Ep. 196: 5 Reasons to Switch to Safer Products

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On today’s episode, I’m deep diving into the 5 reasons to switch to safer products in your household!  We’ll talk about all the ways the products we use on our skin and in our house can affect our health, the environment, and the ones we care about the most.

We’re back with our 196th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 196 Links

  • Shop Primally Pure HERE (use the code FEDANDFIT15 during the month of March for 15% off your first order!)
  • Shop Beautycounter HERE.
  • Shop Branch Basics HERE.

Episode 196 Sponsors and Featured Partners

  • Nutritional Therapy Association – The NTA trains and certifies Nutritional Therapy Practitioners and Consultants with a nutritional foundation that emphasizes the body’s innate intelligence and bio-individuality, because they know that a “one size fits all” approach to nutrition does not exist.  Head HERE to learn more about becoming a NTP/NTC through this incredible program!

Episode 196 transcript

Cassy Joy: Today’s show is brought to you by the Nutritional Therapy Association! The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants with a nutritional foundation that emphasizes the body’s innate intelligence and bioindividuality. Because they know that a one-size fits all approach to nutrition does not exist.

The NTA curriculum focuses on the importance of properly prepared, nutrient-dense whole foods, paired with a well-balanced lifestyle. Sound familiar? I love this program so much. Throughout their program, students learn a wide range of educational tools and techniques to identify and correct nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. And students graduate with the education and skills needed to launch a successful career in holistic nutrition.

May enrollment for the NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program, or their fully online nutritional therapy consultant program, is currently open through April 26. You can head to www.NutritionalTherapy.com to get more info. The NTA’s annual conference, Roots, is also happening March 1st through the 3rd in Portland, Oregon. I’ve attended in the past, and can honestly say it was one of the most educational and inspirational nutrition conferences I have ever been to. No joke. You can go to the NutritionalTherapyConference.com to register. You do not have to be an NTP to go; all are welcome.

Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia. Today we are jumping into a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, and it has been for a very long time. But especially so in the last 3 years. We’re going to talk about five reasons to swap out the products you use on and around your body for safer ones. Why is this so important?

Why is it important that we pay attention to the window cleaner? Why is it important that we pay attention to the nail polish? Why is it important that we pay attention to body lotion, diaper cream, diapers, carpet cleaner? You name it. Why are these things so important outside of the obvious?

So, I’m going to rattle of five reasons that I think, I hope, help expand your minds, and understand that swapping for safer products is not an activity where we’re just trying to keep up with the Jones’. There needs to be a new way to put that. Because these days it’s not so much keeping up with the Jones’ as it is keeping up with the new crunchy fad, right? I know that all of us in this industry probably have felt that at one point in time.

We think; oh, gosh. Now we’re drinking bone broth. That must be the new keeping up with the crunchy Jones’. Or oh gosh, now we are all concerned about; oh my goodness, heavy metals in our lipstick. And oh gosh, now were putting collagen peptides in our coffee. I mean, it’s just; I do all those things. But sometimes it can feel a little; why are we? Are we doing this because it’s healthy, or are we doing this because it just seems like the latest health craze?

So the things that I’m going to talk about today are reasons why we could and I’m going to use the should consider using safer products on and around our bodies.

So number one reason; and I’m just going to start with the most obvious one. But this is why using safer products on and around our bodies are important, is because of the actual legitimate health impacts of these products. It is terrifying to think about what is actually; in case you didn’t know. I’m just going to start with skincare, because it’s one example that we can chat about. But this is true for a number of things. What gets put onto our skin does find its way in one way or another into our body at one degree or another. And there have been studies, where they’ve sampled cord blood, and they have found numerous toxins that mama was using on and around her body. I mean, this stuff is real. It’s real. It’s pervasive.

And the good news is, it can be cleaned up. It’s not like if you’ve been using a conventional body lotion, you name it. Any of the ones that you essentially see at the grocery store are conventional. It’s not to say that if you’ve been using that conventional body lotion for the last 25 years that you will always have those toxins in your body. Because the good news is that body’s actually do have the ability to detox these things out. We just need to give them a break.

