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The Blog

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

We know finding the perfect gift for every special someone in your life can be a challenge but we're here to save the (holi)day with our roundup of clean-living gifts they'll be sure to love! Get ready, friend. You're about to be crowned the Best Gift Giver Ever.

Look here to find gifts for the...

 

Clean Beauty Queen:

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask

This is THE must-have face mask! Give her the hydration she needs during these cold, dry winter months with skincare that has been expertly formulated with premium, organic, and wildcrafted ingredients.

Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub

Add a little luxury to everyday life with this Back to Basic's favorite. Use it in the bath or shower for pre-shave prep or just get your skin oh so nice and smooth.

Habit Nail Polish

Trendsetting colors? Check. Crazy cute packaging? Check. Free of all the most toxic chemicals in most nail polish? Double check.

Clean Beauty Gift Set

This is for the queen that's only interested in the crème de la crème of clean beauty. Get her all of our best-selling beauty essentials wrapped up in one cleanly curated set. 

Green Gent:

rareEssence Aromatherapy Roll-on (Muscle Soothe)

This here is his new gym bag, travel bag, and bedside essential. Soothe sore muscles with this aromatherapeutic blend of essential oils in an easy-to-use, travel-friendly roll-on.

 

Plant Apothecary Body Wash

He'll love getting so fresh and so clean with these mood-enhancing body washes. Aromatherapeutic essential oils do the trick to get him feeling great, one shower at a time.

 

Bare Bones Face Moisturizer

For the simple man looking for simply effective skincare. This moisturizer provides the perfect protection from winter weather.

Men’s Holiday Gift Set

Our guys have their definite favorites and these are them. We've rounded them up into an easily giftable set for your fave green gent!

Mama-to-be:

The Modern Mamahood Mama Sleep Roller Blend

This essential oil roll-on is perfect for any mama or mama-to-be to give her what she needs most... SLEEP. Specifically blended to be safe for during pregnancy and postpartum. 

Earth Mama Little Something For Mama-To-Be

Cover all the bases with these minis designed to help with morning sickness and any other pregnancy woes.

 

Erbaviva Stretch Mark Oil

Give her a little help with what every new mama fears -- those pesky stretch marks. Tried and true favorite amongst our Back to Basics mamas.

 

Self-Care Gift Set

Self-care is never so important as when you're a new mama! Get her to soak up some relaxation and pampering with this set.

Hostess with the Mostess:

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

Where art meets function. These gorgeous diffusers are the perfect way to infuse a home with aromatherapeutic scent. Pair with rareEssence Essential Oils.

Molly's Suds Dryer Balls

Every home needs these. No, but seriously. These wool dryer balls replace dryer sheets while getting rid of static cling, reduce wrinkles, and even get the dryer load to dry faster!

rareEssence Essential Oil Blends

These multi-purpose essential oil blends can be used on those trusty dryer balls, in that brand new Vitruvi diffuser, in a car diffuser, and to naturally scent pretty much everything. If you can't tell, we're obsessed.

 

Home Sweet Home Gift Set

Everything the hosting household needs to survive the holiday season. Think of it like a thank-you-holiday-care-package-survival-kit. 

Stocking Stuffers:

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    Need it gift wrapped? Let us know in your note at checkout and we'll be sure to make your package extra cute!

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    The Holy Grail of Skincare: Josh Rosebrook

    The holy grail of skincare hit our shelves and we could not be more excited to share it with all of you! Josh Rosebrook is officially part of the Back to Basics family.

    Great skincare products begin with great ingredients and Josh Rosebrook’s commitment to using the greatest, purest, and most effective ingredients is unparalleled. Every ingredient in every product is designed to support the function and improve the appearance of the skin.

    Josh Rosebrook’s approach is aimed at helping to accelerate our skin’s natural ability to heal and regenerate instead of simply masking the skin’s symptoms. He accomplishes this by infusing the most powerful plant ingredients and nutrients found in nature into his skincare products. Choosing plant elements that share similar molecular structures to that of our own bodies creates a bio-match enabling these ingredients to work with our skin and effectively promote healthy skin.

    The most unique quality about this skincare line is the attention paid to the synergy between plant and herbal extracts. 

