Category Archives: Natural Living

Non Toxic Baby Products For The Nursery and Registry

Check out my top choices for non toxic baby products you may want to add to your nursery and registry to lower our little ones’ exposure to harmful chemicals!

Non Toxic Baby Products For The Nursery and Registry

After researching a ton of baby products on the market, the harmful chemicals that are in so many of them, and what a newborn actually needs, I’ve picked out some of my favorite non toxic baby products that we’ve been adding to the nursery and our registry before our baby’s arrival.

Before I talk about what non toxic baby products we decided on and some other safe options you may choose to go with, I just want to share that we don’t have to change everything in our lives, but it’s definitely wise to think about reducing our exposure to toxins which are in so many of the products we use everyday, mattresses and beddings we sleep on, and things that go on our skin. Babies are especially sensitive to these substances, which is why we are being extra mindful.

We are actually quite minimalists when it comes to products (we weren’t even going to set up a nursery at first), so here’s the list of what we thought we absolutely needed in preparation for our baby!

SAFEST BABY MATTRESS

One of the first things I researched when it came non toxic baby products was the safest baby mattresses on the market. Since the baby will spend most of her time sleeping, this was extremely important to me and the same goes for adult mattresses as well (even more so if you are planning to co-sleep or bed-share).

So many mattresses are made with flame-retardant chemicals like polyurethane foam and contain VOCs, formaldehyde, and pesticides, and these toxins are harmful for our health and contribute to indoor air pollution. Of course, babies and kids are even more sensitive to these chemicals, which is why I wanted to invest in the safest baby mattress on the market.

Emily Natural Crib Mattress - safest baby mattress

Emily Natural Crib Mattress By MyGreenMattress

We decided to go with Emily Natural Crib Mattress, because it’s made with GOTS-certified organic cotton and Oeko-Tex certified natural wool. I also really liked that it’s made in the US!

Wool mattresses are naturally flame retardant so it doesn’t need harmful chemicals, and I love that they don’t use dyes or bleaches. I felt really great opening up the mattress when I first received it, because it didn’t have any kind of chemical smell at all.

In addition, Emily Natural Crib Mattress has an awesome firmness level, which is important for the safety of newborns. It also provides even weight distribution because it features GOTS-certified coconut coir blended with GOLS-certified natural latex.

It was also one of the most affordable safe baby mattresses on the market. We also got their Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protector, because there will definitely be many accidents in the future!

Other Safe Crib Mattress Options

ORGANIC BABY CRIB SHEETS

Not only is the crib mattress important, you better believe the sheets are as well! Luckily, high quality, organic baby crib sheets are not expensive, and you can find many on the market at an affordable price. I wanted to find sheets that were unbleached and certified organic, and they were really easy to find!

organic baby crib sheets - Non Toxic Baby Products

I honestly loved the design of this Crate and Barrel organic baby crib sheet so that’s what I got to “set up” the nursery, but will probably also buy a few more from this list as backups for when it needs to be washed:

NON TOXIC CAR SEAT

The main problem with most car seats on the market is the flame retardant chemicals that they contain. While flame retardant chemicals are used to prevent the spread of fire, they accumulate in the body and do not leave, and are linked to serious health hazards like:

  • hormone disruption
  • impaired fetal and child development
  • impaired neurological development
  • liver and thyroid issues

Unfortunately, there aren’t many companies that are making car seats without these chemicals, but I did find a few on the market that use wool instead which is naturally flame retardant.

UPPAbaby Mesa Merino Wool Car Seat

This is the one that we decided to go with. I really loved the design of these UPPAbaby Mesa car seats, and they use OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified wool. On top of that, from everything I’ve been reading, they are one of the safest car seats out there.

Keep in mind that only the colors Henry and Jordan are made with merino wool and contain no flame retardant chemicals, which is why these 2 colors are priced higher than other colors. They are also really easy to install as well.

non toxic car seats

Other Non Toxic Car Seat Options

NON TOXIC DIAPERS

I was actually quite excited to see that there were a good amount of options for safer, non toxic diapers on the market. I was, at first, surprised by how much harmful chemicals were in so many diapers, just like feminine menstrual pads. Our genitals are one of the most sensitive parts of our body that absorb chemicals easily, so it’s important for me to purchase diapers that are free of toxins.

