Fun fact about me: I actually went to college to be an English Teacher (well I went to college for psychology but changed my major when I realized I hated it )
I discovered a passion for educating my junior year while working in a Job Corps for the month of January as part of my degree.
I have taught grades 1, 6, 7, 8, and 10 plus subbed in all different grade levels.
I have taught on the border of Mexico and upstate New York.
I never thought I would do anything other than teach.
Then we got pregnant for Adeline and both Christopher and I were on the same page that we didn’t want to put her in daycare if we could avoid it, but my “side hustle” at the time was not bringing in the income we needed.
I joined my clean beauty company when I was 4 months pregnant because the mission aligned with my beliefs, the products were amazing, and we needed another stream of income.
It was always the plan for me to go back to teaching when Addie goes to school.
That’s no longer the plan. I have no intention of going back to teaching. The income we are getting from Crunchi and the growth we know is very close is more than our wildest dreams.
I often think about that degree I paid a ridiculous amount of money for and that passion and love I used to have for educating and wonder if I’m making the right choice.
Then I do a workshop, or I research a topic and share it here or in my clean living community on Facebook, or I have a conversation with someone about what the ingredients in her products are doing to her chances of getting pregnant, and I realize I’m still a teacher. I’m doing what I love now more than ever. I’m educating about something I believe in so much and getting to stay home while I do it. I have actually found my dream job.
To say that I love the fact that my company leads with education is an understatement. I’ve never seen any other company with this kind of education forward model and if this was not who they were, it is very likely I would have missed being an educator and went back to my day job.
So, all of that being said. Thank you for being my students. Thank you for being here with an open mind ready to learn. And thank you to everyone who has ever or will ever host a workshop and allow me to educate your friends and family. I truly appreciate you and am so passionate about this blog and I wake up excited every day to share more education with you!
It’s been awhile since we were drinkers of cows milk. Once you learn that it is link to breast and colon cancer, you kind of want to stay away from it. I’ve gone through many different kinds of nut milks and even drank the popular almond milks that are full of toxic and harmful fillers not knowing any better. It wasn’t until we were switching Adeline to milk, that I started to do my research; funny how we’ll do much better for our children than we will ourselves, huh?
I was purchasing her nut milk from the store for awhile, but holy cow (see what I did there?) was it expensive. So, then, I started making it using a blender, a large bowl, and dish towel. It was a massive hassle, made a huge mess, and took forever so I went back to buying the expensive stuff because it was just so much easier. But, I wanted to find a better way.
Now, I have to say my favorite clean milk is the cashew milk I make with the Almond Cow Christopher got me for our anniversary back in April. I need only organic cashews and water and it takes less than two minutes. Talk about a game changer.
Until you’re ready to commit to an Almond Cow, here are my store faves that are free of:
Dairy, soy, gluten, emulsifiers, and other common filler ingredients found in nut milk —> carrageenan, sulfates, soy lecithin, dextrose, and gums.
1] MALK – found at Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and Kroger || ingredients – organic almonds, Himalayan salt, and filtered water
2] Three Trees – found at Whole Foods, Good Earth || ingredients – reverse osmosis filtered water, organic almonds.
3] Elmhurst – found at Wegmans || filtered water, almonds
Almond and Oat milks are great, but I prefer Cashew milk the most. Cashews are SO good for us and filled with nutrients which is why I love making my milk from them. Also, oats are the grain that receive the most pesticides when not organic, so I highly recommend avoiding oat milk unless it’s organic or you’re getting a large serving of pesticides with your milk.
I love all things Fall. I always have, even before it was trendy. It has always been my favorite season because I loved going back to school, Halloween is my favorite holiday, the sound of leafs crunching as you step on them is honestly my favorite sound (weird I know).
But, for the past 2+ years I wasn’t able to enjoy the smells of Autumn in my home. You know the pumpkin, caramel, vanilla, those types of smells. Why? Because I threw away at least a dozen candles when I switched to a toxin free lifestyle.
Candles wreak havoc on your health, my friends, let’s dive into the details…
In conventional candles, you are likely to find:
Paraffin: This is made from petroleum as a by-product from making gasoline.
Benzene & Toluene: Toxic and harmful chemicals released from burning paraffin. They are known carcinogens and have been shown to be just as bad as second hand smoke and diesel fumes.
Lead: In the United States, there is not supposed to be lead in candles anymore, but unfortunately it is still happening especially in candles manufactured in China. Lead in wicks releases 5 times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and these pollutants are released whether the candle is lit or not…
Fragrance: This is one of the worst ingredients in anything, including candles, as you have no idea what is actually in it. Phthalates are almost guaranteed which can aggravate allergy symptoms, asthma, and even alter hormone levels.
