This post brought to you by Tom’s of Maine . The content and opinions expressed below are that of Bren Did.
Mom guilt demanded that I make healthier choices in personal care products for my family. Learn easy ways to limit your families’ exposure to dangerous ingredients and update your bathroom art with free printables.
Mom guilt; it’s an expression every mom has heard and an emotion that has touched every parents’ heart.
When I was pregnant with my first child I got lots of advice, but no one told me that I would come home from the hospital with a baby and a full blown case of mom guilt! From the moment I became a mother, I had a little voice inside constantly urging me to do better for my children.
Mom guilt can become a monster that turns any act into a reason to feel guilty. Going to work? Mom guilt. Date night? Mom guilt. Letting kids watch television? Mom guilt. It’s endless!
The emotion can eat you alive unless you take a step back and realize that mom guilt is a natural product of the love you have for your children. Let’s face it: you care more about those little people than you have ever cared about anyone in your whole life.
Mom guilt urges us to do our best because we want the best for our kids. Maybe we should rename it mom love!
Mom Guilt Lead Me to Find Better Products
It was mom guilt that started me on the journey to a more natural lifestyle. When I was childless my version of a healthy lifestyle was about eating and exercising to look good. After having children I began see a healthy lifestyle as making good choices for a long and productive life.
I was reading more and more about hormone disrupting ingredients in commercial bath and body products that could lead to reproductive problems, breast cancer, prostate and testicular cancer, thyroid disorders, and early onset puberty. I began to worry about the long-term effects of these controversial ingredients on my children’s growing bodies.
Personal Care Products are Self-Regulated
The most shocking thing I learned was that the FDA does not regulate the ingredients in personal care products. There is a voluntary self-regulation program for manufacturers that is supposed to ensure product safety, but the law does not require any safety tests.
In fact, federal rules designed to ensure cosmetic safety haven’t been significantly updated since 1938. In the last decade Europe has banned nearly 1,400 chemicals from personal care products while the United States has banned only 11. Yikes!
How to Choose Personal Care Products
There are some easy ways to limit your families’ exposure to dangerous ingredients in personal care products:
- Research personal care products using online tools.
Industry watchdogs including the Environmental Working Group and Think Dirty help ingredient conscious consumers figure out what products they should use and which are better to avoid. Both organization have simple apps you can use to avoid toxic chemicals while shopping.
- Shop at retailers who showcase better-for-you products and brands.
Heath conscious consumers are no longer limited to health food stores when shopping for healthy personal care products. Big retailers have realized that there is a hug demand for natural, organic and sustainable products and are adding these products to store shelves. Target is partnering with healthy conscious brands to bring consumers the Made to Matter Collection of products that are better for you and your family.
- Identify brands you trust.
It can be overwhelming to try and select a healthy personal care product when faced with shelves and shelves of choices. You can reduce the number of choices by identifying a few brands that are social entrepreneurs (for-profit companies with a on a social mission to produce healthy products). Tom’s of Maine is one example; their products are free of artificial dyes, fragrances, flavors and preservatives, are good for the planet, and are never tested on animals.
- Read labels.
It’s easy to purchase natural bath and body products only to be disappointed because they are not as safe as the label claimed. Learn a few key ingredients you want to avoid and look for them on product labels before purchasing. I avoid any products containing fragrance, paabens or petrochemicals.
Fragrance –Fragrance is considered a trade secrets so manufacturers are not required to disclose the actual chemicals used in the list of ingredients. More than 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances and they can be found nearly every type of personal care product including fragrance free items.
Parabens – Parabens mimic estrogen in the body. This estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. Experts worry that parabens can be stored in the body creating serious health risks over time. Common name on ingredient labels include butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben.
Petrochemicals – Common petroleum derived ingredients in cosmetic products include mineral oil, petrolatum jelly, liquid paraffin, and paraffin oil. Experts believe that these substances can accumulate in the body over time creating serious health risks. Like parabens, petroleum mimics estrogen in the body. Estrogen disruption has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Eliminating dangerous ingredients in personal care products can be an overwhelming task that sends mom guilt into overdrive. Give yourself a break; you don’t have to learn everything at once.
Think of the process as a journey. One small step each day, week or month can add up to huge health benefits for our families.
- A no-replace policy is an easy way to eliminate dangerous substance in your natural body care products. When you run out of a product replace it with a better for you alternative. This allows you to research and replace one item at a time.
Target’s Made to Matter® Collection is a great place to start your journey to more healthy products. The collection contains products handpicked by Target and exclusive items such as Tom’s of Maine Luminous White™ Toothpaste.
It’s a natural whitening toothpaste that is safe for enamel AND it is gluten/paraben free. Plus, like all Tom’s of Maine products, Luminous White™ Toothpaste is free of artificial dyes, fragrances, flavors and preservatives and is never tested on animals.
I’ve created a collection of free bathroom illustration you can print and frame to make another switch in your house… a bathroom decoration switch!
The free artwork come in both coral and aqua and can be downloaded in my free printables library.
I encourage you to do a little research make a healthy switch for the benefit of your loved ones. My mom guilt feel better when I limit my children’s’ exposure to dangerous substances and that’s a big win!
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