Chemicals to Avoid in Diapers

  • Dioxins (chlorine bleach) – Most diapers are bleached with chlorine, and dioxins are the byproduct of this process which leech into the diaper and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers dioxins as highly carcinogenic, and they are also known to cause skin irritations.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – These chemicals in diapers can evaporate and impair lung function, as well as causing eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the kidney and central nervous system. Some of these chemicals in disposable diapers include toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene.
  • Tributyl-tin (TBT) – Commonly found in disposable diapers, TBT is linked to skin issues, but is also extremely harmful to aquatic life by causing hormonal disruptions in aquatic organisms.
  • Fragrances and dyes – Just like in skincare, companies are not required to disclose what chemicals and specific ingredients fall under the term “fragrance.” Many times, they can include parabens, pthalates, and other harmful ingredients that are known to cause reproductive toxicity and allergic reactions.

Non Toxic Diapers – Top Choices

The more I looked into non toxic diapers, I began realizing that every diaper fits every baby differently. While one brand might have a clean option, it may leak and not be the best option for some babies.

Because of this, we decided to buy one large pack of newborn diapers from one brand, and then get free to cheap samples from several brands so we can try them out and pick what will be best for our baby later. Many companies offer samples so it’s a really great idea to take advantage of them to make sure they are right for your baby before you invest in them!

Here are some clean brands I found:

  • Thrive Market Diapers: We decided to purchase a big pack of these diapers because they were one of the cheapest ones on the market for non toxic diapers. Newborn babies change diapers about 20 times a day, so we knew we needed a lot to start out with. These diapers are made with chlorine-free wood pulp and made with plant-based liners and ink without heavy metals. They also have great reviews!
    Get an extra 25% OFF your first order + a 30 day free trial membership when you sign up at Thrive Market! (Valid on orders $49+, max $20 discount)
  • Dyper: This is a subscription based company and you pay just $64/month, and the number of diapers they send you varies depending on the baby’s age and needs. Their diapers are made of bamboo without chlorine, latex, alcohol, perfumes, PVC, lotions, TBT or phthalates. They can also be safely composted.
    Right now, they are offering a free diaper bag when you start a monthly subscription!
  • Andy Pandy: Great for babies with sensitive skin, these bamboo diapers use an aloe liner to moisturize the skin and are free of chlorine, BPA, TBT, PVC, and preservatives. They are also biodegradable and eco-friendly and I like that they have a wetness indicator. I’ve heard amazing reviews about how absorbent they are without leaks.
  • Honest Company
  • Bambo Nature
  • Parasol: These diapers use fluff pulp harvested from sustainably managed forests and they have such cute designs. They are hypoallergenic, and use safe and lead-free inks.
  • Eco by Naty: Another great option. One thing to note is that the material is partly made out of non-GMO corn, so it’s something to remember if your baby has allergies.
  • Earth+Eden
  • Pampers Pure: I love that a mainstream company is coming out with toxin free diapers, which shows that the demand is definitely out there for safer products for our little ones.
non toxic diapers and non toxic baby wipes

NON TOXIC BABY WIPES

Just like diapers, babies go through baby wipes fast so it’s a good idea to have plenty on hand. However, they are another item that contain harsh chemicals that you may not want touching your baby’s gentle, sensitive skin.

I actually found that the most popular companies included harmful chemicals that are known to be irritants, allergens, and/on toxins in their baby wipes.

Chemicals to Avoid in Baby Wipes

  • Parabens – Preservatives known to cause hormone disruption, as well as skin rashes and allergies. You can find them on the label most commonly as butlyl, ethyl, methyl, and propyl (all ending in -paraben).
  • Formaldehyde-releasing chemicals – Used as a preservative and known to cause cancer, and damage hormonal health and central nervous system. You can look for the following terms on the label: formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.
  • Propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol – These are petroleum-based mineral oils used to enhance absorption, so harmful chemicals can easily be penetrated through the skin. It’s also a skin irritant and can cause allergic reactions. These oils can also be easily contaminated with carcinogens during the manufacturing process.
  • Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS & SLES) – Used as a foaming and cleaning agent, both SLS and SLES can cause organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, neurotoxocity and skin and eye irritation.
  • Triclosan – An antibacterial agent that passes through the skin to cause allergies and hormone dysfunction. It has also been connected to the rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria. While it’s not too common in baby wipes, they are abundant in antibacterial wipes so it’s best to avoid them if you are out of baby wipes.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) – A common preservative that most manufacturers stopped using because of its harmful effects, but I was still able to spot it recently in popular baby wipes. It is widely known to cause dermatitis.
  • Fragrances (includes essential oils) – Just like I mentioned under the chemicals you want to avoid in diapers, there could be various harmful chemicals that manufacturers could hide under the “fragrance” like pthalates, endocrine disruptors, allergens, and neurotoxins. I would also avoid using natural fragrances like essential oils. While they ARE natural, they can be potent and not be manufactured properly, and be irritating and burdensome to baby’s sensitive skin and system.