These candles are hand-poured in-house on the coast of Maine in small batches using simple, clean ingredients – 100% coconut and soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, and phthalate-free fragrances blended with pure essential oils. No additives, enhancers, colorants, filler waxes, phthalates and petrochemicals added. All ingredients are mindfully sourced in the USA and are vegan and cruelty-free.
Plus, when you use code: RAISINGCLEAN10 you get 10% off your order!
If you snag some, definitely comment below what you think and as always, head over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean where I share daily clean living info including ditch and switches for all areas of life.
I personally have never been able to use a shaving cream as I always broke out in horrible razor burn every time I tried. But, when I used regular body wash my legs would itch and itch SO badly. I FINALLY found a solution in my toxin free Gentle Cleansing Bar and it is all I will ever use to shave my legs now. The gentle soap moisturizes my legs while shaving so I have zero itch after shaving for the first time in my dang life!
Chances are, you’ll use shaving products every day or every week for decades of your life. Even if it takes just two or three minutes to shave every day, this amounts to around a thousand hours of exposure to whatever chemicals are in those products or more if you use toxic aftershave or lotion after shaving.
👩🏻💻 I used some market research to look into some ingredient lists… Out of three women who shared what they’re using, two contained harmful substances including but not limited to:
❌ Phenoxyethanol ➔ A member of the glycol ether family and is the product of the reaction of highly corrosive phenol with carcinogenic ethylene oxide. As a result, it may contain residue amounts of both. The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens, even in concentrations as low as 1%.
❌ Fragrance ➔ A chemical mixture of over 3k components used to create or mask a specific scent. The FDA does not require the disclosure of individual ingredients used to create fragrances. Many ingredients of fragrances are associated with contact allergy and may contain diethyl phthalate.
❌ Propylene glycol ➔ It is a controversial ingredient associated with skin irritation. Numerous patch tests on humans have shown that it has a very low risk of causing a skin reaction even at concentrations as high as 20%.
❌ Petrolatum ➔ There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. There have been studies done on women post delivery and scientists have found these contaminants in breast milk as well! -> The scariest of these possible contaminants is called 1,4 dioxane, an impurity found in 22 percent of all petroleum-based cosmetics that is a known human and animal carcinogen.
One awesome gal shared that she uses Dr. Bronner’s Shave Gel and it passes with flying colors
✅ Lots of organic ingredients
✅ Toxin free
I personally have only ever had success with my favorite Gentle Facial Bar. It is the first time in my life that my legs don’t itch after I shave and has been a literal god send.
✅ Lots of organic ingredients
✅ Toxin free
✅ RSPO certified sustainable palm oil
✅ Zero Waste
✅ Cruelty Free
✅ Made in the USA
PS – have a safe swap request? Drop it below!
To learn more about the gentle cleansing bar I mentioned and get access to half priced and free products, you’ll want to hop over to my community on FB 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ ❤️ I’ll see you over there!
Obviously I talk a lot about safe products for women, the men in our lives, and the children in our lives, but what about our fur babies? Bronté often has issues with her paw and I’m always looking for things to do to help it heal and feel better for her. This past time we did lots of Epsom Salt baths and apple cider vinegar soaks but it had me thinking about safe animal products.
So, I stumbled upon this company on instagram and thought it was definitely worth sharing. It is called Natural Dog Company and the post mentioned 100% organic products, so obviously I wanted to do some digging to see if it was greenwashed or not.
I’m ordering the Paw Soother, PawTection, and Skin Soother for my pups. Check out the ingredients:
Did you know that your cookware is likely toxic? This means even if you’re choosing the best possible food for your family, chemicals could be leaching into that food while you’re cooking it.
CHANGING OUT ALL OF YOUR COOKWARE IN A DAY IS PROBABLY UNLIKELY, BUT I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND TRYING TO SWAP OUT ONE AT A TIME TO START MOVING IN A HEALTHIER DIRECTION.
So, what are toxic cookwares that you should avoid?
Ceramic Coated Pans: These types of pans are usually metals coated with a synthetic polymer that is softer than metal. This coating easily wears off and usually only lasts for about a year. Once that coating starts to wear off, toxic chemicals can start leaching into your food, so if you have this kind of cookware, ditch them at the first sign of peeling.
Nonstick Cookware (Teflon): This kind of cookware also contains a coating, but it is called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and is a plastic polymer that releases harmful and carcinogenic gases at high temperatures. These gases can cause flu-like symptoms in humans hours after exposure and results in something called polymer fume fever which is often misdiagnosed for the flu. To give you an idea of how toxic these gases are, they are actually fatal to birds…
Aluminum Cookware and Aluminum Foil: This cookware is often coated to prevent the aluminum from seeping into the appliance. The problem is that the coating often wears and chips off. It’s one of the more affordable cookware options, but is not worth the risk of having aluminum contaminate your food. Aluminum can accumulate in your lungs, brain, bones, and other tissues causing muscular disfunction and memory loss. There is also evidence that aluminum can be a risk factor in Alzheimers disease. Sadly, aluminum is food in other things than cookware including deodorant, toothpaste, aluminum cans, and aluminum foil. Keep an eye on this ingredient and try to ditch any uses for it in your kitchen.
