What's all the fuss about natural bath products?
Prior to being pregnant with my first baby I never gave much thought to what I put on my skin - but, knowing that I was totally responsible for growing another human made me think about literally EVERYTHING I bought, used and consumed. My aforementioned, long-suffering husband will second this! So, being the research loving gal I am - I dug in, because there is a lot to learn and I'm still learning.
Let's start with the basics, and a brief review from life science class - yes, our skin is an organ, and it is our largest organ.
What we apply to our skin can and often does enter the bloodstream. You'll read stats on how long it takes for that to happen - but what isn't disputed is that the ingredients in all of these lotions and soaps and creams can and do penetrate that beautiful organ that's meant to protect you.
Are there toxins lurking in your bath and body products?
The easiest, first step to making sure your bath products are safe is to find out what's in them! Start today - read your product labels. If you're a chemist that's easy. If you're me - you get your Google on. When you start seeing words like methylparaben, propylparaben, butylated hydroxynaisole or even simply "fragrance" - you're going to want to get your laptop out and start reading. There are lots chemicals in skincare products that are believed to be endocrine disrupters and carcinogens. You might make the choice that you want to continue using those products - but, make it an educated choice! Some sources I like to check to learn more about ingredients are the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website. They both have quick overviews for each ingredient as well as links to more detailed research studies.
Finding the "natural products" section
Back to how I started this search for toxin free bath goodies. I waddled my gigantic belly through Babies R Us looking for something better that I could afford. The "natural product section" was of course separate from the rest of the baby lotions and basically one tiny shelf's worth of super expensive little bottles.
I bought one of the least expensive little bottles....and oh boy, I made it last. Over the years I've tried natural and organic products in a wide range of prices and the higher cost doesn't necessarily mean it's better - especially if your little one might dump the entire bottle in a bath by mistake!
Zoe Organics <3
Through trial and error, and lots of label reading, I've found a few brands I like to use for my boys. One of my favorites is Zoe Organics - and I was pretty excited earlier this year when they agreed to let me carry their products in my store. They've had some huge success in the past 12 months, but are staying committed to being represented in small businesses like Mimosa Goods. Woot! While some of their line is for little ones, most of their bath and body products can be used by the the whole family. We use the Bath Wash (great bubbles!), Cream, Everything Balm and I love their Breathe Balm when the colds and allergies hit.
The ingredient lists are short, sweet and easy to read ;) Every product they make is 100% natural and most are 100% organic - which means they're also free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, surfactants, phthalates, GMOs and fillers. The entire line is cruelty free, and many products are vegan and gluten free.
We try to support companies who practice what they preach - and Zoe Organics stand by their promises of sustainability and social responsibility by using fair trade and organic ingredients and making sure their production is sustainable and their packaging is recyclable. If you have little ones, this might be a good brand for you to test - and a little goes a long way which helps keep that budget in check.
No matter which brand you decide to try - just promise to make sure you keep reading your labels. Knowledge is power here, and you don't need to dump your entire medicine cabinet! You can get started the same way I did - just the worst offenders in your skincare routine and gradually switch to toxin free options. Every empty bottle in your bathroom is an opportunity to replace it with a better option. You can do it!
Wait, I've been doing it wrong!
I wanted to make a really cool graphic showing how your skin absorbs products, but when I started searching for images, I was distracted by how many stock photos there are of people applying lotion - and I've clearly been doing it wrong for my entire life. Not nearly enough smiling or flowers or knowing gazes. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!