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The Blog

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.

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Annmarie Aloe Herb Cleanser

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Erbaviva Hand Cream

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Plant Apothecary Lather, Cleanse, Repeat

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Crux Supply Co. Hand Salve

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Truce Organic Hand Soap

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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 feature them in The Box soon!

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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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The Scariest Toxin: Part 1



It's Halloween time! In the spirit of the spookiest month of the year, I thought we should talk about something scary. I frequently get asked this question: "What's the scariest toxin?" I guess this is people's way of acknowledging that toxins are bad but they can't eliminate every toxin from their lives at this very second. So which one should be top priority? While it varies from individual to individual, the scariest toxin can be summed up in two words: synthetic fragrance. Synthetic fragrances are mainly made up of petrochemicals. That means they are derived from petroleum. Yep, like the same stuff that we use to make gasoline. Can you imagine breathing in fumes of gasoline all day long and then rubbing that gunk all over your body?! It sounds absurd, but so many consumers are doing just this each and every day. So the real question, what can petrochemicals actually do to you? Here are some of the health issues that you could be experiencing from exposure to them: Irregular, absent, or painful menstrual cycle

  • Reproductive issues, such as infertility
  • Cancer
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose/postnasal drip
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Dryness, redness of eyes
  • Skin rash

Throughout my years of practicing as a homeopath, I saw the direct link between exposure to synthetic fragrances and these symptoms in my clients. Oftentimes, they would associate these symptoms with other causative factors like pollen, the flu, stress, genetics, etc. Yet the removal of synthetic fragrances from their environments would alleviate their symptoms.

The prominence of these chemicals is what makes them extra scary. They are hiding in such a wide variety of our consumer products. For starters, you can find them in most name brand household cleaners, air fresheners, room sprays, candles, scent diffusers, incense, perfumes and colognes, makeup, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, sunscreen, body lotion, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, dish washing liquid, hand soap, essential oils, potpourri... you name it! Just see how many times you can spot the word "fragrance" on the ingredient list of your household products. Now, all is not lost. While many MANY consumer products contain these health damaging chemicals, there are some high quality, health-conscious, eco-friendly manufacturers out there that are making products without a single synthetic ingredient. We have been on a mission to track down the crème de la crème that fall into this camp.

All of the products featured in our boxes here at Back to Basics are synthetic fragrance free. No petrochemicals over here! We know it can be difficult to find consumer products that are free of these toxic chemicals -- especially with the lack of regulations in labeling or mislabeling in the marketplace today! We're working away to bring you the best products made from the best ingredients. Every product we offer has been tested, checked, and double-checked so that we can safely say it is toxin-free. Phew!

Stay tuned for the next post, The Scariest Toxin: Part 2! We will dive into what to look for in safe, alternative products.



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Getting Back to Basics



I'm ready to get back to basics and I'm ready to do it in a BIG way. Why, you ask? Well, quite simply because our health depends on it! All of us are compromising our health by by living in toxic environments. It is time for us to get back to basics by exposing and stripping away all of the toxic stuff -- from our homes, our schools, our gyms, our day cares, our workplaces -- so that we can enjoy full, happy, healthy lives.

Throughout my time as a homeopath, I saw countless cases of people unknowingly making themselves ill through exposure to environmental toxins. After years of using homeopathy to help client after client detox these harmful substances from their bodies, I knew I needed to find a more efficient and scalable solution. But what? Then, it hit me: stop people from being exposed to these toxins so that they never get sick from them in the first place.

Like my clients, you might not actually know the dangers posed by extremely commonplace toxins. You aren't purposefully or intentionally making yourself sick, you just don't know which toxins should be avoided. To confuse matters further, misleading product ingredient labels make it nearly impossible to tell which products contain them!

Back to Basics is here to change all of that. We want to simplify the whole concept of green, toxin-free, health-friendly living. So in a nutshell, we're here to do just this by:

  1. Breaking it down nice and easy for you so that you know which toxins to avoid in order to make the biggest positive impact on your health;
  2. Supplying you with better, cleaner, greener alternatives of the products you need so that you don't fall back into using the same old toxic stuff.

Easy as that.

So how about you? Are you ready to get back to basics? If you let out an audible, "heck yeah!" in response to that question, you've got to check out the box. And if you didn't, well... Still check it out.



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