Use this, not that: A reader’s detox plan

By Estelle Hayes

Hearing from readers and sharing ideas with this community about the best ways to live a clean and healthy life is hands-down, the best part of editing Pink Moon Daily. It’s so exciting to hear from like-minded people who care deeply about what they put on, in and around their bodies.

So when my friend and fellow blogger, Danielle from Elleinadespir asked me to take a look at her daily personal care routine and recommend a few healthy improvements, I jumped at the chance. Overall, Danielle is doing really well. She’s avoiding parabens and synthetic fragrances and generally several of the biggest toxic ingredients through her choice of 100% Pure products a couple of items from the Yes To line (although, there are a couple red flags, which we’ll get to shortly) and her unscented soap bar.

The good
Yes To products: These are a great entry to the natural category and you can’t beat the price and availability. I love the foaming body wash and shampoo for my own daughter. Many of their products are found in mainstream grocery stores and Target. But beware. Some of their products include “Fragrance” and that’s beauty industry code for trademarked-protected secret. Synthetic fragrances should be avoided, as they are usually full of phthalates and other suspect ingredients. Always go for unscented, unless the scent source is spelled out in the ingredients.
Moraccoan Oil – This is great, if it’s pure Argan oil. Just check the labels, as many formulations sold in hair salons are being mixed with other ingredients and marketed as Morracon Argan oil.
Dove bar soap – I checked this out on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database (a great place to start your research) and it looks like Unscented Dove bar is pretty safe. Again, always avoid personal care products that include “Fragrance” of “Perfume”. And try to remember that clean doesn’t really have a smell. I love the smell of a deep forest, but I don’t need to smell like one.
100% Pure products – Danielle is doing great with these products. They are free from synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives (i.e. parabens) and they are not tested on animals – which is nice. I personally use their face cleanser, moisturizers and eye creams and highly recommend them as an easy and affordable product to switch out.

Here’s where things get a little ugly in Danielle’s world. I’m recommending she start to use up the following products and consider the switch to safer, cleaner options. And as always, I suggest taking baby steps. Try switching out just one product each month and see how it goes. Change is hard and there’s no need to rip the band aid off in one day.

Top three (or more) things to change this year:
Deodorant – This is a biggie. I get it. No one wants to be the smelly kid. I highly recommend trying Soapwalla. I’m just two weeks in to using it daily and I love it. It’s as clean as can be and I’m stink free. I still keep a stick of toxic deodorant for special occasions. I know that sounds crazy, but every once in a great while I may have a meeting or event where I just don’t want let them see me sweat. (Sorry!) But 99 percent of the time, I say, go natural with Soapwalla. It’s pricey, but is so much more effective that the other naturals I’ve tried over the year.
Sunscreen – I’m pretty sure Danielle is using the spray Neutrogena and that stuff is nasty. In order to create that fine mist, manufacturers need to use nanoparticals. You do not want this stuff on your body. Plus, it’s got fragrance and a few other suspect ingredients, earning it at 7 on the Skindeep database. I would try Suntegrity or Alba, which comes in a spray pump (versus aerosol) and makes it great for applying on children.
Chapstick – Nivea does not appear to be hugely offensive, but why not give Burt’s Bees (tin or tube) a chance? It’s cleaner and not a huge investment.
Make up – And here’s the really bad news, because I too, am a Laura Mercier fan. In fact, Danielle was the one who got me hooked on the tinted moisturizer more than a decade ago. I’m still looking for a clean replacement (I use the stuff several times a week, but have committed to not replacing my current tube). It would absolutely be worth Danielle’s time and effort to start replacing her make up. There are some beautiful options that are getting rave reviews. Visit the Spirit Beauty Lounge and NuboNau. Both sites have beauty consultants who will talk through your choices and make suggestions and in some cases will sell sample sizes. I’ve also been hearing great things about celebrity lines from Josie Maran and Alicia Sylverstone. Again, baby steps. One item at a time.

Thanks, Danielle, for sharing your list of products and for being open to making more positive changes in your routines. Keep us posted on the new products you try in the future. For more information on the top chemicals to avoid in your personal care products, download our Pocket Guide to Clean Cosmetics. 

Danielle’s Basic Personal Care Routine (Pre-PMD Intervention)
Shampoo and conditioner: Say Yes to Carrots
Product: Aveda Smooth Infusion or Moroccan Oil

Facial Cleaners: 100% Pure
Moisturizer: 100% Pure (lotion and oil)
Eye Cream: 100% Pure
Lotion: Say Yes to Carrots, KP Duty (for my Keratosis Piloris. Using for 6 months, if it works I will keep going, if no change, then I will stop)
Deodorant: Secret Unscented
Bar soap: Dove Unscented (Say Yes to Carrots for Bonham)
Toothpaste: Rembrandt* (Oral B Stages for Bonham)
Sunscreen: Neutrogena

*I am not willing to give up my toothpaste. It is the only one that helps me fight canker sores effectively.

Make Up
Mascara: Laura Mercier
Lip gloss: 100% Pure (and other kinds too)
Eye shadow: Laura Mercier*
Blush: Laura Mercier
Concealer: Laura Mercier
Eye liner: MUB Gel liner**
Chapstick: Nivea (Bonham uses this too)

*I don’t wear shadow or mascara very often, so I am not that concerned about changing them, but I could see phasing them out and buying better options once I run out of these.
**Although it is probably terrible (in the green sense), I love my gel liner and don’t want to change it. Pencils leave me with raccoon eyes and I finally found this and it doesn’t. But, looking at the gel liners on the 100% Pure site does make me wonder if they are as good.

Image credit: Estelle Hayes

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  • danielle (elleinadspir)

    I know a few people who use the Soapwalla. I will order that today…pinky swear! Baby step for today! Thank you for the advice!!

  • Torrie @ a place to share…

    i LOVE this. thanks to your influence over the past year, i am right there with danielle in terms of making changes- baby steps. from the hand soap in the bathroom to the sunscreen, soapwella, the windex-elimination, and many more. but i still have a long way to go… make-up, hair products & skin care products (thanks to your- and melissa and danielle’s feedback, this will soon change!).

    i am really enjoying this change, and supporting sustainable companies who have made it their mission to create and provide clean, pure, healthful products. companies such as the honest company, 100 percent pure, 7th generation… look forward to digging deeper into the “make-up bag”… & into the options that you recommended above.

    • pinkmoondaily

      That’s so exciting, Torrie. I’m really happy for you. I am amazed as I look back on the past year and a half and see how far I’ve come. I know I could not have done it all at once and I still have products I am planning to switch out. But it feels really good knowing I’m not using nasty stuff on my hair and on my lips, etc. I especially love talking about it with so many like-minded people and finding out what is working and not working. Having a community helps so much.