DIY Kid Safe Summer Spray

Just like that they came one day without any warning what so ever, leaving no man behind, they decided to be more stubborn than ever fighting through each and every bug spray I saw being used.  Those useless mosquitos.  Really. What is the point of them?!  What is their purpose besides biting and leaving us with an itchy bump and for some, like my son, a welt.  My youngest son is allergic to mosquito saliva (aka skeeter syndrome) and it results in each and everyone of his mosquito bites turning into a huge painful welts.  The first time it happened I thought he got stung by a bee, the second and third time it happened I finally caught on and did some research and tried a few remedies which didn’t work (i.e. banana peel).  Then the time that he got bit on his eyebrow and woke up the next day with an eye swollen shut, I needed to figure out something since everything else I read wasn’t working nor was the mosquito sprays that I was buying.  So I decided to make my own.  I must also mention I researched a lot about essential oils and only use kid safe essential oils and only made this a 1% dilution for daily application but please do your own research to make sure you’re comfortable with the ingredients and the dilution.

DIY Kid Safe Summer Spray

100ml homemade Vanilla (recipe to follow)

3 drops Patchouli essential oil

5 drops Cedar wood essential oil

4 drops Cypress essential oil

2 drops Lavender essential oil

6 drops Fir essential oil

Mix and put it in an amber glass bottle with a spray applicator.   In the off chance my son still gets bit I found that applying a mixture of bentonite clay, apple cider vinegar and water put directly on the bite site reduces the amount of the swelling by quite a bit.


Homemade Vanilla

7 Vanilla beans or  a scoop of powder, you can find some here or here, I’ve bought mine here but since the cyclone hit Madagascar prices have increased almost 8 times as much as they were two years ago.

8oz 80 proof Alcohol (I used Vodka)

Glass jar

I cut my beans in half, length wise, then scraped the insides putting everything inside the glass jar.  If you need to you can chop up your beans to make them fit.  Cover your beans and scrapings with your alcohol of choosing, seal and shake.  Place in a dark cool area for at least 8 weeks giving it a shake every other day or so.  Then it’s ready to use.


Do you make your own outdoor spray?  What do you use?  Have you noticed a difference?



11 Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day


So Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I thought I’d give you a little help with picking a gift that is not only personalized to their interests but also made with love right here in Canada!  These gifts all have FREE SHIPPING (at time of posting) and are eco-friendly mama Canada approved 🙂 (affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link below and purchase something I may get a small percentage which helps me keep this website running so thank you!)


I know out of the two, moms are much easier to shop for than dads… at least in my experience, but even so, sometimes you feel like “What do you get for a mom who says she doesn’t need anything?!”  Start by thinking about your moms interests and hobbies, is she artistic?  Does she like to draw or paint?  A bag like this one would be great to hold her tools in.  Maybe she likes to spend time in the kitchen, if she’s into making sourdough here’s a great bowl cover for her starter or even this bread bag for any other type of bread she may make.  Does your mom have an appreciation for handmade soap?  There’s a soap of the month subscription that you can purchase and she’ll receive different handmade soaps each month for as many months as you purchase.  How cool is that!  Does your mom have a green thumb? Buy her some healing plants like these Calendula Seeds or even this unique canvas planter for any indoor plants that she may have.  I enjoy a cup of tea and sometimes it’s nice to try something new.  If your mom is the same maybe the tea club would be a perfect gift for her!  What about for a mom who likes to pamper herself?  There’s these bath bags or this organic gift set.  And for the mom who loves spending time at the beach this organic canvas tote would be perfect along with this poncho.


There you have it, 11 gift ideas for Mother’s Day, or anytime you want to show her you love her 😉  As a mom I can honestly say that I would be happy to receive any one of these items especially since there was thought into how the item was made.  Products that are good for her and the environment as well as handmade with love in Canada.  What more could you ask for, oh yeah that’s right, free shipping.







My Master List of DIY All Natural Products

I have been a hands on type of person for my whole life.  I grew up on an acreage and wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty.  It’s now in life that I have really come to appreciate my upbringing because I believe it’s made me into a hard worker who has an appreciation for where things come from.  We didn’t make our own products growing up, I don’t think many people knew you could make your own products at that time.  It wasn’t until 2012 when the wave of Pinterest came along that I started finding all these mom bloggers that were making their own laundry detergent and soap and I was like whaaaaaat?  That’s pretty neat!  Not only is it neat, it saves you hundreds of dollars a year on what you’d buy from the store.  Since then my husband has had to get used to all the concoctions I’ve created and all the homemade products I’ve had him test.  Some fail but some are good, and then I wish I had written down the recipe lol.  I have since learned to keep a recipe book of my creations but most of the time I still eyeball things and adjust as I like.  Here is my master list of everything that I make from scratch.  Some of them I’ve linked to previous posts but don’t worry I’ll share more recipes in the future as well!


