Essential Oils & Kids. Toxins in the home. Post #2

WHAT’S LURKING IN YOUR HOME?

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Let’s chat about some mind-blowing facts about what is lurking in our homes. I had no idea there were harmful ingredients in the things I used on my skin daily, and so if you are in this place, or anywhere near it, please know that this is a judgment free zone! All of us in here are on a wellness journey and you are invited, exactly as you are, and at whatever stage you are in!

  1. Store bought soaps contain sodium laureth sulfate, a toxic chemical used to remove car grease off of garage floors. This can be damaging to the skin, as well as disruptive to immune health and hormonal health.
  2. Both adult and kid shampoos contain phthalates, a toxic chemical that has been banned in children’s toys, but is still found in body cleansing products. It is known to be an endocrine disruptor, and very hard for the body to break down when used consistently during bath time.
  3. The main ingredient in candles and home sprays is formaldehyde, which is the number one cancer causing chemical, and is what we get embalmed with at the morgue. They say inhaling scents from candles or sprays is the equivalent to inhaling second hand smoke, which is even more dangerous than actually smoking the cigarette itself.
  4. Store bought household cleaning products contain 2-butoxyethanol, which is a toxin known to cause sore throat, narcosis, and severe liver and kidney damage.
  5. Store bought laundry detergents and dryer sheets contain alpha-terpineol, benzyl alcohol, and camphor, which are all toxic ingredients that cause central nervous system disorders, loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
  6. Many baby products contain the listed ingredient “fragrance,” which is simply a broad category that hides hundreds of toxic chemicals behind that word itself. Companies are not required to reveal the actual chemicals that are within the “fragrance” category, hence keeping the public in the dark about the true toxicity of the products we use on our little ones. This can cause huge hormone disruption.
  7. Women apply over 300 chemicals to their face and skin per day, including talc, bismuth, parabens, lead, mercury, and mineral oil. These chemicals are all found in store bought skin care and makeup products, which can disrupt the endocrine system, are highly carcinogenic, and have even been found in tumors.

When we use these products on ourselves and our children on a daily basis, the toxins build up and accumulate within our bodies – a process called “bioaccumulation.” This means that the more we expose ourselves to these toxins, the harder it is for our bodies to break them down. Because of this build up, it causes both minor and major health issues, that otherwise could be prevented if we simply quit using those toxins. Even if these issues aren’t apparent right now, they will be apparent later on down the road.

What’s even scarier to know, is some of the most popular “organic” products can still contain some the ingredients above. Even if you think you’re making a better decision about going organic instead of conventional, there is still a probability that your organic product is still highly toxic for yourself or your little ones.

Don’t believe me? Visit the Environmental Working Group website at ewg.org, plug in the ingredients of your products, and see how high it is rated in toxicity. Or, download the “Think Dirty” app on your smartphone, and look at the toxicity levels. The results will shock you, and will make you want to throw those products in the trash.

 

WHAT TO USE INSTEAD:

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Young Living products have NONE of the chemicals listed above and only contains the purest of plant based ingredients. While they are an essential oil company, they are also a fully-equipped natural products company. They have supplements, beauty products, household cleaning products, stuff for kids and babies, home purifiers, bath and shower products, oral care, and yes – even makeup! This makes it easy to simply ditch the products you’re currently using, and replace it with something Young Living has instead. It is your one-stop-shop for all things you will need for yourself, for your home, for your children, and for your health!

Simply put, the only thing inside their essential oil bottles is the plant itself – no additives, fillers, synthetic fragrances, preservatives, or dyes (which is NOT the same for store bought essential oils, hence why other brands can be dangerous and highly toxic). The same goes for all of their products – the only ingredients within the products are the ones listed on the label, and they are all plant based. Not one single ingredient is synthetic, toxic, or chemically derived!!!

BUT IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE….

