It can be quite the task to purge your home of toxic chemicals that come from household cleaners and skincare products. I've been there! I've attempted using branded natural cleaning and bath items, and although they can be great products, they are often very expensive!
For me, I've had to combine the best of both worlds. It's taken time and testing, but I use a combination of simple natural ingredients and branded items to find my balance.
Here are three areas in your home where you can start to think about making the switch to natural.
1. Air Fresheners
More recently, we have all paid more attention to indoor air purification. For a natural touch, try adding houseplants to your home for their air purifying abilities. The following are some houseplants that are easy to grow and also known as excellent air cleaners:
A more recent trend is using an ultrasonic diffuser with a blend of essential oils that can work to clean the air by fighting bacteria. If you want to treat yourself, you can purchase a pre-made blend that probably smells amazing, but if you are tighter with your budget, then here is a list of essential oils that are simple to use alone and will work to clean the air.
- Tea tree
If you don't have a diffuser, try using a pot of water on your stove on low heat. Add in some slices of citrus (orange, lemon, whatever you have), a stick or two of cinnamon, and some cloves. This is a great alternative to using a plug-in that can be packed with synthetic fragrances.
Toothpaste is a fun one. You have to be a certain type of person to be willing to try a truly natural replacement for toothpaste! I didn't last long at all. If you do an online search, you'll find all kinds of recipes that use baking soda, peppermint extract, etc. It's pretty hippy, and I consider myself pretty hippy for most of these things!! The problem for me was that I receding gums, so it was painful because baking soda can be harsh on sensitive skin and gums in my case.
I've settled in comfortably using a fluoride-free, natural branded toothpaste and have forever retired any DIY toothpaste recipe for myself.
3. Bath Products
Bath products are part of what made me decide to make my own natural soaps and shampoos. If you take the time to read the back of the box or bottle of most commercial shampoos and soaps, you will find the ingredients include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). SLS and SLES are used in many cleaners as surfactants, which means they make the soap lather. We have often associated that more lather means a cleaner product; however, this is not true. These sulfates are small molecules that penetrate our hair follicles and skin and are linked to causing dryness, irritation and various disorders. We should avoid an accumulation of SLS and SLES in our bodies over time by switching to products that are sulfate free.
Okika natural soaps avoid sulfates and use natural replacements like organic virgin coconut oil. This ingredient works not only to cleanse but to create a healthy lather that you can easily use on your skin. We also use essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances, so you get a gentle smell that doesn't overpower you.
Many of my clients have commented on the ability of our soaps to still lather and work even when the bar is down to a slither!! What a compliment - makes me so happy to hear!
Now you have some ideas on areas where you can start to shift over to natural products and items in your home care and skin care routines. I'll keep adding to this beginner's guide to provide you with more ideas. In the meantime, remember to take the time to research and test until you find the perfect balance that is a fit for you and your family!