which isn’t the worst of the worst, but nothing on my approved list uses it. Age defying cream cleanser has both potassium sorbate & sodium benzoate, as does many of the products I looked at. All-purpose spray: A proprietary blend of organic-based, grease-emulsifying agents, organic-based surfactants, and organic-based cleansing compounds. LACK OF DISCLOSURE….
Clean Kids Naturally- Potassium sorbate, citric acid & tocopheryl acetate in bubble bath. Potassium sorbate main ingredient of concern in all products, otherwise look fairly good… If you’re OK with potassium sorbate, you may want to check out this line.
UPDATE 4/6/16: In addition to potassium sorbate, also contains Laminaria Japonica Extract (Japanese Honeysuckle Extract), you can read the concerns regarding that at the top of this page.
Daisy Blue Naturals: EWG 39 products rate 0-4. Baby wash/lotions use Potassium Sorbate, but otherwise look good (must be new formulation, because they received a poor rating via EWG). I wouldn’t use them personally, because of the Potassium Sorbate, but if you are fine with that preservative, this may be a line that interests you…
UPDATE 4/7/16: 107 products in EWG rating 1-3. EWG ingredients of concern are all due to unspecified (oils, flavor, color). And I’m not seeing that myself (again, EWG isn’t always 100 updated nor accurate). So above is still accurate, my main concern is potassium sorbate in everything.
Dessert Essence: 31 products in EWG rating 0-4. Some use fragrance. Only 3 products rate 0, ½ doz. rate 1, the rest 2+. Baby wash looked OK, but baby lotion was questionable (ingredient SDA 38-B= denatured alcohol, but they don’t call it that! Denatured alcohol ranks a 4 in EWG). As with the rest of the products in this category, if you would like my feedback on a specific product, please ask.
UPDATE 4/7/16: 55 products in EWG rating 1-4. Ingredients of concern: sodium coco sulfate (possibly containing SLS), benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid (synthetic preservative). Toothpaste has Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, carrageenan. Mouthwash has Polysorbate 80. Several things list “natural fragrance”.
Dolphin Organics:12 products rate 1-2. Potassium sorbate in bubble bath, baby shampoo/bodywash, sorbic acid in hair conditioner, all rate 3 in EWG.
UPDATE 4/7/16: 36 products in EWG rating 1-4. I see Geogard Ultra which is an issue I had Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. That ingredient is a combo of sodium benzoate & another ingredient, it should be properly labeled as such. Potassium sorbate still in many products, they have 2 lines now: Dolphin Organics & Dolphin Naturals, the organics line, while not actually organic, is better than the Naturals line. They list “natural berry fragrance” and state it comes from berries…
Dr. Mercola (added 8/20/16): 1st thing I look at always is hair care & I’m a bit frustrated right from the get-go, shampoo title: organic volumizing shampoo, yet I see 0 notation of organic ingredients. I see vague listings: surfactant derived from vegetable oil, coconut, glucose, etc. (ok, which one)? Grapefruit Seed Extract carries some concerns, I avoid it. But then there are certified organic options for lotion face care that look great. So, that’s why it is here on the So-So List, not a line I can support 100%, but the USDA certified organic products I can recommend for sure (although I’ve not personally tried them).
Dr. Woods: I read some reviews that said it’s much thinner than Dr. Bronner’s, and that you get what you pay for (it’s much cheaper than Dr. B). Dr. Woods isn’t made with organic oils like Dr. B is. One review said use Dr. Woods for cleaning, but stick with Dr. B for personal care..
UPDATE 4/5/16: Current website doesn’t have any products. ʺComing soon. New website, new look, new products.ʺ
Ecover- Rate pretty well in EWG cleaning database with mostly A-B, with a few C’s. Cleaning products are extremely hard to find that don’t have some ingredients of concern. Their liquid laundry concentrate uses sodium laureth sulfate as well as sodium lauryl sulfate. As is typical with most cleaning products, and permitted by law, labels are vague, for example: anionic surfactants, plant based soap, biodegradable preservative (from their delicate wash). Well, which preservatives & surfactants is quite important! Dish soap includes Sodium laureth sulfate as well as sodium benzoate, & limonene. There are worst products & ingredients for sure, but I can’t say this is a best-of-the-best line. Also, not made in the US, made in Belgium. 6/6/14: recent article about Ecover using bioengineered ingredients: http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/04/sustainable-household-products-not-if-anti-gmo-green-groups-have-their-way/#.U5J49mcU8y4
UPDATE 4/7/16: Laundry detergent still contains both forms of SLS as well as methylisothiazolinone AND benzisothiazolinone (tempted to put them on the Greenwashers list for those ingredients, but some products are slightly better). Powder dish detergent isn’t awful, liquid contains SLS. All-purpose contains phenoxyethanol & fragrance (with note that it’s plant based & synthetic). I cannot recommend any of the products….
