I’ve been wanting to switch all of our household and personal care products to more “natural” products, without all the added chemicals. If I were a millionaire, I would do a massive purge and buy all new stuff to try. Unfortunately, I’m not a millionaire, and I stretch our budget by shopping CVS (A.K.A. “CVS’ing.”) Since I started CVS’ing in 2007, I haven’t paid more than a few pennies for toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, shaving cream, soap, face wash etc. I only have 1 card, stick to all limits, and only use legitimate coupons, but I’m still blessed to be able to donate bags of products to the food bank, while still having a major product stockpile!
Unfortunately, all of those products are “mainstream” products full of chemicals. I’ve been using Method Baby bath stuff on my son, but shamefully, my daughter has been using Johnson’s Buddies and L’Oreal Kids products. Anyone who has shopped for natural/organic personal care products knows they cost a heck of a lot more than “pennies!” Note: on Monday, I received my CVS ad for next week in the mail (they mail it to me because my paper doesn’t put it in for some reason.) Tom’s of Maine Deodorant, Toothpaste & Mouthwash will be on sale for $3.99 with $3.00 ECB, limit of 2. Pretty sweet!
I finally decided that instead of dipping into my stockpile, I would replace items with a more natural product as we ran out. I really don’t know how I’ll feel about that when I run out of shampoo though! In any case, the kids’ bath products were getting low, and I don’t have much trouble handing over the cash for products that are better for them (things for me are a different story!)
I checked our two local organic markets (think the size of one department in whole foods) and I’ll admit, I let my nose do most of the choosing. I’m a sucker for a scented product, though I can’t handle very strong scents. I especially adore a sweet baby smell for baby bath stuff. I bought 6 products (the Burt’s Bees bubble bath pictured was a gift we haven’t used yet) and spent around $40 plus tax. Zoinks. I reminded myself that my kids are worth it, and that replacing the products as they’re used up won’t be so spendy. I think I’ve used two bottles of body wash and one bottle of shampoo for my son, since he was born 19 months ago. My daughter may have used two bars of soap, half a bottle of body wash and two bottles of shampoo and conditioner in that same time period.
While I did look at the ingredients lists at the store, I was surprised to pull up the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database and find that the “ratings” on the new products were about the same as the Johnson & Johnson’s products. I spent some time looking at the ingredients, and I felt OK with my purchases by the time I closed my browser. While the J&J products are full of difficult to pronounce ingredients, my new stuff’s highest “offending” ingredient was usually fragrance. Oops.
I know that in a perfect world, I’d be using only products (on the kids and everywhere else) that were rated “0 toxins,” but I have to take baby steps. I’m just not ready to give up my lather-licious, yummy smelling products just yet. If I tried, I’m pretty sure I would fail, return to my old products and just be out a lot of money!
So, for now, I am happy with my more “natural” kids’ bath products (which I will be reviewing in the upcoming weeks) and I’m happy to be taking a big donation of mainstream children’s products over to the food bank! I feel a little funny donating them, like “here, this isn’t good enough for my kids, you take them!” On the other hand, I think the majority of people are perfectly satisfied with J&J type stuff, and hopefully some kids will be happy to get some fun new bath stuff!
Has cloth diapering made you more determined to go “green” in other ways? What products do you want to switch over?