Baby Wipes by bloom BABY for Sensitive Skin

After looking at all the clean options for baby wipes, these Bloom BABY wipes were what we decided to go with, because they are budget-friendly (5 cents per wipe if you buy in bulk), hypoallergenic, and are free of “alcohol, chlorine, phthalates, formaldehyde carriers, parabens, phenols, quaternary ammonium compounds, SLS, lanolin, or most common allergens.” They are also fragrance free.

What I also like about these wipes is the quality and size of the wipes. I have read about a lot of non toxic baby wipes being too flimsy or having to use more than one at each use because they just do not hold up. However, I love that these are big and durable.

Other Non-Toxic Baby Wipes

GLASS BABY BOTTLES

Another item to consider when shopping for non toxic baby product is baby bottles and what they are made of. I’ve stopped using any kind of plastic in the kitchen for a few years now, except for the occasional use of resealable plastic bags. While there are many plastic containers and bottles that are BPA-free, BPA is not the only chemical that we need to avoid in plastics.

There are also BPS and BPF which are found in plastics, that pose a similar level of health risks and leech into the food when we eat out of these plastic containers. They can disrupt our hormonal health and cause reproductive issues, while causing inflammation and DNA damage.

The more I study the negative effects of plastics (BPA-free included) for our health and the environment, the less of it I want in my home. So when I was choosing baby bottles, there was no question that I wanted to go with glass.

Mason Bottle

glass baby bottles

Okay, I freaked out a little when I found out about this company, because the concept is just so brilliant. I was looking at a bunch of glass baby bottles on the market to choose from, and I was honestly a bit surprised at how expensive they are. However, I was willing to spend the dough for the best option for our baby.

That was when I came across the company, Mason Bottle. With the kit you purchase from them, you can convert current glass mason jars you have at home into baby bottles. The products are made with silicone and high quality and include:

  • silicone nipples (been hearing great reviews about the nipple design and how they don’t cause nipple confusion)
  • silicone sleeves to protect the glass jars
  • or you can order the whole DIY kit like me, which also comes with a cap to protect the nipples.

I love that these are affordable and if you don’t have any mason jars at home, you can easily purchase them for about a $1 each at a local craft store! They also have toddler tumbler options as well.

I tested them out and they are completely leak-proof. Plus, as long as you have the DIY kit, that’s all you need. No need to buy more expensive bottles.

Other Great Glass Baby Bottle Options

BEST BABY BATH SOAPS & LOTIONS

As a safer skincare advocate, there wasn’t a question that I would look at every ingredient on all the skincare products we may use on our baby. With my own history of hormonal issues that drastically improved after switching to safer products, I know the huge impact that harmful ingredients can have on our health. I do believe that working on my health and making this switch were what helped me get pregnant in the first place, when I initially knew there was a possibility I might not be able to.

There are hormone disrupting ingredients like fragrances, parabens, pthalates, formaldehyde, petroleum-based oils, and more, that shouldn’t even be in adult skin care products, yet you can find them in products for babies who are much more sensitive to these chemicals. These ingredients are known to cause reproductive toxicity, allergies, and developmental disorders.

Beautycounter’s Baby Products

Whether they are for adults or babies, Beautycounter makes some of the highest quality and safest products that are actually very effective. They have banned 1500 harmful or known-to-be harmful ingredients in all their products, when the US has only banned 30.