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Some people have a misconception of thinking that using Young Living products in their home and on their family is a new or added expense. WRONG! It’s not! Instead, it’s a shift in spending. Everyone spends money on products every day, every month, every year – whether the products are good for you or not. With this route, instead of going to the store for all of your products, you are getting them from Young Living. I personally LOVE online shopping and HATE going to the store! I have also found it to be true that I use a smaller amount of product than I’m used to with other brands. High quality simply goes further and lasts longer. Since you don’t need to use as much to get great results, it doesn’t cost as much! Let’s talk about 5 ways you can so totally afford Young Living.

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  1. Get a Wholesale Membership!

This is the route that 99% of people go when they want to start using Young Living products. With this route, you get wholesale pricing on everything they have instead of retail pricing, which saves you 24% on every single item they’ve got! If you’re here, chances are you already have one of these babies!!! Just log into your VO and get to shopping!!!!

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  1. Get on Essential Rewards Immediately!

Another cool thing about Young Living, is they give cash back to frequent buyers. There is a super incredible program called Essential Rewards, which acts as a “monthly box” that you can customize and get shipped to you every month, filled with products you are needing for your family or in your home. Over time, you can earn up to 25% back in points for your orders, and those points you can use towards getting products for FREE. With Essential Rewards, you can also take advantage of the FREE monthly promotions that Young Living has, cheaper shipping options, and the option to cancel at any time. So, basically, Young Living pays you to order their products through this program. Name another store that will do that for you?! NONE!

This program also gives you a means of affordably ditching and switching, which can be a process to do. So, this month, you can order everything for your kiddos, next month household cleaning products. And the next month, you can order beauty products, baby products, or supplements, or essential oils, or makeup, whatever you need – so on and so forth!

With all of these perks and benefits of the Essential Rewards program, it’s only a minimum of 50 PV in products for each monthly box, which can be the equivalent of $50. Now, before you think that’s a lot, it’s TOTALLY not! We all spend well over $50 a month on products every single month. All this is, is shifting that spending from the store to something natural instead. Even people with the most minimal budgets can do Essential Rewards!

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  1. Get FREE products with Young Living’s monthly promotions!

Young Living has this cool tradition, where they give away an assortment of products to members every month for FREE. For anyone who orders over a certain amount in a single order, Young Living will include some free products in the box for you. Normally, there are 4 different ordering tiers – 100, 190, 250, or 300. If you order over any of those amounts in one single order, they will automatically include the FREE monthly products, which could add up to hundreds of dollars in stuff you didn’t have to pay for. Cool, huh?!

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  1. Create DIY products yourself!

Some people find even more ways to pinch pennies and reduce toxins in their home by creating DIY products with Young Living’s essential oils and products. There are literally thousands upon thousands of recipes out there to create chemical-free options for yourself and your family. When you add Young Living’s essential oils to your DIY products, the powerful plant properties will add natural fragrance, be soothing to the skin, act as a natural purifying agent, and will support your overall health at the same time, all depending on what you’re making. Basically, adding oils to your DIY recipes will make them even better for you than if you didn’t add them at all!

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  1. Share Young Living with friends, get paid for their referral!

When we say Young Living literally pays you back, they not only do that when you order, they also do that whenever you refer friends. For every friend you refer, if that friend creates a wholesale account and orders a Premium Starter Kit like you did, you can get $50. So, if you refer 3 friends to Young Living, it could pay you back for the Premium Starter Kit you initially purchased for yourself! Also, if you keep referring friends, it could get your monthly Essential Rewards orders paid for, too, that way you will NEVER pay for your products! Talk about a money saver! What other stores (ahem… Target where you at!?) deposit cash in your bank account for referring friends? NONE!

THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTED

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There are hundreds of uses for each essential oil. And Young Living offers HUNDREDS of oils to choose from.

But remember how I talked about how a wholesale membership is the way to GO when it comes to kicking toxins out affordably? Well thankfully Young Living has curated the PERFECT kit of essential oils to get you that wholesale membership. The kit is valued at over $330.00 if you were to purchase everything separately without your wholesale membership, but they’ve priced it at only $160.00. A savings of almost 50%!! The kit they’ve curated is PERFECT because it includes 11 oils and a diffuser giving you hundreds of uses for the most common things you’d need to use oils for! We’ll let the kids break down the uses in the next post 😉

Cloth diapers. Really.

