Every morning, most of us take a few minutes to brush our teeth, wash our hands and face, and maybe put on some deodorant. But did you know that many of these common household items can contain harmful chemicals? For example, according to Time magazine, many common deodorants contain parabens, which can negatively influence your body’s ability to properly balance its hormones, and aluminum, which could potentially be one of the leading causes of breast cancer. Not only that, but if you’re vegan, you may be surprised to learn that even your toothpaste may not be cruelty-free, containing animal products, such as glycerin. With this in mind, I’d like to share some of my favorite hygiene products that are both vegan and simply better for you:
- Tom’s Whole Care Peppermint Toothpaste. My journey with Tom’s toothpaste actually started in 2014 when I experienced my first symptoms of perioral dermatitis, which arrived in the form of a rash around my mouth. My dermatologist at the time felt that triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal chemical found in most toothpastes, was most likely the root cause of my flare-up, especially since I had just switched to Colgate for the first time in years (I cannot recall what toothpaste I used before this…). After switching to Tom’s, I have experienced no toothpaste-related flare-ups or cavities, and I have no plans of switching to another toothpaste anytime soon.
- Tom’s Whole Care Mouthwash. While I’m someone who diligently brushes her teeth everyday, and I’ve never had a cavity in my life, I have had several bouts of gingivitis and struggle to keep the coffee stains off of my teeth. My solution? Mouth wash. If you eat something really sticky, or drink a cup of coffee, this mouthwash is a great way to quickly get rid of the extra junk in between your usual tooth brushing sessions. For me personally, as with the toothpaste, my favorite part of this mouthwash is that I don’t have to worry about any potential rashes or the potential to experience that weird burning-sensation that often comes along with most standard mouthwashes.
- Brush with Bamboo Toothbrushes. Did you know that your plastic toothbrush is negatively impacting our environment? Standard toothbrushes are made of plastic and cannot be recycled, and what do we do with toothbrushes when we’re done using them? We throw them a way, which means they will sit in landfills for more than our lifetimes. So why not buy a toothbrush that is biodegradable? That’s why the Kumar Family developed Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes, which are entirely plant-based and eco-friendly. Even if you’re a bit skeptical about brushing with bamboo, I recommend giving it a shot; at the least, you can feel a little bit more at ease about your carbon footprint every time you brush your teeth.
- Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, standard deodorants have been attributed to causing breast cancer, and since my mom was diagnosed, I have felt some anxiety every time I put on deodorant. However, with my sensitive skin, I have struggled to find a natural deodorant that wouldn’t give me a rash. After trying a multitude of deodorants, I had almost given up, until one of my friends introduced me to Schmidt’s. Not only does Schmidt’s offer a wide variety of scents, but it didn’t give me a rash and keeps me smelling lovely for most of the day. My personal favorite scent is rose and vanilla, but there are other less feminine scents available for others who don’t want to smell like a flower.
- Method Hand Soap. One thing we do more often than put on deodorant or brush our teeth is wash our hands. Think about it: Every time you use the restroom, you wash your hands (or you should, anyways). So that means, every time you use the bathroom, you could be exposing your hands to chemicals stronger than necessary. Likewise, have you ever looked at the container your hand soap comes in? It’s usually a large plastic container. Method is one of my favorite brands for household products, namely cleaning products, because everything they make is plant-based, which means I can rest assured that what I’m using isn’t going to be toxic for my body or the planet. They also sell hand soap refills in recyclable bags. Like our toothbrushes, the less plastic, the better.
Would you consider incorporating any of these products into your lifestyle, whether or not you are vegan? Or do you already use eco-friendly products like these in your household? If so, what do you recommend? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.
The featured photo was taken by Icons 8 Team. Find more of their work at unsplash.com.