We think a lot about what and what not to eat and drink. Lately, however, we've been getting more educated about what might be doing us damage in the commercial household cleaning and beauty products we use, which are not as tightly regulated because we don't eat them, but which often contain harsh chemicals that we breathe in, or soak up through the skin. Less is more, and I have come to appreciate the simple products: baking soda and diluted white vinegar (with or without a few drops of peppermint, lemon or lavender essential oils for a pleasant scent) for cleaning almost anything; coconut oil for a moisturizer; olive oil soap or castille soap (Dr. Bronner's at most health food stores) for shampoo and body wash. Most of these alternative cleaners are much less expensive than commercial products, and readily available. The only products I spend a little more on, for convenience sake, are laundry detergent (7th generation), and toothpaste (kiss my face), because the baking soda can wear away enamel over time.
Here are a couple of lists of things to avoid:
And for you germophobes, keep in mind the latest research on the importance of a complex skin and gut flora and the role they play in the immune system and the nervous system. 20 years ago my pediatrician said she noticed that families who were super-cleaners tended to have sicker kids. She would hold off prescribing antibiotics for ear infections unless absolutely necessary. Here's recent research, confirming her good instincts;