Eco-Store USA- shampoo includes these ingredients: Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate (and) Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate, Cetyl Betaine, Lauryl Lactyl Lactate, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate-20. Body washes use Phenoxyethanol as a preservative (rated 4 by EWG).
Episcencial– only 6 products of their products in EWG rating 1-2. Ingredients of concern: Peg-20 Cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate-20, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, sodium benzoate, ethylhexyl palmitate, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate. As with every other line, some products look better than others, and I’d be happy to take a look at any specific label of interest to you. I do like that they offer a dairy, nut, wheat-free category!
Everyday Shea– While not organic, one of the best bubble bath I’ve found, with minimal ingredients. Bubble bath ingredients (some versions have even fewer ingredients): Shea Leaf extracts, lemon balm, decyl polyglucose, lauryl glucoside, shea butter, lavender essential oil, lemon extract. Decyl polyglucose & lauryl glucoside rate 0 with EWG. I know some mamas who don’t believe any bubble bath is safe, I have no problem using it once or twice/week to spice up my babe’s bath time. The other things I’ve seen from Everyday Shea I would not use or recommend, not awful, but not great either.
UPDATE 9/1/16: BUBBLE BATH NOW CONTAINS PHENOXYETHANOL, I NO LONGER RECOMMEND IT.
Healthy Times– Mainly sell baby food, teething biscuits, baby food items, with a handful of baby products. Advertise as paraben-free but products contain honeysuckle extract. The following ingredients rate 0, but with NO DATA in EWG, so obviously that can’t be trusted: Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate. Conditioner uses Stearalkonium Chloride (rated 2 in EWG). No ingredients listed for lotion or shampoo, bubble bath- website has an unfinished feel, some have ingredients listed, some don’t, makes me wonder… If you’re OK with the use of a product advertising as Paraben-free, but containing Honeysuckle which mimics a paraben in our body, and OK with the ingredients listed that have no data in EWG, then you may like these products. I wouldn’t use them.
UPDATE 4/5/16: Ingredients of concern: Fragrance, Honey Suckle, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate,Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Stearalkonium Chloride. Not all products have ingredients listed. The website is still not finished and EWG contains no information. Of Note – Their food products that are listed on EWG are not rated that well in comparison to their counterparts.
Hugo Naturals– 190 products, 0-4. Features personal body care line. They advertise NO Parabens, phenoxyethanol, Sulfates PEGs, phalates, synthetic surfactants, artificial colors or synthetic fragrances. They state that they are Vegan, Soy Free, Cruelty Free, and Gluten Free. These statements are backed by being leaping bunny certified and the CSA seal. It’s a really big line, and several products looked great & were PS free, but most contain honeysuckle. If you’re ok with Potassium Sorbate and honeysuckle, this line has several products you may like. Ingredients of concern: honeysuckle, retinyl palmitate (8), lippie citriodora flower/leaf extract (7), unspecified color, unspecified herbs, emulsifying wax, SD alchohol 38B, benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate, all rate 3 or above..
UPDATE 4/5/16: No ingredients listed, it says: Click on an ingredient name for more info, but there’s nothing there to click on…. 147 products listed on EWG only 2 of them appear as current, the rest are listed as old formulas. Both current listings are hand soaps. These still appear to contain Honey Suckle.
