Why I switched to Less Toxic Products
It’s time for me to talk about what ‘clean’ really means for me.
The word ‘clean’ to me used to be based around how clean my home looked. Was everything put away? Did my spice cabinet look neatly organized with labels? Were my leggings folded the Marie Kondo way? I mean, as a photographer, I don’t really blame myself for being a little extra focused on the visuals, but paired with my then undiagnosed ADHD, I would get frustrated that sometimes I couldn’t really keep up with that aesthetic level of ‘clean’.
But slowly and steadily, my definition of clean shifted, especially when I had kids.
Now, clean feels so much more personal. It’s in the products I choose to bring into our house, the food we consume, and the lotions and serums I put on my body. And nope, I’m not some goopy-gal telling you all chemicals are bad and telling you to brush your teeth with coconut oil (unless you want to!) I’m not strictly clean; I’m curiously clean. I don’t want to fear things, but I do want to become more and more aware of what actually makes us feel good and live well and what doesn’t. So, clean has shifted from what it looks like to what it FEELS like. And I’m enjoying that difference!
So, as we head into summer and the usual kinds of ‘spring cleaning’ are behind us (unless you still need to go through that sock drawer and toss the singles, then go for it!) I wanted to bring you into one of my favorite ways to clean up my life and routines: figuring out how I can bring a deeper level of clean into my home that will benefit my family from the inside out. Today, I want to share a few tips I’ve learned in the process of taking that ‘clean’ level up a notch or two around my house without the stress of trying to do it all or do it perfectly.
First, how to know which ingredients to avoid!
I get it, once you crack open that cleaning products cupboard and start googling about “clean household products”, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like everything is poison. (Hint: it’s totally not.) Instead of overhauling everything all at once, I’d recommend starting with swapping out just a few products that will make a big difference in your home.
If you’re still feeling lost and want an easy way to look at the products you use on a daily basis, hit up the Think Dirty app! You can get a snapshot of how your products are rated and see why they’re rated that way! Heck, you might even learn a new ingredient or two—I know I did.
By using this app, you can figure out what areas strike a chord with you first. Maybe you’ve been wanting to tackle a cleaner laundry sitch, or maybe you’ve been thinking about swapping your make-up or skin care to more natural products, or maybe the bottles under your sink! This will help you know where to start. Plus, it’s a great app to pop out when you’re shopping for something new — it might help you feel confident about your faves or find an alternative to something marketed as clean it’s just trying to fool you with that green-and-clean price tag.
I started by switching to natural skincare.
I’ll never forget when I was navigating our fertility journey and a doctor prescribed me a topical ointment for some skin issues that I’d never dealt with before. Then it hit me that our skin absorbs everything. That’s when I made a big switch over to clean beauty products. I thought it would be this annoying process of trying a new tub of slime every week until something finally worked (and I even thought maybe nothing would work)… but it turns out I made the right choice on the first try. And I’ve stuck with them ever since!
If you were to pop open my skincare cabinet right now, you’d see a full lineup of Primally Pure. I soak myself in their products from head to toe (and the same goes for the rest of my family!) I can SEE a difference when using their products! Instead of a harsh 15-step process, I just get to apply 1-3 steps per day and that’s it. I love efficiency, but more than that? I love results. And the proof was in the pudding as they say — my skin looked and felt so healthy and my skin issues were resolved! Needless to say, I was all aboard the clean face and body care boat!
It’s how I’ve healed my skin, gotten rid of my hormonal acne, how I’ve supported my belly through the stretching and shrinking of pregnancy, and how, truly, I keep my skincare routine to under 5 minutes or less.Plus, Primally Pure closed the loop in the life cycle of their products by opening up a recycling program, so you can send back your empties (and get rewarded for it)! If you pop open your own skincare cabinet and aren’t 100% confident about what you’re using, I can honestly tell ya, everyone I’ve gotten to hop on the Primally Pure train with me has never looked back!
Clean products need a clean space.
When I looked into my bathroom cabinets after I started slowly cleaning up my skincare, house cleaning products, body care — at first, it was hard for me to let go of the old stuff. The vanilla body lotion that I knew I didn’t want to lather on my body anymore. The hairspray from, well, who even knows? But tidying up those often very mysterious and overfilled drawers was an incredibly freeing process.
Take it one drawer at a time throughout a month or time block a big chunk of a day to dive in! One way that might help make the task easily and perhaps more enticing is to make your drawers a better home for the products you love. It’s not just about the products themselves, but how they fit into your space, especially since it’s a space you’re in every single day.
Drawer organizers, dividers, and even some clear containers can help you see what you own, use what you love, not overbuy what you don’t need, and even more so, help you realize what you’re not reaching for anymore. This has been one of the most helpful shifts for me, as I used to be a person who would throw everything into the abyss of a drawer and then end up buying the same tube of SPF over and over again.
And over the years, I’ve had to admit it again and again: and organized space truly helps me have an organized mind and much easier flow to my days. And not because it’s always clean, but because things have somewhere to go. So, when it comes to keeping an edited, intentional set up of my skincare and household products, I feel like I give myself a little pat on the back when I reach for something and know exactly where to find it… or where to put it away when I get a chance between parenting life and work!
It may seem small, but now that I’m reaching for my hair dryer and the tangled cord is not pulling 47 things out with it… the bathroom is the peaceful place it should be. When you look at your bathroom, how does it make you feel? Ready to face the day? If not, it’s time to reorganize, clear the clutter, and bring in the products you know you love (and will love your body and home back)!
Clean means more than just using natural products.
As I look at my space, over my bathroom counter, into my makeup bag, under my kitchen sink, and all those little pockets of life, I don’t just see clean products. I see this choice to give myself that gift of feeling well. That has truly become my ultimate goal. Screw looking perfect, that’s exhausting. Clean doesn’t mean your life can’t have it’s messes. Life will always have beautiful, spectacular messes. I no longer cringe when there’s crumbs on the counter or things out of place, because I feel clean from the inside out. It’s really magical, and surprisingly easy, way to show yourself, your family, and your home a new way to feel clean… rather than trying to keep up with looking like it.
I encourage you to step into this process and absolutely make it yours. Living and feeling clean is a definition that is absolutely up to YOU to write. What do you want ‘clean’ to look and feel like for you this summer and beyond?
Want to see how clean skincare healed my skin?
Step into my story of walking through infertility and how that affected not only my body but was visible on my face and how finding and using Primally Pure helped me heal what I thought I’d be stuck with for life. Read my story and find out my process here!