Shannon Lohr

Season One Finale

Shannon Lohr

Yes, you read that right — this is the final episode of season one of The Clean Living Podcast! In three and a half months, I’ve released 35 episodes and it has been a whirlwind. To close out the first season, I’m sharing some general musings and what to expect from the podcast moving forward.

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Transcript

Yes, you read that right — this is the final episode of season one of The Clean Living Podcast! In three and a half months, I’ve released 35 episodes and it has been a whirlwind. To close out the first season, I’m sharing some general musings and what to expect from the podcast moving forward.

To be completely honest, I had very low expectations when starting this podcast back in October. Unlike most of the other ventures I usually pursue, I didn’t set out to start this show with any clear goals. I figured it would be a straightforward way to share what I’ve learned about clean living with my family, friends and community — during a pandemic — when we all needed to be extra mindful of boosting our immune systems and decreasing our toxic load.

It was about a month and a half from the inception of the idea to start a podcast and the release of the first episode — and in the business world, that’s a short runway. I also set the lofty timeline of releasing three episodes per week in the first month and half, which looking back, was insane. (A big thanks to my podcast manager, Myesha, for keeping up with the crazy deadlines I set.)

So yes, a whirlwind, but there was also such a motivation to keep it going every week. I’ve heard from friends who immediately changed their deodorant or ditched their Yankee candles, other friends who listened to my grocery list episode while doing their own grocery shopping, and the podcast was even a topic of a lot of conversation during a Christmas Zoom call with my extended family. My mom actually got my dad to finally buy mostly organic food. That’s a big personal win — as my mom and sister can attest. Love you, dad.

It has been really fun and inspiring to hear the changes that people are making in the name of wellness — so keep the stories coming. 

With that said, there is also so much work that goes into every single episode — from the research of every topic to the vetting of sources to writing the script to recording to editing to creating a recommendations list to publishing the show notes page and creating the graphic for Instagram. I spend about 4-5 hours a week on a project that does not generate any revenue for my business.

Which leads me to today’s episode on the first day of February. With the end of season one, I’m taking a pause on the podcast to focus on my real business, Factory45, which launches every year in May.

My team and I start prepping for the start of the program now and there is a ton of work that goes into it. Which doesn’t leave as much time to focus on creating content for a free podcast. The good news is, the successful launch of my sustainable fashion program every year allows me to keep doing free projects like this one. So, I’ll just ask that you bear with me for a couple of months, while I hunker down on Factory45. It also gives you plenty of time to catch up on any episodes you missed in season one and to continue sharing with your own friends and family.

One other thing we’re going to be working on over the next few months is a Product Recommendations page on The Clean Living Podcast website where you’ll be able to find all of my product recommendations in one place without having to navigate to individual episodes. We’re hoping to set up some affiliate links and referral codes so that by purchasing through my links you’re helping to fund the podcast without having to pay anything extra. I’m hoping to do this without sending people to Amazon so TBD on how that goes.

In season two, I’m looking forward to bringing you episodes on sunscreen, nail polish, dish soap, coffee & tea and a whole lot more. If there is a specific topic you’d like me to cover make sure you submit your suggestion using the survey link on cleanlivingpodcast.com/hello.

Until then, please help me spread the word about The Clean Living Podcast. More listeners  means more incentive to keep the show going and is an additional way to monetize the show for the long term. Thank you so much for tuning into season one and for coming back again and again to each new episode — the retention rate has been pretty incredible and for that, I am so thankful.

And finally, if you’d like to be notified when Season Two releases in the Spring / Summer make sure you’re subscribed on the podcast platform of your choice or on The Clean Living Podcast email list. Just go to cleanlivingpodcast.com to sign up with your email.

Until season two, I’m wishing you all a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

Open tube of mascara

Mascara

Open tube of mascara

Mascara is the second most used cosmetic in the United States. But what are the ingredients actually used in our favorite mascara brands? That’s what we’re exploring in this episode.

 

Product Recommendations

Beautycounter 

ILIA

LUV + CO.

100% PURE

Episodes Mentioned

Listen to the PSA episode here.

Listen to the FOOD DYES episode here.

Listen to the DEODORANT episode here.

Listen to the COOKWARE episode here.