Copper Pans: This is a popular cookware as it is known to heat evenly over the surface. Uncoated copper can leach into your food and if it is coated, that can peel over time. Too much copper can suppress your zinc levels and weaken your immune system which then interferes with adrenal and thyroid function resulting in fatigue. So, what are cookwares that I recommend?
Our favorite is Cast Iron: It is the ideal non-stick surface when it is seasoned correctly. It actually even can transfer small amounts of iron to your food which is beneficial for anyone with an iron deficiency or someone just looking to increase iron intake. It lasts FOREVER so no more buying new cookware every few years and can even be used on a grill or in an oven.
While we use cast iron pans, we use Stainless Steel pots: It is affordable and very stable at high temperatures. It is non-stick, lighter than cast iron, scratch resistant, and lasts longer than coated materials.
Then, for baking, one of our favorites is Glass: It is a sturdy material that will not release toxins into your food. We also use glass storage containers as opposed to plastic tupperware to avoid toxins like BPA which can imitate estrogen and other sex hormones.
I wanted to drop some truth in here really quickly… 😙
I want everyone to feel comfortable commenting on this blog and joining me over in my wellness community on FB no matter where you’re at on your toxin free journey. If you’re as crunchy as it gets or if you haven’t started going toxin free at all yet, but you’re interested in learning about it, I don’t ever want anyone to feel judged or to ever feel like I am perfect. So, I want to share the real me, flaws and all, with all of you! ☺️
I started my toxin free journey in March of 2018 and I’m STILL not 100% toxin free in all areas of my life, and to tell you the truth, I may never be. My fiancé and I talk about balance a lot and how important it is to us to keep our sanity.
THERE ARE A FEW SAFE SWAPS THAT WE JUST MADE, ALMOST TWO YEARS INTO OUR JOURNEY. THOSE ARE:
Switching toothpaste (I was still using Toms even though I knew it wasn’t the best option)
Going from ziplock bags to reusable silicone bag
Switching things in our kitchen like cookware, food storage containers, and mugs
THERE ARE A FEW SAFE SWAPS I AM STILL PLANNING ON MAKING BUT HAVEN’T YET BECAUSE OF TIME, MONEY, ETC. THOSE ARE:
Using plastic straws when out
AND, THERE ARE A FEW SAFE SWAPS I MAY NEVER MAKE BECAUSE I FEEL MY HAPPINESS HONESTLY DEPENDS ON HAVING BALANCE IN THESE AREAS. THOSE ARE:
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee
Candy (while I don’t buy the toxic stuff for myself anymore, if someone gives it to me, I’m gonna eat it, I just am)
Not worrying about what we eat outside of our house (or special occasions like when I wanted cookie cake and wine for Mother’s Day!)
Moral of the story: Just because you see me posting about living a clean, toxin free life that doesn’t mean I’m perfect in every area all the time. So, whether you haven’t started your toxin free journey yet, you’re in the beginning steps, or super duper crunchy, you have a place in my group! I’d love to welcome you in with open arms https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/
You probably don’t know this just from reading this blog, but I actually work from home, full time as a Green Beauty Advocate. I have the honor and privilege of educating other women and helping them reduce their toxic body burden and live their best and healthiest lives. And I get paid for it!
As of just a couple of weeks ago…the company I am blessed to be partnered with has completely redone the starter kits and dropped the price points on them to help women get the financial freedom so many need right now while keeping it affordable enough to start when cash flow is low! I’m SO JEALOUS right now. I wish I could rejoin! (For real…we didn’t even have eyeliner when I joined and I got 3 foundation shades I didn’t wear. We’ve come a long way!)
If you are looking to detox your makeup bag quickly, affordably, and with a brand you can trust – I would suggest picking up one of our enrollment kits!
We’ve had over 1,300 Advocates join us since April 1st! 😍 #jawdropping and I tripled just my team alone during the month of April… Because – HELLO! The momentum is HIGH and escalating quickly! More and more women are seeing the mvalue in this community, our Business Portfolio, and these collections.
Partnering with this company comes with countless benefits, but I want to share just a couple that are closest to my heart:
Revolutionary products: With unprecedented performance, ingredient safety, and eco-conscious packaging, we are setting the new gold standard for clean beauty.
Work from home: Be your own boss, choose the people you work with, control your hours, work around the needs of your family – all from the comfort of your own home.
Make a difference: Education is at the forefront of our mission. Women deserve to know about the potentially harmful products they are using everyday and how they can make healthier choices.