It’s kind of like how we get healthy once we start eating healthier fruits and vegetables and foods and things. We star to feel better. It’s because our bodies worked through those toxins, and we’re feeling better. So that’s the good news. I don’t want to scare anybody into thinking; cord blood is a very {laughs} scary thing to reference. Especially if you’re a mama of child-bearing years.

So anyway. The true health impacts. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so, so important. And some of the bigger issues here. It’s not necessarily that these ingredients are going to; oh man. They can have a physical impact, it depends on the product. Some products can have a physical, toxic impact on our skin. Discoloration, dryness.

The SLS’s; sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, for example. Which are found in a lot of soaps, especially shampoos. I’m thinking just about what’s going on your body right now. But those are known to be very drying and very irritating to the skin, so that’s a physical impact. Which is ironic, because if you look at some dandruff shampoos, you’ll see SLS somewhere in there, I almost guarantee it, if it’s a conventional shampoo.

So that’s a physical impact. Obviously not great. It’s doing something; it’s messing up that skin barrier. It’s drying things out. It’s damaging the skin layer. But the bigger issue, and the one that I’m more concerned with as the consumer and as an educator are the endocrine disruptors. It’s the invisible think that it’s doing to your body. It’s the hormones that it’s messing up.

When we think about hormones in the body, it’s this very intricate, beautiful, very involved web that, in a lot of ways, we’re still trying to understand how everything works in the body when it comes to all the hormones, all the reactions, all the cofactors, what affects what, so on and so forth. And if you pull one string, it can move the entire series of webs.

Now, what happens is we’re putting these things on and around our bodies that do have some sort of an impact on our endocrine system. And then what is the ripple effect of that unnatural impact. So those are some of the things just to think about. Phytoestrogens are things that we try to avoid in our food; soy, for example, has estrogen mimicking compounds, so we try to not eat a whole lot of soy because of the impact it could potentially have. And the same thing goes even more so though with what we’re putting on and around our bodies.

Ok, the second reason why to consider switching to safer. Number two; environmental impact. This is important! We are; gosh, I like to joke that my mom, my good ol’ Texan mama, she’s the truest hippie that I’ve ever known. {laughs} She cares a lot about the environment, and always has, and taught us that growing up. We always recycled. We joked that she would dumpster dive if she saw a glass bottle or a cardboard box in the bottom of a dumpster, she’d pull it out, she’d flatten it, and she’d put it in the appropriate recycling container. {laughs}

She doesn’t let the water run. She really tries to make sure that she’s using reusable containers. All these good things. And she did them before they were really in-vogue. Before we were keeping up with the crunchy Jones’.

But, nowadays, the industry has moved to where they are assuming; a lot of companies are assuming a great deal of responsibility when it comes to protecting our environment. And using safer products made by safer companies that are conscious of their environmental impact can actually help move the needle with regard to the footprint that we’re leaving here on earth, and what our children have to put up with and our children’s children, and so on and so forth. It just helps extend a more friendly, happy life here on earth for human beings.

And something to look for when you’re purchasing products from companies; B-corporations. B corp, if you haven’t come across it, it’s one to look at. It’s a very, very difficult certification to get as a company. Tom’s shoes is one. Warby Parker. Beautycounter is a B-corporation. I believe 7th Generation is a B-corporation. Oh, I hope I didn’t just misquote. One of the cleaning products out there is.

And part of earning that B-corporation is not only what kind of products you’re putting out into the world, how you’re treating your employees, but also what kind of a carbon footprint are you leaving. So it’s really interesting. And there are many other facets that they’re measured up against. But choose products that are made by a company that really does value it’s environmental impact.

Number three; I would consider; this is something that is probably the biggest issue. Or, man. My biggest rallying cry around using safer products. Is that you actually are voting with your dollars. When you buy; when you stop buying that lotion at the grocery store. Right? That you’ve used your whole life. Your grandmother used it. Your grandma’s grandma used it. The formula has changed. You don’t know what’s in it. You turn it over; the ingredients are unintelligible. You don’t even know if those are all the ingredients.