Sources

https://blog.cleanbeautybox.com

https://www.ewg.org

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iTunes here.
Subscribe on Spotify here.
Subscribe on Google Podcasts here.

Transcript

My favorite (okay, lamest) mask joke is that the mascara industry must be booming from the pandemic. The point being that our eyes are literally the only part of our faces that get any attention anymore. I rarely put any makeup on, forget lipstick, but I’ll swipe a little mascara on my eyelashes when I want to feel fancy. But what are the ingredients actually used in our favorite mascara brands? That’s what we’re exploring in this episode.

Pre-pandemic, mascara was the second most used cosmetic in the United States — lipstick was number one. I imagine the popularity contest has changed due to “mask life” which is even more problematic given the common ingredients in conventional mascara.

I tapped into the research done by my friend and clean beauty advocate, Claire Molyneaux, founder of The Clean Beauty Box. Since the cosmetic market is largely unregulated, more on that in the PSA episode, Claire says most mascara brands on the market contain coal tar and other toxic chemicals to keep your lashes thick, long and smudge free.

I’m going to link to the list of 8 chemicals used in mascara that are harmful to your health, but I want to highlight five of them in this episode. Just to get my point across ; ) 

  1. The first one is Parabens, which is a fancy word for preservatives. There are several different types of parabens but they all are used to extend the shelf-life of your mascara. Unfortunately, these chemicals are absorbed through the tiny pores around your eyes, thus entering your bloodstream. If you’ve listened to this podcast before then you know that parabens are in virtually every conventional beauty and cosmetic product and yet they have been linked to increases in breast cancer by mimicking estrogen and causing endocrine disruption. They have also been linked to reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and skin irritation.
  2. Synthetic dyes — if you’ve listened to the episode on Food Dyes you already know that any synthetic dye is problematic. Even if it’s absorbed through skin pores, instead of ingested, it still enters your bloodstream. In mascara, the dyes are labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number (e.g. FD&C Red No. 6, D&C Green No. 6). They’re believed to be toxic and carcinogenic.
  3. Aluminum Powder — we’ve talked about the effects of aluminum in the episodes on deodorant and cookware, and this known neurotoxin is also found in most mascaras. Long term exposure of aluminum powder can impair the body’s ability to detox mercury. This can result in making any amount of mercury that is in the body even more toxic.
  4. Retinyl Acetate or Vitamin A Acetate is found in many brands of mascara, and has been targeted by the EWG as an ingredient of high concern because it can cause biochemical or cellular level changes. Other health effects include developmental and reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity. Acetate has been prohibited and restricted in Canadian cosmetics and yet it’s still used in the United States.
  5. Formaldehyde is used as another preservative in mascara and is a known carcinogen. 

So yeah, that’s a starting list of harmful ingredients in most mascaras. And just to reiterate my message from past episodes, this isn’t about single exposure. Most of us use mascara at least a few times a week, if not every day, so it’s the repeated, long term exposure to these toxins and chemicals that is particularly concerning.

So, if mascara is a part of your beauty routine, then I first recommend searching for your particular brand on the EWG’s SkinDeep app or on the Think Dirty app. 

If you find that the mascara you’re using has a moderate to high level of concern then this episode’s “This for That” segment is a suggestion to switch your mascara to a clean beauty brand. I’ve used both Beautycounter and Ilia mascara and have loved both — no smudging issues and I get the same amount of lash extension as I did when I used Maybelline or Covergirl back in the day. I’m going to link to some of my other favorite clean mascaras, including a Black woman-owned beauty brand, in the show notes at cleanlivingpodcast.com/mascara

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. Did you know that there’s a clean living quiz on the podcast website where you can find out your own clean living score? Just go to cleanlivingpodcast.com and scroll down to the quiz. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

organic tampons

Tampons

organic tampons

Ladies, we have got to stop putting bleach up our hoo-hahs. “Bleach? I don’t put bleach up there…” you may be thinking. But if you use conventional tampons, you are absolutely putting bleach (among other things) into your vagina 4-7 days per month…

 

Product Recommendations

Organic Cotton Tampons:

Honest

LOLA

Rael

Menstrual Cups:

Cora

Rael

MeLuna

Lena Cup

Sources

https://www.womensvoices.org

https://www.alive.com

https://slate.com

https://www.bustle.com

http://www.womensvoices.org

SUBSCRIBE

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Subscribe on Spotify here.
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Transcript

My husband told me yesterday that he got a text from one of his guy friends from high school saying, “I’ve listened to every single episode of Shannon’s podcast. A+.” While I was very flattered, it was not great timing to write the tampon episode the next day. So, to my husband’s friend Joe, this episode is not for you but feel free to keep listening and pass the info along to all of the women in your life : ) Alright, let’s talk periods.