Master List of DIY Natural Products


Dishwasher Detergent

All-Purpose Cleaner

Laundry Detergent

Rinse Aid

Stain Remover


Oil Cleanser

Facial Serum

Lip Balm

Zit Zapper


Body Spray

Beard Oil

Body Butter


Bug Spray

Headache Rub

Tooth powder

Vapour Rub

Kid Safe Vapour Rub

Healing Balm

Magnesium Oil

Muscle Rub

Vitamin C Serum

Coffee Scrub

Detox Bath

Clay Face Masks

Hair Conditioner

Shampoo Replacement

Sugar Wax

Electrolyte Drink


Ginger Chews

Elderberry Syrup



Herbal Teas

Herbal Baths




There’s a few things that I’m still working on making or just trying to make it better and that is dish soap, mascara and eyeliner.  I’m a little hesitant on making my own mascara and eyeliner since I’ve read that there can be some bacterial infections if not made or kept properly and you also have to discard your mascara after a short period since it wouldn’t have a preservative and that just seems like more work than I need to add to my plate.  I think I can allow myself to purchase those items.  I would also love to learn how to make bar soap one day!


I absolutely love making my own products and would never go back to buying them.  It’s not just about the money that I’ve saved, although that does make me feel like I’m doing my part to balance out my lack of income.  It’s also not just about making a cleaner product,  it grew into a whole new reason.  My oldest, who’s 5, was washing his hands the other day and he had to pump a few times to get soap to come out and looked to my husband and said “looks like mommy needs to make more soap.”  When my husband told me that my heart just felt so warm knowing that I’m teaching my kids that you don’t have to go to the store for everything.  That we don’t need to depend on other people to make everything for us, we have the tools to make what we need, we just need the guidance.


Do you make some of your own products?  What do you make and how do you like making your own items?

DIY Electrolyte Drink (and what to do with the rinds)

This is a longer post and more personal so you’re more than welcome to scroll down to the bottom to get to the recipes but if you’d like to hear a bit of my backstory here it goes… Back in 2014 I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).  Out of nowhere my heart just jumps up to about 180-240 beat per minute.  I remember the very first time it happened, my 3 month old son was having a nap and I was pretending to have a race with my older boy who was 22 months old at the time.  I wasn’t even exerting myself nor was I stressed out but like a bolt of lighting it hit me and I told him mommy had to rest for a bit.  It only lasted about 30 seconds but it was scary!  For the next couple of weeks it happened a few times but was only about 30-60 seconds long.  At this point I still had no idea what it was or what was happening to my body.   One day, a month or two later I was babysitting a friends child when an episode came on, only this time it didn’t stop after a minute.  I was getting worried after about 10 minutes so I called my husband who proceeded to call 911 since he thought I was having a heart attack.  By the time the Ambulance arrived my heart was back to normal.  They wanted to take me in but I refused.  What were they going to do about it now?!  A week later the same thing happened and my husband called 911 again since he was so worried for my health, only this time they hooked me up to a heart monitor and caught it.  They told me that I had a heart condition called SVT (Supraventricular tachycardia).  After talking to doctors they suggested that I should go on beta blockers, well with the little knowledge I had on beta blockers I knew I would probably have to be on them for life and I didn’t want to start that at a young age of 29. Fast forward a year and a half later and I’m three months pregnant with my daughter.  I’ve learned how to deal with my episodes with deep breathing and the episodes have been minimal.  My husband goes away for a weekend and I’m playing in the office with my 3 1/2 year old, he’s pushing and pulling me on the office chair that spins while my almost 2 year old is napping.  All of a sudden he slips and hits his head on the computer desk.  Our desk isn’t sharp by any means so I thought there was just going to be a bump on his head, I rub and hold it only to realize that when I pull my hand away it’s covered in blood.  Me in a calm panic, since I don’t want to freak my boy out, I calmly get him a cloth and tell him to hold it while I get my two boys ready to go to the emergency room.  This happened at 3pm and we ended up spending the next 5 hours in emergency.  Thankfully he was alright and just needed 3 stitches!  By the time we got home I was exhausted, thankfully I had put a roast in the slow cooker so everyone could eat a bit before I pass out, except I couldn’t because my heart went crazy and this time it was not an SVT it literally felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest.  I tried deep breathing, different positions, water, pressure points but I couldn’t shake it.  All I could think about is my boys are going to wake up to a dead mommy.  Not the best thoughts to try and help yourself relax.  Long story short I didn’t die, and was diagnosed with a second heart condition called Premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) where you feel like your heart skips a beat.  They were worried about my condition at first since I was having runs of them meaning I would have three skipped beats then 3 normal beats and that went on for hours.  I had to go to a heart specialist and high risk pregnancy doctor.   I felt like I could again “take control” of how bad my condition was so I started doing some research and found that I may see some improvement by adding electrolytes and using magnesium oil so that is what I did and I believe it has helped!  I don’t like the store bought drinks cuz lets face it they’re loaded with sugar, dyes and they really don’t have that many electrolytes not to mention its usually in plastic or packaging this world needs less of so I started making my own.   Here’s what I use…


DIY Electrolyte Drink

2 cups lime and lemon juice, from about 6-8 fresh limes and lemons depending on the size

5 cups coconut water

2 cups filtered water

1/2 tsp himalayan salt

1/4 cup raw honey

This is a larger recipe so you can half it if you don’t want so much.  I like to warm up 1 cup of water and add my salt and honey to it and stir to let it dissolve easier, then I add the rest.  Store in the fridge and consume within two weeks.  You can change it up by adding a splash of orange juice or a flavoured tea in place of the water.


