mimulus_borogove: (Default)
[personal profile] mimulus_borogove
For a while now--probably since I first heard about the clams on Prozac problems--I've been trying to use health/beauty products that are better for the health and beauty of the the planet my children will someday inherit. (Scratch that. Those kids are hardly meek.) 

Some easy replacements have been excellent; some have even made me wonder if the original solutions were the problems. For instance, it seems that my lips grow less chapped when I use a beeswax lip balm than a petroleum-based one. Unscented scrubs, creams, and lotions often feel better on my skin, and they let me enjoy the scents that inevitably accompany other products.

But there have been a few things here and there that have been failures. One that springs to mind is the "botanical" facial toner that was mostly alcohol--to preserve the natural ingredients, no doubt--which stung my skin and made me smell like Everclear. That one's easy though; basic reading skills at the store would have saved me that one. Others are less obvious. Rather than let you buy or make these products yourself, I share my own experiences and idiocy with you. If you don't toss out a half-full tube or jar, the world is better off, right? Right.

Tom's of Maine is one of the best-known eco-companies in the U.S. Their stuff is readily available almost everywhere, even in regular grocery stores. I haven't spent a long time going over their accounting practices or anything, but they at least talk a good game. Their ingredient lists look pleasingly harmless. So, although I think the whole aluminum/breast cancer link is bunk, I tried Tom's "Long-Lasting Care" deodorant stick in the Apricot scent.

I was a little nervous about the package's simultaneous claims that it protects all day and that it protects for 12 hours. I don't know about the average Tom's customer, but my day is longer than 12 hours. But I tried it. The scent was pleasant without being overpowering. It did work for most of a day, but it clearly went kaput on schedule. On a good day--by which I mean "a day I have time to shower"--this would have the deodorant wearing off around the time we finish dinner. Chasing two giggling toddlers around a small room and wrestling them into their pajamas is a sweaty task on the best of days. This was not going to work.

But why be a whiner? I tried just reapplying. Unfortunately, I realized that the deodorant's glycerin-like substance, which I believe sealed in the body odor, did not wash off in the shower. It did not wash off with water, did not wash off with body wash, did not wash off with the dreaded bar soap. Fortunately, it did come off with a brutal alcohol-based toner. And so one bad product erased another.

I don't want to harsh on Tom's, though. I'm considering trying their children's toothpaste, since I feel a bit decadent brushing my kids' teeth with toothpaste that's imported from Germany. "Buy local" isn't a mantra everyone can apply to toothpaste, but Maine is a wee bit closer than Germany is.

This is already long, so I'll spare you my next product failure. If anyone finds this remotely amusing, I will humiliate myself further soon--not just for you, but for the good of the planet.

(Edited for clarity's sake.)

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mimulus_borogove: (Default)

March 2009


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