Thank you for signing up for this free report from Puracy. Our mission is to create natural products that are safer for your family and the environment.
As part of that goal, we work hard to educate our customers on how to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle.
In today's report we'll show you…
We all want what's best for our family and personal health. And everyone knows the basics: Get plenty of exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, and strive for sufficient sleep. But there's another, less-obvious area that also warrants attention: The home.
The best way to avoid toxins in your home? Stick to cleaning and personal care products produced with non-toxic, good-for-you ingredients. Also consider growing air-cleaning houseplants, and have your tap water tested. Ventilate as often as possible by opening doors and windows. Even a healthy diet can help, since certain foods help your body detox.
And of course, nix any toxins that might already be hidden in your home! Here are the top ten chemicals and toxins to avoid in your home, plus safe, suitable alternatives:
What it does: BPA is a chemical that's used to harden plastics. It has potential to disrupt hormones, cause certain types of cancer, and—in young children especially—has been linked to cardiovascular and behavioral issues.
Where it's found: Studies have found 90% of Americans have BPA in their bodies at any given moment. That's because it's widely prevalent in packaging: It's in disposable water bottles, canned foods (often lined with BPA-containing resin), and most plastics containing a 3 or 7 recycle code on the bottom.
What to use instead: Drink beverages from glass cups, or stainless steel for little ones. Avoid heating any plastic container, as this may speed up the BPA leaching process. Look for BPA-free plastic, such as PET(E), which is what Puracy products are packaged in, plus BPA-free canned goods.
What they do: Phthalates are a group of chemicals known as plasticizers, which means they're a substance added most commonly to plastics to make them more durable. Although the exact effects on human health are unknown, certain phthalates have been shown to change hormone levels and cause birth defects in rodents.
Where they're found: Everywhere from raincoats and children's toys to cosmetic items (since diethyl phthalate, or DEP, is often used to stabilize fragrances). They are especially common in PVC plastics. Children are extra vulnerable to phthalate exposure, given their hand-to-mouth behaviors with items containing the chemicals. However, studies have actually found women of childbearing age to have the highest exposure, likely due to their cosmetics usage.
What to use instead: Look for products that label themselves as phthalate-free. Consider investing in bio-based plastics, such as disposable cups made from corn, or even alternative toys and teethers, when possible. As with BPA, phthalates are frequently found in plastic coded with 3 and 7, so go for 1, 2, or 5 instead.
What it does: Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring VOC (volatile organic compound). It is a flammable chemical and known human carcinogen.
Where it's found: Formaldehyde is often found around the home in pressed-wood products, wallpaper and paints, synthetic fabrics, air fresheners, and in some cosmetics like nail products. It is also a natural byproduct of cigarette smoke and fuel-burning appliances.
What to use instead: Avoid conventional air fresheners in favor of natural sprays formulated without the use of harsh chemicals. When purchasing wooden furniture, inquire about formaldehyde levels. Examine personal skin-care labels, especially in baby products.
What they do: Synthetic pesticides have been under public scrutiny since the release of Rachel Carson's landmark 1962 book, Silent Spring. Though they are incredibly effective at eliminating crop pests, they pose direct threats to our environment and health.
Where they're found: Fruits and veggies are the most common sources of synthetic pesticides. Pesticides can also be tracked into homes via shoes, which is why some families opt for a "no-shoes" policy.
What to use instead: Buy organic produce when possible (or grow your own, using natural pest control). Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy should avoid open exposure to pesticides. If you're expecting, avoid conventional farming areas, and use insect bait or traps instead of toxic sprays at home.
What it does: Dimethicone, or polydimethylsiloxane, is a man-made silicon oil often used to make skin-care products smoother and more easily applicable. Since it artificially coats the skin, it tends to trap everything underneath it. This process clogs the skin and can cause breakouts.
Where it's found: A wide variety of beauty and personal care items. Products range from shampoos and conditioners to BB creams, serums, and even sunscreen.
What to use instead: Natural emollients, such as Shea butter. Avoid products with ingredients that end in -cone, -siloxane, and -conol.
What they do: Parabens are a class of preservatives typically found in health and personal care products. They are known "xenoestrogens," or agents that mimic the role of estrogen and disrupt hormone function. This, in turn, links them to increased risk of breast cancer in women.
Where they're found: Experts estimate that parabens are in 85% of cosmetics, and 90% of typical grocery store items. Makeup, moisturizers, and shaving creams commonly contain parabens, as do some snack foods.