Indigo Wild/Zum Products. EWG only lists lip balms & bar soaps, which look OK- EWG lists “unspecified oils” as a concern (they don’t disclose which essential oils they’re using, as they should! Lotion= emulsifying wax (EWG rating of 4), potassium sorbate (3 rating). Liquid soap & some facial scrubs contains sodium borate (AKA borax) (one of the 1st personal care lines I’ve seen that contains it), which has an EWG rating of 5-6 ‘depending on usage’. All bar soaps look great. Cleaning products aren’t horrible- EWG rates the 11 of them listed either B’s, or C’s (click on individual product for more details on ingredients of concern). Many are just fine with borax in cleaning, but I don’t know too many who use it for facial care/lotion. If you’re OK with borax, and/or potassium sorbate, those are the main ingredients of concern in this line for me… http://www.ewg.org/guides/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=zum&page=1&per_page=15&x=0&y=0
UPDATE 4/5/16: Personal care: Zum Lists 37 products on EWG (7 being old 2012 formulas). The current 30 products listed an EWG Ratings go from 1-4.Their website contains a lot more products then they have listed on EWG. Products include Bar Soap, Zum Mist, liquid hand soap, bidet in a bottle and lip balm. Ingredients of concern: Fragrance (EWG 8), Sodium Borate (EWG 5), Unspecified Oils (EWG 4) – I would rate this far higher. Anytime something is unspecified I would strongly hesitate to use it! Even the lip balm and Bidet in bottle don’t have them specifically listed! Cleaning: 10 product listed in EWG Cleaning Database: Zum Clean Sink and Surface Scrub (EWG B), Zum Countertop Cleaner (EWG C), Zum Granite and Countertop Cleaner (EWG C), Zum Clean Aromatherapy Laundry Soap (EWG C). AS ALWAYS, although they may get a B or C overall, ALWAYS click on the product to see how each ingredient rates, several have ingredients with a D rating. For me, it’s always about the ingredients, not the final score!
John Masters Organics- potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, Japanese honeysuckle extract among other iffy ingredients. Not terrible, certainly not the best of the best either.
UPDATE 4/5/16: 29 current products listed on EWG – EWG Scores range 1-4. Ingredients of concern: Retinyl Palitate (EWG 9) – Unscented Body Lotion , Vitamin C Serum, DMDM Hydantion (EWG 7) Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner, Stearalkonium Chloride(EWG 4) Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner, Polysorbate -60 (EWG 3) Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner, Tocopheryl Acetate (EWG 3), Sodium Benzoate (EWG 3), Glceryl Cocate (EWG 3). Some of the products are very clean such as the Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender and the Dry Hair Nourishment and Defrizzer. Other products such as their Vitamin C Serum, and Conditioner have some very concerning ingredients.
J.R Watkins- Lotions, shampoo/body washes all contain Potassium Sorbate otherwise don’t look too bad. Dish soap contains sodium laureth sulfate & cocamidopropyl betaine.
UPDATE 4/5/16: Above still accurate, most if not all products contain fragrance (EWG rating of 8). Hand & body lotion gets a 4 score overall which is quite high for a lotion!
Juice Beauty Products: 32 products rating 0-3 in EWG. Ingredients of concern: benzyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, grapefruit peel extract, lechitin, cocamidopropyl betaine, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid (+ several more rating 3 or more), also sodium benzoate. polyglyceryl-10 laurate (NO data in EWG), polysorbate- 20. Made with many organic ingredients, but many contain a combo of at least 2 preservatives or more…. As with all other products in the Murky Middle, there are some products in this line that are better than others, if you’d like feedback on a specific product, just ask!
UPDATE 4/5/16: Only 12 products in EWG now. Above info still accurate as to concerns in products. Also, ingredients such as this that get a 1 score from EWG with NO data: sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropylsulfonate.
Kiss My Face- EWG has a lot of data for this brand, 128 products rating 0-8. As with most brands, some products look OK, but EWG lists many ingredients of concern: Propylparaben (rated a 10! in a couple moisturizers & soaps), retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, cocamide DEA, the list goes on. Bar & castile soap look just fine. Shampoo includes ingredients like Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Potassium Sorbate, Polysorbate 20. I used to have them on my Greenwashers list but moved them up (6/6/14) since they make so many products and like I said, some look OK, but some are absolutely awful.