Their baby products are gentle and safe for babies, and many moms have had great success reducing diaper rashes and skin conditions with their products. They have:

  • Baby Gentle All-Over Wash – Tear free and gentle soap that has no scent. Moms with babies who have sensitive skin swear by this wash.
  • Baby Daily Protective Balm – I’ve actually been personally using this as a cuticle cream because it’s so hydrating and healing. If you have babies with dry skin spots or eczema, the combination of organic shea butter and jojoba oil is so soothing!
  • Baby Soothing Oil – A safe and lightweight moisturizer for baby without being greasy. Some moms also use it for their little one’s cradle cap with great success.
  • Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream – I’ve been hearing from so many mamas that this zinc-based diaper cream is amazing for healing redness and irritation. They come back to this over and over again after trying out other products that just aren’t as effective, and it’s also EWG-verified.
  • Or you can purchase the discounted bundle (doesn’t come with the Diaper Rash Cream), or the entire collection which comes with an awesome diaper bag!
best baby soaps and lotions non toxic - beautycounter

Other Safe Baby Skin Care Products

OTHER ITEMS WE PURCHASED

Crib – This was the only new furniture we bought for the nursery and I wanted a wood one with low-VOC paint that was preferably GREENGUARD Gold Certified (meets rigorous emissions standards for chemical exposure and pollutants, such as VOCs, formaldehyde, and phthalates). The ones I found under this criteria were pretty pricey, but I actually discovered this Carter’s by DaVinci convertible crib that was budget friendly and minimalist. It didn’t emit any smell when I opened the package, I think it looks really nice!

non toxic crib with flame retardant chemicals

Snuggle Me Organic Lounger – Definitely not a necessity, but I’ve heard other mamas who have it who say that this was crucial for successful naps. I’m willing to invest in anything that’ll make my life easier postpartum. I love that these are GOTS certified organic cotton, and the fill is virgin polyester fiber fill, which means there are no additives or flame retardants.

Solly Wrap – I’ve studied a lot about babywearing and its benefits, and it was something I definitely want to do with my baby. After reading countless reviews and talking to a local babywearing specialist, the Solly seemed like the best option for a newborn because it’s lightweight, breathable, and doesn’t stretch easily.

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump – The more I learn about breastfeeding, it seems like manual pumps are way easier and more effective than electronic pumps. Of course, this is always determined by your personal preference, but I don’t think I want to be connected to cords with pumps that make loud noises. It’s also a pain to carry them around. I do have one on hand from my insurance company, but I have been hearing so many amazing things about the Haakaa breast pump, so that’s what I decided to go with. They are small, easy to clean, portable, and amazing for catching let-downs while breastfeeding so none of your milk goes to waste.

Swaddles – Swaddles are of those things in which there are so many choices on the market, and you just don’t know what your baby will gravitate toward in terms of style or if she or he will even like it. We did purchase several to have on hand. Some of my requirements were:

  • I wanted them to be cotton or muslin so they are safe and breathable.
  • The blanket styles had to be 47″x47″ – many parents told me that any smaller, they didn’t work as well.
  • They shouldn’t be bamboo material because they are too smooth and silky in texture, so the swaddle loosens easily.

We have 6 swaddles on hand and these are what we decided to go with:

non toxic baby products

Hope you found this extensive guide of non toxic baby products helpful! Of course, these are just my top choices and decisions based on my own research. It’s always so empowering to do your own research, as well as take guidance from experienced parents as well. Our choices may change when the baby is actually here and that’s perfectly okay. You just gotta find what works best for you and your family based on trial and error!

non toxic nursery
non toxic baby products nursery
What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

How to Take Care of Houseplants + Their Benefits

Introducing my full guide on how to take care of houseplants, their health benefits, and what I do to keep my 100+ plants alive and thrive.

How to Take Care of Houseplants

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my love for plants runs deep. It’s been a long time since I counted, but the last time I checked, I had over 100 plants, and it’s a growing collection. After my fur babies, my plant babies bring me so much joy and I just find such comfort in taking care of them and watching them grow.

While having this many plants might seem overwhelming and daunting for many, my collection grew slowly over the years and yours can too! I received many questions about how to take care of houseplants to keep them alive and healthy, and I’ll share my tips and tricks with you guys today.

Benefits of Houseplants

First, I just want to go over the benefits of having houseplants, because they are a form of therapy for me. This is why I don’t mind investing in my houseplants, because they are 100% worth it!

