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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.