    “Expertly combined elements interact to produce an exponentially greater effect than the sum of those individual elements. Every ingredient is chosen for its unique healing properties as well as its ability to support and enhance the benefits of every other ingredient. We thoughtfully hand pick herbs then combine them in specific proportions to create a potent, effective synergy.”

    - Josh Rosebrook

    This skincare line offers options for all skin types and needs. Each product is designed to treat the skin holistically which helps you to achieve optimal skin health. While we are enamored by the entire line, we want to share our top 3 must-have products by Josh Rosebrook.

    1. Tinted Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 

    This 3-in-1 cream is at the top of our “can’t live without it” list. It is quickly becoming one of our best sellers at Back to Basics, which is no surprise to anyone that has tried it. This botanically rich, ultra-nourishing day cream gives you sun protection as well as a light tint to even out skin tone and provide a health overall glow. The tint matches to any skin tone and is perfect for daily wear.


    2. Active Enzyme Exfoliator

    Josh emphasizes exfoliation as an important step in our skincare routines. It eliminates dead skin cells and allows the nutrients from his products to nourish and transform the underlying healthy skin cells. This mask is the perfect balance of gentle and powerful. It employs a combination of enzymes and finely ground walnut shells to bring out your most radiant skin.


    3. Hydrating Accelerator

    This face mist provides the perfect amount of hydration while acting as a transport vehicle for all of the nutrients. It releases the surface tension of the skin to help the nutrients travel through the layers of the dermis. It works as a powerful enhancer for all of the other products. Just when you thought this skincare line couldn’t get any better, this spray makes it exponentially so!

    One of the best parts of this skincare line is how well the products work together. Which Josh Rosebrook products are you most excited to try? Check out the complete lineup here

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    5 Steps to Get Back to Basics

     

    Our highly curated selection of toxin-free products undergo quite a lot before they grace our shelves here at Back to Basics. We always say that we’ve rounded up the best of the best in terms of ingredients and performance. That all sounds great — but what does that really mean? Allow us to break it down for you…

    Step 1:

    When a product lands on our doorstep for evaluation, we begin by scrutinizing every ingredient on the product label. There are some, well, quite a few, ingredients that are commonly found in household and personal care products that we consider to be harmful or potentially harmful to humans. These ingredients have been compiled to create The Dirty List. If the product does not contain any ingredients on The Dirty List, it moves on to Step 2.

    Step 2:

    While most natural brands, err brands claiming to be natural, appear to be transparent about their ingredients lists, we have found that looks can be deceiving. We make sure to cut through any greenwashing or deceptive ingredients by obtaining as much information about the sourcing, manufacturing, and handling of the ingredients as possible. All of the brands that are Back to Basics approved have been eagerly forthcoming with any information we request.

    Step 3:

    Ingredients say a lot about a product, but an important factor that is sometimes forgotten is that the safety of an ingredient can change when combined with other ingredients. All of the products that we approve undergo a form of bioenergetic testing to determine whether the product is beneficial or harmful to our sample group (a selection of individuals from my homeopathic practice that have agreed to be tested).

    Step 4:

    A product can be as safe as anything but if it doesn’t perform, it doesn’t make the cut! We thoroughly test out — on our human test subjects, of course — every product to make sure it performs better than anything else we’ve tried, conventional, natural, or otherwise. We’ll oftentimes test 30+ products in one product category before that chosen one receives our seal of approval!

    Step 5:

    An incredible product must have incredible packaging. We don’t want to use a face oil that leaks everywhere or a bar of soap that looks like it was made in your grandma’s bathtub and we know you don’t either. Our products look as amazing as they feel and smell.

    When a product passes through these 5 steps with flying colors, we welcome them to the family! While the process is thorough and can be daunting, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love knowing that we’re bringing you the best and most finely curated selection out there. So check out our collection of best sellers to see the cream of the crop that keep our customers clean, healthy and loving life.

     

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    Unboxing the Box: January

    The January boxes were filled with some serious winter weather must-haves! The full-size products featured this month ranged from the ultra-hydrating Aloe Herb Cleanser by Annmarie for our Eco Chic Chicas to the skin-repairing Hand Salve by Crux Supply Co. for our Go Green Gents to the bacteria-killing Truce Organic Hand Soap.

    Check out the product cards on each of our featured products to see the benefits of saying #peaceouttoxins.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Annmarie Aloe Herb Cleanser

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Erbaviva Hand Cream

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Plant Apothecary Lather, Cleanse, Repeat

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Crux Supply Co. Hand Salve

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Truce Organic Hand Soap

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Are you subscribed for the February box? Check out our subscription plan here.