Another thing that excites me about making my own electrolyte drink is that I get to make a fresh batch of my all-purpose cleaner!  I take all my lemon and lime rinds that I just juiced and jam them in a glass jar, fill it with vinegar.  Make sure they’re all covered and run a butter knife down the sides to get all the air bubbles out.  Let this sit for a few weeks, I usually let mine go for two weeks give or take 3-4 days, strain it well.  I usually put it through a strainer first then I use a cheese cloth to ensure there’s no bits that will get stuck in my sprayer.  I store the majority of it in a mason jar and fill up my small mister bottle when needed.


I use this all purpose cleaner for my windows, floors, bathroom, garbages and basically anything else I can think of.  Don’t, however, use it on your granite counters if you have them, it will wear away at their surface.


Have you ever made your own electrolyte drink?   What about your own all purpose cleaner?  I’d love to hear about your recipes 🙂



DIY Anti-aging Serum

Who doesn’t want to try their best to keep those aging lines away that just all of a sudden creep up on you!  I wish I would have been more aware of ingredients when I was younger or knew how important it was to moisturize with good food for my skin on a daily basis but you know what they say “hind sight is 20/20.”


There’s a lot of anti-again serums and moisturizers out there and you could spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars in a year buying products but I tend to be on the frugal side and like to make my own.  It not only lets me keep my pocket book fuller but I can mess around with it and adjust it to my liking.  I have noticed a difference in some of my wrinkles, even my deep set ones and after a few trials this is the recipe I’ve come up with.  I will also explain what the benefits of each oil are so you can see why I chose these particular oils.


DIY Anti-Aging Serum

1 part jojoba oil

1 part seabuckthorn oil

1 part argan oil

1 part camellia seed oil

2 parts rosehip oil


Mix and put into a bottle with a dropper.  Use 4-6 drops on your face daily in morning and at night.  Shelf life is to be determined as mine hasn’t gone rancid yet, 6 months later.  I’m pretty sure you’d use it up by the time it would go bad but if it’s been a while be sure to smell it to see if it’s gone rancid.


“Part” can mean any amount you’d like to make, so for example, 1 part can be 1 tablespoon or 1/4 cup and two parts would be 2 tablespoons or 1/2 cup.  This way you can make as little or as much as you’d like to have on hand.  You’re also more than welcome to add essential oils to this and there are great anti-aging benefits in many essential oils like rose, frankincense, geranium, lavender and more.


Benefits of each oil

Jojoba – has vitamins E and B complex, chromium, iodine, selenium, zinc and copper which can effectively heal and make your skin supple, improving elasticity.  It stimulates new cell generation, hydrates your skin, maintains pH levels and lightens the appearance of stretch marks and acne scars.

Sea Buckthorn – with 14 essential vitamins, omega’s 3, 6, 9, the rare omega 7, super charged anti oxidants, hundreds of other nutrients, and anti-inflammation properties; sea buckthorn is effective on the skin for burns, wounds, cuts, and any kind of skin damage.  High levels of omega-7 are known for supporting tissue and mucous membranes.

Argan – contains triterpenoids which bring life back to your skin; antioxidants which help prevent future wrinkles and protects skin from free radicals; vitamins A and E which help reduce fine lines; it increases elasticity of skin and protects from UV rays.

Camellia seed – is known for protecting skin from free radicals as well.  It’s high in omega 9, adds SPF, helps heal scars, brightens the appearance of your skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Rose hip – helps correct dark spots; has vitamins C and A which stimulate collagen production; improves skin tone and texture as well as pigmentation; helps promote skin regeneration which helps with scaring; reduces fine lines; hydrates skin; helps fight free radicals as well.


Overall I feel like if you’re using good, clean ingredients to nourish your skin and making sure you clean it properly at the end of the day you should see improvement in your skins appearance.


Please comment below or contact me if you’ve made your own serum or moisturizer that has worked for you or one that you know and love 🙂

DIY Healing Herbal Bath

When I was getting ready for child birth I wanted to do anything I could to naturally heal as quickly and comfortably as possible so I did a lot of research.  I found some healing herbs that I mixed together to make a herbal bath that I could sit in that was meant to speed up my healing.  Now, I’m no doctor, so please don’t take the following as medical advice, this is what I used and it seemed to work for me.   You should first consult with your doctor as well as know that you may not get the same speedy healing results as I did.  Also, I did not take before and after pictures to see how my healing progressed but I physically felt less aching and stretching within a couple of days after giving birth.


DIY Herbal Healing Bath

1 cup epsom salts

1 Tbsp calendula

1 Tbsp rose petals

1 Tbsp comfrey root

1 Tbsp chamomile

1 Tbsp marshmallow root

Put everything in an oversized tea bag and run warm bath water over.  Sit in bath water for up to 30 min.

I’m sure you can try this herbal mix as a healing bath if you have skin issues, scrapes, etc but again, please make sure that everything is safe for you to use.

I made myself a bunch of pre-measured bags so all I’d have to do is put them in my tea bag and run my bath water, it worked quite nicely especially because I know I would have been to lazy to measure everything out every time I took a bath.