  • They purify the air. With so many toxins and chemicals in everyday products, indoor pollution is real. According to NASA, plants remove up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours!
    • Best air purifying plants: snake plants, devil’s ivy, money tree, spider plant, dracaenas, golden pothos, areca palms, rubber plants
  • Introducing greenery indoors helps to lower your cortisol level. We all feel more calm and less stressed when we go hiking or listen to nature sounds. We can recreate this feeling at home with plants.
  • Plants actually reduce background noise if you live in a city or a noisy street! The leaves create a soft wall for sound to absorb, deflect, or refract on. How cool is that?
    • Best noise blocking plants: rubber plants, weeping figs, peace lilies, tall cacti, fiddle leaf fig, money trees
  • They remove carbon dioxide from the air so there’s more oxygen and we feel less tired and fatigued.

Where I Purchase My Plants

This is one of the most common questions I get because I have such a variety of plants. The answer is all over! Here are some of the places I’ve purchased my plants from:

  • Local nurseries: This is where most of my plants come from. I try not to shop at Home Depot or big brands, because I find that they are usually overpriced there, and it’s so much better to support local businesses! I’m really lucky in that I live in California and there are plant nurseries everywhere. Local nurseries are usually cheaper and you can usually negotiate prices! I make sure to be extra friendly when I buy plants for a possible discount.
  • Nextdoor, OfferUp, or Letgo: All of these sites and apps are where people can sell anything they want get rid of. I actually have an alert set up for plants, so I can jump on them when they are posted. You can usually negotiate prices on these apps, because people are usually moving and they just want to get rid of things.
  • Etsy: I’ve never bought a full plant on Etsy (although they are available), but it’s a great place to find clippings of plants that aren’t rooted, especially if you are looking for a specific plant that’s hard to find locally. It’s not the cheapest option and it can be risky, because clippings are delicate and they can easily die. However, I have had really great luck with them and my pilea, prayer plant, and philodendron have all rooted and thrived beautifully from this shop.
How to Take Care of Houseplants

The Basics of How to Take Care of Houseplants

While care instructions differ from plant to plant, MOST plants require similar care and I treat most of my plants the following way:

  • Lighting: While plants love light, bright, indirect light is the best with the exception of desert plants. That means near a well-lit window, within sunlight or in the shade next to it (for medium-low light plants). If there’s direct HOT sunlight on plants, especially in the summer, put a sheer curtain on the window so the plants receive diffused, filtered light without getting burnt. One exception is succulents and cacti. They love bright, direct light!
  • Water: While there is such a thing as under-watering, I find that many make the mistake of overwatering which can quickly kill the plants. I only water my plants once a week, and even less in the winter. Before watering, stick an inch of your finger in the soil. Only water if the soil has no moisture. Make sure to only use pots that have drainage holes!
  • Wipe the leaves: For leafy plants, dust can settle on them easily, just like furniture. This dust layer actually blocks the plants ability to photosynthesize, and makes the leaves look dull and the plant weaker while attracting pests. When you see dust settle, take a damp microfiber cloth and gently wipe off the individual leaves. You may be shocked at how much dirt comes off on the cloth. I’m really bad at remembering to clean my plant leaves, but try to do this every 2-3 months!
  • Fertilize during growing season: This is usually during the spring/summer for most plants. I use organic fertilizer (I love this one!) and add it to the watering can every 2-3 months between April and September. It really makes a huge difference!
  • Repot as the plants grow: Always research the plant to see how much soil space it needs, but once it outgrows its pot, it needs more space to grow to stay healthy. This is also a great chance to replace the soil in the pot, which I highly recommend.

Why Your Plant Might Be Dying

So you’ve followed all the tips, but your plant still looks brown or yellow, and seems to be shriveling up. Here are some common reasons why your plant may not be looking so healthy:

  • Overwatering or under-watering. Check my watering tip above.
  • Too much sunlight or too little. Also see above.
  • Bacteria in the soil. If you really can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with the plant, it might be worth replacing the soil and repotting. There could be bacteria in the soil inhibiting the plant from growing properly.
  • Dry leaves. Tropical plants like ferns and split leaf philodendrons require a lot of moisture in the air and are more high maintenance. Make sure to spray the leaves with water every few days so they don’t dry out, even with consistent watering. If you aren’t good at remembering or you are lazy, you can get a humidifier instead.

Salvaging Almost Dead Plants

How to Take Care of Houseplants

You can actually save most plants that are on their last leg by snipping off the healthy looking leaves and propagating them. I’ve done this many times with success, and it’s so exciting to have a plant come back to life after you thought you lost it.