Ladies, we have got to stop putting bleach up our hoo-hahs. Bleach? I don’t put bleach up there… you may be thinking. But if you use conventional tampons, you are absolutely putting bleach (among other things) into your vagina 4-7 days per month.

I don’t remember them teaching us this is the limited sex education we got in middle school, but the vagina is a highly permeable place. Anything we put inside is very easily absorbed through the mucus membrane and then into our bloodstream. So, if you’re putting anything that is remotely unnatural or dare I say “toxic” into this highly permeable space, then it can present a toxic burden to your body.

Because tampons are considered a “medical device” by the Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers are not required to provide a full disclosure of what is in their tampons. So, tampons (as well as pads) may contain odor neutralizers, dyes, pesticides, and fragrances. 

Tampon manufacturers and the FDA say that tampons are safe, and that the level of dioxin is so low that they pose no real health risk. A dioxin is a very dangerous chemical and a by-product of bleaching. Tampons are made of rayon, in addition to cotton, and if the ones you’re using are white then something was used to get that color. It used to be that tampon manufacturers used chlorine gas to purify the wood pulp which is used to make rayon. And this process did contribute to dioxins in tampons. 

So, now manufacturers purify the wood pulp with a chlorine-free bleaching process that uses chlorine dioxide as the bleaching agent. This process can cause dioxins to be detected in trace amounts in tampons but the level is so low that it’s sometimes not even detectable. So it is considered safe by FDA standards.

But as I’ve talked about before in the deodorant episode, this would be less of a concern if we were talking about single tampon exposure. And that’s how the safety of products is measured — it doesn’t consider the lifetime exposure. Because here’s the thing: We are talking about thousands of tampons. It’s said the average woman uses 11,000 tampons in her lifetime.

Dioxin is one of the most potent and dangerous chemicals on the planet. Even just a minimal amount can cause damage. So while the new bleach being used by manufacturers is safer than other bleaches, we can’t assume that it is safe to women’s bodies given the large amount of tampons used over our lifetime. 

So again, while it wouldn’t be as much of a concern if we were talking about single exposure or even a handful of exposures, it’s the repeated exposure that’s problematic. What’s even worse is that dioxin can accumulate over time in our systems.

This chronic exposure disrupts our hormones and endocrine system, causes metabolic changes and increases our risk of cancer. Continual exposure to chemicals and toxins in our environment can also contribute to infertility, endometriosis and thyroid disorders — all of which are on the rise among women.

And unfortunately, this isn’t just about bleach and dioxin, a study completed by Women’s Voices have found over 20 other questionable ingredients in various feminine products — from preservatives to dyes and colorants to fragrances and pesticides.

If we are concerned about chemicals and toxins in our beauty products and food, then it makes sense to be equally concerned about something that is being directly inserted into the most sensitive area of our bodies.

So, in this episode’s segment of “This for That” I’m going to suggest two options. The most obvious one is to start buying organic tampons and pads. You’ll want to look for chlorine-free with no plastic applicator. The Honest Company makes them at an affordable price and there are a few other smaller subscription brands that I’ll link to in the show notes at cleanlivingpodcast.com/tampons. 

Of course, this option doesn’t account for the massive amount of waste that feminine products amount to (I know, it’s hard being a woman). All of those tampons and pads have to end up somewhere and it’s either in our oceans or our landfills. So the option I would encourage and highly recommend is a menstrual cup.

And I’ll be the first to say, just like I said I would never be a vegetarian when I was in college and am now going on my 10th year of vegetarianism, I also said I could never use a menstrual cup. But after using one for the past six years, I will never go back. There is definitely a learning curve but once you find the right fit, you’ll get the hang of it after 2-4 months of use and you’ll be a full-on convert, too.

