Home & Beauty

Here are some helpful tips I’ve picked up from various sources through the years for a healthy home:

* Avoid plastics, especially those containing BPA which are commonly marked with a “7”, “PC”, “3”, “PVC”.

* Avoid synthetic ingredients, including most scented/fragranced products and disposable items like bathroom wipes.

* Eliminate non-stick cookware, replacing it with stainless steel and cast-iron.

* Use glass storage containers for food items in fridge and pantry.

* Avoid using microwave ovens.

* Filter all water coming into your home if possible, especially water for drinking, cooking and bathing. This will reduce exposure to impurities like chlorine and lead. When I began using a shower filter, I noticed the greatest improvements/less dryness in my skin and hair.

* Wash your hands often with good old soap and water and avoid anti-bacterial products that tend to contain EPA-registered pesticides and phthalates (toxins).

* Save money by avoiding “special” cleaning products and use “green” cleaners:

- Baking Soda: A gentle abrasive for counters, sinks, tubs, showers; neutralizes acids, absorbs odors, softens fabrics, cleans metals. Practical Applications – to disinfect cutting boards, wipe with baking soda and then spray with vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes then rinse; to clear a clogged drain, pour one cup down drain and let sit for 30 minutes then flush with hot water; sprinkle on fresh oven spills, wait until cool, then wipe with warm soapy sponge.

- White Vinegar: Kills bacteria, germs and mold; great for degreasing and has antibacterial properties.

- Castile Soap: Gently removes dirt and grime.

- Tea Tree Oil: Removes mold in tile grout and other water-logged places. Just add a teaspoon to a cup of water and apply with a scrub brush.

Beauty Products are another area where I’ve made major changes. Once a devoted reader of InStyle Magazine and a Sephora Beauty Insider, I was constantly aware of new make-up products, potions, and lotions. If it had some “magical claim”, I probably tried it out! Thankfully, in an effort to reduce toxins, parabens and other unhealthy substances, I began to research the products I thought I “had to have” and as a result have simplified my routine! The most helpful resource I’ve found for discerning if a product is truly gentle, natural, and safe is Cosmetics Database. The rating system makes it easy to figure out if the products you are currently using are posing health risks and what products may be the best replacements.

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