Nail polish comes in and out of my life. Over the past decade it’s pretty much been out. Pre-kids it was a different story. Enjoying an occasional mani/pedi was something I truly looked forward to when I was practicing law. It was an escape from the office. There was a cute nail salon just a few short blocks away. On occasion I would treat myself to a new color and a few moments of “me time”.
As much as I loved the pampering, I remember walking into the salon and being overwhelmed by the smell. As most of us know, nail polish has a very distinct smell that’s impossible to ignore. After a few years of regular nail salon visits I started to question what was causing that smell and the safety of the nail polish I was putting on my fingers and toes. A little bit of research caused me to go cold turkey. I decided that the chemicals in the polish didn’t belong on my body. No more nail polish for me.
Problem with conventional nail polish
Nail polish often includes this “toxic trio”:
Toulene– Toluene is added to gasoline, and used as a solvent. Inhaling toulene has been found to cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, sore throat, dizziness, and headaches.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) -This chemical is banned in Europe. Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts and some preliminary studies show that they may be causing a slow and steady demasculinizing of men. Other studies have linked phthalates to liver cancer and breast cancer.
Other assorted toxic chemicals.
There are safer, toxin free nail polish options on the market.
Not only are these safer nail polishes made without the 3 common chemicals found in nail polishes (Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde), but they are also free from 2 other very dangerous chemicals (Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor).
Now I’m back. My fingers are for the most part still au natural, but an occasional pedicure is back in the mix .
Here are a few of the nail polish brands I feel comfortable using:
Zoya Nail Polish – My local nail salon uses Zoya Nail Polish and I really like this brand. The polish is easy to apply, comes in a wide variety of colors and stays on well.
Suncoat Non-Toxic Nail Polish – Suncoat’s motto is “We believe beauty and toxic chemicals don’t belong in the same sentence.” Their polish is water-based and free of toluene, formaldehyde, phthalate plasticizers (BDP etc) and alcohol, and also free of acetates and toxic preservatives such as parabens and methylisothiazolinone (Neolone 950). It’s colored with mineral pigments and natural colorants. The coolest feature: it peels off! No remover needed
Don’t forget to find a safe nail polish remover
Many nail polish removers and artificial nail products contain a host of toxic chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, reproductive harm, asthma and other negative health effects. If you’re looking for a safe nail polish remover take a look HERE.
What’s your favorite nail polish brand?
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Steam cleaning isn’t something that’s generally on my radar. I get a lot of pitches to review products and some of them are a good fit for this site and others are not. When a cool and interesting product lands on my desk I sometimes just feel the need to share.
I was drawn to this product because there are no chemicals needed for steam cleaning. As a matter of fact, all HAAN products are 100% chemical free.
The steam cleaning happens with some high-speed scrubbing and buffing motion that works in tandem with 20 evenly dispersed steam jets. If you push a special button on the front of the cleaner the CR Motion™ (counter-reciprocating) kicks in. It basically creates a scrubbing action while the steam cleans….without any toxic chemicals!
The most impressive feature of this steam cleaner- you can use it inside and outside. The HAAN Multiforce Pro SS-25 Steam Cleaneris capable of cleaning almost any surface, including tile, vinyl, hardwood, laminate, carpet, wooden deck boards and stone patios.
How to Use the MultiforcePro SS-25 for Steam Cleaning
I was a bit intimidated when I initially opened the box. There were quite a few pieces. After reading through the short instruction booklet I put the pieces together with little effort. I was ready for some steam cleaning.
Our home is mostly hard wood flooring with some tile and a bit of carpet mixed in.
There’s one area in our front foyer that is tiled. A small corner of the tile was where our dog’s bowl of water and food used to sit. Over time the grout has gradually turned a dark shade of dirty. I was resigned to the fact that this was the way it needed to stay until we ripped it out.
This was the area I was going to test out.
After the push of a button I was ready to go. The HAAN Multiforce Pro SS-25 Steam Cleaner makes a loud vibrating noise while the water is heating. It only takes about 44 seconds for the water to heat and then you’re good to go.
I went over the tiles a few times slowly. After letting it cool and dry off I think it made a difference. Some of the dirt was removed. I’m interested to see how it works on a carpet spill and on outdoor surfaces. According to HAAN, using their product kills 99.9% of common household germs, bacteria, and dust mites.
Next stop: Our outside deck.
The HAAN Multiforce Pro SS-25 Steam Cleaner took home a “Best in Category” honor at the 2014 Housewares Design Awards.Before that, it wasnamed one of This Old House magazine’s Top 100 Best New Home Products of 2012.
If you’re in the market for a chemical free steam cleaner take a peek at HAAN Multiforce Pro SS-25 Steam Cleaner.
Have you tried steam cleaning?
Disclosure: Thank you to HAAN for providing me with a HAAN Multiforce Pro SS-25 Steam Cleaner for this review. I did not receive any compensation for this post and the opinions expressed are my very own. Some links are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!
