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Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, you can’t avoid harsh chemicals completely. Whether they’re lurking in your food, your medicine cabinet, or even in the air you breathe, these questionable ingredients seem to be everywhere and in everything. Take phthalates, for example. This group of chemicals is found in nearly every consumer category, including food, packaging, and beauty, so ridding yourself of them takes a little detective work. The good news is, we’re working overtime to take the guesswork out of shopping phthalate free so you have one less chemical to worry about. Here’s what you need to know.
What are Phthalates?
Often used in cosmetics, personal care items, and household goods, phthalates are a group of chemicals used to increase flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity of plastic, vinyl, and certain cosmetic formulas. We are often exposed to these chemicals by eating food or water packaged in phthalate plastic, inhaling spray or dust that contains phthalates, or absorbing phthalates through the skin.
Benefits of Shopping Phthalate-Free
Over the years, phthalates have come under close scrutiny as possible endocrine disruptors. These are chemicals that interfere with the body’s natural hormone levels and have been linked to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects. While research as to whether phthalates are indeed endocrine disruptors, avoiding them along with other added chemicals reduces the risk of a possible correlation.
Tips for Avoiding Phthalates
Just as you would with avoiding most chemicals, it’s important to read labels carefully.
- Look for items marked “phthalate-free,” and be sure to shop them here.
- Eat wholesome, homemade food whenever possible instead of processed, overly packaged food.
- Avoid plastic containers that you don’t know to be phthalate-free in favor of glass or stainless steel.
- Shop organic when possible since some synthetic pesticides contain phthalates.
Top Phthalate-Free Brands
Rid your shopping list of harsh chemicals with these phthalate-free buys.
This family-owned business leaves out harsh chemicals and pesticides, opting for organic, wholesome ingredients that help you look good and feel even better.
Soothe and soften skin with this rich, moisturizing oil. It easily glides onto skin leaving it feeling supple and hydrated. Plus, you’ll love the sweet, nutty scent.
Since 1988, this Burlington, Vermont–based company—which hopes each of its products will have a positive impact for at least seven more generations—has blazed a trail for nontoxic, naturally derived, green household and personal care products.
When it comes to your baby, only the best will do! These extra absorbent, hypoallergenic diapers leave your little one comfortably dry without chlorine, phthalates, or toxins and work well for naps or bedtime.
This water-based, kid-focused polish brand is “as natural as mud” so parents don’t have to worry about little ones sticking their painted nails in their mouths (and, let’s face it, they probably will). Every product is free of harsh chemicals and strong odors and come in a variety of fun colors, making at-home manis and pedis the entire family can feel good about.
Piggy Paint Forever Fancy Nail Polish
This glittery pink polish isn’t just fun and cheerful. The kid-friendly formula dries with a hard, durable finish so it’s strong enough to keep up with rough-and-tumble kiddos.
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