Place the bottom of the snipped leaves in water and let it sit in bright light. Change water every 3-4 days. After a week or two, the clippings will grow roots. When the roots and the leaves look healthy, plant them again in a pot with new soil. They’ll grow into a full, lush plant in no time with proper care!

Other Notable Plant Tips

  • Research: I don’t usually trust the instructions on the label that the plant comes with, because they are usually so simple and basic. Make sure to Google the plant once you are home so you know how to take care of it in the best way.
  • Watering can: While watering cans with sprinkler heads are popular, I find that it’s easy to accidentally spray water all over the floor when using them, especially for indoor plants. I really like long spouted cans (I have this one) and they are also great for accuracy in aiming if you have hanging plants like me!
  • Soil: There are various types of soil for different plants but this soil for succulents and cacti has worked for all my plants. I really like well-draining soil because holding on to moisture can cause bacteria, and even my humidity loving plants do really well with this soil.
  • Considerations if you have pets: Some plants are poisonous to pets so make sure you check this if you have fur babies. I’m lucky and my dogs have zero interest in my plants so I don’t pay attention to this, but if yours are a bit more curious, I would take this into consideration when you purchase a new plant.
  • Know before you buy: If you are shopping for a plant for a specific room, make sure to assess the lighting in that room and where you are planning to put the plant. You can then figure out what plant is right for that environment. I always check with the person working at the nursery how much lighting and water a specific plant requires before buying.
How to Take Care of Houseplants

Easy Beginner Friendly Plants

If you are just starting out with houseplants, you may be nervous about what plants to purchase at first. These are some of my favorite, low maintenance plants that are easy and will thrive in most conditions.

  • Pothos: Does well with low and bright light and also flexible with watering. And really leafy and pretty!
  • Snake plants: Also does well in various light and watering conditions.
  • Succulents and cacti: I was hesitant to add this one because I’ve heard many people having trouble with these. Just make sure to keep them in bright, direct sunlight. And while many say do not water them too much, I find that succulents thrive when I water them once a week as I normally do with other plants.
  • Spider plants: Not picky about water or sunlight and will grow well in various conditions.
  • Dracaena or money tree. I treat both of these plants similarly and they grow very easily. They like bright, indirect light and weekly watering. However, they didn’t mind when I forgot to water them for a 2-3 weeks or left them in direct sunlight for too long.

My Personal Favorite Plants

Of course, my favorite plants are the prettiest ones to look at, in my opinion. I’m a very visual person. However, they are not always low maintenance. It doesn’t matter. I love them so much that I make sure to give them extra loving and care if I see them looking a little sad.

  • Monstera
  • Pothos
  • Fiddleleaf fig tree
  • Birds of paradise
  • Rubber tree
  • Pilea
  • Prayer plant (maranta)
  • All forms of calathea – they are the most fickle plant ever so they frustrate the heck out of me, but so gorgeous!
How to Take Care of Houseplants

That’s it, guys! I hope you found this guide on how to take care of houseplants helpful. I tried to answer all the questions you asked me over on Instagram, but if didn’t answer some of them or if you have any more, just leave me a comment below and I’ll try to get to it as as soon as I can.

Lastly, don’t be intimidated by plants! I used to have a black thumb myself, and you can only get better at being a plant mom or dad by actually growing them yourself and making mistakes on the way. I actually do kill houseplants sometimes, even though it happens less and less now, and that’s okay. I just think of it as a learning experience and move on. You can only get better by adding more plants to your collection!

Happy growing, friends.

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm (All-Natural and Toxin Free!) + 5 Ingredients to Avoid in Store-Bought Lip Balm

Learn how to make soothing and nourishing homemade beeswax lip balm (Burt’s Bees copycat) that’s made with natural and toxin free ingredients!

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm

A good lip balm is one of those must-have items for me. I have dry skin and have always had trouble with chapped lips along with it. I think I might have a lip balm in every room of my house, as well as in my car. Trust me, it’s necessary.

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm Recipe

I’ve been making my own homemade beeswax lip balm for about 3 years now and I love it so much. Not only does it smell amazing (peppermint, always), but it’s actually so nourishing and effective. I used to use Burt’s Bees lip balm all the time, but I actually prefer my version better and it also makes a great gift as well!

