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I’ve been pretty into making things myself lately. Initially as a strategy to save money but as a healthy measure for my family as I continue to learn more disturbing information. I’m going to try not to rant here… but oh my gosh… there are millions of things that millions of Americans do daily that are detrimental to their health. It’s absurd.

I’ve heard that people make toothpaste. Cool.. I’ll make toothpaste too. But why? Yes, it is by far cheaper. And… a billion times healthier. Here is a little information about why the toothpaste you most likely brushed your teeth today may be harming you and is probably, actually, HARMING YOUR TEETH.

Most toothpastes and hygiene products foam, right? Foaming and soapy suds make us think that something is working to make us more clean. You wash your hair and it doesn’t get all foamy so you add more soap, right? Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is what does that.

SLS is one of those crazy things that can be found in many products in your home in small doses but that can also be used for completely different things in very large amounts. SLS is used to clean oil spills. It’s in bubble bath. In shampoo. In toothpaste.

Have you ever noticed that many hygiene products say to flush your eyes out with water if you accidentally get it in your eye? Have you ever had your shampoo or face wash get into your eye and cause it to get red and sting? Thats the SLS. SLS is known to be a harmful skin irritant and can actually cause damage to the mucous membranes in your eye. Yuck. It is also known to be toxic to the liver and kidneys, it can be deadly to fish and aquatic animals (good thing we’re washing it down our drains daily!), and is listed as a hazard by the National Institute of Health. It’s (big surprise!) known to cause eczema and other skin problems as well as mouth ulcers (canker sores).

You may find that some of your hygiene products say that they’re free of SLS because people are getting smart and learning to avoid certain harsh chemicals. However they most likely contain equally terrible things such as Sodium Laureth Sulphate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate.. which don’t seem to be any better. So read the label and educate yourself about what you’re reading.

Cases of sensitive teeth and mouth cancers on the rise… Wonder why? Of course many things can be playing into those issues but putting chemicals in your mouth and inevitably ingesting a little can’t be helpful, can it?

Most toothpastes contain artificial colors and flavors – neither of which are healthy or even close to natural. Both of which are very bad for you, especially for children. If you don’t know anything about what artificial colors do I strongly encourage you to do some research, especially if you have children.

So I poked around and found some very convincing evidence of tooth decay and enamel problems being slowed, stopped, and even reversed in people of all ages after switching to a homemade, safe, and natural toothpaste.

I picked out a pretty simple recipe to start with. If this goes well I may keep it, experiment with changing the taste, or try one of the more complicated recipes out there.

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Easy Homemade Toothpaste:
5 Tablespoons Baking Soda
4 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
10 Drops Organic Peppermint Oil
optional: a pinch of Xylitol to make it sweeter

Mix the ingredients together, apply to your toothbrush, and brush away!

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Remember.. it won’t foam. But that’s a good thing! :)

After brushing my teeth felt so squeaky clean and I was left with a refreshing peppermint aftertaste. The baking soda taste may be overpowering to some – simply add more peppermint oil or xylitol if this is the case.

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Did you know about what harm your toothpaste could be causing? Do you use natural toothpaste or make your own?

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Last week I received my package of products to review from Swanson Health Products. I was happy to have been able to choose, with a $25 budget, what I was going to review. For the most part I found Swanson’s website easy to navigate and found a decent amount of information about each product. I did my best to rearrange my shopping cart multiple times in an attempt to get the price to approximately $25 – that was rough.. I wanted so many things! I was impressed with the great prices, too!

I ended up with the following:
Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap
JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion
Crème de Mint Toothpaste
Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo
Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner
Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water

The package arrived quickly and I was impressed by the care taken to pack the individual products. Most were sealed in plastic and had tape over the top to prevent having a box full of globs of lotion and shampoo sitting at my doorstep. The two items in cardboard boxes, however, were a little banged up (Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water & Creme de Mint Toothpaste). This would be a major downside if I happened to be ordering these items to give to someone (gripe water could be a potential baby shower gift I suppose.. a gift of toothpaste might be kind of rude) but I immediately took both out of their cardboard boxes and proceeded to recycle the boxes so it was no biggie.