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    Unboxing The Box: October

    Want all of the details on the toxin-free goodness that went out in this month's box? Here's a rundown of all of the products featured in the October boxes:

    rareEssence Candle

    With the crisp fall weather nothing sounds better than getting cozy with some spiced cider and a candle flickering nearby. While we're suckers for this bit of fall mood setting, we want to be sure that the candles we're lighting are as good for us as they smell.

    Why you should toss the the other junk:

    While Pumpkin Spice Latte and Vanilla Marshmallow Dream scented candles might sound appealing (and delicious), chances are that they are scented with dangerous chemicals that can cause a range of health concerns from respiratory issues to hormonal imbalance to cancer to nervous system disorders. Many (read: most) candles are scented with synthetic fragrance. Synthetic fragrance is anything but natural... or safe. The chemicals used to create these "fragrances" bioaccumulate and cause an increasing amount of health issues over time.

    How it got the Back to Basics approval:

    This isn't your ordinary candle. rareEssence has diligently tested and analyzed every essential oil they use to ensure that there are no synthetic adulterants, diluents, pesticides, or heavy metals in them. All of the oils are expressed, distilled, and extracted from consciously sourced plant materials for their aromatherapeutic properties. Good smells with a purpose! These candles are made with high quality ingredients like 100% pure essential oils, GMO-free soy wax, and a lead-free cotton wick.

    NooTrees Tissues

    Along with all of the warm fuzzy feelings of fall comes cold & flu season. As you're wiping the sniffles, we wanted to be sure you weren't using a tissue that would turn you into Rudolph.

    Why you should toss the the other junk:

    As you're tearing through a box of Kleenex, the last thought on your mind is, "hmm I wonder if there are toxic chemicals in this tissue?" Luckily for you, it's our first thought. You would think that there wasn't much to a tissue other than paper pulp but these days toxins like BPA, mineral oil, bleach, and SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) could be hiding in there. Oh and dioxins. Remember 1,4 dioxane that has been linked to cancer, hormonal imbalance, & immune system suppression? Yep, don't want that anywhere near the schnoz.

    How it got the Back to Basics approval:

    These super soft 100% virgin bamboo (a sustainable, biodegradable, & self-regenerating source) tissues are free of all of the nasty chemicals that will irritate your skin and can cause unwanted disruptions to your health. They are chlorine bleach free, hypoallergenic, & highly absorbent. They also come in handy little packs for on-the-go messes or nose-blowing needs!

    Plant Apothecary Body Wash

     

    We love a good body wash. It can take your shower experience from daily chore to rejuvenating spa experience. On the other hand, a bad body wash can create a toxic sauna.

    Why you should toss the the other junk:

    Body washes are a common place to find toxic suspects like SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate), SLES (sodium laureth sulphate), phthalates, parabens, plus a whole host of other endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, and skin irritants. To make matters worse, if you aren't a fan of cold showers, chances are that you're creating a toxic sauna when you bathe. When heated, these toxic chemicals become more dangerous as they are more readily absorbed into your body through your skin and lungs. 

    How it got the Back to Basics approval:

    Plant Apothecary has created a line of body washes that are clean from all of the nasties and also, get this, boost your mood! Aromatherapeutic blends with names like Be Well, Wake Up, Get It On, Calm Down, & Get Happy are made with organic essential oils to turn your shower into a mood-lifting oasis. These formulas are gentle & moisturizing for your skin instead of stripping or coating it. Be armed & ready for any mood with the full lineup!

    Au Naturale Creme de la Creme Eyeshadow

    The changing leaves mean time to change up those makeup colors! Now, before you apply the perfect smoky eye & autumn-inspired lip stain, you should know what you're putting on your face.

    Why you should toss the the other junk:

    Makeup. You know the stuff we apply daily to some very sensitive areas? Most of it is contaminated with dangerous amounts of heavy metals that are not listed on the ingredients list -- including lead. Lead is stored in the body's organs as a cumulative toxin that can cause symptoms ranging from irritability to stomach pain to seizures to miscarriage. The WHO has stated, "there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe." Umm.. we'll take the glossy lip hold the side of lead, please.