DIY Diaper Wipes

Have you ever read what the ingredients are in your store bought diaper wipes?!?  I never did until I became more aware.  Let me tell you I could not pronounce half of those words and that just confuses me since diaper wipes should be so simple.  So, I simplified it.  You can use cloth wipes or paper towel for this recipe, both work well but I tend to lean towards cloth since there is less waste and it’s cheaper.  If you use paper towel let it sit for about 30 minutes after you’ve poured the liquid on top, then remove the middle cardboard



  • Bucket full of cloth wipes or recycled paper towel (you can cut a paper towel roll in half and put it in a container, I used an old frozen yogurt container)
  • 1 cup filtered water (more or less depending on how many wipes you have)
  • 1 Tbsp organic almond oil or other carrier oil
  • 2 oz alcohol free witch hazel

Mix water, oil and witch hazel.  Pour over wipes.  Let it soak for about 30 minutes and pull out the centre roll, if using paper towel.  Use within a week to prevent it from rotting or molding.  Please note that I do NOT use any essential oils.  This is because they don’t belong on your babies privates.  If you’d like your wipes to have a scent you can either infuse your water, witch hazel or oil before adding it to your wipes.  You can also get creative by adding fresh Aloe Vera or calendula oil for their healing properties.  This is a great way to be more eco-friendly since the commercial wipes are not only full of harsh chemicals they apparently can take up to 100 years to decompose.  Where as a paper towel decomposes in 2-4 weeks and cloth wipes can be used indefinitely.  Don’t you feel like you should try and do your part to help lessen the worlds weight of garbage?!?


This post contains affiliate links, this means that if you click on the link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission that helps keep this website running.  Thanks for your support!

The Bad Guys

This List is very conservative right now, it will keep growing as I do more and more research.

Acetaldehyde: Found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals.

Acetone : Also known as Dimethylketone, 2-Propanone, Beta-Ketopropane. Inhalation of moderate to high amounts, even for a short time results in entry of acetone into bloodstream where it is carried to all other organs. Nose, throat, lung and eye irritant, headaches, confusion, increased pulse rate, effects on blood, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness, coma. Shortens the menstrual cycle in women. Effects of long-term exposure include kidney, liver and nerve damage, increased birth defects, metabolic changes and coma. Found in nail polish remover.

Acrylamide/polyacrylamide: Produced naturally in some foods when cooked at high temps. Manufactured for use in polyacrylamide gels, sometimes used as a treatment for drinking water and/or wastewater. Acrylamide causes cancer in animals and in large doses, nerve damage in humans. Smoking is a major acrylamide producer as is frying, deep frying or extended micro-waving.

Alkyl-phenol Ethoxylades: May reduce sperm count. Found in shampoo and bubble bath.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid: Destroys skin cells and leaves skin more susceptible to damage from the environment and skin cancer. Actually ends up aging skin. Found in anti-aging facial creams and lotions.

Aluminum: Heavy concentrations may be linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Aluminum is in many antiperspirants and prevalent in water supplies. Processed foods contain dietary aluminum. Sodium aluminum phosphate appears in pickles, cheese and baking soda.

Ammonium Glycolate: A photosensitizer with potential to increase risk of sunburn and skin cancer by intensifying UV exposures in deep skin layers. This sensitizer can instigate immune system response that includes itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. It is also a penetration enhancer which alters the skins’ structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream.

Ammonium Hydroxide: eye, lung and skin irritant; organ system toxicity

Ammonium Persulfate: Found in hair color and bleaching kit sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, lung sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include asthma attacks or other problems with the lungs and airways.  Immune system toxin, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant, classified as toxic in one or more government assessments.

Benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride and lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen: Found in hair treatment products. Both are toxic and allergenic.

Benzene: Inhalation of high levels can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Hodgkin’s and Lymphomas result from inhalation. Used in detergents, drugs, pesticides and adhesives.
Benzoic / Benzyl: Contains carcinogens, endocrine disruptor, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble bath.

Benzoic Acid: Inhalation affects nervous system and is moderately toxic by ingestion. Severe eye and skin irritant. Used as a food preservative and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics

Benzoyl Peroxide: In acne treatments, bar soap, facial cleansers and food additives! Highly toxic/ irritant
Benzyl alcohol: skin, eye and lung irritant; prolonged or repeated exposure can cause allergic contact dermatitis; may be toxic to the liver and CNS

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): In moisturizer, makeup, etc. Can cause cancer and interfere with hormone function. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function.

Bisphenol A or BPA: Toxic plastic chemical used as a can lining in brands of some infant formulas. Also found in water bottles, this chemical is used to produce polycarbonate and epoxy plastics. For babies, check food container labels and beware of polycarbonate plastic baby bottles. Chemical reactions can occur when plastic is heated.

Bronopol: May break down into formaldehyde, may form carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Butylparaben: Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin.

Carbon Black: organ system toxicity; possible human carcinogen

Carboxymethylcellulose: Causes cancer in animals. Used in cosmetics, inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.

Cetyl PEG/PPG-10: organ system toxicity

Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.): Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods. For more information, see the Dyes Commonly Used in Food and Body Product Section.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine: May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products, itching, burning and blistering of skin. Synthesized from coconuts, this chemical is found in body products and may be labeled natural or organic.

