Q: I want to minimize my kid’s exposure to toxins in their personal care products, but we’re on a budget. What’s the most important products I should invest in for their safety?

A: First, switch to an all natural toothpaste. Did you know that almost every conventional brand contains artificial sweeteners like saccharin? In addition, most toothpaste contains fluoride, and additives like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and antimicrobials like triclosan and acetylpyridium chloride.These are not something kids should be putting into their mouths on a daily basis!

Instead, look for safe alternatives to harsh chemicals in personal care products. These safe ingredients are:

  • Coconut oil. Choose a high quality organic brand that is free of chemicals. The label should say “virgin,” “unbleached” and “not hydrogenated.”
  • Shea butter.
  • Essential Oils.
  • Kukui Nut Oil.
  • Organic oils like jojoba, sesame, apricot, olive.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract (used as a preservative). Choose one that is organic and cold pressed (not heated), if possible.

If you have infants, check your baby wipes and baby lotions and find alternative products that are safe (some baby wipes are available with aloe instead of propylene glycol). Cut down on your use of powders, especially baby powder on infants. The FDA warns that powders may cause lung damage if inhaled regularly.

And also think about kids wearing makeup. The Environmental Working Group has some suggestions for making make-up safe for kids:

  • No powders. Opt for cream-based blushers and eye shadow.
  • Phthalate and toluene-free nail polish.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Easy on the lipstick. Opt instead for a tasty, shiny, beeswax-based lip balm.
  • Use common sense. No playing with eyeliner or mascara, and cosmetic glitter.
Beth Greer, aka Super Natural Mom®, is an award-winning journalist, green holistic health educator, healthy home expert and impassioned champion of toxin-free living. She’s also a radio talk show host, and trusted consumer advocate, who is leading a movement of awareness and responsibility about healthy homes, schools and work environments. Connect with Beth on Facebook and Twitter.