With a soothing combination of shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, and peppermint essential oils (or whatever scent you like), this homemade beeswax lip balm is so easy, costs pennies, and takes less than 15 minutes to make.

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm

5 Harmful Ingredients in Conventional Lip Balm

I actually started making my own homemade beeswax lip balm after learning about some shady ingredients in drug store versions that are known to cause a host of health issues. It’s especially important to be aware of these ingredients because we are putting these products on our lips and we can easily consume them!

These are some common ones to watch out for and avoid:

  1. Parabens (also known as other ingredients that end in -paraben like methylparaben and butylparaben): Used as a preservative, parabens are widely recognized as endocrine disruptors. They are known to increase the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive issues.
  2. Petroleum jelly: Yes, the main ingredient in Vaseline! Petroleum jelly is a highly refined oil made from fossil fuel. Not only does it block our pores, it also contains carcinogens and chemicals known to cause estrogen dominance.
  3. Synthetic colors and dyes: These are especially common in tinted lip balms. Synthetic colors are composed of heavy metals that cause allergies and irritation, and if accumulated for a long time, are even known to cause cancer!
  4. Chemical sunscreens (also labeled as avobenzone, homosalate, oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and octocrylene): All of these chemicals help the sunscreen be absorbed in our skin fast, especially when our skin is exposed to sunlight. They are estrogen mimickers and are associated with endometriosis in women and lower sperm count in men. If you want a lip balm with SPF in it, look for ones with non-nano zinc oxide instead.
  5. Fragrance or flavor: Companies are not legally required to disclose what chemicals make up “fragrance” or “flavor” on ingredients labels. Those words can mean absolutely any chemical, whether or not it has been tested for safety. Usually, it is a synthetic concoction that includes phthalates and synthetic musks, which are known hormone disruptors.

Don’t Want to Make Your Own?

There have been times that I’ve been busy or lazy and ran out of my homemade beeswax lip balm. In those cases, I ended up buying safer option that are free of the above toxins. Here are my favorite brands that smell amazing without chemical fragrances and work really well:

  • Beautycounter’s Lip Conditioners: Beautycounter is probably my favorite skin care company that has banned over 1500 ingredients that are known or suspected to be harmful in their products, when the US has only banned 30. Their lip conditioners come in peppermint or calendula and these products are so soothing and hydrating with clean ingredients! If you are looking for something that’s tinted or has a light color, I highly recommend their sheer lipsticks which are also made with coconut oil and are extremely moisturizing.
  • Primally Pure Lip Balm: Primally Pure has amazing, natural lip balm made of all the soothing oils like coconut, beef tallow, and beeswax. They come in 5 different flavors, scented with organic essential oils, and the peppermint is my favorite. You can get 10% off your first purchase with them with code: JEAN10.
  • Perfect Supplements Lip Nutrients: These come in 2 flavors, lemongrass and tangerine, and I prefer tangerine. These contain all organic ingredients that nourish you lips you coconut oil and beeswax, along with jojoba oil, essential oils, and vitamin E. You can get 10% off with my code: GREATGRANDMA10

Perfect as Gifts!

If you are wondering what to get for someone special in your life, or if you are looking for stocking stuffers for the holidays, I highly recommend these homemade beeswax lip balm, because there’s nothing better than homemade gifts. I’ve gifted them myself before and all the recipients have told me that they love them. My mom actually insists I make her 20-30 of them every year so she can use them throughout the year. Good thing they are so easy to make!

Because these do not contain any water or moisture and only healthy oils, they actually last indefinitely so you don’t have to worry about them spoiling or going bad!

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm Recipe (All-Natural and Toxin Free!)

Makes 18 lip balm tubes

Ingredient

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler, or a heat-safe bowl nestled on top of a pot of simmering water over medium low heat, combine beeswax pastilles, shea butter, and coconut oil.
  2. Heat for about 10 minutes until the mixture is completely melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint essential oils.
  4. Pour the mixture into a glass cup or a measuring cup with a spout.
  5. Carefully pour into the empty lip balm tubes and fill them up to the top.
  6. Let them cool for 30 minutes before putting on the cap.

Notes

If you don’t like the peppermint flavor, you can use other essential oils like grapefruit or lavender. Avoid them altogether if you prefer unscented!

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