Coumarin: Formerly the active ingredient in rat poison. A carcinogenic ingredient used in the manufacturing of deodorants, shampoos, skin fresheners and perfumes.

Cyclopentasiloxane: organ system toxicity

D&C Yellow 11: Found in: Lip gloss, polish remover, nail polish, bath oil/salts/soak, body spray, mositurizer, lipstick, styling gel/lotion, bar soap, after sun products,

DEA: Diethanolamine: A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus. Repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer. Also found in skin cream, bubble bath, shaving gel, conditioner, lotions.

Diacetyl: An additive that tastes like butter causes a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn workers’ lung. Found in foods, especially microwave popcorn.

Diazolidinyl Urea: Found in facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Linked to neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): A chemical used to keep nail polish from chipping, has been connected to cancer in lab animals as well as long-term fertility issues in newborn boys. Banned in Europe, but still in use in the U.S. Found in nail polish.

Dimethicone: A silicone emollient, which coats the skin not allowing toxins out. May promote tumors and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Found in lotions, creams, hair products, cosmetics.

Dioforms: Damage and weaken tooth enamel allowing more staining and discoloration to take place. Found in tooth whitening products.

Disodium EDTA: Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Found in cosmetics.

DMDM Hydantoin: Contains formaldehyde , an ingredient linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity. Allergenic, can be an irritant to eyes skin and lungs. Common in manicure/pedicure products and hair treatment packages.

Elastin: Suffocates skin by not allowing moisture in or out. Found in facial creams and body lotions.

Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane: Never listed because it’s a by-product made from adding carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make other chemicals less harsh. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found 1,4-dioxane in 57 percent of baby washes in the U.S. Avoid any ingredients containing the letters “eth.”

Ethylacrylate: Found in some mascaras’s suspected as a cause of cancer in humans, based on studies of human populations or laboratory animals.

Ferric Ferrocyanide: depending on usage; organ system toxicity

Fluoride: May contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Accumulates in body and contributes to bone disease. Carcinogenic. Found in toothpastes.

Formaldehyde: Suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin, it may be fatal if swallowed, absorbed through skin, inhaled or swallowed. Can cause spasms, edema, chemical pneumonitis and is extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membrane, this chemical is found in many nail care products and vaccines. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals. Found in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair spray, nail polish. Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea,

Fragrances (Synthetic): Some perfumes/fragrances contain hundreds of chemicals. Some, such as methylene chloride are carcinogenic. Some cause brain damage or are neurotoxins. Avoid unless you can be sure they are not carcinogenic.

Glyceryl Rosinate:  it’s the monoester of glycerin and mixed long chain acids derived from Rosin.  Even though it may not be too harmful it may help the other harmful ingredients in your products get into your blood stream faster than you bargained for.  It may also cause some irritation so just be aware what’s in your products.

Glycolic Acid: Penetration enhancer which alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream, skin or sense organs. As a sensitizer it can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. Toxicant, neurotoxin, kidney toxicant, gastrointestinal or liver toxicant. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics.

GMO/Genetically Modified Organism: Plants, animals or foods that have been genetically modified, genetically engineered or BT/Biotechnology modified. Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. Minimal testing shows that animals fed GMO feed, refuse to eat it. When force-fed the feed (corn, soy, tomatoes etc.) the animals developed stomach lesions and malformations of organs. GMO food is not labeled as such in the U.S. Almost all other countries have banned the use of GMO in food and body products due to insufficient testing.

Heavy Metals (Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Nickel and More): Heavy metals can build up in the body over time and are known to cause varied health problems, which can include: cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems; memory loss; mood swings; nerve, joint and muscle disorders; cardiovascular, skeletal, blood, immune system, kidney and renal problems; headaches; vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea; lung damage; contact dermatitis; and brittle hair and hair loss. Many are suspected hormone disruptors and respiratory toxins, and for some like lead, there is no known safe blood level. (See individual metals for more info)

Hydroabietyl Alcohol: Found in styling gel/lotions. Unsafe for use in cosmetics according to the fragrance industry’s International Fragrance Association.

Hydroquinone: A severely toxic and very powerful chemical. Banned in the United Kingdom, but still used in the U.S. Found in skin lightening products and hair dyes, this chemical alters the skins natural structure inhibiting the production of Melanin. Without natural protection, the skin is more susceptible to skin cancer. Prolonged use of Hydroquinone will thicken collagen fibers damaging the connective tissues. The result is rough blotchy skin leaving it with a spotty caviar appearance.

Hydroxymethylcellulose: Used in cosmetics. Inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.

Imidazolidinyl Urea: This allergenic chemical finds its way into deodorants, shampoos, hand cream and some mascaras.
Isobutane:  eye, lung, skin irritant; organ system toxicity; allergen; restricted in Canadian cosmetics

Isobutylparaben: Potential breast cancer risk. Itching, burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products.

Isoproponal/Isopropyl Alcohol: Moderately toxic chemical causing flushing, pulse rate decrease, blood pressure lowering, anesthesia, narcosis, headache, dizziness, mental depression, drowsiness, hallucinations, distorted perceptions, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting and coma. Used to clean/disinfect skin, lower temperatures. Found in some body products.
Japanese Honeysuckle: a natural source of Parabens but chemically identical to the synthetic variety.  The build up of Parabens in the body and their interaction with other commonly used chemicals may lead to hormore disruption and can lead to an increased cancer risk

Kajoic Acid: A chemical that inhibits melanin production. Used in skin lightening products, it damages the skin and makes it more susceptible to cancer.

