Safely Smell Autumn

Safely smell Autumn? What does that even mean?

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.

There ARE safe options out there friends and my personal favorite is https://www.sealovecandles.com

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.

Raise Clean, friends 🌿✌️

Ditch & Switch •• Shave Gel/Cream

Who uses a shaving cream or gel?! ❤️❤️

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.

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙣𝙚𝙬𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙄𝙎 𝙖 𝙨𝙖𝙛𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣!

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

✅ Vegan

✅ 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!

Dropping Some Truth

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 razors

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:

Plastic wrap

Using plastic straws when out

Water filter

Birth Control

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)

Mani/Pedis

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/

SeneGence Review

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.

Let’s talk soap!

So many people are using more soap than ever before to prevent a virus. But, most people are using toxic soap which is increasing their body burden, making them more susceptible to…

you guessed it,

sickness.

That’s why I am SO happy that I know I don’t have to worry about that with the soap in my home. So, I’ll break it down for ya:

✅ Essential? Yep!

✅ Toxin free? Yep!

✅ Zero waste? Yep!

✅ Certified organic? Yep!

✅ 50% off? YEPPPP!

🙌🏼 I know you brilliant mamas already know this… The BEST way to prevent COVID 19, and viruses of any kind, is to wash your hands with SOAP and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Our corporate team continues to blow me away with their generosity and since soap is a vital part of staying well… they whipped together a flash sale to help spread that goodness far and wide! 

🗓 From NOW until Tuesday April 14th 

💲 HALF priced bars of luxurious soap

❕Limit 2 per bar per person 

🙌🏼 Which means you could score 6 bars for just $66 

🔥 While supplies last

•The hubby loves the Charcoal body bar and the gentle bar

•My daughter loves the gentle bar 

•I love all the bars 😂

•All of them are sensational for every inch of your skin! 

🎁 Reach out to me directly for a link that will also get you entered to win half priced and complimentary products, or check out my Wellness Community on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Stay healthy, friends!

to decorate or not to decorate?

One of my favorite holiday family traditions has always been decorating my mom’s Christmas cookies with the family. We just did this today in fact! 😅 What I don’t love now that I know better… decorating those cookies, that we’re obviously going to eat, with a dose of chemicals derived from petroleum.

Fifteen million pounds of food dye is used every year in the U.S. which is a 5X increase within the past 60 years.

Guys, these dyes are made from the same petroleum that fuels our vehicles…

think about that.

This is exactly why I often talk about voting with your dollars. Why are we still buying this crap??

So, not only are these dyes made in a lab with chemicals derived from petroleum (which also happens to be used in gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt, and tar), they’ve also been linked to long-term health problems including cancer. Food products containing artificial dye are actually required to have a warning label in the U.K. These dyes have also been shown to increase hyperactivity in children. In fact I have heard several moms who have had children with ADHD be completely “cured” just by cutting out synthetic food dyes completely.

You bet your bottom dollar I brought our toxin free food coloring to Christmas cookie decorating this year. I see absolutely no reason to feed this stuff to Addie when there are safe options I can use instead!

We ate, We shopped, Now let’s GIVE

Now that the craziness of Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday is over, let’s reflect and give back to those less fortunate than us. What better way to do that than with Blessing Bags! Contributions can be as low as $10, as high as $54, or anywhere in between ❤️

I have ten young mamas who could use the extra love and support during this season of giving. If I get more than ten sponsors, the remaining bags will be donated to a local shelter for other women who could use some light in their lives. I sincerely appreciate all the support in this year’s blessing bag drive! 

👇Details👇
————-————-————-————-—————

😍 The cost to sponsor a bag is between $10 and $54 as you will choose which toxin free product/item you’d like me to put in your bag. Then, I will buy the other items going in the bags such as: tumblers, fuzzy socks, tissues, chocolates, notebook, pens, planners, puzzle books, etc.

Last year I was able to donate five bags. I’d love to DOUBLE it this year and donate at least TEN bags so I can give to a young mom’s group with ten mamas in it.

