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As much as I focus on clean beauty and makeup, I’ve truly been on a clean lifestyle journey and it hasn’t always been easy. For most things in life (beauty and fashion excluded 😛 ), I can be considered pretty practical. If it worked for my parents and worked for me, why rock the boat? Take Tide laundry detergent for example. My family had been using the original Tide for as long as I could remember. Once I had a home of my own, I continued the tradition, that is, until I used it for the very first time on my 8 month old daughter. She developed rough red patches on her skin, which our pediatricians determined was a skin sensitivity to the blue dye in Tide. This was a major turning point for our family to remove all dyes from our day-to-day household products, but in the bigger picture, embark on our clean lifestyle journey.
I’ve shared my love for resources like the Environmental Working Group and ThinkDirty before, and I’ve discussed how easy it is to fall victim to greenwashing (check out this post for more), so…long story short, there is no miracle vendor that you can purchase blindly from and be guaranteed genuinely clean products. There are, however, companies out there that are greener than most, and may open your eyes to some great brands you may not have heard of. In addition to discovering products at Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme, I came across Grove Collaborative last summer and continue to be a monthly subscribing customer. For those of you who don’t know, Grove is an online vendor that specializes in all-natural products for home, beauty, and personal care. They have easy-to-edit (or skip) monthly orders that are based solely on the customers’ needs.
Here are some Grove products that I’ve incorporated into my household:
As I mentioned earlier, detergent was the product that sparked my interest in a clean lifestyle, and I’ve tried Grove’s own brand of free-and-clear detergent which comes packaged in lightweight and easy-to-use bags, but ultimately have settled on the Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent and for lazier/less messy moments, the Seventh Generation Laundry Packs. Depending on the load, I may add in the Seventh Generation Fabric Softener, as well.
When it comes to the dryer, I am a huge fan of the dryer balls, to not only stave off static, but to also keep my clothes fluffy. Watch out though, these dryer balls have a bad habit of getting caught up in fitted sheets and duvet covers 😛 .
When you have little ones in the house, there’s inevitably a lot of hand washing going on. And with lots of washing comes dry hands, even for the toddlers. At one point, in the winter, it was getting so bad that I had resigned to having dry, cracked hands that I couldn’t do anything about. And that wasn’t even the worst part, my son was also suffering from the same 🙁 . This is when I decided I had to make a change and it needed to start at the beginning, we had to use a more gentle soap. I’ve tried several from Grove over the past year and my current favorite is the Seventh Generation line of hand washes. Before you say anything, I know this post is a bit Seventh Generation heavy, but they’ve got good, clean stuff! Not sponsored, but hey! I’m open to it SG 😉
So, there are two major sides to greenwashing as I see it: (1) the real clean side, where clean brands vilify “toxic” ingredients/brands and (2) the fake clean side, where brands chock full of truly not-so-great ingredients claim to be clean, green and safe (remember: a lot of these claims aren’t regulated). I’m not trying to add to the hype, but I was pretty thrown when I found out that so many brands that I trusted and turned to time and time again for my children, because I thought they were the better, safer choice, weren’t living up to their claims. I think I actually ranted on IG stories, which doesn’t happen very often. But, ultimately, shame on me for not researching better! Now, I play a more active role in checking out the products I buy for my children. A big culprit I try to avoid is added fragrance, unless it’s listed as coming from essential oils.
Toothpaste has always been a tricky one for us – both of my kids are pretty opinionated (wonder where they got that from 😛 ) and finding a clean toothpaste that they will actually use hasn’t been easy. Of course, it all comes down to taste, but still… Grove carries the Hello brand, which ended up being our winner. We use the Hello Watermelon toothpaste and just started on our second tube.
While I mostly keep their bath time routine super simple with our pediatrician recommended Eucerin Baby Wash, I do like to step this up a bit during swim season. I have tried and enjoyed the Babo Botanicals Swim Shampoo.
And lastly, I recently shared on IG stories that I got some natural bug repellants. I haven’t put these to the test quite yet, but we’ve got a lot of outdoor fun coming up this summer where I’m sure I’ll get the chance to. I picked up the Murphy’s Natural Mosquito Repellant Balm, which is super handy to keep in my bag at all times and the Badger Balm Bug Spray that I can apply before soccer or any outdoor play sessions.
Not sure why it took me so long to even consider a healthier option to this life staple, but I’m so glad I did. A major reason I’m such a fan of Grove is the easy access to Natracare feminine products. I mean, pads and tampons are in direct contact with sensitive areas of your body, why wouldn’t you want to use organic cotton and be plastic-free?
I can personally vouch for Natracare’s Ultra Pads Super with Wings. I’ve tried lots of brands (outside of Grove, Target is another great place to find clean feminine care products in a pinch), the Seventh Generation options are pretty comparable, but Natracare are my favorite and I’ve found them to be the most absorbent. Yes, they are pricey and no, they aren’t as technologically advanced as their not-so-clean counterparts, but I can say with extreme certainty that in the 1 year+ since I switched over to natural pads and tampons, my sensitive self has been healthier and significantly less prone to skin discomfort while using pads (words straight from my Gyn!). I haven’t looked back and don’t plan to AND I urge all women to do the same!
I’ve implemented a lot more clean into my day-to-day life, but these are some of the main ones I purchase and re-purchase from Grove. I am a new Grove affiliate, but I wouldn’t have applied, almost 1 year after joining myself, if I didn’t feel strongly about the brand. It doesn’t hurt that they throw in fun freebies every month to VIP members and especially for newcomers. If you are interested, give Grove a try, like I said before, there are no real obligations and you are free to edit or postpone your monthly shipments as you see fit.
I’d love to hear what clean changes you’ve made to your household. I’m always looking for inspiration! Share in the comments 🙂