Lacquer: Can cause eyelashes to fall out. Found in mascara.

Lanolin: While lanolin itself is skin beneficial, it may contain carcinogenic pesticides such as DDT, lindane, dieldrin and other neurotoxins. Can cause rashes. Found in body products.

Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

Magnesium Stearate/Stearic Acid: May contain phosphatidyl choline which collapses cell membranes and selectively kills T-Cells which breaks down the immune system. An execeptant that is used to bind medicinal tablets and make them smooth it is also used in pharmaceuticals, foods, talcum powder, ammunition, and as a drying agent in paints.

MEA: Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide DEA, Oleamide DEA: NDEA (N-nitrosodiethanolamine) forms when DEA reacts with nitrosating agents or the actual addition of nitrite as a preservative. As there is no way to determine if NDEA has been formed, it is imperative to avoid all products containing DEA as it is a known carcinogen. Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH, and used with many fatty acids to convert acid to salt (stearate), which then becomes the base for a cleanser.

Mercury: Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara and some eyedrops.

Methyl Methacrylate: May cause fingers and nails to inflame. Found in nail polish.

Methylisothiazoline, or MIT: Causes neurological damage. Found in shampoo.

Methylparaben: Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development of fetus, and increased risk for certain cancers, itching, burning and blistering of skin. A close cousin of benzoic acid: poisonous and moderately toxic it is found in body products.

Mineral Oil: A derivative of petroleum, this additive clogs pores, locks in toxins, suffocates and dries skin and inhibits your skins natural oil production further increasing dehydration. Causes testicular tumors in the fetus, deposits accumulate in the lymph nodes and prevent absorption of vitamin A from the intestines. Found in blush, baby oil, lotions, foundation and creams.

Nitrate – Nitrite: While nitrate itself is harmless; it is readily converted to nitrite. When nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines, it forms nitrosamines: extremely powerful cancer-causing chemicals. The chemical reaction occurs most readily at the high temperatures of frying. Nitrite has long been suspected as being a cause of stomach cancer.

Nitrosamines: Extremely powerful, cancer-causing chemicals formed at high temperatures when the preservative nitrite combines with compounds called secondary amines.
Octinoxate: biochemical or cellular level changes; endocrine disruption; may be implicated in cardiovascular disease

Octyl methoxycinnamate: (OMC for short) is the main chemical used in sunscreens to filter out UVB light. OMC is present in almost ALL wide-spectrum sunscreen brands. Worse yet, OMC has been shown to be particularly toxic when exposed to sunshine. According to the Cosmetics Database, which rates Octyl Methoxycinnamate as 70% safe, there are many concerns regarding its use, including: biochemical changes that cause mutation and cell death upon exposure to sunlight (which is likely when used as a sunscreen ingredient); immunotoxicity and photoallergic effects; reproductive toxicity that leads to estrogenic effects; organ system toxicity, especially in the liver; and enhanced skin absorption. Octyl methoxycinnamate is relatively easily absorbed into the skin and has been shown in some studies to promote generation of potentially harmful free radicals.

Olestra: While fat-free, this additive has a fatal side effect: it attaches to valuable nutrients and flushes them out of the body. Some of these nutrients, called carotenoids, appear to protect us from such diseases as lung cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Olestra replaces fats in ‘fat-free’ foods.

Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

p-Phenylenediamine (PPD): Very toxic substance, used in hair dyeing, shampoo’s and hair spray. Highly carcinogenic, developmental and reproductive toxicity, it is allergenic and can cause skin irritation issues.

Padimate-O (PABA): Nitrosamines, potent carcinogens, may form in products that contain Padimate-O. There is no way of knowing if they have formed. Found in cosmetics and sunscreens.

Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

PEG (Polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, oxynol: any ethoxylated compound, including SLES): Moderately toxic, eye irritant and possible carcinogen. Many glycols produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion. Can cause convulsions, mutations, and surface EEG changes. Found in cosmetics, body products, foods, lotions. Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

PEG Stearates: Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in cosmetics, creams and foods.

PEG-12 Distearate: May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics and foods.

PEG-14M: May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in foods, lotions, creams and cosmetics.

PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate: May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards. Found in cosmetics, creams, lotions and foods.

Petroleum (Petrolatum): Suffocates skin and traps toxins in body, clogs pores. Found in lotions, skin creams, and body jelly.

Phenoxyethanol: Possible connection to reproductive or developmental harm to fetus, potential for reduced fertility, classified as toxic and an irritant, potential risks to wildlife and environment through excretion of body product toxins and disposal of cosmetics.

Phthalates: Accumulates in the body; proven damage to liver, lungs, kidneys and reproductive systems. Appears in vinyl flooring, plastic wallpaper, perfume, hair spray, deodorant, nail polish, hair gel, mousse, body and hand lotion. Look for it in children’s toys, as; DEHP, BBP and DBP.

Placental extract: Used in some skin and hair products, but linked to endocrine disruption.