There are so many benefits to using a menstrual cup over tampons and pads — they’re made out of high quality silicone so there’s no risk of endocrine disruption, they hold more so you need to change it less times than a tampon, there’s no risk of toxic shock syndrome and you can actually use it in anticipation of your period — best of all, they’re reusable. I’ll link to a variety of menstrual cup options on the show notes page at cleanlivingpodcast.com/tampons. 

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If this episode was helpful, please share it with your best girlfriend — she’ll be happy you did. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

Stack of white notebooks

PSA

Stack of white notebooks

Back in September, I attended CleanCon — a virtual conference hosted by the Environmental Working Group — that was focused on clean beauty and personal care products. Throughout the five hour event, there was one overarching message that I kept hearing over and over from clean beauty advocates, scientists, CEOs and small business owners…

 

Product List

Health Living app from Skin Deep and EWG (FOOD, HOME & BEAUTY)

Think Dirty app (BEAUTY)

GreenChoice app (FOOD)

Sources

https://www.ewg.org

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iTunes here.
Subscribe on Spotify here.
Subscribe on Google Podcasts here.

Transcript

Back in September, I attended CleanCon — a virtual conference hosted by the Environmental Working Group that was focused on clean beauty and personal care products. Throughout the five hour event, there was one overarching message that I kept hearing over and over from clean beauty advocates, scientists, CEOs and small business owners. In this episode, I’m going to echo that public service announcement because it’s so important for us to be aware of.

I’m going to start off this episode by sharing a little personal history for reference —  I am an Enneagram 8. If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s a personality test that focuses on 9 archetypes and how those personalities interact. An Enneagram Type 8 is “The Challenger” — we are assertive, self-confident, often too direct and the running joke is that we worry we’re the worst type.

And while yes, 8’s can be too blunt, hot-headed, and get a bad rep, we are also the archetype that seeks truth and justice and is very protective of others.

As a kid I had a tendency to challenge my teachers in class, while also having the tendency to befriend the underdog or new kid. As an adult, this has manifested into questioning the narrative and never taking anything at face value. 

So, where am I going with this?

For most people, if you see a product on a shelf or available to purchase online, you assume that it is safe. Why wouldn’t it be, right?

Why, in the world, would anything be available for sale — for us to exchange our hard earned dollars — and for that product, in turn, to cause us harm.

Fundamentally, that just doesn’t make sense, right? 

But here’s the thing — and it’s the thing that has been echoed over and over by clean living advocates:

There is no regulation, no legislature, no standard when it comes to personal care and beauty products. So that means that any company can claim to be “natural,” “non toxic,” or any of the other buzzwords without anything to back it up.

So you have two sides of the coin: You have companies claiming to be safe and non-toxic or “natural” and it not being true. Or you have companies that don’t even try to claim those things because it would be so far-fetched but they know it doesn’t matter because they’re household brand names and they know people won’t ask questions or necessarily care.

The truth is, it’s very hard to know which brands to trust because corporations don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart.  

You may be thinking, what about the FDA? They have safety standards in place to protect us. But the sad fact of the matter is, FDA-approved doesn’t mean a whole lot. Their standards are so laughingly low when it comes to beauty and personal care products that a product could contain several ingredients that are currently banned in Europe, but still get FDA approval.

The other argument from the FDA and big corporations is that some products may contain questionable ingredients, but they’re such trace amounts that it’s virtually nothing.

The problem with that is most of us use these products, like body lotion or shampoo or makeup or deodorant, every day.

So, let’s say your stick of deodorant has five questionable ingredients, but they all have trace amounts, combining those five ingredients together is no longer a trace amount. To top it off, this is a product that you probably swipe under each arm every day.

I know, I’ve gotten all doomsday on you — again. But that’s why this education is so important. The only way to truly know which products are safe for you and your family is read the labels, learn the ingredients or find someone you trust who can recommend products to you.

Because the real truth is, as cliche as it has become, is that the most impactful way to make change is by voting with your dollars. We’ve already seen just from the early movement of people in the clean beauty space that the market can and will shift. And when the market shifts that’s when clean products will become more affordable and accessible to everyone.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend or family member who you know needs to hear it. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

Perfume bottle

Fragrance

Perfume bottle

When my son was an infant I worried like most new moms do. Was he getting enough calories? Was he sleeping enough? Would he ever eat solids? But unlike most new moms, I worried about one thing in particular. In this episode, we’re talking about synthetic fragrances.

