Non-Toxic Reading Guide (for Beginners)


Something that really interests me is non-toxic products, whether it’s cleaning supplies, beauty products, or skincare.


I initially became interested in non-toxic products in 2015-2016 when I had a rash that covered most of my hands, calves, and had spots on my stomach and chest. It was miserable, and I wasn’t getting any help from my physician and dermatologist beyond a steroid cream, so I kept reading articles on Goop and other sites online. I wasn’t sure what was causing my rash, but when I looked at the ingredients on my soaps and other products I was using, a bunch of red flags popped up.

I never quite figured out what caused the rash (that would wake up in the middle of the night because it itched so bad, and made me look like a burn victim) but when Ries was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and we switched to a keto diet for most of 2016, the rash slowly went away. I’m pretty sure now that it was diet related, but the products I was using were likely irritating it.

When I got pregnant with Gus later in 2016, I did my best to remove toxic products from my self care regimen. I think around the same time, A Beautiful Mess began publishing more articles about non-toxic products, and Goop continued to churn out quality info that I did my best to follow. The biggest issue I ran into when reading articles on Goop is that the products were 1) difficult to find 2) extremely expensive. So while I wanted to be healthier, I didn’t feel a non-toxic lifestyle was attainable for us at the time.

After I had Gus, I learned about the app Think Dirty—an app you can use to scan and look up the products you are using to see where they fall on a 0-10 scale (non-toxic to toxic.) I then proceeded to run around the house scanning EVERYTHING. I wasn’t that thrown by a lot of the products we had in the house, but I was most frustrated with products that I had bought as “a healthier option” that were just as bad as some of the conventional products I had. It turns out phrases like “all natural", “green”, and “plant based” mean almost nothing.


If you’re interested in moving your house to a less toxic space here are some tips:

  1. Download the Think Dirty app, and use it to assess your products.

  2. Start slow. You don’t have to throw all your conventional products out and replace them with non-toxic products right now. Use what you have, and research non-toxic options in the meantime.

  3. Non-toxic products don’t have to break the bank. These are my favorite non-toxic products to buy at Target.

  4. Just because a product is non-toxic does not mean it is good. This is a new and growing industry. I have experimented with non-toxic shampoo and conditioner and it looked like I was washing my hair with mayonnaise. (I would also avoid regularly washing your hair with apple cider vinegar.) Read your reviews and look for products that people recommend. Consider starting with samples or travel sizes if possible.

  5. Be patient and continue learning more about how you can improve your health.


Of course there are other resources out there dedicated to the growing non-toxic beauty/product industry, but these are two of my favorite sources.

I hope this is helpful, and I’m looking forward to putting together a list of products I buy from Target.

See you soon!