Polypropylene: Possible carcinogen. Found in lipstick, mascara, baby soap, eye shadow.

Polyquaternium-7: May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in body products.

Polyscorbate-60: Used in cosmetics. Inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis .

Polysorbate 20: Main concern is contaminants of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane which are carcinogenic

Potassium Sorbate: skin toxicant or allergen

Propylene Glycol: Kidney damage, liver abnormalities, inhibits skin cell growth, damages cell membranes causing rashes, surface damage and dry skin.  Absorbed into blood stream and travels to all organs. Many glycols produce severe acidosis, central nervous system damage and congestion. Can cause convulsions, mutations, and surface EEG changes. It is derived from petroleum products. The Material Safety Data Sheets on propylene glycol warns against contact with eyes, skin and clothing. It also says inhalation can cause irritation of nasal passages, ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Research also shows that it alters cell membranes and causes cardiac arrest. Found in shaving gel, lotions, shampoo, conditioners, foods, deodorant.

Propylparaben: Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, and increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazard. A close cousin of benzoic acid: poisonous and moderately toxic. Found in body products.

Quaternium-7, 15, 31, 60 etc.: Toxic, causes skin rashes and allergic reactions. Formaldehyde releasers. Found in body products.

Retinyl Palmitate: It’s a form of synthetic Vitamin A.  The sunscreen industry uses vitamin A in its formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that is thought to slow skin aging. However, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study found that a form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, when used in sunscreen and therefore exposed to sunlight may actually speed the development of skin lesions and tumors.

Salicylic Acid: You need to be careful with this one as it can take a layer of skin off and can even cause a chemical burn.  If you have sensitive skin definitely stay away from this ingredient. It can also irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract as well as cause effects on the central nervous system and the acid-base balance in the body , resulting in delirium and tremors. Prolonged use of salicylic acid can cause dermatitis.

Silicone-derived emollients: Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.”  Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.  Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate): Ether mixtures may contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. Avoid ethoxylated compounds as a precaution. May form 1.4 dioxane, a potential carcinogen, endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimic. Allows other chemicals to penetrate skin more deeply and enter bloodstream. May cause hair loss when applied to scalp. Found in shampoo, toothpaste, bubble bath, body wash, soap.

SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate): Builds up in heart, lungs, brain and liver from skin contact and may cause damage to these organs. Corrodes hair follicles and may cause hair to fall out. Damages immune system. Contain endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimics. Impairs proper structural formation of young eyes. May contain carcinogenic nitrosamines. This is a detergent derived from coconut oil and may be labeled natural or even organic. Found in toothpaste, soap, shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, facial cleansers.

Sodium Benzoate: with the addition of vitamin C creates benzene (a known carcinogen)

Sodium Borate: Organ sytem toxicity

Sodium Chloride: Table salt (processed at high heat). Eye irritation, some hair loss, and dry and itchy skin. Found in shampoo as a thickener.

Sodium Hydroxide(Lye): Organ system toxicity; eye, skin and lung irritant and dangerous to work with. Once made into soap sodium hydroxide evaporates and you’re left with soap in that form it is NOT dangerous

Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate: Potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems. Found in facial moisturizer, facial cleanser, facial treatments, skin fading and lightening products, anti-aging products, eye makeup remover, concealer, makeup remover, around eye cream, acne treatment, shampoo, conditioner, styling lotion and gel, styling mousse and foam, hair spray, hair relaxer, tanning oil and sunscreen, after tanning products, body cleanser and wash, body exfoliants, body firming lotion, baby soap, baby lotion, baby wipes, baby bubble bath, pain and wound products, hand sanitizer.

Sodium Metabisulfite:  eye, lung and skin irritant; organ system toxicity;

Sodium Nitrite: Makes meat look red rather than gray, and gives meat an overly long shelf life of months. Clinically proven to cause leukemia, brain tumors and other forms of cancer.

Sorbic Acid:  organ system toxicity

Stearalkonium Chloride: Toxic and causes allergic reactions. Used in hair conditioners.

Steareth-20: organ system toxicity

Steareth-4: organ system toxicity

Sulfites: Can cause reactions in asthmatics, and lead to death. Sulphites are now banned on all foods except raw potatoes, wine and dried fruit.

Talc: Similar to asbestos in composition, it’s found in baby powder, eye shadow, blush, deodorant. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems. Carcinogenic when inhaled

TEA: Tea, Triethanolamine: TEA causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of hair and skin, and could be toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects (although still in use in the U.S.)

Tocopheryl Acetate: Its a form of synthetic vitamin E and can be a skin toxicant or allergen and possibly contaminated with hydroquinone which is both an environmental and human toxin.  I’d choose products that use pure tocopheryl instead.

Toluene: Poison to humans. Hallucinations, bone marrow changes, may cause liver and kidney damage and birth defects, endocrine disruptor and potential carcinogen linked to brain cancer. Irritates respiratory tract. Found in nail polish and cleaning products. Known to disrupt the immune and endocrine systems, and fetal development, it’s used in nail and hair products. Often hidden under fragrance.