Many conventional bedding options contain formaldehyde and chemical dyes. Not good. Especially since most children spend a lot of time in their beds. My kids read in bed and they are just starting to sleep late. As teenagers I’m sure they’ll be in their beds a lot if they take after their mom or dad.
Organic bedding doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that regular bedding has.
I recently tested out organic bedding from another company that ended up on my bed. As I mentioned, I’m slowly replacing old sheets with organic bedding. My next move was to find an organic sheet set for my kids. The timing was perfect when ettitude asked me to test out a sheet set.
Ettitude is an Australian based company founded by Phoebe Yu. She launched the shop in 2008 with the vision of making eco conscious living easy, affordable, and rewarding through a convenient online shopping environment.
The site isn’t limited to organic bedding. Ettitude sells bath towels, clothing and accessories, eco gifts and much more. I’ll be reviewing and giving away some of their bamboo socks in a few weeks!
The sheets are unbelievably soft. So soft that I have to admit that I want them on my bed! They are made from 100% bamboo and are true 300 thread count. According to their site: “Bamboo fabric can adjust to your body temperature, all of our bamboo bedding has very fast natural wicking abilities that allow it to be 3-4 times more absorbent than other fabrics”
Bamboo is a renewable resource, capable of regenerating without replanting.
If you like soft, luxurious sheets these are for you. My son comments every night on how soft his sheets are.
Be prepared to fork over a few bucks for these sheets. They’re not inexpensive. Depending upon the size of your bed the sheets can range from $152 for a single bed set up to $203 for a king bed sheet set.
Keeping in mind that our skin is our largest organ and happily soaks up toxic chemicals from all those products we are placing on our bodies, my quest to find a safe lotion was top priority. Using EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database as my guide I managed to find a few body lotions that passed the non-toxic test and have helped to keep my skin happy all winter.
My Picks for Non-Toxic Body Lotions
Emily Baby & Adult Skin Soother (Unscented)
This lotion is the absolute best for eczema. It was originally formulated for the company owner’s infant, Emily. There are are 5 natural, high quality ingredients. Nothing Else. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a zero (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk)! After rubbing it on my son’s dry skin I use it on my hands. There is virtually no scent. Love this stuff.
Dolphin Organics Hypoallergenic Simply Citrus Body Lotion
Dolphin Organics line of products is marketed as ‘kids body care’ products, but our entire family uses them. The lotion is fantastic-wonderful scent and really does the job with no sticky leftovers. The lotion is somewhat thick so not a lot is needed for each application. This lotion was rated a one (zero being the least toxic) by Skin Deep.
This is another great non-toxic body lotion option that’s not just for babies. I actually use this on my face. It’s a tiny bit greasy, but at night it works well. It has a light vanilla orange scent that isn’t overpowering. The lotion is NSF certified for containing organic ingredients. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a zero (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer
If you are prepared to fork over a few bucks Tata Harper is well worth the investment. I use this lotion only on my face since I’m trying to conserve the lotion and the container is relatively small. My kids don’t get to touch this one! The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a two (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
I reviewed Juice Beauty products a while back and was excited to discover that their moisturizer contained sun protection. This moisturizer blends chemical-free broad specturm SPF 30, and antioxidant rich grape, aloe and pomegranate juices for all skin types. It’s best used on your face and neck. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a three (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
The ESP family. Hannah, the company President, is in red.
Essential Safe Products(ESP) has been a long-time supporter of Groovy Green Livin and I’m honored to have them on board. The site was started by a Florida mother of six who has always been dedicated to providing a healthy and safe environment for her family. She created ESP as a one-stop, easy and friendly resource for those looking to learn about and lead a non-toxic lifestyle in the kitchen and on-the-go. The site is great-offering a large selection of kitchenware and many other products that are free from toxic chemicals.
The site is filled with many non-toxic and eco-friendly products. Slowly I’ve been replacing things in my home with safer alternatives and ESP’s been helping me through the process. I’ve been using the glass Lifefactory water bottle for quite a while and it’s wonderful. I also ordered a few stainless steel cookie sheets and finally ditched the last non-stick holdouts in my kitchen.
Replacing plastic cups
Over the years I’ve replaced our plastic kiddie cups with glass. We have some nice glasses that we keep higher up on the shelves and then there are the ‘kid’ friendly glasses that are strategically placed within reach for the shorter (aka those under 12) people in our house. The glasses on the lower shelves generally have a life expectancy under 1 month. They are dropped regularly and replaced frequently.
Stainless steel Klean Kanteen Pint Cup
When Hannah from Essential Safe Products offered to send me a Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Pint Cup I was so excited. Finally a solution to the frequent glass shattering on the kitchen floor. After using this cup for a few weeks I have fallen head-over-heels in love. It’s durable, reusable, BPA-free, stackable and can be thrown in the dishwasher with the rest of our Klean Kanteen water bottles. The cup is perfect for the beach -no paper or plastic cups needed-and it keeps our drinks nice and cold.
Everyone knows that an organic smoothie tastes better with a straw-or at least my kids think so.