Its been about 4 months since i started and it turns out that i may have over reacted. Cloth diapering is not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. The online support group has been amazing. Not a question has been left unanswered and I have not had any real problems yet!

PLUS, a friend of mine gave us her whole diaper stash which was a GIANT blessing! Since we have been able to try a variety of diapers I can tell you that they each have pros and cons but none of them have any cons that are deal breakers for us. My husband is even using them with no problems and minimal complaining!

My personal favorite is still the hybrid grovia 2 in 1 that I originally bought because they are very similar to the convenience of disposables and are super easy to use!

I feel like we have everything that we need so I can do a wash about every 5 days and never run out (I just usually wash on day 5 so they don’t get to gross). Our stash has about 5 dozen diapers. It includes the Grovia hybrid that I originally bought, Purple Unicorn with snaps and a variety of pocket diapers/ inserts. We also have 2 yards of flannel that I used for making wipes, a set of 4 wool dryer balls to help with shortening dry time, 5 dekor reusable diaper bags, 2 decor diaper pails (one for the nursery and one for the bathroom) a spray pal splatter shield, a spray nozzle for the toilet and a travel wet bag!

I use a simple homemade diaper balm made from coconut oil and essential oils. It works well to prevent rashes and never stains! Here’s how to make it:

4 oz pure coconut oil (solid form)

20 drops Essential Oil of choice (I use Lavender and Gentle Baby in equal parts)

Melt oil in 4 oz Mason jar, add EO’s (essential oils) refrigerate until solid, label with washi tape & a sharpie (or label of choice!) and store at room temperature. Ready to use anytime!

Tip: this is also great for adding quick moisture to my over washed hands!

To make homemade wipe solution, I looked up a popular recipe and then tweaked it to my preference. I love the recipe I’ve fine tuned but feel free to make it your own by adding a little extra or maybe a little less of something!

Homemade wipe solution recipe:

1 Quart size mason jar

1 Oz Dr. Bronners baby unscented pure castile soap

1 Tsp fractionated coconut oil

10 Drops lavender EO

10 Drops Gentle Baby EO

Mix all ingredients in jar and fill to top with filtered water. Once you have your wipes cut and in your dish of choice just pour the solution over the wipes. Ready for use! Store covered to maintain moisture. I find that the quart jar covers about 48 wipes with the right amount of moisture and maintains moisture until I use them up!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

Cloth diapers? Really?

My “natural, whenever possible.” focused mind has been toying with the idea of cloth diapers all along but I simply haven’t wanted to deal with the mess and extra work. I’ve got enough on my plate and I deserve for something to be easy!

I knew disposables are said to have “bad” chemicals and after my husband and I did the math, we were aware of how much money we would be saving long term but I still had time to procrastinate on the decision since Gavin was too small for cloth for a long time. At his 3 lbs. birth weight, his first diaper was a size “micro preemie” which is about half the size of a post card and that was actually too big for him. They do sell cloth sets in size newborn but he was far from even fitting newborn and I didn’t want to invest in a whole set for the relatively short period of time that they would fit him.

If you’ve ever dabbled in the world of cloth diapers, you’ll understand why I felt overwhelmed and unprepared by the idea of committing to investing in a brand/style.

I asked my natural loving mom friend so many questions that I’m surprised she hasn’t blocked me (yet) and I also did A LOT of research on my own to learn about what I would use IF I were to eventually go that route. As I started to understand the lingo (which is basically like instantaneously being thrown into an advanced foreign language class!) and even tried a few options. I still felt overwhelmed and honestly, I was relieved when my top choice, Grovia All in Two’s with the hook and loop velcro closure, was still too big for him. He looked like he got eaten by a teletubby and massive leaks were inevitable. We would simply have to wait on cloth diapering. Darn 😉

Fast forward a few months. Gavin is 5 months old, 11 lbs. and has just grown into size one diapers. We got back the blood test results about Gavin’s hormone levels (he was born with hypospadias and needs a repair). They look good but he will still need testosterone he will need testosterone therapy before his repair. The only other thing we can do in the meantime is support normal hormone function by avoiding hormone disruptors. It seems like it’s time to face the music and look more closely at what we can realistically do to help him have the best chance for happy hormones, long term.