    How it got the Back to Basics approval:

    As you probably already know (since we aren't shy about sharing it), we absolutely love this makeup line! We hunted high and low for a brand that performed better than regular department store makeup but was as clean as skincare. That sounds like a tall order -- and it is -- but Au Naturale delivers! Every product in this line is made with the cleanest, highest quality ingredients, applies smoothly & evenly, and has impressive long-wear performance. The Creme de la Creme Eyeshadow features ultra-smart packaging that will revolutionize your 5-minute face game. 

    Crux Supply Co. Pre-Shave Oil

    While a great razor can certainly help you get the smoothest shave possible, the real secret to a perfect shave is in the prep. Unfortunately, most men's grooming products contain some real nasties so you fellas need to watch out for some of these key toxic ingredients.

    Why you should toss the the other junk:

    A common ingredient in products that are oil-based or advertised to be moisturizing is mineral oil. Mineral oil has a viscous quality to it that makes it slippery and helps products spread across your skin. Sounds harmless, right? Well, not so much. Mineral oil is derived from petroleum and is a known carcinogen. It is a cheap additive and therefore is included in many product formulations. It sneaks into products under the names petrolatum, white petrolatum, paraffin, paraffin wax, liquid paraffin, and petroleum.

    How it got the Back to Basics approval:

    Gents, over the past few months we've been prepping you for a "better than the barber" shave. We've sent you all of the necessary tools: the Charcoal Scrub to exfoliate and prep your skin, the Pre-Shave Oil to ensure the razor glides over the skin instead of dragging, as well as the the Shave Brush & Shave Soap to get a creamy lather to prep the hairs for a close shave. This Pre-Shave Oil conditions skin with naturally nourishing, non-petroleum based oils like avocado, almond, meadow foam, & hemp seed. Give your mug a good old pre-shave massage with this oil to put up the good fight against razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

    Lively Up Your Breath Capsules

    Going from stale, bad breath to minty fresh can be challenging when you're on the go. Most readily available options will leave you reaching for another hit as soon as the first dissolves or are packed full of chemicals that should never be ingested.

    Why you should toss the the other junk:

    Most mints, gum, & breath sprays opt for artificial sweeteners over sugar. Their claims of being dentist recommended might comfort you but you should be concerned with more that just the health of your teeth. Artificial sweeteners can cause gastrointestinal problem, alter your metabolism, and even cause cancer. Most of them boast having "zero calories" but that little term should actually tell you to watch out because regular consumption can trick your body into gaining weight. They are also filled with synthetic preservatives made up of parabens as well as synthetic flavors and even fragrance. 

    How it got the Back to Basics approval:

    These little capsules pack a big minty punch! Lively Up Your Breath! has eliminated all of the concerning ingredients in traditional breath fresheners and replaced them with safe, effective ingredients. When you crack open the capsule, you fill your mouth with organic essential oils, organic menthol, & mouth-cleansing chlorophyll that reduces bacteria to improve bad breath. Bad bacteria be gone, long-lasting freshness is here to stay!
    Are you ready for the November box? If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do so here.

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    5 Most Toxic Items at Home

    I was recently asked in an interview for Vanity + Trade, what are the “5 household items that most of us have in our homes but don’t realize just how toxic they are?” While it is tough to narrow it down, I chose these as my current top 5. Some I chose because of their frequency of use and others due to their potent effects from even limited exposure.

     

    Run through this list to see which items you have in your home and check out my recommendations for safe, toxin-free swaps.

    The Toxic 5

    1. Laundry detergent

    The most impactful thing you could do for your health right now is to throw out your toxic laundry detergent! Most detergents are packed full of nasty toxins like synthetic fragrance, sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate (SLS/SLES), optical brighteners, and dioxins. In my homeopathic practice, I’ve seen countless cases of skin irritation (rashes, redness, eruptions), allergy-like symptoms (runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing), and insomnia from exposure to toxic laundry detergent.

    2. Deodorizers/candles:

    Room sprays, fragrance plug-ins, scent diffusers, candles, bathroom deodorizers… They come in many forms but they all have the same root issue: they contain synthetic fragrance that has been linked to cancer, birth defects, allergies, and hormonal imbalance. Whether the effects are apparent or not, exposure to these types of products has a profoundly detrimental impact on your health.