What to use instead: Since parabens are preservatives, avoiding them usually means investing in products with shorter shelf lives. Look for items that use essential oils, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol, or ethylhexylglycerin as alternative preservatives to parabens.
Any product whose label lists an ingredient ending in -paraben (e.g., methylparaben, butylparaben) contains parabens.
What they do: Glycol ethers are a group of solvents. The EPA states that short-term exposure to high levels of them causes "narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage." Chronic exposure often leads to "fatigue, nausea, tremor, and anemia."
Where they're found: The solvents are used in a variety of cleaning compounds, most typically in glass, carpet, floor, and oven cleaners.
What to use instead: The surest way to avoid glycol ethers is by investing in products that list every ingredient. That's why at Puracy we provide a full explanation of every ingredient for every product we sell. (This is not a given, since household cleaners aren't regulated by the FDA). Alternatively, you can make your own natural cleaning products at home.
What it does: Ammonia is a highly pungent gas that, when dissolved in water, produces an alkaline solution. Although it is a naturally occurring substance, it can be extremely irritable. Exposure to ammonia in high concentrations may cause reactions as extreme as burning of the eyes, nose, and throat, and even blindness or lung damage. Very high exposure can be fatal.
Where it's found: Ammonia is often used in fertilizers and industrial-strength cleaners. At the household level, it's typically found in oven cleaners, glass and window cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners.
What to use instead: Vinegar, baking soda, and borax are all effective, natural alternatives to ammonia for cleaning.
What it does: Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent that has been proven to alter hormone regulation in animals. Research shows it may also be harmful to the human immune system and, ironically, contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs.
Where it's found: Since it's an antibacterial agent, triclosan is most commonly found in antibacterial hand soaps, body washes, and fluoride toothpastes.
What they do: Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) are man-made chemicals. Lab studies on animals have revealed damaging health effects, including reduced birth size and infant mortality.
Where they're found: PFOS and PFOA are used to make consumer goods waterproof, stain-resistant, or nonstick. As such, they're found in items ranging from nonstick cookware to stain-resistant carpet and even microwaveable popcorn. Both are also sometimes found in groundwater.
What to use instead: When cooking, opt for cast-iron skillets, stainless steel, and even glass (like Pyrex, which can be used in the oven). Look for water filters that regulate for both chemicals.
Remember, most of these chemicals are safe at low-level exposure—but chronic use may cause adverse health effects. Read labels thoroughly, get to know the brands you patronize, and stick with natural, non-toxic products for your home.
It's one of the great ironies of parenting: You want a hygienic environment for your family, but you're concerned about the potential hazards of cleaning supplies. Children, and babies especially, are highly sensitive to toxins and chemicals, since their skin is extra irritable and their nervous systems still developing.
To complicate matters, conventional household cleaning products—e.g., bleach, drain cleaners, and glass sprays—"on the whole accounted for 11 percent of poison control center calls for children younger than 6" in 2015. So on top of airborne risk, there's the potential risk of internal consumption for little ones.
Similar worries apply to pet parents; after all, more than one four-legged companion has been known to eat off a freshly-washed floor. On the flip side, you don't want to be "that" pet owner whose house smells like wet dog.
The good news? There are plenty of products and ingredients proven to be effective without being dangerous. Here are our recommendations for products and ingredients that are safe to use around kids, cats, and dogs:
As cheap as it is powerful, this liquid is known for being equal parts economical and effective.
Parents laundering cloth diapers can safely reduce ammonia smells by pouring 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar into the rinse cycle. To treat baby acne, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with water, gently apply the concoction to baby's face with a cotton ball, then wipe and rinse clean.
Want to get knots out of your kids' hair using ingredients you can actually pronounce? With just apple cider vinegar, water, and lavender essential oil, you can whip up this DIY detangler.
And forget conventional veggie wash: The antibacterial benefit of vinegar also applies to produce. Mix three parts water with one part vinegar in a bottle, spray six squirts onto soft-skinned fruits or veggies, and rinse with water.
There are some wag-worthy benefits of vinegar, too. Dogs Naturally recommends applying a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar and water to any itchy spots on your dog (take care to avoid open wounds). Equally beneficial? A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your dog's water bowl—it'll freshen his breath, and most pups actually like the taste.
An effortless air freshener that costs next to nothing. After cleaning your fridge, leave an opened box of baking soda inside to absorb odors. Replace the box every three or so months.
The Bark recommends cleaning your dog's fur with baking soda: Simply rub it in and brush it out for an easy "dry sham-pooch."
Fresh coffee grinds provide so much more than your morning java fix. Like baking soda, they make a wonderful fridge freshener—just place a heaping handful in an open bowl or breathable container.