UPDATE 4/5/16: 77 products in EWG currently, rating 1-8. They’re using NUMEROUS ingredients that get an 8 rating (again, 10 is the absolute worst, 8 is VERY high). Moisturizers contain not 1, but 2 parabens. Several products contain retinyl palmitate. Here’s the link for what to look out for: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/brand/Kiss_My_Face/. As I commented in my post above, some products do look better than others so as always, READ THOSE LABELS!
Lafe’s Naturals– 28 products in EWG rating 0-3. Overall, the few baby products look quite good, I recommend the baby wash & lotion without hesitation! The sunscreen says it’s safe for infants under 6 months, but doesn’t list the zinc oxide as being non-nano particle, which is very important, and it also contains emulsifying wax which EWG rates 4. Diaper & eczema cream contain Polysorbate-20. Ingredients of concern in other products: grapefruit seed extract, clove bud & clove bud oil, unspecified oils & emulsifying wax, all rate 4 or above. Polyquaternium-10 is given a 1 rating, but with “Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps”, which obviously means it can’t be trusted. As I said, some of the products have absolutely no ingredients of concern, if you want me to look at any labels for you I’d be happy to. http://lafes.com/shop/
UPDATE 4/5/16: List in EWG went from 28 to 7 and the ratings go from 1-3 and they’re all deodorants. Polysorbate 20, lemon EO (phototoxicity concerns) are a couple of concerns but the bug spray is USDA certified organic & as I commented above, this is a pretty decent line in general!
Lavanila– Only 3 products in EWG rated 1-3. Fragrances use essential oils and look good. None of the baby product ingredient tabs contains ingredient lists, they’re blank! Says what they don’t contain, but I need to know what they do contain… Adult body washed contain cocamidopropyl betaine (EWG rating of 4), but otherwise look good. Deodorants contain carrageenan (EWG rating of 2), Stearyl behenate (EWG rating of 0, but with NO data?!)- I’ve definitely seen worse deodorants, but also seen many with much smaller ingredient labels. With the lack of data on the baby line, I’m placing this company in the Murky Middle, and leaving it up to you to decide. If anyone can send me some baby product ingredient labels, I’d be happy to take a look!
UPDATE 4/5/16: Only 1 product in EWG now. Ingredients of concern: phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, Hexylene glycol, “botanical fragrance blend”, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, Sodium lauryglucoside hydroxypropylsulfonate (not in EWG, requires further investigation).
Lemongrass Spa- Ingredients of concern: preservatives optiphen (EWG gives it a 5) and Phenoxyethanol (4), grapefruit seed extract, potassium sorbate. Cleansing Facial Gel lists “coconut oil betaine” sounds harmless, but if properly listed should read: cocamidopropyl betaine which gets a 4 from EWG (https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/coco-betaine) https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/coco-betaine). I saw very few organic ingredients, they claim 97%+ natural. There are several products that don’t contain the harsh preservatives, so as always, some look better than others. For a non-organic, conventional crowd, this may be a decent choice.Also, just as expensive, or more expensive than most of the brands on my approved list using organic ingredients.
Life Tree- Not in EWG cleaning database. Labels on the products are very vague, but when you go to their website you get full disclosure. Ingredients entered into EWG mostly come back at a C. They do not contain the very nasty methylisothiazolinone, which is a good thing… If you’re OK with a C rating, you may enjoy this line– I’ll pass. Here’s a link to their ingredient lists: http://www.lifetreeproducts.com/ingredients.html.
Little Twig-24 products in EWG. Just 3 at a 1. Most products aren’t listed in EWG and website does not list ingredients. Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, cocomidopropyl betaine all included. Baby Wash from 3rd party site: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic), Cocoamidopropyl betaine, Sodium Cocoaphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Glycerin (Certified Organic), Decyl Glucoside (Certified Organic), Hydroxypropylmethyl Cellulose (Naturally Derived Gum), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract (Certified Organic), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Certified Organic), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract (Certified Organic), Camellia Sinesis (White Tea) Leaf Extract (Certified Organic), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Media Limonum (Lemon) Leaf Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Leaf Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic), Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Helianthus Annuus Seed (Sunflower) Oil (Certified Organic), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Seed Oil) (Certified Organic), Citric Acid (Certified Organic), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate.
