We started the day with a quick trip to the pediatrician's office to see if Finn's cold had gotten to his ears (it had) which led us directly downstairs to the frozen yogurt shop where we always go after the doctor and then onto Publix where they fill prescriptions for antibiotics for free. And not just because we finally filled our 10th ear infection gets you free pink stuff! punch card. Nope, all amoxicillan is free. Well, sort of. See, the prescription is free but the $70 worth of stuff you toss in your cart while walking around waiting for it to be filled is not. Pretty smart, Publix. Pretty smart...
One of the reasons I spent so much on so little was because I had to pick up shampoo and conditioner as well as a new night time moisturizer. I don't have a favorite in any of these categories at the moment and since I had both boys with me and they were sitting in the big car cart trying to see who could make the loudest, most annoying noise possible while laughing uncontrollably and mimicking each other, I had to just kind of grab and go.
This is the same approach I took when buying lotion recently and I immediately regretted it. I had been using Aveeno Daily Moisturizer, well, daily for years and it was like the one and only cosmetic I never thought twice about it. But ever since my husband launched a hippie crusade to reduce our exposure to toxic crap, I have no idea what to do.
It started with soap. He replaced all of our hand soap with Dr. Bronners Magic Soap (the documentary about him on Netflix is worth a watch) and started bringing handmade bars of soap home from Whole Foods every other week. He even stocked up on lye for when he starts making it himself.
Then he gave me a Crystal deodorant stick to use instead of my anti-perspirant and it worked so well (I am still completely shocked by this) that I started to wonder if he was on to something with all his toxic crap mumbo jumbo.
When he came home from three days at Bonnaroo smelling good, I couldn't help but get on board.
So when he asked me to stop using my favorite lotion, I was actually okay with it. Only, he didn't have any suggestions of what to use instead. "Just, don't use that any more. Get something better. Something without all that crap in it." But instead of doing any sort of due diligence, I just found myself standing in the lotion aisle with a million choices (none of which say, "Without all that crap in it!") and a car cart full of screaming children and the Jeopardy theme song running in my head and 30 minutes to get dinner on the table so I just grabbed something different than Aveeno and got the heck out of there.
Later Bill was like, "It's so weird, you smell just like Jergens..."
But there's so much to navigate when it comes to this stuff. I can smell well enough to know that Jergens is not a better choice than Aveeno but I have no idea what is. I want something affordable that feels good and makes me look young and pretty (or at least tells me it will) and won't turn my brain into jelly.
Why can't they just put that on the label?
I did what I always do when I get overwhelmed which is to just ignore the problem and hope it will go away. I kept slathering on my Jergens and washing my hair with whatever I managed to throw in the cart and using my cheap eyeliner and ignoring well meaning people like my neighbor who saw me spraying on bug spray and was all, "Ooh, that Deet is some nasty stuff. It melted the handle of my pocket knife once!"
Because it's SO MUCH. The more you know the more you realize it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get away from all the toxic crap because it's EVERYWHERE. In our air and our water and our food and our mascara and our baby shampoo and OMG WHY IS IT EVERYWHERE WHAT HAS THIS WORLD COME TO??!!?
If I was at all certain that rocks were free from toxic crap I would probably go hide under one.
But I've never seen an organic sticker on a rock so for all I know they're as bad as everything else. So I grabbed some shampoo that said "natural" and some conditioner that said "herbal" (code words for "a months worth of bad hair days!") and threw the first moisturizer into my cart that promised to make me look young and pretty without simultaneously giving me a third nipple and made my way up to the register.
As I'm swiping my debit card, guess what the cashier says? "This customer who comes in here all the time used to have terrible migraines. Every day her head would throb and throb and it was all she could do to make it through the day. This went on for YEARS. Then she found out she found out she had Celiac's Disease. The one where you can't have any gluten? Anyway, she cut it out and most of her problems went away. Except those migraines. It was months and months before she finally figured out it was her shampoo that was giving her headaches. There was gluten in her shampoo! And here I thought shampoo would only affect your hair..."
So I went home and pulled up the Environmental Working Group cosmetics database and typed in all of the products I use on a regular basis to see just how bad (or, fingers crossed, not that bad) all my products were (not to mention all my kids' products). Guess what's not that bad. Aveeno lotion! Guess what's not nearly as good as I assumed it would be. My brand new bad hair day shampoo! Guess what I still can't find. A LIST THAT JUST TELLS ME EXACTLY WHAT TO BUY! Seriously. I need a combination between the Allure Beauty Finder and the Cosmetics Database. A list of what will work for me without also filling me up with toxic crap. Is that too much to ask? Or maybe this already exists and I just don't know about it. Perhaps YOU know about it and are going to leave me a quick comment to fill me in! Please? I will be under a very clean rock waiting for your reply.