Speaking of repellents, gentle Castile soap can effectively remove garden infestations. To get rid of mites, aphids, or other plant pests, mix a tablespoon of the liquid soap with a quart of water, and spray the infested areas thoroughly.
Unscented varieties of Castile soap also make a great pet-friendly bath staple.
You've likely heard certain houseplants clean the air of indoor toxins. But which ones are safe for homes with pets and kids?
Gerber daisies, variegated wax plants, and lily turfs are all gorgeous, non-toxic, and air-freshening picks. Of course, many plants are dangerous if ingested, so keep them on upper shelves, safely out of the reach of little hands (or paws).
As the dog-sitting, pet-loving experts at Rover.com put it, Puracy "gets it right and smells good doing it. Use this pet-safe shampoo on carpets, furniture—anything your dog can and will pee on."
It's even healthy for pets: Use it to coat pills to help dogs swallow them, or apply a small amount topically to freshen your dog's fur.
Coconut oil can also be used as a soothing, 100% natural nipple cream (bonus: it's totally baby-friendly).
The problem: Conventional air fresheners for the bathroom are rife with toxic VOCs. But lit candles and flammable matches pose an obvious threat when you have kids. And essential oil diffusers can easily be knocked over and lethally ingested by cats or dogs.
Your best bet? Stick with a non-toxic air freshener that's not easy to spill (or light on fire!), like our Puracy washroom spray.
Alone or paired with an all-purpose spray, these small, effective multitaskers are total cleaning powerhouses. Use them in lieu of disposable floor mats, which typically contain chemicals and solvents. (While not fatal, such products are thought to contain health risks for pets). Microfiber cloths also work wonders on windows, kitchen areas, and bathroom surfaces.
The best part? Since they're reusable, you save money on paper towels. Launder them regularly, as you would any other cloth.
The best soap for little hands? A sulfate-free cleanser that removes dirt gently and effectively.
When shopping for house cleaners, look for products labeled "green" and "nontoxic." Personal products should be marked "petroleum-free," "biodegradable," "phosphate-free," "VOC-free," or "solvent-free."
Try experimenting to see what works best for your human and furry family members. It might take extra effort at first, but these safe, natural choices will go a long way.
It may itch, crack, and even start to bleed: Dry skin is definitely not a pleasant sensation. Its most extreme form, eczema (also called dermatitis), affects an estimated 35 million Americans. It's characterized by patches of incessantly dry skin, sometimes with blisters and inflamed rashes.
And then there's sensitive skin, which is an even more prevalent affliction than eczema. Symptoms vary, but it's an increasingly common phenomenon. This surge is due, in part, to modern-day triggers ranging from air pollution to product overuse.
Whether your skin is itchy, inflamed, or easily irritated, the trick is to soothe it without causing further aggravation. Here's how to find relief from eczema and for sensitive skin, naturally…
Eczema is a catchall term for several chronic skin conditions. The most common types are atopic dermatitis, recognizable by irritable, inflamed patches, and contact dermatitis, which manifests in reactionary rashes.
Sensitive skin encompasses afflictions like rosacea, psoriasis, acne, and hives. If your skin easily erupts into pustules or bumps, it's considered sensitive.
The causes of eczema and sensitive skin vary. Some are uncontrollable, like genetics or defects in the skin barrier. Others are more situational, such as an individual's surrounding environment and lifestyle.
Ever noticed how your face tends to break out when you're stressed? That's because when stress seeps in, it wreaks havoc on just about everything—including your skin. Tackle stress and skin issues at the same time by getting plenty of sleep and exercise.
If your skin seems to be reacting specifically to something, try isolating potential culprits. Common triggers include harsh solvents and detergents; types of pollen (skin irritation is actually a lesser-known symptom of hay fever); and even plants, such as stinging nettle.
Avoid cosmetics containing synthetic fragrances, which are often chemical blends listed in labels as "fragrance" or "flavor." Since the FDA can't regulate cosmetic labels to the same extent it does food, it advises individuals with skin sensitivities to opt for fragrance-free products.
Reducing the number of products you use in general may help, too. Applying multiple formulas with different active ingredients not only reduces their efficacy, but can also cause additional irritation. Stick to hypoallergenic laundry detergent, which won't send already-sensitive skin spiraling further.
If dry skin is your top concern, keep your skin moisturized at all times. Slather on lightweight lotion frequently, even if your skin isn't particularly itchy or irritable. A humidifier may also provide relief, especially during the dry winter months (and summer, if you run the A/C).