 

Episodes Mentioned

Listen to the TRASH BAGS episode here.

Additional Resources

EWG’s Skin Deep app to research fragrance safety – download here.

Sources

https://noharm-uscanada.org

https://academic.oup.com

https://www.niehs.nih.gov

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

https://www.ewg.org

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iTunes here.
Subscribe on Spotify here.
Subscribe on Google Podcasts here.

Transcript

When my son was an infant I worried like most new moms do. Was he getting enough calories? Was he sleeping enough? Would he ever eat solids? But unlike most new moms, I worried about one thing in particular. In this episode, we’re talking about synthetic fragrances.

There are definitely a few things that I wish were never invented or introduced to humankind. Artificial fragrance is at the top of that list. Also, on the list is purple ketchup and blue waffles.

When you’re in a room surrounded by perfumed women, men wearing cologne, newly sprayed air freshener or a scented candle, most people who get a headache just assume it’s because they’re sensitive to strong smells. 

What we don’t usually think about is what’s actually producing those artificial smells. And the answer is, chemicals. Now, I want to clarify not all chemicals are bad. The word chemicals is a very general term for basically anything you see, breathe, ingest or touch — everything on earth, including earth itself is created from chemicals. The difference is in chemicals that are naturally occurring and chemicals that are synthetic. 

It’s these synthetic or artificial chemicals that I’m primarily concerned about.

And one of the most toxic is synthetic fragrances. Fragrance chemicals vaporize into the air to give off a scent but the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are emitted can contribute to a whole slew of adverse health effects.

In a previous episode on scented trash bags, I talked about some of these adverse health effects and the impact of poor air quality. If you missed that episode I’ll link to it in the show notes at cleanlivingpodcast.com/fragrance but you can also just scroll back to my earliest podcast episodes. I talked about respiratory issues and toxicity from synthetic fragrances but in this episode, I want to focus on something more specific.

And that’s endocrine disruption. 

I had heard about fragrances disrupting the hormones of babies — most of this was anecdotal from friends who are in the clean beauty industry. But I later found that researchers are linking hormone imbalance back as early as development in the womb. Fragrances were something I knew I needed to avoid during and after pregnancy but at the time, I didn’t know just how hard it is to avoid it. Synthetic fragrances are in so many personal care products it’s overwhelming.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (or EDCs) are chemicals that interfere with your hormones, or endocrine system — this is the system in your body that controls growth, metabolism and development.

EDCs are not only found in fragrances but in everyday products like plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, detergents, toys, food, cosmetics and pesticides.

Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to endocrine disruptors because the hormone system influences organ development both in and out of the womb. Pound for pound, children eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than adults, so their exposure to the chemicals relative to their body size is greater. As a result, endocrine disruptors can cause birth defects, developmental delays, and early puberty in children.

The Environmental Working Group has found that children are exposed to as many as 27 artificial chemicals per day.

To some extent, toxins and chemicals in our household products are unavoidable — they’re in our water, our air and our food. But there are other endocrine disrupting chemicals that we can control — and fragrances are one of them.

If you’re starting to feel a little panicky from this new information, I know the feeling. I always say that learning about clean living is a constant series of hot flashes and anxiety. It’s hard to learn new things that could be affecting our health especially when we live one way for so long. No one tells us any differently, it’s easy to panic about everything we’ve done in the past.

I just want to remind you that it’s never too late. Our bodies can heal, we can create safer environments for our kids (even if you weren’t able to do it from birth), knowledge is power and it’s always better to be late than it to have never happened.

So, in this episode of This for That, I’m suggesting that you remove any artificial or synthetic fragrances from your beauty routine, personal care routine or household products. Look for products that are fragrance-free (not just unscented) or products that are naturally scented because they’re made of plants.

I’ll also just end on this note, when I was researching this topic for evidence-based support I came across a study from 2017 that attempted to measure infant and toddler inhalation exposure to fragrance ingredients — particularly in baby care products like bath wash and shampoo.

The study came to a very general and blase conclusion, stating: As with any personal care product, a complete exposure and risk assessment should be done to evaluate its overall safety in common uses.

As I was reading the study, I was thinking huh… did they not get the memo from all of the other studies and scientists saying that even small concentrations of EDCS in fragrance ingredients is harmful? And then I scrolled down and saw the Funding Statement of the study.