You don’t know what safety standards they’re testing against, because none of it is regulated. You whip out your EWG, your Environmental Working Group Skin Deep app, which you can download. It’s free. It’s got a scanner on there. You can scan the barcode, and it will give you a rating. This is a third party totally independent nonprofit organization, the EWG. And it will tell you, what is the safety rating of that product.

I have gone up and down; I was in San Angelo Texas. It was so, so, so dry. We were there visiting family. And y’all, I went to Walmart. I was desperate. I don’t know; it was like I was packing at 3 a.m. in the morning. I forgot all of my products, and I desperately ran to Walmart, and I thought; what can I get here? And I pulled out my EWG app, and the best rating I could find was a 5. 1 is the best you can get, and I want to say that 9; I think it goes up to 9 or 10. It was atrocious. And those were the best!

And there are so many products that are greenwashed these days. So make sure you’re testing. But when I’m not buying things; maybe Walmart is not the best example for a lot of reasons. But when I’m not buying products off the shelf because of a label, and instead I’m doing my due diligence, and I’m buying safer products. Yeah, because I don’t want the toxic chemicals on and around my body and on and around my family members’ bodies. Yes, I care about the environment.

But when I pull my money away from the lotion that I’ve used my whole life, and I put it into the hands of a company that’s formulating safer and that cares about the environment and cares about testing and cares about ingredients and transparency. When I pull my dollars away from the old conventional company and I put it in the new one that really gets it and really cares, industry pays attention.

And this is where things; this is where I get really, really jazzed. I don’t care what products you use. I don’t care. I don’t care if you choose a totally natural tallow-based balm or you choose one that’s just formulated safer. I don’t care. But vote for safer with your dollars. Because eventually, those big, big beauty brands will be forced to pay attention. And what does this do? This moves the needle for everybody. Because as soon as enough of us start voting with our dollars. We pull our money away from the conventional brands and we put it in the safer product pockets, as soon as enough of us do that. And we do it because we’re demanding safer products. We’re demanding regulation. We’re demanding transparency. They will have no choice but to response.

If you look at the gluten free movement, for example. Which is a whole can of worms. We won’t go into {laughs} if gluten free is actually healthy. But a lot of people woke up. They decided that they were not going to buy products that had wheat gluten in them. And there was this period where so many of us; Amber Golden, who works here at Fed and Fit. She’s my right hand here. She was diagnosed with celiac when she was going off to college. And she tells me that back then, there really were not any choices. And she had to eat gluten free.

There were not the choices that we have today on gluten free products. And it’s because the demand wasn’t necessarily there. Industry didn’t have to wake up and smell the coffee. They didn’t have to make the changes. But enough of us started choosing gluten free, or stopped buying pasta. We stopped buying chips, and tortillas, and cookies, and crackers, because we didn’t want to eat the gluten. And then all of a sudden, because we voted with our dollars, industry had no choice but to pay attention. And now you can go and there’s an entire gluten free aisle with high quality cookies. High quality; by that I mean they’re very delicious and good. {laughs} They’re tasty.

But really incredible products are now on the shelves. We have incredible gluten free baking flours. Remember back in the day; back when I first started blogging the only option was to make your own with almond flour and coconut flour and that was it, right? Those were the old-school days of grain free and paleo. And gluten free.

So that’s an example of how industry responded. So if we want things to be different for everybody when it comes to skincare. Which is at my heart of hearts what I really, really want. That truly is a regular, continuous prayer of mine. I want everybody to be able to go to Walmart. I want anybody in San Angelo Texas, and everywhere else, to be able to go into their corner store, grab a lotion because it’s dry outside, and that lotion actually be better for their bodies. Be better; it’s not going to disrupt their hormones. It’s not going to have any negative impacts that they wouldn’t have even thought about being there. That’s really what I want.

And by choosing safer products, you and me, we are voting for safer. And we’re doing it for those people.