The adage "you are what you eat" could very well have been coined specifically as a skincare precaution. Candy and other highly processed sources of sugar have been linked to inflammation, which in turn ends up damaging skin. Opt instead for foods rich in the powerful antioxidant agent zinc, such as pumpkin seeds and chickpeas. Other dietary solutions include incorporating probiotic supplements, which, in conjunction with a healthy diet, may reduce inflammation. Or try an elimination diet to see if any common allergens are aggravating your symptoms.
Exfoliation is key for maintaining optimal skin health, since it gets rid of dead skin cells and speeds up the epidermal renewal process. Don't overdo it—two to three times a week is plenty for sensitive skin. Use only gentle ingredients on your face, like Puracy organic lotion. Below the neck, try dry brushing, or DIY your own exfoliator using kitchen staples.
Skip the hot showers in favor of lukewarm ones. While washing up, use a gentle cleanser that doesn't contain sulfates or other irritants. Apply the soap sparingly, avoiding any affected areas altogether. Pat, don't rub, your skin dry. And lock in moisture immediately after showering—within 2 to 3 minutes is ideal. According to NBC, this helps "create a barrier to prevent 'trans epidermal water loss' and keep the skin plump."
Food-based tactics may prove effective alleviators as well. In a pinch, use the inside of a banana peel to quell itchy skin. Or pour a bit of milk into a bowl, dip in a clean washcloth, and apply the damp cloth straight to any dry patches for five minutes. A colloidal oatmeal bath can help soothe different skin ailments, and is deliciously easy to DIY.
Applying ice or a cold compress to any affected areas will further help to freeze itches in their tracks.
Prevent yourself from scratching, which perpetuates the vicious itch cycle. Make sure your fingernails are trimmed short, and keep your hands occupied during downtime. Take to knitting, try out an adult coloring book, or squeeze a stress ball. Wear gloves at night if necessary.
Even your wardrobe is a factor. Avoid scratchy fabrics like wool (except pure cashmere), and synthetics like nylon and polyester. Instead, opt for loose, pure cotton and silk, and fine-grade linens. These high-quality fabrics may be an investment up front, but will prove worth it for extremely sensitive skin.
Consider tackling any underlying issues. If your skin flares up when you're stressed, for example, yoga and counseling may provide healthy outlets. And get tested to rule out medical conditions. In rare cases, chronically itchy skin is a symptom of greater problems like iron deficiency, thyroid autoimmunity, and certain diseases. Seek medical attention if the scratching is so persistent that it keeps you up at night.
Eczema affects even more children (an estimated one in four) than it does adults. Additionally, babies have inherently sensitive skin as their epidermis develops during the first 30-34 weeks of infancy. This warrants careful monitoring of what's applied topically to your smallest family members.
The good news is most kids outgrow their eczema naturally. And in the meantime, be sure to read our blog post on how to treat your child's skin issues with the gentlest tactics possible.
Whether you or a loved one has a skin condition, the best treatments are ones that are both effective and gentle. Puracy products are safe, nurturing options for individuals looking to combat and prevent chronic skin afflictions without the use of harsh chemicals or irritants.
On average, we Americans spend 90% of our time indoors. That's nearly 22 hours of the day—typically spent sleeping, working, cooking, cleaning, or curled up on the couch with our loved ones.
And while that number itself isn't necessarily a problem, it turns out the concentrations of some indoor pollutants are up to five times higher than their outdoor counterparts.
The healthiest solution? Spending more time outside! But the second (and more practical) fix is to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals in the confined space of your home.
Luckily, home messes can be tackled effectively without the use of toxic chemicals. So we recently rounded up some of our favorite do-it-yourself (DIY) natural cleaning ideas.
All of these are effective and totally simple—in fact, most require basic staples you probably already have in your pantry.
Side note: The typical shelf-life of homemade mixtures is one month. For maximum cleaning potency, most of these formulas should be mixed for single use.
Small but mighty, this sunny fruit is so much more than a dietary source of Vitamin C. The sour citrus has natural disinfectant properties, and its acidic and abrasive properties give it an extra kick.
With just one or two lemons you can clean a variety of household appliances and surfaces.
Cut 5-10 thin slices of the lemon and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Fill the bowl up 3/4 of the way with tap water and squeeze a bit of the slices into the water. Place the bowl in the microwave, turn it up to high power, and let the water boil.
Once the water is boiling, stop the microwave, but don't open the door —you want the steam to build for at least two minutes. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe the microwave down with a damp cloth. Remove any residual streaks with a dry cloth.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon onto the counter. Rub the juice onto the stain and let it sit until the stain disappears. Rinse with water.
