Saturday, July 7, 2012

The curse of knowledge, new trials and pesky zinc oxide

Now that I know what I know, it is almost impossible to get through a single day without noticing every little thing.  I can spot polycarbonate containers vs. the BPA free ones.  I am wary of anything that looks like PVC.  I am happy to take my own shampoos and lotions with us anywhere we go.  Although on our latest trip, the flies seem to be digging my lemongrass scents.  I am more aware of what fruits and veggies contain more or less pesticides.  I am even more wary about anything touching my baby's skin that I have not researched first.  I call this the blessing (or curse) of knowledge. 

So after a week away, we are now home and road testing some new products.  The first of which are Nature Babycare Diapers.  Diapers are a sore spot with me.  I thought I had wanted to cloth diaper but with apartment living this doesn't bode well.  We don't own a washing machine, a service is almost double what we pay for diapers through Amazon Mom and we don't get to the laundromat as often as we (mainly I) would like.  Plus with the laundromat, there is always the worry over residue from 1, 4 dioxane and phthalate-containing soaps contaminating our dipes.  So for 15 months we've been using, with success, Seventh Generation dipes, knowing that these like all other disposables can take up to 500 years to degrade in a landfill (ugh, what a hard pill to swallow).  But these days, in the heat, my little one can't take the feel of them on his lower back and scratches like crazy.  And his lower back is sore and irritated.  I'm not sure what happened, but will be contacting the company to see if something has changed.  So, in the meantime, we are road testing Nature Babycare, which seem to be softer up the back, and will have a review by the end of the week.

We are also road testing another natural sunscreen - this week is Elemental Herbs for kids.  After some research (not too greasy, not too powdery) this one seemed to fit the bill.  It was awaiting me in our mailbox when we got home and we've had one application so far - seemed to go on pretty well.  Again, more later.

And finally, here is an awesome trick for those who use ZINC OXIDE based sunscreens or diaper creams.  Zinc stains.  And even if you slather up your little one in just a diaper, there is still the chance of getting it on some nice clothes, you'd rather not have white spots on.  Especially if your little one is as squirmy as ours is!  Here is a DIY stain remover that we found online that really works.

Wet stains with hot water and apply liquid dish soap (they say that ones for fighting grease are best.  We don't buy Dawn but my mother in law had some so we used that.  Next time I will try Dishmate).  Use an old toothbrush, scrub brush or rub the fabric together over the stain briskly.  Without access to the first two, we did the rubbing technique.  Once thoroughly rubbed in, soak the stained garmet in distilled white vinegar for 30 mins then launder as usual.  We went an extra step and used a natural stain remover with built in scrub brush.  It worked on a new pair of pants and also a sun hat that has already been washed over a dozen times.  You may also go another extra step and wipe the stain with a dry paper towel first, careful not to rub the stain too hard or it will press it further into the fabric.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nail Polish: The Toxic Trio

Here I am raining on your parade again.  Really?  I hope not.  I have to say that I never loved getting my nails done until I discovered pedicures and then I was hooked.  And now, I need to say goodbye to them.  It's not just the smell of the salon that gets to me, it's the fear of carcinogens both breathed in and slathered on my skin (even if it is on nails) - yikes!   It's called "The Toxic Trio" and most major brands of nail polish contain them - toluene, formaldehyde and dbp (dibutyl phthalate).  Really - formaldehyde.  Some even use aluminum powder!

Today I had a baby shower to go to so last night I washed away the last of my chipped toxic polish and tried my first ever water based polish by Honeybee Gardens in "Vintage Merlot."  Now I'm not great at painting nails and I forgot to go ahead and purchase a base coat, so about 17 tries later, I found an acceptable DIY pedicure.  The best part about this stuff is that you can remove it with rubbing alcohol or even strong Vodka!  Though I'm not sure I'd be wasting vodka on my feet! So I did a little more research and thanks to info I found on The Daily Green, I have some samples of Zoya T3 free nail colors, along with a base and top coat soon coming to my door.  I even found an neat little spa that uses Zoya called Sweet Lily and immediately sent the link to my hubby for a future gift to me. I chose Zoya because of the price point - we are trying to be on a budget here.

The Daily Green lists several other brands and gives you the info on getting those nails polished when you are preggo or nursing.  Please see my link to Zoya's Share The Love (under sites and stores to your right) if you are interested in making the change with me and getting some free shipping to boot).