It said: This work was supported by Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson, an 81 billion dollar pharmaceutical company that is the largest producer (and got its name) selling baby personal care products.

I will talk about this in a future episode, but this is why we can’t always trust corporations to have our best interest at heart. The conclusion of the Johnson & Johnson study benefits shareholders and stock prices — not the consumer. 

That’s all to say, one simple change we can make is to buy fragrance-free. Because it’s true, the more people start buying fragrance-free products, the more companies will offer them. We have power in the way we vote with our dollars, use it.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something today make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

green bottles in a white bowl

Shampoo

green bottles in a white bowl

Personal care is one of the most toxic categories of household products. Shampoo is no exception. What are you actually lathering into your hair every time you shower and why should you be extra careful about the shampoo you use? In this episode, I’m sharing the top reasons to switch to a clean, paraben-free, formaldehyde-free hair care routine.

 

Product Recommendations

Evolvh

John Masters Organics

Alodia

Vivaio Days

Avalon Organics

CurlMix

Sources

https://www.webmd.com

http://www.safecosmetics.org

https://qz.com

https://www.madesafe.org

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iTunes here.
Subscribe on Spotify here.
Subscribe on Google Podcasts here.

Transcript

This past summer, my family was staying at a rental property in the mountains of Colorado. We were there for two months, and as much as I love cleaning living, I just as much hate plastic. So I avoided buying my own bottle of shampoo and used the Pantene Pro-V that was already in the house. Let me tell you, it was a big mistake. In this episode, we’re talking about shampoo.

So for two months, the skin on my back was uncontrollably itchy. Like, I would wake up in the middle of the night in a fit of scratching. At first I thought it was the mountain air drying out my skin but I eventually noticed that the uncontrollable itching would happen any night that I shampooed my hair.

And then it was like, duh, of course this is happening. You’re using Pantene Pro-V. 

This is the thing about clean living, you can know that there are toxins in conventional shampoo but tell yourself, “It’s fine… it’s only two months… it’s not going to kill me.” But did I wish I had just purchased the bottle of clean shampoo? Yes, 100 percent.

There are over 15 ingredients to avoid in conventional shampoo but for the purpose of this episode, I’m going to focus on three: parabens, formaldehyde and synthetic fragrances.

Okay, so Parabens. Parabens are used as a preservative to prevent bacteria from growing in a bottle of shampoo. Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to increased growth of breast cancer cells. They can also affect fertility. 

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen and has been proven to be absorbed through the skin. It can also cause asthma-like respiratory problems and skin conditions like dermatitis. It’s actually interesting because it wasn’t until I started doing more in depth research for this episode that I remembered spending years in my twenties fighting dermatitis on the base of my scalp. I actually went to my dermatologist a few times because it was so itchy and painful and instead of telling me to switch to a cleaner shampoo, she just prescribed me a steroid shampoo. It honestly wasn’t until I switched from conventional shampoos that the dermatitis went away fully.

And the third one is synthetic fragrances, which you’ll hear me talk about a lot on this podcast, because they’re in so many products, especially in the home and beauty spaces. But products that have “fragrance” on their label can contain thousands of hidden chemicals. Some ingredients in fragranced cosmetic products, like shampoo, can disrupt the reproductive system and cause cancer or asthma.

So, why am I telling you about this? Because I want you to have three reasons to switch from your brand name shampoos. If you need one more, Triclosan is another ingredient in conventional shampoo that was banned from being used in antibacterial soaps in 2016 but is still allowed in toothpaste, shampoos, and deodorants. It’s a chemical antibacterial agent known to cause hormone disruptions, which can lead to cancer and affect fetal development, among other things.

I’m sorry to always be the bearer of bad news, but in this episode’s segment of “this for that” I’m going to encourage you to stop using any shampoo that you grabbed off the shelf of Walgreens unless you know it’s a clean shampoo that doesn’t include any of the ingredients I’ve mentioned and will link to in the show notes. 