Live Clean baby-No ingredients listed via website. Went to Walgreens website & found ingredients (thankful they always include ingredients in lines they sell- it’s been a good resource). EWG now lists 11 products from the line. Bar soap at a 0, diaper cream and non petroleum jelly at a 1. Baby lotions, liquid soap, shampoo and a moisturizing bar soap range from a 3-4 due to fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, and Polyquaternium-7. Conditioner contains Phenoxyethanol & potassium sorbate.Only body wash listed in EWG. They are listed as a 1, but all still contain Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
Mommy’s Club- All personal care items I looked at had potassium sorbate and/or sodium benzoate, otherwise the products look OK. Foundation has grapefruit seed extract. Cleaners: Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine.
Nature’s Pearl- mainly a supplement line, but have shampoo & conditioner, both of which contain 2 forms of Japanese Honeysuckle as a preservative. Please Google “Japanese Honeysuckle mimicking parabens in personal care products” to see why I do not use, nor recommend any products containing these ingredients. If you’d like to avoid parabens, avoid Japanese Honeysuckle! Toothpaste has sodium benzoate & titanium dioxide.
UPDATE 4/12/16: Not listed on EWG database at this time. Ingredients are not listed on their website. Personal care product line has expanded to include lotions and a facial skin care line.
Nubian Heritage– 12 products in EWG rating 1-4. Bar soaps look good, no ingredients of concern, here’s a sample: Coconut Oil, Coconut Milk, Papaya Enzymes, Vanilla Beans, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Vegetable Glycerin, Vitamin E, Soaps of Coconut & Palm. Ingredients of concern in other products (liquid soaps, lotion) : Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Ceteareth-20, unspecified oils, salicylic acid, Japanese Honeysuckle extract. Not a terrible line, but definitely ingredients of concern to be aware of.
UPDATE 4/12/16: 27 products now on EWG rating 1-4. Bar soaps still rate 1, however company could be better at disclosing what is in the soap’s vague “Essential Oil Blend.” Other products still contain some ingredients of concern: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=nubian+heritage
Nature’s baby organics— 14 products listed in EWG, rated 0-2. Line contains both potassium sorbate & sodium benzoate, Ethylhexyl palmitate: Human irritant – strong evidence (only for products for use around the eyes, on the skin), Uncertain environmental toxin and uncertain persistent or bioaccumulative. If you’re OK with Potassium Sorbate & Sodium benzoate, you may find some products you like…
UPDATE 4/12/16: 18 products now on EWG listing, rating 1-3. Some of the shampoos, conditioners and body washes contain ingredients of concern Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, however some do not contain these ingredients. The face lotion still contains the ingredient of concern Ethylhexyl Palmitate. Some items in the product line are Paraben-free, SLS-Free, Synthetic Fragrance-Free, Gluten-Free & Vegan, however it varies widely between products. There are some good options here if you carefully read labels. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=nature%27s_baby_organics&search_group=products&ptype2=
NYR- Not made in the USA. At s always, some products are better than others. But the 1st product I went to was a men’s body wash (random choice) & didn’t like to see these among the 1st ingredients: Cocamidopropyl betaine, Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. Yes, most of the very long list of ingredients after those look OK, but I wouldn’t recommend it based on those. Shampoo has several ingredients of concern: Ammonium lauryl sulfate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, potassium sorbate. Numerous products contain limonene & linalool (which get scores of 5 & 4 via EWG). Just about everything I looked at had some ingredients of concern, potassium sorbate at the very least (EWG score of 3). There are definitely better lines with absolutely no ingredients of concern made in the US by hard working families (see my best of the best list)
UPDATE 4/12/16: Some products have been discontinued or re-formulated in recent years. Company is based in England. Packaging and bottles are phthalate-free and BPA-free. Some products contain ingredients of concern Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate SD Alcohol 1, Potassium Sorbate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate, limonene & linalool.
Pangea Organics- 24 products in EWG rate 0-3 (only a couple rate at 3, many at 1). Ingredients of concern: clove leaf oil, clove, and clove bud all rate 5. Unspecified extracts in 3 products & SD Alcohol 38B rates 4. Lechitin, yarrow extract, potassium sorbate (1 product- eye cream) & tocopheryl acetate all rate 3. The body washes looked good. The lotion contains the SD alcohol, which I would avoid. Cleansers contain sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate. Like nearly every other product line in the Murky Middle or Greenwasher list, there are definitely a few products that look good, but my Best list is reserved for those lines making entirely great products, free of sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate, which this line is not.
