After my shopping excursion yesterday (during which I spent way too much money), I had the unsavory task of ridding my house of those products that likely do contain phthalates among other offensive chemicals. And I was shocked.
First, in honest admission of my consumer foolhardiness, I was able to fill an entire tall kitchen trashbag with just the hair/body/skin grooming products in my bathroom. I didn’t get to cleaning products even! Or the kitchen! And, because I was raised by sensible folks who must use everything before it is thrown out or recycled, I had portions of bottles of shampoo and lotion and hair gel and shaving cream that must have been over five years old…some certainly older. And what’s worse is that I have numerous products that are not phthalate free that are either a few uses short of new or have never even been opened. I simply can’t make myself throw these out. Karmically speaking, I probably should, but if there are people in the world who could use new liters of Dove Nutrium Cucumber and Aloe body wash, I think they should have them. Ug. First world problems, I know.
I normally keep a variety of shampoos and conditioners and body wash/soap in my shower for no other reason than the fact that I like options. I grew up in a house in which my parents would buy the same things for years. Flex shampoo and conditioner—the balsam and protein type, pink Caress soap, regular paste-form (not gel) of Colgate toothpaste, and Final Net (non-aerosol at least) hairspray. It got boring. I am still excited by new products (as you can tell by my whole trashbag worth of crap that got purged), and yes, I will admit that I am excited to try my new purchases.
I will report, thankfully, that I did NOT have to purge everything. I have …
…Noah’s Naturals “Natural Age Repair Moisturizing Body Lotion.” It smells marvelous!! A coconut-vanilla scent that doesn’t smell like suntan lotion. More grown up, I guess. However, I don’t know why I’m even telling you about this product because, sadly, the company is defunct. Sigh. I think this might be a problem with natural products. If they can’t compete with cheaper brands, they won’t be able to keep the product on the shelves. If you feel like scouring ebay for this brand, you can find some things, but they are likely 2-3 years old. Just fyi. But Noah’s Naturals did promise to use “no harsh sulfates, no parabens, no propylene gycol, no petrolatum, no phthalates, no animal by-products, and no animal testing.” Sorry to see you go, Noah.
…Alba Botanica “Very Emollient Cream Shave” in Mango Vanilla scent. Can you tell I have a penchant for tropical-smelling things? Anyway…the package indicates a similar mantra: No animal testing, no artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, SLS, or Sodium Methyl Sulfate. I love this fragrance…it really smells like mango to me. They have other bath products in a Honey Mango that smell equally scrumptious. I can find this line of products at Sprouts and Central Market (Central Market was cheaper, by the way) and probably Whole Foods, too. You cannot buy directly from the company like you can with some other brands, but I will tell you a secret…www.drugstore.com has (right now) 38 products available at about the same or less cost as the store. Yes, there is an environmental impact associated with shipping, but if you only order once in a while, it won’t be that significant and you’ll have this wonderful, healthy product in exchange.
… A collection of Burt’s Bees products. I can highly recommend the Coconut Foot Crème for rough heels and recovering from long hikes or even sore dancing feet. Burt’s Bees promises that, “All Burt’s Bees products are paraben free, SLS-free, petrochemical free, and phthalate free.” If you are interested in trying their products, you can find a collection in most Walmarts these days (as well as many natural grocery stores). But if you go to their website, obviously you will have the whole range of products to choose from. They actually have an “outlet” tab on their homepage that will take you to the sale items. Right now they have a grab bag for $25 (normally $50) if you are feeling lucky. Based on customer reviews, the contents of the bag are either “awesome” or “disappointing.” I guess that is the nature of the grab bag, though.
By the way, since it occurred to me yesterday, I put in another request to a customer service e-mail, this time at Teva. I prefer Teva sandals for flip-flops (because they are durable and less flip-floppy than cheaper brands), and I wear them year-round here in Austin. So, I asked: do your shoes contain phthalates? I have an answer already on this Sunday morning from customer service! Customer service doesn’t have that kind of information (boo). However, the customer service agent gave me a number to call, which I will do tomorrow when the offices are open. Stay tuned for that update.