Triclosan: Found in a lot of antimicrobial soaps and toothpaste products, it can react with chlorine in the tap water to create Chloroform. This is a toxic chemical that can give you cancer. If you breathe enough chloroform, you can die. When you wash your hands with antibacterial soap that contains Triclosan, you are getting the fumes emitted from this chemical reaction.   Avoid the brand Microban.  Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Vinyl chloride: Used to create PVC (polyvinyl chloride) a known carcinogen. Often found in toys. Children chewing on toys can release toxins into their bodies.

Zinc Stearate : Carcinogenic when inhaled. Found in blush and powder foundation, avoid loose powders to reduce inhaling it.

5 DIY No Poo Recipes

When I made the change to natural, toxic free products I started using shampoo bars as my new shampoo. I thought it should clean my hair. I was quite disappointed when hours after I showered, my hair which at the time was shoulder level, was feeling waxy or greasy and I was so frustrated with it.  After doing some research I came to the conclusion that I wanted to experiment with my hair and give the no poo method a try.  Now, a year and a half later, my hair is down to my waist and I would never go back to using commercial products.  I love giving my hair the nutrients it needs from things in my kitchen.  Not only that, it’s great for our environment by not flushing down toxic ingredients into our sewer system!


For those of you who don’t know what the no poo method is, it’s really just washing your hair with shampoo alternatives like clay, egg, soap nuts, milk, etc.  The sky is the limit when it comes to different things you can use.  I have a few regulars that I rotate through but I always like to experiment with new ideas as well.


Here’s what I use…

  1. Egg- your hair is protein, primarily keratin and chains of amino acids and to make your hair stronger you need to wash it with protein and that’s just what egg is.  Just don’t over do it because you can get protein overload.  To use an egg wash I crack the whole egg, or you can just use the yolk, scramble it and add water to double the volume.  Take it to the shower and rub it into your scalp.  Let it sit on your scalp while you wash your body then rinse it out well with cool NOT warm water (or else you’ll end up with a bunch of cooked egg in your hair and that’s not easy to get out, trust me!). Find some at your local egg farmers.
  2. Besan flour- or organic chickpea flour is rich in protein as well.  I mix about 3 Tbsp of besan flour with 3 tsp of honey (great for moisturizing the hair), about 6 Tbsp of water and a drop of lavender or rosemary essential oil.  Take it to the shower and rub it into you scalp, let it sit while you wash your body then rinse out well, really well or you’ll be left with grainy hair. You can find it here.  
  3. Bentonite Clay– it’s a great clarifier because it pulls toxins from your hair and replaces it with minerals from the clay.  I mix about equal scoops of bentonite clay, honey and ACV (apple cider vinegar) then about enough distilled or filtered water to double in volume, make sure it’s not just tap water because if there’s any metals or toxins in there the bentonite clay will just pull them out and put them into your hair instead of clarifying your hair.  I also like to add a drop of rosemary or lavender essential oil to this concoction.                                                                                                                    
  4. Organic Soap Nuts-I take about 5-6 soap nuts, a few Tbsp of both dried lavender buds and rosemary add 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Let it simmer for 30-40 min then add another cup of water so it’s not so concentrated.  To wash my hair I put enough of this mixture in to saturate my whole head, wrap my hair into my hair towel and let it sit for 20 min before I go into the shower and wash well.                                                   
  5. Organic baking soda & Organic Apple Cider Vinegar– I dilute 1 tsp baking soda with 1 cup water and pour over my head and rub.  Wash out like you have a head full of shampoo, then follow with a rinse that has 1 Tbsp ACV mixed with 1 cup water.  Again, I add essential oils, and don’t worry once your hair dries you won’t smell like vinegar ;).

There you have it, those are the no poo washes I rotate through and again I’ve experimented with other things like rye flour, coconut milk, aloe, etc. but I find that these five are what my hair likes the best for now.  I’m still going to try new recipes and research to learn about new things that I can try to help my hair be the best it can be.  This post contains affiliate links and some items are not made in Canada but as you know not everything can be made in Canada, for example soap nuts, but I would never recommend anything that I wouldn’t use myself and I’m very particular!  If you have any questions about no poo washing or want to share your experience I’d love to hear from you!

The Easy Etsy Mansket

Ok so I know I’m not a dude and can’t really give a manly perspective of what men want but I have been buying my husband gifts for over 10 years so I think I have a pretty good idea which gifts he likes the most and I have a few ideas of what I think he would want in the future.  Here it goes…


For the Mansket (mans-basket) I’d start with a base that I could put everything on and this BBQ set looks like it would work great to fit a bunch of items on like this spice set and BBQ scraper and then of course I would get my husband some personal items since he likes to take care of himself.  He has a great beard so I’d get him this oil or balm and maybe a comb to help Maintain it.  If you have a man that shaves be sure to get some after shave cream for him.  I’d also get him a manly soap for the shower or you can just buy this gift set to make things a little easier.  A deodorant or cologne is a great idea to help him stay clear from the harmful ingredients they use in commercial products, and if you have a guy that gets dirty every now and then a scrubbing soap isn’t a bad idea.  I also feel like adding a lunch bag might be a nice touch, you can even use it to put some of the personal care items in there.


There’s a few great mens gift ideas that are on my 61 Gift Ideas for Your Natural Christmas so head over to see what else I’ve recommended.


Affiliate links are used in this post.