    3. Deodorant

    Most people apply this multiple times a day and most deodorants contain dangerous ingredients like aluminum. Exposure to aluminum should be avoided as it has been linked to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. Also, some of the antimicrobial chemicals in deodorant disrupt the bacterial balance in your underarms causing the odor producing bacteria to multiply. In other words, the deodorant you’re using could make you smell more!  
    Recommended swap: Bare Bones Body Deodorant

    4. Bleach

    Using chlorine bleach on cotton or paper products can create unwanted byproducts, dioxins. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has stated that there is no safe level of dioxin exposure. Even if you aren’t using it on cotton or paper, bleach contains ammonia hydroxide which releases toxic ammonia gas. All the way around, this should not be considered a product that is safe to have in your house.  

    5. Perfume/cologne:

    All of the concerns that were listed for deodorizers and candles are valid here but now instead of just breathing the toxins in, you are applying them directly to your body. They are easily and readily absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream without any filtration until they make it to your organs.  
    Recommended swap: We have been researching & testing safe alternatives and will make them available as soon as we find an option that meets our standards.

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    Travel Bag Essentials



    When you travel a lot, it can be difficult to maintain your toxin-free lifestyle. Recently, I have been bouncing around quite a bit! Between making trips to our toxin-free brands’ headquarters to attending product expos to accompanying my husband on work trips, I feel like my environment is constantly changing and very often out of my control. In the midst of the constant change, I have found that packing just a few essentials can make all the difference in reducing my exposure to toxins and maintaining a healthy balance while on the road.

    I want to introduce you all to a few of my must-have travel essentials that are currently in my bag. Having them with me makes me feel right at home, wherever I am in the world!

    Essential Oxygen Brushing Rinse: Have you ever tried to brush your teeth in an airport bathroom or, heaven forbid, an airplane lavatory?! It’s kind of the worst. Do yourself a favor and skip the headache, embarrassment, & hazard of accidentally dropping your toothbrush in the germ-filled public restroom sink by using this Brushing Rinse instead. A quick swish around with this rinse and my mouth feels just as clean as actually brushing my teeth! No joke. Essential Oxygen has even made a 3 oz. TSA-friendly size to throw in your carry-on. Give your mouth a little swish mid-flight & your seat neighbor will thank you.

    Kosmatology Hand Sanitizer: In all honesty, I won’t even walk out of the house without this one! This hand sanitizer is the perfect on-the-go size and will save you from having to use those nasty, chemical-filled hand soaps that are in most public restrooms. I mean, what do they do to that stuff to get it that neon pink?! The thought of having those toxic parabens & phthalates seep into my body through my palms makes me cringe. Luckily, with Kosmatology hand sanitizer in my bag, I can wash up and not be stuck with the lingering smell of synthetic fragrance. I even use this product to sanitize my phone, hotel room countertops, & anything else that seems a little too grimy for my taste while I’m on the road.

    Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Mask: It is no secret that I am in love with this mask. A month ago when my skin was being particularly challenging (read: dry, peeling spots & budding acne on my cheeks & forehead), I tried this mask for the first time. After one use, there was a noticeable difference with all of these issues. After 3 nights in a row of using it, my skin was back to its normal self! Now anytime my skin is feeling out of balance, which it does every time I step on a plane or change to a different climate, I use this mask. It eliminates any brooding breakouts & resurfaces my skin with such pure, therapeutic, high-quality ingredients. It is also one of the easiest masks I’ve ever used. Just apply a thin layer (it goes on clear) and by the time you're done flipping through your Instagram feed & reading The Skimm for today, it's time to rinse the mask off… so simple!

    Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent: This is not something that you would typically think of packing along with your toothbrush and underwear when you are leaving town but it is at the top of the must-pack list for me! I think there is nothing worse than having to stay in a place where the sheets have been washed with a synthetically fragranced detergent. The toxic smell fills the room and makes me feel physically ill. Cue my little handy travel pack of Molly’s Suds (tip: make your own by putting some of the powder in a zip bag)! It works best if you’re staying in a home (thank you, Airbnb!) with a washing machine where you can run a load so that you can have toxin-free sheets and towels during your stay. Doing a load of laundry while on vacation could mean avoiding symptoms like itchy, irritated skin, headache, sneezing, stuffy or running nose, nausea, and/or insomnia. Pretty easy trade off!