The first item I was eager to try was the Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap from Avalon Organics which I placed in our kitchen. I ordered it to replace the harsh and extremely unpleasant commercial grade soap we had in there (which has now moved to the basement utility sink). I have only good things to say about this soap – it is so silky smooth between your fingers when you’re washing your hands, it lathers nicely, and you’re left with a wonderful lemon scent. My husband also commented on how much he enjoyed the lemon scent after trying the soap. Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap contains organic lemon essential oil – not artificial fragrance. It also contains aloe and vitamin E, among many other (good!) things, is 70% organic, and does not contain parabens. I highly recommend Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap!

The second item I tried was JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion which I was extremely excited for. I didn’t have any decent lotion and was hesitant to use any with parabens or fragrances since I touch Olive so often and she tries to eat my hands and arms so often. This lotion is a nice big bottle with a pump top. I like pump tops for lotion so you can grab it in when in a hurry (such as when you have a tiny crying baby waiting impatiently for you) and you don’t have to fool around with a bottle and a lid and get everything all greasy. JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion is 70% aloe vera, and paraben free. Wonderful! So far it’s been working well – I have used it on my hands multiple times, my face a few times, and on my body this morning after taking a shower. My skin was not irritated by the lotion and I have not needed to reapply it throughout the day as I do with some lotions. I recommend JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion as well.

Next I tried Crème de Mint Toothpaste from Nature’s Gate. My husband was just about out of his somewhat natural toothpaste from Trader Joes and I was eager to try something other than the Rembrandt Canker Sore tooth paste I’ve been using for years. I get canker sores frequently and most toothpaste has an ingredient that can cause them or make them worse! This toothpaste is fluoride free and made with baking soda and spearmint oil. I’ve found many recipes for homemade toothpaste that also contain baking soda and an oil but have not gotten around to making them. For less than $3 this is a decent alternative to homemade! The ingredient list is simple and easy to understand which I like when it’s something I’m going to be putting in my mouth. Crème de Mint Toothpaste is minty but not overpowering and it gets pretty foamy when you brush. Overall my teeth feel clean after brushing which is what I expect from a toothpaste and I don’t feel bad taking a drink of water or swallowing, for that matter, after brushing my teeth. Recommended!

Next up are Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo and Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner, both from Nature’s Gate. I believe there are three Nature’s Gate Shampoo & Conditioners to choose from and, based on the descriptions of what hair type they are for, I choose Jojoba as I typically look for a little pick me up for my hair but not too much volume or I turn into a poof. I personally like this shampoo & conditioner thus far (I have only used it once). It smells nice and my hair didn’t come out frizzy but it has good volume and shine. On the negative side the shampoo did not lather well and this usually leads me to use too much shampoo because I don’t feel like it’s working unless I get a good pile of bubbles. I refrained from getting more and found my hair to be squeaky clean upon rinsing despite the little lather. Also on the negative, my husband was not as pleased with shampoo & conditioner. He found it to cause his hair to be frizzy. The effectiveness of these two products probably depend on your hair type. My hair is thin, long, and gets oily easily. My husband’s hair is more coarse and has less volume than mine. I recommend Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo and Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner – my husband does not.

Lastly is a product for little Olive – I couldn’t leave her out! We tried Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water in an effort to ease her evening colic. From what I’ve read, the way that Olive acts, and what eases her colic, I don’t feel that colic is tummy related, at least 100% of the time. Gripe water works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. It has calmed her rather quickly more than 50% of the time. When she begins to get fussy, typically in the evenings, we try to the usual circuit – nursing, changing, snuggling, carrying, etc. When those fail we fill up a tiny bottle with one teaspoon of gripe water and she sucks it down surprisingly well. Despite having tasted only breast milk previous to her first bit of gripe water Olive latched on to the bottle and sucked away! It didn’t take long for her to calm. Like I said – this does not work 100% of the time but it is a useful tool for a fussy baby. It is easy to use, Olive likes the taste, and the ingredients are simple and natural – more acceptable to us than most gripe waters that we researched. If you have a fussy or colicy baby I suggest you add Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water to your bag of tricks!

I will be buying from Swanson Health Products in the future!

** Swanson Health Products sent me these products for free in exchange for my honest review **

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