Are disposable diapers really that bad? Are the cloth diaper moms just dooms day preppers who are blowing this whole thing out of proportion? Before I make my life harder, I’m going to need to find out the truth for myself.

In my research, I have not targeted any specific disposable brand. If you’re looking for brand specific info, just look up the ingredients of the brand you’re interested in. I know the natural ones are supposed to be better but it really doesn’t matter enough for me to hard core look into each brand because even if you can find a diaper company that passes all the ingredients tests, the best brands are very expensive for everyday use.
So far, my research concludes that most disposable diapers contain chemicals that could cause adverse skin reactions, cancer, asthma, and hormone disruption.
It might seem like it’s not a big deal or the exposure isn’t enough to make a difference but I think that we all have noticed an increase in these sorts of illnesses in our society and that we have enough research to show that chemical exposure is definitely part of the problem. Some of the main offending chemicals are Dioxins, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tributyl-tin (TBT) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). That’s a good list to reference if you’re just trying to learn what to avoid. If you want to know more about WHY then read on.
Dioxins- are a broad name used to umbrella hundreds of chemicals; there are about 30 that are the most harmful to people. They are rated as more dangerous because they reside in the body and are not able to be broken down for a very long time. The worst one is called Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD). TCDD was the deadly contaminant found in the infamous Agent Orange. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals known to science and are listed by the EPA as highly carcinogenic chemicals. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to dioxins may cause skin reactions and altered liver function, as well as impairments to the immune system, nervous system, endocrine system and reproductive functions.

Sodium Polyacrylate -Sodium polycarbonate is chemical compound that is great for absorption and prevents leakage. That is why they use it in the filler of disposable diapers. It’s also been linked to skin irritations and respiratory problems and was removed from tampons due to toxic shock syndrome concerns.

Tributyl-tin (TBT) – The EPA says, this toxic pollutant is extremely harmful to aquatic (water) life and causes endocrine (hormonal) disruptions. TBT also rates highly in its contribution to pollution to the environment and does not have the capability to degrade so its toxic effects stick around wrecking not only our bodies but our planet forever.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – VOC’s include chemicals like ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene that can cause damage to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system as well as ear, nose, throat irritation and headaches.

Sigh, I was hoping that I’d find out that it really doesn’t matter but I guess I have to at least try now. I joined a cloth diapering support group to help with the learning curve of washing and I ordered the Hybrid live package of Grovia Ai2. Seeing how Gavin is living on a breastmilk fortified with avocado diet (for weight gain) and has several messy diapers per day, I’m going to need more shells than the average recommended but for now I will have 13 shells, 26 organic soaker pads and 6 organic boosters. At least they are cute and the investment will pay off in the long run!

Oh, P.S. Wipes? You guessed it. Same story. If you want to avoid chemicals then it matters what ingredients they have in them. They are after all being absorbed in the most sensitive of areas! I’m going to try making my own wipes with flannel and a homemade wipe solution once the diapers get here since I’ll already be washing them anyways. I’ll keep you posted on that but if you are looking for disposable, I recommend Young Livings seedling wipes. They work well, smell wonderful and can also be used as effective make-up removers and dryer sheets!

How about you? Have you cloth diapered? I’d love to hear any veteran tips you have for me!

Check out my disclaimer page for treating medical conditions.

References: https://www.epa.gov
http://www.livestrong.com/article/111348-chemicals-disposable-diapers/
http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/toxic-diapers-your-childs-disposable-diapers-contain-endocrine-disruptors