Those of you who follow my Instagram stories would know that we decided to go chemical free in our home since having our first baby. After watching a documentary about endocrine disruptors we knew we didn't want our daughter to have exposure to harmful products that could cause adverse developmental, reproductive, or neurological effects. If you're thinking that hazardous materials are to blame you'd be correct, but you might not know that endocrine disruptors are also found in everyday items like plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
My friend's son was exposed to such a high dose of pesticides at his school that he developed an autoimmune disease, for life. It's utterly heartbreaking.
We initially started by purging harmful cleaning products that would be a 4 or above on Think Dirty. If you haven't downloaded that app yet, do yourself a favor. Think Dirty is totally FREE and shows you exactly what nasties are in your products with the ease of scanning a barcode with your iPhone camera. #Genius. Not only does it list the ingredients on a scale from 1-10, it explains why they are bad, possible side effects and other names the ingredients are known by. What's the best part you ask? There is a tab that says "Our Picks." If you click this section, the app will recommend a similar product that is less toxic. It's worth mentioning that this is an American app with approximately 825,000 items in their catalogue, so there won't be many Aussie items. You can upload a new product by taking a photo of the front and back packaging which will help the database continue to grow.
In my opinion, a good test is this: "if you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't use, eat, or clean with it."
We ended up ditching it all: window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, multi-purpose sprays, dish soap and hand soap. Making the change was a lot easier than I thought. I did some research on the internet, and with the help of places like Vive and Biome in Brisbane, I had everything replaced in less than 2 weeks. More about the entire revamp later, let's focus on the kitchen!
So, what are my kitchen must haves?
Number 1: Planet Luxe Dish Wash (Australian Lemon Myrtle, Rose Geranium & Kakadu Plum)
We wanted to cut out parabens, phthalates and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) immediately. This was a bit harder than I anticipated because SLS seems to be in everything. SLS is a detergent and surfactant, meaning that it reduces the surface tension of water. The result of this chemical reaction is lather, or a foam. People seem to love a froth when cleaning their hands and topping off their cappuccinos. I remember when my dad came to visit us in Australia, he asked for a different body soap because the one I had didn't make any suds. He said he "just didn't feel as clean." If we've been conditioned to associate bubbles with cleanliness, that's a tough habit to break. Good news is we truly don't need harmful chemicals to clean our house, plates or our precious body parts.
Planet Luxe is an Australian company based in Melbourne, Australia. I love supporting Australian owned, Australian made whenever I can. Planet Luxe uses botanical blends of organic herbs, plant extracts and pure essential oils that are toxin-free, readily 100% biodegradable and greywater safe. This soap smells like you've walked into a day spa, but in reality you're simply cleaning out a crusty casserole dish. Just a small squirt of the soap mixed with hot water clean dishes beautifully and it isn't harsh on your hands.
What you won't find in their products: parabens, ammonia, sulphates, silicones, DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), bleach, coco-betaine, optical whiteners, nitrates, chlorine, enzymes, synthetic fragrances or dyes. There is no animal testing or animal by-products in their range whatsoever.
You know I love a company that is Earth conscious and gives back. Would't you know, Planet Luxe is also a member of 1% For the Planet and donates 1% of annual sales to support non-profit organizations focused on sustainability. Good on ya.
Number 2: Dr. Bronner's 4 -IN- 1 Lavender Organic Sugar Soap
Dr. Bronner's hand soap is USDA certified organic and certified fair trade as well. This is the most versatile product I've found so far because it can be used for hands, face, body and hair. Pretty remarkable, "magic soap" as they call it.
Organic sugar is great for the body because it's a natural humectant, pulling moisture back into the skin. The organic sugar gives the soap its caramel colour and makes the product smell marvelous. Like Planet Luxe, Dr. Bronner's also avoids synthetic detergent- based foaming agents. Instead, they opt for ingredients like Shikakai which is an ancient Indian seed pod that has incredible benefits for hair and skin.
We have the Lavender soap at our kitchen sink because it smells like a lavender patch and it's super soft on hands and incredibly nourishing. I wash my hands quite a few times over the course of cooking dinner and they have never felt dry or cracked.
There is a brand new, limited edition Dr. Bronner's Pure- Castile Earl Grey Liquid Soap that just dropped! I can't wait to try it.
If you like the Pure-Castile Soap range, there is a 15% off special ( for the 237ml & 473ml ) for three more days with the code: SPRING17
Number 3: Lumen + Luxe Soy Candles
I've always loved candles and have collected them for years. When we lived overseas we moved every nine months into a new apartment. One of the first things I would do was an IKEA run and I would always make sure to buy a candle from a local shop. A burning candle always made wherever we were feel like home.
I love everything about candles. I love how they can create an ambient mood in seconds and nothing beats one with a lovely scent that permeates throughout the house. Not long ago I made the change to soy candles for a cleaner burn. Having no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants also means they are less likely to trigger allergies. Something I struggle with on a regular basis.
Last year I discovered Lumen + Luxe at the Bulimba Festival. I smelled the booth before I saw it and quickly gravitated toward the pleasing aromatics. I was initially impressed with their branding. Clean, fresh modern lines made for a really appealing display. There were loads of candles on the table to smell and a small cup of coffee beans to refresh your nose from sensory overload.
Soy candle: Tick
Smells next level good: Tick
Wide variety of scents: Tick
Made in Australia, better yet, made in this very town and hand poured: TICK!
Being able to "shop small" and support a local business: Tick, tick, tick!!
Everything is tested on family or friends, never animals. Need I say more?
After a chat with one of the owners, I found out that Lumen + Luxe is the love child of Melbourne born Kyla and Bulgarian born Marina. The two ladies forged a fast friendship when they met while living in the Middle East. Lucky for them, they found each other in Dubai. Lucky for us, their time in the Middle East inspired some incredible scents such as Persian Our (my favorite).
The candles are poured with love and sport wooden wicks as well. Nothing is more comforting than a crackle of a burning wick, in winter OR summer for that matter. This made my kitchen essentials line up because it always keeps my kitchen smelling lovely and it's a product that is socially and environmentally responsible. The Lumen and Luxe candles are totally free of paraffins which are petroleum based products that are toxic when burned. The Lumen and Luxe candles are totally free of paraffins, 100% natural soy wax with zero additives, biodegradable and water soluble. Their essential oil range is also 100% natural, plant derived and 100% VEGAN. #LOVE
Australian residence get free shipping over $100
They also like Instagram so check them out for specials and offers
Love a market? The Lumen + Luxe ladies are flying down to Melbourne for Finders Keepers and they will also have a stall at Finders Keepers in Brisbane.
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