Monday, May 20, 2013

Choosing Personal Care and Cleaning Products

I've always tried to choose products that: a) are not tested on animals, b) are safe for my family, and c) do not contain palm oil or any derivative of it.

For the first, there are a couple of sites I rely on - The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, and PETA.

For the second, I turn to the Environmental Working Group.

For the third, I simply read the ingredient list.

Disappointingly, a couple of brands I had felt good about using previously - Burt's Bees and Tom's of Maine - I learned were owned by the larger, NOT cruelty-free and NOT manufacturer of family-safe products, giants Clorox Co. and Colgate-Palmolive.  The Body Shop is owned by L'Oreal.  Granted, a few of the companies I list below (JASON, Earth's Best, Alba and Avalon) are owned by a huge corporation - Hain Celestial.  However, mostly it consists of food companies, with the exception of a few cosmetic companies like the ones I just listed, which do not test on animals and I feel good about supporting.  So, I made an exception here.  I am always open for alternatives that fit my criteria, if you have some to share!

This led me on a quest to thoroughly research and update our household products, to those we could feel good about using.  I started with what was in our cabinets, to see if they were deemed safe by the EWG.  If not, I found an alternative that was.  Also of importance was price and accessibility.  I am not willing to pay $2/ounce for lotion.  And not willing to go to the ends of the earth to find a product.  So, if I couldn't find it on Amazon or Vitacost (a GREAT site for obtaining many natural products), it was out.

The EWG has two consumer guides that I used - the Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics, and the Guide to Healthy Cleaning.  Also helpful is sometimes you can tell if a problem is free of animal testing from their guides, without checking the Leaping Bunny or PETA database.

The following is the products I came up with, that I am using from this day forward in my house.  I feel good knowing no animals were harmed in their production, no rainforests cleared to make room for palm plantations, and they won't harm my family.

First I list those products specifically for baby, then adults, and finally cleaning products.  Sometimes some products scored higher by the EWG than the others - these are listed in italics.  Some of them have prices (from either Amazon or Vitacost) beside them for comparison purposes.  Some of these I've not actually tried myself yet, so can't vouch for them.  Many I have.  Hopefully this will be helpful for anyone else looking to phase out harmful/cruel products in their own homes!

Personal Care and Cleaning Products


Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel  (4.49 – 1.7 oz)
Earth’s Best Toddler Apple and Pear

Earth Mama Angel Baby (7.39 – 5.3 oz; 33.79 – 34 oz.)
Seventh Generation (6.99 – 10 oz)

Seventh Generation (6.99 – 10 oz)

Earth Mama Angel Baby (7.09 – 4 oz; 12.99 – 8 oz)
Seventh Generation (6.99 – 6 oz)
Avalon Organics Nourishing Baby Lotion (7.69 – 6 oz)
Earth’s Best Organic Sensitive Skin Lotion (9.19 – 16 oz)
BabyGanics Smooth Moves Extra Gentle Baby Lotion

Diaper Cream:
Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm (9.79 – 2 oz)
Method Baby Squeaky Green Diaper Cream
Desert Essence Baby Don’t Be Rash Diaper Cream (8.79 – 3 oz)


JASON Powersmile

Kirk’s Castile (3.00 – 3 bars)
Kiss My Face Olive Oil Bar Soap Fragrance Free

Avalon Organics Olive and Grape Seed Shampoo (6.79 – 11 oz)
Avalon Organics Olive and Grape Seed OR Grapefruit and Geranium Conditioner (6.89 – 11 oz)
Kirk’s Castile Shampoo (5.49 – 16 oz)
Kirk’s Castile Conditioner (4.99 – 16 oz)

Nature’s Gate Colloidal Oatmeal Moisturizing Lotion (11.19 – 32 oz)
Alba Botanica Very Emollient Original Unscented (11.59 – 32 oz)

Alba Botanica Clear Enzyme Deoderant Stick Aloe Unscented (4.39 – 2 oz)
Crystal Roll-on Body Deoderant (2.56 – 2.25 oz)
Crystal Stick Deoderant (4.39 – 4.25 oz)
Naturally Fresh Crystal Deoderant with Aloe Vera (2.79 – 3 oz)

Shaving Cream:
Kiss My Face Moisture Shave Fragrance Free

Hand Soap:
Desert Essence Castile Liquid Soap with Eco-Harvest Tea Tree Oil (11.09 – 32 oz)
Kiss My Face Castile Peace Soap Lavender Mandarin (7.39 – 17 oz)


Planet AP Spray Cleaner
Method AP Surface Cleaner Ginger Yuzu (3.99 – 28 oz)
Simple Green Naturals Multi-Surface Care
Simple Green Naturals Dilutable Concentrated Cleaner
Ecover AP Cleaner Natural Lemon (4.19 – 32 oz)

Dishwasher Detergent:
Ecover Dish Tabs (4.05 – 25 packs)
7th Generation Automatic Dishwasher Powder Free and Clear
7th Generation Detergent Concentrated Pacs Free and Clear (5.99 – 20 packs)

Dish Liquid:
Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Hypo-allergenic
Ecover Dish Liquid

Ecover Cream Scrub
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Surface Scrub

Method Wood for Good Daily Clean Almond

7th Generation Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Emerald Cypress and Fir

Simple Green Naturals Glass and Surface Care Rosemary Mint
Citra-Solv Citra Clear Window and Glass Cleaner
Method Glass and Surface Mint (3.99 – 28 oz)
Ecover Glass and Surface

7th Generation Chlorine Free Bleach

Stain Remover:
Earth Friendly Everyday Stain and Odor Remover
Ecover Stick

Air Freshener (use sparingly - not generally considered good to use at all):
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Room Freshener (Basil/Lavender/Lemon Verbena) (5.29 – 8 oz)
Earth Friendly Unifresh Air Freshener Cinnamon (3.99 – 4.4 oz)

Carpet Cleaner – steam cleaner:
Earth Friendly Carpet Shampoo

I realize there are some holes in my list - at some point I'll publish a "Part Two" of this, but at the moment I didn't need any of those products, so I'll resume my research once I have a need for them.  Please, if you have any favorite products that are cruelty-free, people safe and palm oil free, share them!

I only request that, if you purchase any of these products as a result of this post, you use the following links, as I am an affiliate and will be rewarded for it.  Additionally, you will get $10 off your Vitacost order for using this link!  Happy shopping!