The acidity in lemon means it can safely break down hard water deposits, like the kind you'd find on a typical showerhead. Sprinkle some salt or baking soda onto a pre-cut lemon. Rub directly onto the water spots of your shower head. Rinse with hot water to unclog any tough spots.
Sprinkle the cutting board with some coarse salt. Scour the surface with one-half of a lemon, cut-side down. Let the lemon-salt mixture sit for 5 or so minutes. Scrape with a bench scraper (or a large knife) and discard the dirty liquid. Rinse the board with a clean, wet sponge, and let it air dry.
Hands down, this is the easiest DIY of the bunch. Simply take the remnants of the lemon you used for any of the above tips, toss into the garbage disposal, and let it run. It's an instant freshener that smells great.
Pro tip: Having a sliced lemon on hand is great during cooking, as it neutralizes odors on your hands after touching garlic or fish.
It's possible to deep clean your fridge to sanitary levels without exposing any unwrapped food to harsh chemicals.
To tackle spills from raw meat or fish, wipe the area in question with a microfiber towel. Then wash the spot with hot water (the hotter the better; use gloves if necessary). Use a dash of hydrogen peroxide or full-strength white vinegar to disinfect. Let stand for five minutes before wiping dry.
For general fridge cleaning, use a plant-based multi-surface cleaner. Alternatively, combine the following (in their listed order) into a spray bottle, and shake well:
Keep your fridge deodorized as needed by leaving fresh, dry coffee grounds in an open bowl overnight.
Do you find the smell of bleach off-putting? Or maybe you're worried about the effect it could have on your family. Either way, it's helpful to have an alternative on hand.
Mix the following in a half-gallon-sized container for a natural, laundry-safe whitener:
Use 1 cup per load of laundry.
Conventional store-bought oven cleaner is so loaded with dangerous ingredients that pregnant women are routinely advised to avoid it. Needless to say, it's likely not something you want lingering in your home—especially in an apparatus used specifically for cooking.
Luckily, it's easy to whip up a non-toxic, effective alternative.
Simply blend the ingredients below in a glass bowl until a thick paste is formed. Then brush the paste onto the oven surface, let sit overnight, and wipe clean with water and a sponge.
This is an especially good idea for homes with small children, since they're often crawling on—or even licking—the floor.
Mix well and lightly rub into floors. Wipe off completely when done.
Mix well and mop. Follow with pure water on mop to rinse.
This inexpensive, powerful mixture will freshen up any toilet bowl and leave it smelling better than ever.
Bring the water and vinegar to a boil on the stovetop. Pour into a bowl and add the borax. Once the mixture has cooled down, add the essential oil. Pour the formula into your toilet bowl, swish around with your toilet brush, and let sit overnight before flushing.
For an extra fresh touch, spray the toilet with our natural washroom spray before and after flushing. The sulfate-free formula, which was developed with natural ingredients, neutralizes unwanted odors, leaving a subtle, pleasant aroma.
Mold is easily preventable with sunlight and fresh air.
But if a slimy substance has built up in your bathroom, simply spray it with vinegar, a naturally antimicrobial substance. For extra sanitizing strength, add a couple drops of tea-tree oil to the spray bottle.
Before you reach for the synthetic air freshener, consider a more natural alternative: plants.
According to NASA, household plants can filter out the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in indoor air. Snake Plants, English Ivies, and Peace Lilies are all easy to maintain and make for excellent air filterers.
Typical drain cleaners are a triple whammy. They're dangerous to people, the environment, and usually (ironically) to the pipes themselves.
Keep your drain and yourself safe with this super simple DIY. You'll need:
Pour the baking soda down the drain (make sure it really gets pushed down—use the skinny side of a cooking spoon, if necessary). Follow with 1/2 cup white vinegar and cover the drain with a plug to keep the bubbling mixture down. Once fizzing has subsided, pour another 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain, and re-cover. Let sit for 15-20 minutes, then flush the mixture with 8-16 cups of boiling water. Repeat as necessary.
Lemon saves the day again. To battle rust stains on porcelain or enamel surfaces, simply dip half a lemon into 1/2 cup of borax. Scrub the surface with the lemon and rinse with water.
We hope these easy DIYs for cleaning your home prove useful. For the times you want the quickest, safest cleaners for your home, Puracy products are the ultimate complement to your arsenal of natural supplies. From multi-surface cleaner to natural laundry detergent, we vet every single ingredient in our products to ensure they are gentle and safe for your home and your family.