    Cocokind Lip Balm: Dry, chapped travel lips be gone! Traveling always makes my skin (lips especially) drier than normal. Drinking more water than usual helps my whole body fight the travel dehydration but for when chapped lips strike, I always have this lip balm in my bag to keep my lips from cracking or peeling. Unlike many lip balms that are formulated with toxic ingredients (like petrochemicals that actually cause your lips to be more chapped with each application), this nourishing lip balm by Cocokind uses organic ingredients that improve skin health and moisturizes lips in a deep, lasting way.

    What are your must-have travel items? Whether you’re a jet setter or an occasional voyager, it is always good to keep an extra set of your essentials in a travel pack. This way, everything you need will be ready to grab at a moment’s notice & you will be sure not to forget anything in the mad packing scramble.

    Happy travels!



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    Let's Talk About These Dioxins



    Dioxins are recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being “highly toxic” and a known carcinogen, yet most of us are being exposed to them constantly. It’s time we had a little chat about dioxins.

    What are dioxins?

    Dioxins are a large group of chemical compounds that are similar to one another in molecular structure. They are unintentionally (read: accidentally) made by a variety of industrial processes including chlorine bleaching of materials such as cotton or wood pulp, the manufacturing of some pesticides and herbicides, and burning of waste. While there are many chemicals that belong to this group called dioxins, there is one that is recognized as being the most dangerous. It is known simply as “dioxin” or TCDD (2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin).

    Ever heard of Agent Orange?

    This most dangerous dioxin, TCDD, was made famous (or should we say, infamous) as a contaminant in the widely used chemical warfare weapon, Agent Orange, in the Vietnam War. Agent Orange was created as an herbicide and was used to decimate the Vietnam jungles so that the opposing forces would not be able to use the natural foliage as protective coverage. It accomplished its intended purpose but came with some very serious and long-term consequences.

    Vietnam War veterans that came into contact with this herbicide and the Vietnamese people have suffered from extremely damaging and fatal health issues. Agent Orange has been the cause of countless cases of cancer, birth defects, and Parkinson’s disease.

    The land in Vietnam that was sprayed with Agent Orange is now considered to be some of the most toxic real estate in the world.

    Montsanto, Dow Chemical, and Dupont were the primary manufacturers of Agent Orange. These three companies still exist as successful mega-corporations. They now manufacture pesticides and herbicides that are used on many of our conventional, non-organic food crops.

    Where are dioxins found?

    Even if you aren’t a Vietnam War vet and don’t live in Vietnam, you are still being exposed to dioxins - and probably more often than you’d think. Dioxins can be found in:

    Why should you give a darn if dioxins are hanging around in your house?

    Dioxins are classified as persistent environmental pollutants (POPs), meaning that they do not degrade easily. They are highly chemically stable so once they’re out there in the world, they exist for a long, long time. They tend to be stored in the fatty tissue of animals. It has been observed that the higher an animal is on the food chain, the higher the concentration of dioxins. Here’s lookin' at you, humans.

    Exposure to dioxins can cause:

    • cancer
    • liver disease
    • chloracne
    • darkened skin patches
    • hormonal imbalance (irregular menstrual cycle, )
    • reproductive issues (lowered sperm count, difficulty
    • birth defects
    • loss of muscle control
    • weakened immune system

    What can you do now?

    While dioxins are widespread, you can certainly do your part to limit your exposure to them. Luckily, there are great alternative products to the ones listed above.

    1. use organic cotton products, especially tampons & pads
    2. purchase paper products that are labeled TCF (totally chlorine-free)
    3. look for products that have been alternatively whitened with hydrogen peroxide
    4. consume organic produce that has not been treated with pesticides & herbicides
    5. avoid conventional animal fats

    Over the next few months we have committed to replacing dioxin laden products in your home with better, safer alternatives. Back to Basics subscribers will receive a variety of products to help eliminate those that are contaminated with dioxins. Our February box subscribers received the first wave of them in this month’s box! If you are not yet a subscriber, you can sign up here or purchase these dioxin-free products individually in The Shop.



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    It's Election Day Everyday


    Election Day is here. Over 120 million Americans will vote to shape the future of our nation. While this day is significant and it is so very important that we all exercise our right to vote, our rights do not expire on November 8th. We have the opportunity to have our voices, opinions, tastes, needs, and values to be heard everyday by voting with our dollars.