Earn income: By following our Smart Start System, you have the potential to earn back your initial investment & turn a profit in your first month!
Join a supportive community: Our collaborative culture is second to none and fosters personal growth, lifelong friendships, and sisterhood. We are empowering women to grow personally and professionally.
A review of SeneGence(LipSense) was requested by a member of my wellness community.
Please note that I’m not bashing a company. I’m simply reviewing the products. This is not personal; it is merely education. People need to know what’s in the products they put on their skin every day. You all know that I focus on promoting safe, healthy, toxin free skincare and makeup and educating on all things toxin free. This is not what SeneGence does.
Instead of going through each product (because that would be crazy), I will outline the ingredients that the company allows in its products, you may not find each of these in every product, but you’ll find at least one (probably more) in every product.
The ingredients you will find in this brand that I would not personally use or recommend are:
• Artificial Fragrance ❌ “Fragrance” or “Parfum” is a loophole that should be avoided. There are NO laws requiring the ingredients in fragrance to be disclosed and it’s always a toxic storm that will compromise your health.
• Japanese Honeysuckle 🚫sounds super natural and innocent, but it contains parahydroxy benzoic acid, which is found to behave in a similar way (with very similar molecular structure) as a paraben inside the body.
• Loose Titanium Dioxide ❌The health concern involving use of TD involves inhalation of the loose powder form. The International Agency for Research on Cancer identifies inhalable titanium dioxide as potentially carcinogenic.
• Mineral Oil 🚫a liquid mixture obtained from crude petroleum oil used as a moisturizer. It may contain various amounts of carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and other petroleum contaminants, depending on the level to which it has been refined. There is consistent evidence that untreated or mildly-treated mineral oils cause cancer of the skin in humans.
• Parabens 🚫 are becoming very well known to be avoided in cosmetics, skincare, and body products. It is a synthetic preservative that mimics the role of estrogen in the body, wreaking havoc on your endocrine system. It has also been linked to breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. There is some evidence that parabens can accumulate in human breast tissue. Parabens have been found in 99% of breast cancer tumors.
• Parafin 🚫There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. There have been studies done on women post delivery and scientists have found these contaminants in breast milk as well! The scariest of these possible contaminants is called 1,4 dioxane, an impurity found in 22% of all petroleum-based cosmetics that is a known human and animal carcinogen.
• PEG’s 🚫 While PEGs can be mild irritants, they’re less than desirable primarily because they help traffic nasty chemicals across your epidermis, including a slug of impurities they’re often contaminated with. 😱According to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, pollutants found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic).” 😳
• Phenoxyethanol 🚫 is used as a preservative in cosmetic products to limit bacterial growth. Skin exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to allergic reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis. Infants exposed to phenoxyethanol can experience a depressed central nervous system leading to a decreased appetite, difficulty waking, skin color change, damaged DNA, and limpness of extremities. It is neurotoxic to infants…
• Urea 🚫 Diazolidinyl Urea is an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. Urea in cosmetics is man-made in the laboratory and the raw materials are ammonia and carbon dioxide. Not something you’d think you’d put on your skin, right?
• BHT ❌ BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function.
• Disodium EDTA ❌Is a penetration enhancing ingredient. Which can be absolutely fantastic… but ONLY if it’s enhancing the penetration of great quality instead of enhancing the penetration of toxins.
– No certified organic ingredients are used ▫️Certified organic cosmetic ingredients insure a higher level of purity and peace of mind. Many women with sensitive skin also prefer cosmetics made with as many organic ingredients as possible because the organic certification removes the risk of concentrated pesticide residue – a potential irritant that holds additional health concerns with repeat exposure.
– Unspecified if minerals used are non-nano. Non-Nano and EcoCert are the most pure and safe options that you can look for. One of the many scary things about nanoparticles is that the materials are small enough to penetrate the skin or get inside the body through inhalation. Just to list a few common nanoparticles they are: titanium dioxide, zinc, silver, and fullerene. When these nanoparticles are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried around the body it can cause DNA and cell function damage, brain damage, liver damage, and affects on the immune system. On top of all of that, titanium dioxide specifically has shown MAJOR potential repercussions in offspring.
– Not Leaping Bunny Certified cruelty free. – No explanation needed here. This is such an important certification in my opinion.
-Unspecified if plastics used are toxin free (majority of packaging): Not only is plastic significantly worse for the environment, but not knowing if plastic packaging is toxin free means you risk toxins from the packaging leeching into your product.
Numerous ingredients in these products contain ties to cancer, hormonal disruption, liver damage, skin irritation, eye irritation, breast cancer and birth defects. And this is why I do these reviews. Women deserve to know that they are using products linked to serious diseases. If you’re ready to start detoxing your products and making the change to a more toxin free life, please head over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/ where you will find my exclusive toxin free master list.