Ok. Number four reason. I got a little carried away there. But the fourth reason to use safer products on and around your body; this is a much easier option than overhauling your nutrition. Isn’t it? There are so many of us who know that we want to be healthier. We want to make healthy choices, and do healthy things, and have a healthy family. And our mind immediately goes to food. Right? We think; oh, I should probably eat some more salad. I should stop eating so many cookies, and drinking so much wine. And maybe I should workout. Maybe I should drink more water.

Those are all wonderful things, and great pursuits. But at the end of the day, those are very hard things to do. Not impossible. Obviously, I’ve made a career out of helping coach folks through that. But it’s a significant undertaking. Whereas swapping out your window cleaner. Swapping out the lotion you’re putting on your face every single day. Swapping out your laundry detergent for one that does not have any kind of fragrance. Those are things that do not have a huge barrier to entry. Right? There might be a minor price difference. You might have to adjust your budget elsewhere. But it’s not asking you to get over a sugar addiction. It’s not asking you to wake up an hour earlier and go workout. So this is a pretty easy, healthy lifestyle switch.

And then number five. Educating your friends and family. This is a really fun one. In addition to voting with your dollars, when you start using safer; you’re listening to this podcast. So you care about healthy living already. And maybe you have some safer products in your home already. But when you start really taking it seriously, and switching things over, and being very purposeful, as a consumer, then it gives you this ability to then, with confidence, speak to your friends and family members about it.

Right? That gives you the confidence to tell your mother-in-law when she says; I really need a new eye cream. And you can say; you know what? I was so skeptical, but I knew I wanted to clean up the products I was putting on my body, because we still want to have more kids. Or I just really want to take care of myself, and try to make sure that the products I’m using on my body aren’t having a huge health impact. And I switched to the safer company, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m blown away by the results. I really like it. It wasn’t easy, I kissed a couple of frogs. But this is the one that I really, really like.

It gives you that confidence to say something like that. Or, if somebody is talking about window cleaners, and they say, “I just don’t think I can give up my blue liquid window cleaner.” Then it gives you the confidence to say; you know what, I thought the same thing. And then all of a sudden I tried this company called Branch Basics. And it sounds so kooky, but you get this concentrated formula. You mix it with water, and they send you the bottles. And you think; surely this isn’t going to work as well. But I’ve got to tell you, my house is still clean. My windows are still crystal clear sparkling. My counter tops are clean. I was blown away. Right?

It gives you the ability to influence your friends and family and get healthier products, safer products, that they use on and around their bodies in their own homes. So in addition to; yes, number three was, it’s very lofty. We want to change and get safer products on and around everybody’s bodies. Everybody. That is what I am out to do in this business. But on a more personal note, I started doing this work because I wanted to be able to be that source of inspiration and confidence for my close family members and my friends. And you have the ability to do that, as well, by switching over.

Some areas where you can switch over; of course there’s skincare. Right? A couple of the brands that I love that are safer. Beautycounter is my go-to for high performing safer products that are tested. They exclude thousands of ingredients. It really is raising the bar on high performance safer products. This is like, if you’re looking for an anti-acne line. Or an aging gracefully line. Or something for dry skin. These are those niche products if something else hasn’t worked for you. Just all kinds of lines. It’s a true answer to people looking for real skincare. They also have makeup, and men’s lines, and children, and baby. That’s one of my favorite brands.

Primally Pure; I’ve been a fan of theirs for years and years. These are truly natural products. And I use several primally pure products every single day. I use their deodorant. I use the tallow balm. The tallow balm is actually what I rubbed on my belly every single day when I was pregnant. And who knows, if it’s genetics or all those collagen peptides I was pouring in my coffee, but I did not have a stretch mark. And y’all; that was a big ol’ pregnant belly. It was really, really big.

So Primally Pure is another favorite. Their dry shampoo is wonderful. It comes in both light and dark locks. Gosh, what else do I love of theirs? The blue tansy oil. It’s very anti-inflammatory if you’re looking for an oil; if you suffer from razor bumps, for example, and you’re looking for some sort of a lotion to help with that. I have found that when I put blue tansy oil on my legs after I shave, I have no razor bumps. It’s kind of amazing. All of those wonderful products there’ I’m sure I’m blanking on something they make that I use daily.