Neil Patrick Harris
We’ve been trying to kick the plastic straw habit for quite some time, but to no avail. It’s hard to say no at a restaurant with three kids in tow. ESP to the rescue. I received 4 RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Straws to try out. They are fantastic. I can throw them in my bag and they are ready for the next drink or smoothie that comes my way. They are dishwasher safe, reusable, and help our family avoid single-use plastic straws. My only concern is that they will get dirty or grimy inside over time and they’ll be impossible to clean-but it hasn’t happened yet.
Thanks to the generosity of the folks at ESP- they are giving one Groovy Green Livin reader:
After the birth of my third child I suffered from insomnia that lasted well beyond the newborn phase. For those of you who haven’t experienced insomnia it’s pretty awful. During that year (yes, 12 months) of sleepless nights there were times when I was able to fall right asleep, but would then wake up and stare at the ceiling for hours unable to fall back asleep. There were other times when I was unable to fall asleep from the get-go and would lie awake for hours listening to my husbands sleeping breath, feeling envious of his uncanny ability to fall asleep the minute his head hits the pillow. I was desperate to find a way out of this horrible, sleep-deprived state.
More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.
I turned to a combination of natural, non-toxic remedies for insomnia that ultimately did the trick-it took time and it wasn’t easy. I’ve happily joined the ranks of “those” people whose eyes close the minute their head hits the pillow.
Acupuncture has been a part of my life for many years. I have used it for everything from plantar fasciitis to the flu. I knew from past experience that acupuncture really worked, so it was worth a shot for insomnia.
Through the insertion of needles into pressure points around the body, acupuncture helps to activate the body’sqi (our bodies natural energy or life-force) throughout the body. Insomnia was letting me know that my body was out of balance.
Drink chamomile tea which contains tryptophan (also found in turkey), an amino acid known for its tranquilizing effects. When taken as a tea infusion, these properties act as a relaxant in our bodies and help to promote sleep.
During my stint with insomnia I turned immediately towards my yoga practice. Kripalu style yoga was a perfect fit at the time-a combination of relaxation, meditation and postures. There are so many different types of yoga so it’s important to find a practice that meets your needs. I also went regularly to my massage therapist.
When I’m desperate for relief I often find myself buying out the entire Whole Body section at Whole Foods. I’m not big on taking anything, but I decided to try out a few natural sleep aides to see if anything would help. I was most interested in finding something that wasn’t addictive or would cause grogginess in the morning. Most of the products I purchased contained valarian. Valarian is a flowering plant that is native to both Europe and Asia and is now also grown in North America, has long been used medicinally particularly for sleep.
The combination of all of these things helped me put an end to sleepless nights. The trick is to find a combination of remedies that work for you.
Have you ever had insomnia? What do you do to get a good night’s sleep?
This is a guest post from Cassidy Randall. Cassidy is the Campaign and Outreach Manager at Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national organization that works to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm women’s health.
Green Momma Party
Of course you want to protect your baby from toxic chemicals lurking in your home – who doesn’t? But trying to figure out what those harmful chemicals are, where they might be hiding, and finding the safe alternatives can get overwhelming, fast. And the thought of doing all that on your own? Forget it!
Detoxing your home shouldn’t be a chore. So make it a party instead! A Green Momma Party, that is.
What is a Green Momma Party?
Green Momma Parties make creating a non-toxic home fun with a room-by-room guide for eliminating harmful chemicals, do-it-yourself recipes, and how-to videos. And even better – this is a party with a purpose. By hosting or going to a Green Momma Party, you’re not just taking steps to detox your home – you’re raising your voice to demand safer products in the first place.
Women have some incredible power for making meaningful change when it comes to eliminating toxic chemicals that impact the health of our families. At a Green Momma Party, you’ll get the chance to use it.
Did you know that women make 85% of purchasing decisions? That’s a ton of consumer power that we can use to convince companies to make safe products. Or did you know that regardless of political party, women consistently rate chemicals in the environment as a top concern? That’s also a hefty amount of political power to influence legislators to protect your health. When you raise your voice, major corporations and national policy-makers listen.
So how does a party fit into this? The Green Momma Party Guide, free for download on Women’s Voices for the Earth’s website, has everything you need to host a fabulous party, including Five Take Action Tips for Busy Mommas. Taking action is actually built into the agenda, between the room-by-room guide to avoiding harmful chemicals and making your own DIY recipes for healthy products. After you and your party guests have learned about toxic chemicals to avoid and economical solutions from the room-by-room guide, you’ll be fired up to take action to ensure that toxic chemicals don’t end up in our products in the first place. With just the click of a button on a laptop or smartphone, you’re using your consumer power to tell companies you want safer products, and to tell legislators that you want them to protect your health.
And don’t underestimate the click of a button. Your voice matters, and when you raise it, major corporations and elected officials listen.
What’s in the Green Momma Party Guide:
Room-by-Room Guide of hidden hazards and practical solutions
Do-it-Yourself recipes & how-to videos for each recipe
Non-Toxic Shopping Guide
Five Take Action Tips for Green Mommas
How to Host a Green Momma Party
Discussion Guide for the host to keep the conversation flowing