UPDATE 4/12/16: 31 products 2 new Products rated 4- area of concern Herbal extract, SD Alcohol & Tocopheryl
Purple Prairie Botanicals– 63 products in EWG rating 0-1. However, there are ingredients of concern: Polysorbate-20 & Polysorbate-60 are used in 13 products (face cream, toners, hand sanitizer) . Many products look very good (lotions, bar soaps, balms & salves), but due to the inclusion of the Polysorbate ingredients I can’t place this brand on my best of the best list. Look over each label carefully, they do have many great products!
UPDATE 4/12/16: Above still accurate.
Real Purity- 105 products in EWG. Ratings from a 1-5. 90 of their products rate at a 0-1. 11 at a 2, 3 at a 3, and only 1 at a 5 (their fragrance which is mostly all EOs, except for the very last two ingredients of alcohol and fragrance. There are no products in EWG with retinol and only a select with salicylic acid and natural flavor. I did still see Botanaserve TM in only one product.
UPDATE 4/12/16: Above still accurate
Rose of Sharon Acres– EWG 54 products 0-3. Depends on the product, which is why it’s in the murky middle. Several look great, others not so great. Optipen ( EWG 5) goat milk cream, emulsifying wax (4) lechitin (3), Phenoxyethanol (4) preservative in conditioner. Bath & shower gel look great. Bar soaps look great…
UPDATE 4/12/16: Above still accurate
Shea moisture: Some certified OG ingredients, baby shampoo rates 1 on EWG & looks fine to me. From their website:” Our company has grown dramatically in the last few years with new organic bath, body and hair lines, but our website has ceased to function. So, no ingredients on their webiste, I had to do a bit of diggin’. The products I looked at (lotion, body wash, shampoo) looked fine! I like that these products are readily available at locations such as Target, Walgreens, etc… HOWEVER, they are one of the lines using Japanese Honeysuckle, which I’m not comfortable recommending! Please do your own research, and if you are OK with this ingredient, feel fine using this line…. Honeysuckle info linked to above.
Updated 4/8/16 – 45 products listed – 3 have a rating of 9!, 2 have a rating of 5, 4 have a rating of 4, and 4 ahve the rating of 3 Areas of concern with rating of 9- Retinyl & Retinol.
Sun & Earth Laundry Detergent- 12 products in EWG. 9 are given an A. 1 a B, 1 a C, and 1 an F. Reformulations appear to have taken place in 2014 bringing many of their F rated products up to the A range. The A rated products still contain SLS and Phenoxythanol. Ingredients are posted on their website and are consistent with EWG database.
TruKid: EWG lists 21 products, which rate 0-3. Ingredients of concern: sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate (3), Polysorbate- 20 (3), polyaminopropyl biguanide (2), soyamidopropalkonium chloride (no info in EWG). Enough questionable ingredients that I don’t recommend the line overall, although some products looked better than others. If there is a specific product you are using or interested in that you’d like me to take a look at, let me know!
Update 4/8/16 – 29 products. 6 products have a rating of 4, 2 products have a rating of 3 & 5 products have a rating of 2.
Weleda– made in Switzerland. 104 products listed, rating 0-6 (which is very high) not too many rate 0-2, many are 3 & above. So, as always it depends on the product. EWG does list fragrance, although I know they do use essential oils in their new formulations. But, there are many other ingredients of concern. As always, if you’d like me to look at any specific label for you, I’d be happy to! Ingredients of concern: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/company/Weleda/
Update 4/8/16 – 58 products listed rating is now 0-7
Young Living– I do NOT evaluate Essential Oils, it’s too complex for me to come down difinitively either way on, but I do know many take issue with their therapeutic grade claim, as such a grade does not exist. The personal care line is not terrible, most items include potassium sorbate. Several ingredients with long names such as this: Behenamidopropyl Dimethylamine, which have no data in EWG… Always be aware that when you see a 0 in EWG, but NO data, that the 0 is their default. Overall, no huge red flags, mainly the potassium sorbate, also not organic.