Fat Co is another favorite, safer, natural line out there. They have other options. Oh, goodness, gracious. There are a lot of them these days. Dr. Bronner’s soap, castile soap. If you’re just looking for a line that you can probably pick up at your grocery store, I bet you can find Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. We keep that bar soap in our shower, in fact. And the liquid castile soap is also wonderful.

You can also DIY your way into whatever makes you happy heaven. There’s the coconut oil, and the jojoba oil, and the olive oil, and all kinds of mixtures you can find online. The Purely Primal Skincare Guide by Liz Wolfe is a great one to use if you’re looking for how do you really build a natural skincare line that works for your skin. Again, it doesn’t work for everybody’s skin, but it’s a good place to start if that’s something that interests you.

As for household cleaners, I’m a big fan of Branch Basics. That is my favorite go-to household cleaner. I use for my dishwasher, in fact, and I’ve kissed a few frogs here and I’ve circled back. I’ve gone back to Seventh Generation. I honestly don’t remember what we’re using in our washing machine right now for our clothing. It’s unscented for sure. That’s one of those areas where I’m ok with some chemicals, toxic chemicals, being in there because a lot of it is washed off. And as long as it doesn’t have a scent; meaning something that sticks to the clothing that we would have to then breath in or because of those plasticizers that might stick to our skin.

Gosh, what is it? I can’t remember. I bought a whole bunch of them, and we’re still working through them, after Grayson was born. It will come to me and I’ll post about it.

So those are some of those. For perfumes, Phlur is the favorite perfume, a safer perfume option if you’re looking for one that’s really lovely and fancy and feels like real perfume. It’s not necessarily just an essential oil roller.

Those are the ones. Those are some of the biggest ones. Vinegar is always great; good old fashioned distilled vinegar for cleaning your floors. And good old fashioned vacuum cleaners. Candles around your house; it’s a good idea to switch over to soy; those are probably the most accessible. Beeswax candles are even better. And try to grab some that are scented with essential oils or if you are good to just have no candles at all, then diffusers with essential oils are always a great way to get some lovely scents into the air.

So those are some of the safer options that come to mind right away. Makeup, I use Beautycounter makeup for the most part. I find that the pigments are really lovely. The eyeshadows are top notch. I use Tart, which is a brand that you can find at Sephora for things like my eyelash primer. It’s a safer product; not nearly, it doesn’t hold a candle to the safety of the Beautycounter line. But it’s slightly better than the other lines you’re going to find in that store. And I like to use; like I said, I use the eyelash primer there. And then a really thick concealer, if I need it, because I’m going on television or something along those lines.

And then hair products, this is not meant to sound like a commercial, but I just feel like it’s helpful to know what folks are actually using. And these things change. I constantly find and test new products. For hair products, I use a hairspray line called Color Proof. And what we’ll do in the show notes of this episode is we will link to all of these products so that you can find them if you’re driving and you don’t have time to write all these down. Don’t worry about it. We’ll provide links to everything.

Anyway, I think that’s about it. Nail polish; there are several brands out there. There’s Zoya, there’s Coat. There’s Sophie. We’re trying another one called Ayla, I think that’s how you pronounce it. A bunch of safer options out there. If you’ve been using acrylic nails, then you might consider an organic dip powder. A lot of salons carry that organic dip powder these days. A lot of options.

We’re actually are going to have a really comprehensive, safer nail polish where you view with our editor’s notes, all three of us. {laughs} Myself and Jess and Amber. We’re all going to test these nail polishes and give you our honest thoughts of usability and durability and all that good stuff. So stay tuned for that.

Anyway; I hope you found this helpful. I hope that it inspires you to maybe make some of these final switches over. Environmental changes can be the last ones that we do because they don’t seem as important, but I hope after today’s episode, you’re really impressed with the importance of switching to safer products that are going on and around your body. Not just for yourself, not just for the environment, but for literally every other consumer that we have. And it’s also going to be even more importantly, and closer to home, our closest friends and families.

Thank you so much for listening. As always, we’ll have a full transcript over at www.FedandFit.com. And we’ll be back again next week.

Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
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