     As consumers in this nation we vote everyday -- what we choose to spend our money on casts a vote in one direction or another. Have you thought about the types of products and business practices you’ve been supporting with your votes? Are you buying products that promote health, sustainability, and a better environment for yourself and those around you? Or are you buying products that you’ve unwittingly grown into the habit of purchasing but are toxic, health-damaging, and unethically produced?

    Companies do not make products aimlessly. They make what sells. If you keep buying it, they’ll keep making it. This is the most basic principle of a market economy -- supply and demand.

    Now, the opposite is also true. If we discontinue our support (read: purchase) of toxic, chemical-ridden products, the manufacturers will stop making them out of financial self-interest.

    You may be thinking, “But I’m only one person, how will I make a difference?” One vote may not change the entire system, but grassroots movements grow in strength and effectiveness with each new member. If we begin to sway the tides towards better, safer, healthier product alternatives, they will inevitably win out over their toxic counterparts.

    So get on out there and vote for our next president... and for our health!



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    The Scariest Toxin: Part 2



    In the last post we were chatting about synthetic fragrance. Remember that nasty stuff that is mostly made up of health damaging petrochemicals? While it is found in a frighteningly wide range of consumer products, I have compiled some helpful tips and a list of products to check in order to help you avoid it. 

    First, here are some tips to help you get synthetic fragrance out of your life:

    1. Avoid anything that has "fragrance" in the ingredients list

    Also, watch out for "natural fragrance", "fragrance oil", "perfume", or "parfum" as they are sneaky synonyms.

    2. Opt for the unscented or fragrance-free version of natural or organic products

    Remember to always check the ingredient list though. Some unscented products have simply added a "masking fragrance" to hide the scent of the synthetic fragrance. In other words, the toxins are still there, you just can't smell them.

    3. Search for products that are scented with essential oils

    Note that essential oils are not all one and the same. Some manufacturers hide synthetic ingredients under the label of essential oils. Opt for organic essential oils, as that means they are certified not to contain synthetic ingredients.

    If you find products with "fragrance" on the label, throw them out today... actually, right now. This very second! These toxins are too dangerous for you to be exposed to for even a second longer. Don't wait until you finish off the rest of that bottle of toxic shampoo or until you burn the rest of that carcinogen-filled candle. Toss them out now so that your health doesn't have to suffer even a second more! Trust me, your health is worth more than that can of air freshener.

     How much toxic junk can you get rid of today?

    Snap a pic of your toxic garbage pile and share it with us on Instagram or Twitter by tagging #PeaceOutToxins. Be sure to tag @backtobasicsbox, too!

    While the following list is not exhaustive, it is a good primer to help you become aware of the types of products that contain synthetic fragrance. Use this as a checklist to go through the products in your home (or car, purse, gym bag, etc... you get the idea) and read the ingredients on their labels. 

    Household products to check:

    • Laundry detergent: Tide, Cheer, Gain, All, Wisk, Clorox, Downy, Snuggle, Arm & Hammer, Woolite, Method, Purex, Suavitel, Simple Green
    • Fabric softeners: Snuggle, Gain, Suavitel, Downy, Mrs. Meyer's, Method
    • Stain remover: Shout, Clorox, Tide, Oxi Clean
    • Dryer sheets: Bounce, Downy, Snuggle, Mrs. Meyer's, Method, Suavitel
    • Air fresheners: Febreze, Glade, Arm & Hammer, Lysol, AirWick, Citrus Magic, Renuzit, Unstoppables, J.R. Watkins, Yankee Candles, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret
    • Fragrance oil plug-ins: Glade, AirWick, Unstoppables
    • Car air fresheners: Little Trees, Citrus Magic, Febreze, Glade, California Scents, Renuzit, Refresh
    • Candles: Glade, Unstoppables, Yankee Candle, Bath & Body Works, Diamond Candles; many high-end, luxury candles also contain synthetic fragrances but many are owned by perfume or cologne companies which allows them to keep their proprietary fragrance formulation and ingredients a secret
    • Fragrance oil diffusers: AirWick, Yankee Candle, WoodWick, Apothia
    • All-purpose cleaning spray: 409, Lysol, Simple Green, Method, Mrs. Meyer's, Comet, Green Works, Clorox, Orange Glo
    • Cleaning wipes: Clorox, Lysol, Green Works, Scrubbing Bubbles
    • Glass cleaner: Windex, Method
    • Toilet bowl cleaner: Clorox, Lysol, Scrubbing Bubbles, Simple Green, Pine-Sol, Method, Toilet Duck
    • Floor cleaner: Swiffer, Resolve, Pine-Sol, Murphy, Orange Glo, Woolite, Bona, Pledge, Bissel, Hoover
    • Hand soap: SoftSoap, Dial, Method, Mrs. Meyer's, J.R. Watkins
    • Dish soap: Palmolive, Ajax, Cascade, Finish, SOS, Dawn, Gain, Ivory, Mrs. Meyer's, Method, Ecos
    • Dish washer detergent: Cascade, Finish, Jet-Dry, Method, Mrs. Meyer's, Palmolive
    • Hand sanitizer: Purell, Wet Ones, Bath & Body Works
    • Pet odor remover: Arm & Hammer, Out!, Nature's Miracle, Simple Green

