Non-Tox Living

I Swore I’d Never Go “Toxin-Free” – Here’s Why I Changed My Mind

August 1, 2023

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Hi, I’m Victoria! Certified in exercise physiology + nutrition coaching. I wanna help you create vibrant health without losing perspective on what matters.  

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I used to not wash my produce. HAHA. Just kicking things off with my deepest darkest secret 😂

And I swore I’d never be one of those people that spent time, money, and energy thinking about plastic and considering organic vs non-organic— and yet— in 2022 you could catch me with a cart full of organic, scanning the ingredients list on everything from lunchtime snacks to detergents to my face cream. Oh, and don’t forget about tossing the plastic sippy cups and asking questions on the sourcing for just about anything.


So what changed?!

I started paying attention and I learned a lot.

*Disclaimer: hi internet, let’s agree to not be goofballs on here ok? This is about my personal process, the things I learned, my opinions, and what I decided for my family. I’m not here to suggest you need to do what I do OR that you’re terrible for doing it differently. (Isn’t it funny we even have to have these convos?!) I know you’re capable of making your own decisions just like I’m capable of making mine. My goal is to make swaps that are “better”- not perfect. If that’s not your goal, that’s ok! 

Here’s What I Learned:

  • Glyphosate is used heavily in agriculture and is considered a probable carcinogen. So even if you’re eating “healthy”, you are likely getting a high dose of glyphosate also… ew.
  • The FDA permits toxic chemicals to be included in cosmetics and there is no requirement for pre-market testing before a product hits the shelf. These are products we put on our skin every day! Even if it’s “just a little bit toxic” it will add up over daily use.
  • There are several food additives that are banned in Europe but are not banned in the US. The US has a loophole to get additives approved called GRAS (generally recognized as safe), essentially allowing the Food industry to self-determine whether or not a substance is safe. Mega ew.
  • Europe has banned or restricted more than 1600 chemicals found in cosmetics. The FDA has banned less than 10. Um… what?!
  • The average woman puts on 160 chemicals each day. And this is the low estimate! I saw some sources suggest over 500! (Think how long the ingredient lists are for shampoo, conditioner, hair treatments, nails, fake tans, makeup… eek!)
  • These “big name” companies often have lawsuits filed against them for causing harm. But because they’re so powerful, they aren’t deterred. It’s just a small bump in the road. Often times companies are making enough money to pay settlements and still profit enough to consider it a good investment.
  • The FDA lets manufacturers put almost any ingredient under the label “fragrance” without listing the actual chemical. Think of candles, air fresheners, lotions, soaps, and shampoos— all filled with fragrance.
  • Recent studies have shown plastic in our bloodstream, in the placenta of women, and in the feces of adults and babies. Clearly, the environment is having a big impact on us.


What I took from this is NOT that everything is bad and toxic— but instead that it is my responsibility to be an informed consumer. I obviously can’t know everything about every ingredient or product— but I can do better than just grabbing whatever I see off the shelf.

I realized it was time for me to start questioning the things I was buying.

I had always assumed that products on the shelf were safe & non-toxic – (cuz that would be logical and also kind) but that’s just not the case. 

These realizations had me questioning everything!

It’s massively overwhelming to start the process when you feel like *literally everything* you’re using needs to be swapped. This is what kept me from making the leap to go non-toxic for years. It was just too much to think about. And I’ve got other things on my plate. We all do!

I also don’t like the vibe of walking around trying to avoid everything because it’s “toxic”. That feels way too stressful. And I’m pretty sure being afraid of your environment is majorly toxic in its own way.

I avoided it for as long as I could. But when I decided it was time to learn there were a few key things that helped me stay sane through the process.

Which brings me to my topic for the day.

Today I’m sharing my 5 tips to go “Toxin-Free” without losing your mind. 

1. Pick one place to start

It felt so overwhelming. I had wall plug-ins for air fresheners, plastic cups for the kids, and all the fragrances everywhere (one of the worst offenders) and I had no clue where to start. I was also on a budget so I couldn’t commit to getting new cook wear and throwing out every piece of plastic that we owned.

First, I started with bathroom cleaning products and tried a few things. Once I found what worked I moved on to hand soap, then dish soap, then laundry detergent…and the list went on and on. There is no right place to start or right order to go in— just what works for you and your family. 

2. Less is more

Once I started reading labels and looking into what made up the products I was buying, I found that there is a lot of “stuff” we’ve been conditioned to buy that we actually don’t actually need. One for me was scented body wash. You guys— my body smells perfectly fine without bright orange  “coconut breeze” soap. HA!

I also learned that soap has a different PH than the microbiome of our skin- so using soap often is actually doing more harm than good. It dries it out and makes us need lotion— another non-essential fragrance-filled product to buy. Crazy!

3. On a budget? Make it at home.

I don’t know if you’ve heard but… there was a time before grocery stores and Costco and Amazon. People had to figure out how to get stains out of t-shirts and clean their bathrooms all on their own. Often times making things at home is relatively simple and WAYYY cheaper. 

4. Beware of Greenwashing

It makes me so angry when products use creative/ sneaky marketing to convince people that their brand is clean when it’s not. It allows them to charge more for their product all while pulling a fast one on people who are just trying to make a better decision.

Unfortunately- this is so common with brands that you see on store shelves. Companies are learning that the consumer wants better- and instead of actually creating better- they make it look like it’s toxin-free without doing any of the actual work. Ridiculous.

I learned after wasting a few too many dollars on greenwashed brands to look everything up. A quick Google scan can do the trick- but I like the EWG app and THINK DIRTY. Each one will give you a score on the ingredients and it’s a great way to start learning.

5. Great products leave happy consumers.

My go-to approach for finding the best products is to listen and compare what people are talking about. For example- everyyyyy single ingredient-conscious influencer is talking about Branch Basics (I wasn’t a fan, but everyone else is!). That’s a clue that they might be one of the better ones. If you don’t know where to start with brands to try— start by listening and comparing what brands show up consistently in conversations about going toxin-free.

toxin-free all purpose cleaner


6. You’ll never be completely toxin-free

One of the biggest mental hurdles for me was feeling like my effort was a waste if I couldn’t do it all at once. Like.. what’s the big deal if my hand soap is “clean” if nothing else is? What helped me the most was repeating “Just lessen the load”. The toxin load from our environment and the products we use can be overwhelming to our bodies— so if I can just lighten the load a little bit- that’s helping. This kept me from spinning into a hot mess more than once.

This is such a journey but it is worth it! It feels so good to know that I am being intentional with the products that I bring into my home. The more people that switch to toxin-free products, the better companies will have to do when they create their products. That’s a win for everyone!

Part 2 coming soon with the specifics on all my favorite toxin-free swaps!

Have you hopped on the "toxin-free train"? If not what’s holding you back?  If so, what’s your favorite swap you’ve found?!

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