If you’d like to be part of this blessing, please reach out to me or head here for all the info and tips on Raising a Clean family and living a Toxin Free life! https://forms.gle/JSp9Adnq5LMLSKDeA  

Green your Halloween Treats 🎃

Continuing our Go Green Halloween Mini Series…

Last week I talked about Red 40 and why you should be adamant about keeping it out of your children’s bodies. But, some parents might be wondering about safe treats for the kids to enjoy on Halloween. If you’re swapping your kid’s harmful treats with healthier ones, but are unsure what to get, here are some ideas. Keep in mind, I’m mainly looking at ones that do not have artificial colors and flavors. They may have “natural flavors” which we also do our best to avoid, but that’s incredibly difficult with treats.

Let’s look at the ingredients inside of the popular lollipops Dum Dums: SugarCorn SyrupCitric Acid, Malic Acid, Salt, Artificial FlavorColor Added (Includes Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1).

Now, let’s compare that to YumEarth Organic Lollipops: Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Flavors, Colored With Concentrate (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colored With Organic Concentrate (Carrot, Apple, Blackcurrant), Turmeric (Color), Organic Annatto (Color).

I know which one I’d rather Adeline eat…

Know any other healthy treats that kids will love? Please share below, food is the newest aspect of toxin free living for me and I’m not 100% there yet!

If you want more info on living a toxin free life please check out my wellness community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/

Family Fun Month

Did you know that August is National Family Fun Month? I just learned this myself!

In our family, fun revolves around traveling, fitness, and being outside. Right now the way we incorporate all three of these things can’t fully include Adeline because she’s too young, but we’re hoping when she’s old enough she’ll want to get involved as well. We spent this last weekend doing something we love, racing a Spartan Race.

Christopher and I have gotten really into Obstacle Course races this past summer. We love that they allow us to do all of our favorite things: travel, stay fit, and be outside! They also fall perfectly into our lifestyle and our goal to raise Addie in a toxin free, healthy environment as she’s being exposed to these events, watching us train for these events, and we keep with our toxin free lifestyle during them as well.

I see so many people at these races slathering on the toxic sunscreen, and I so badly wish I could educate them on the dangers they’re causing their bodies while they are trying to prevent their bodies from harm from the sun! Spray sunscreens are the absolute worst because of everything you’re inhaling in conjunction with what you’re putting on your skin. But, even most lotion sunscreens are harmful, even the ones claiming to be clean. I make sure to apply my toxin free facial SPF in the morning (which I do every morning anyway) and bring my toxin free body SPF!

Here’s some info to help you choose safe sunscreens for yourself and your family…

You’ll want to avoid ingredients Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, and ALL spray-on SPF (to avoid inhalation of chemicals and/or minerals), and common chemical preservatives like: parabens, and phenoxyethanol.

You’ll want to look for non-nano Zinc and Titanium Dioxide mineral SPF with no sketchy preservatives.

To learn more about the harmful sunscreens to avoid and also grab my safe swap recommendations, go here 👉 https://forms.gle/j39yLgwiVcHaLYKR9

Nanoparticles

🌷 Today over in my Clean Living Community, https://www.facebook.com/groups/raisingclean/, it was Thirsty for Knowledge Thursday 🌷

I work alongside some of the most knowledgeable women I have EVER known and they are kind enough to share their wisdom! ❤️I love that we are all teaching each other! I also love that my company has a blacklist of ingredients we will NEVER use to ensure our products are 100% toxin free and safe. I recently learned about nanos from one of these brilliant women.

This is HUGE! Well, actually it’s very small. Like, nanoparticle small–but the impact is huge. The size of a nanoparticle can be difficult to grasp, so to make an analogy: if a nanoparticle were the size of an orange, an orange would be as big as the earth!! Before I was introduced to this toxin free lifestyle, I was unaware of nanotechnology and its application in cosmetics. After learning from others, I found some scary stuff!! Nanotechnology allows for cosmetics to be constructed nanoparticle by nanoparticle in a very controlled way preventing makeup from running and allowing lipstick to stay on the lips for days. Sounds cool, right?! Wrong. Unfortunately, nanotechnology has essentially taken over the manufacturing of cosmetics in many companies in the industry, but thankfully many studies on the potential risks caused to both human life and the environment have been underway. 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.

I am SO thankful to have found a beauty and skincare company that will NEVER put these in their products! Ladies, we don’t have to jeopardize our health for our beauty or our beauty for our health!