    Body and personal care products to check:

    • Body lotion: Lubriderm, Aveeno, Olay, Nivea, Suave, St. Ives, Vaseline, Jergens, Yes To, Boots Botanics, J.R. Watkins, L'Occitane, Gud, Kiehl's, Philosophy, Fresh, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret
    • Perfume & cologne: ingredients for these products are considered to be proprietary so each manufacturer needs to be asked if they contain synthetic fragrances but most do
    • Shampoo & conditioner: Pantene Pro-V, Herbal Essences, Garnier Fructis, L'Oreal, Dove, OGX, Matrix Biolage, Aussie, Head & Shoulders, Nexxus, Suave, Kerastase, TRESemme, Redken, Paul Mitchell, Pureology, Bumble and Bumble, Living Proof, Philosophy, L'Occitane, Johnson's Baby
    • Body wash: Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, Dial, Aveeno, SoftSoap, Caress, St. Ives, Nivea, Jason, Burt's Bees, Kiehl's, Old Spice, Axe, Yes To, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, L'Occitane, Philosophy, Fresh, Lush, Johnson's Baby
    • Soap: Dial, Olay, Ivory, Irish Spring, Old Spice, Zest, Mrs. Meyers, J.R. Watkins, Kiss My Face, Lush, Yes To, L'Occitane, Fresh, Philosophy
    • Bubble bath: Philosophy, Fresh, L'Occitane, Lush, Calgon, Dr. Teal's, Mr. Bubble, Johnson's Baby
    • Shaving cream: Gillette, Barbasol, Dove, Kiehl's, Kiss My Face
    • Skin care: Lancome, Shiseido, Origins, Clarins, Kiehl's, Bare Minerals, Philosophy, Kiss My Face, Cetaphil, St. Ives, L'Oreal, Olay, Clean & Clear, Aveeno, Pond's
    • Deodorant: Degree, Secret, Dove, Speed Stick, Suave, Old Spice, Axe, Tom's of Maine, Kiss My Face, Jason
    • Dry shampoo: Fekkai, Toni & Guy, Herbal Essences, Not Your Mother's, Batiste, TRESemme, Drybar, Living Proof, Moroccanoil, Verb
    • After-shave: Old Spice, Brut, Aqua Velva, Nivea
    • Hairspray: Suave, Garnier Fructis, Aquanet, Aussie, L'Oreal, Redken, Fekkai, Big Sexy Hair, Sebastian, Bed Head, Drybar
    • Hair gel & mousse: Axe, Pomade, Bed Head, Redken, Pantene Pro-V, L.A. Looks, Bumble and Bumble, Drybar, Living Proof, Ouai
    • Sunscreen: Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Coppertone, Kiss My Face, Olay, Hawaiian Tropic, Sun Bum, Aveeno, Bullfrog, Moroccanoil
    • Makeup: MAC, Lancome, Clarins, Benefit, Too Faced, Tarte, Urban Decay, Maybelline, Rimmel London, e.l.f., Anna Sui, Almay, CoverGirl, L'Oreal
    • Feminine care: Tampax, Playtex, Always, Kotex
    • Diapers: Pampers, Huggies, Luvs

    Now that you've tossed the junk, replace it with health-friendly, nontoxic alternatives! Get your replacement products with our subscription plan. Click to order the box!



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