Some of my favorite clean shampoos to switch to are: Vivaio Days, Evolv (which is what I use right now), John Masters Organics and Avalon Organics. I’ll link to additional product recommendations under the product list at cleanlivingpodcast.com/shampoo

While cleaner shampoo is one of those products that is pricier than conventional, you can often use less of it. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, you can go try going “No Poo.” Our hair is actually self cleaning, meaning it can rid itself of oils on its own — if you want to learn more about that just Google “No Poo” shampoo.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something today please share this episode with your friend — especially the one you know loves her Herbal Essence shampoo. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

A tube of toothpaste with a tooth brush

Toothpaste

A tube of toothpaste with a tooth brush

Did you know there are ingredients in some of our most popular toothpastes that are actually banned in Europe? Associated with hormone disruption, organ toxicity and cancer, common household toothpaste could be doing more harm than good. In this episode, I’m sharing the reasons I switched up the oral care of my entire family and the toothpastes I recommend.

 

Product Recommendations

Risewell

Boka

Sources

https://askthedentist.com

https://emedicine.medscape.com

https://www.cdc.gov

https://www.nature.com

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe on iTunes here.
Subscribe on Spotify here.
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Transcript

Do you have very vivid memories of going to the dentist as a kid? The two things I remember most are asking my mom if I’m going to have to get the “jelly tray” (that’s what I called the fluoride treatment at the end) and that we could go to Dunkin Donuts right after the appointment to get a chocolate glazed donut as a treat. Which still makes me laugh — like mom, what were you thinking? If she’s listening she’s thinking, it was the only way to get you not to complain the entire drive to the dentist.

But in this episode, we’re not talking about chocolate glazed donuts, we’re talking about toothpaste.

So, you may not have thought about what’s in your toothpaste before. Your dentist has probably given you a free tube of Colgate or Crest since your very first appointment and if that’s what dentists are recommending you may figure, that’s good enough for you.

But if you’ve listened to this podcast before, then you can probably see where this is going… 

Here are some of the problematic ingredients in most mainstream, conventional toothpastes — foaming agents and stabilizers, some of which have been banned in the EU because they’re associated with hormone disruption, cancer and organ toxicity.

Then there are preservatives, antimicrobials and artificial colors in toothpaste that have been linked to neurotoxicity, organ toxicity and other long-term health effects.

The other ingredient worth mentioning is obviously, fluoride. Fluoride is hotly debated, especially here in the United States, and brings up a lot of opposing opinions. As with everything, you have to do your own research and come to your own conclusions if something doesn’t feel right. I will tell you that there is no fluoride in my home — we stay away from it in toothpaste, we have a water filter that filters fluoride and my son won’t be one of the kids getting the fluoride “jelly tray” at the dentist.

The ingredient we use, instead, that hopefully will replace fluoride treatment in our kids’ generation is hydroxyapatite. Abbreviated as HAp (capital H, capital A, lowercase p) it’s the form of calcium that already makes up 97% of our tooth enamel and 70% of dentin.

Hydroxyapatite does the same job as fluoride, in terms of rebuilding tooth enamel and remineralizing, but it’s not toxic when ingested. And I’ll link to a study in the show notes that proves that it’s just as effective as fluoride.

I know I might get some pushback on this, especially from dentists and dental hygienists, but my question for you is if there have been studies contradicting the safety of fluoride and there’s another non-toxic option out there, then why not just go with the ingredient that is already in our teeth?

So, in this segment of “This for that” I’m encouraging you to switch out your conventional toothpaste (especially if it has fluoride in it) and choose one of the toothpastes that has hydroxyapatite in it instead. I’ll link to my favorite toothpaste options in the show notes, where you can also find my source list — that’s at cleanlivingpodcast.com/toothpaste

I also want to highlight AsktheDentist.com as one of my sources. I first discovered @askthedentist on Instagram and didn’t even know that functional, holistic dentists existed. Dr. Mark is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to oral health and inspired me to completely overhaul my daily dental routine. We’re also switching my son over from a pediatric dentist to a functional dentist, especially in these early years of baby teeth. I highly recommend checking out Dr. Mark at @askthedentist on Instagram.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something from this episode, please subscribe and leave a positive review. It helps other people find out about the podcast and would also mean so much to me. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

swatches of makeup

Lipstick

swatches of makeup

When I found out one of my favorite cosmetic products contains neurotoxic lead, I was so tempted to turn a blind eye. But then I researched more and found clean beauty products that could replace the ones with lead in it. In the episode, I’m sharing my research and the brands I can personally recommend.

 

Product Recommendations

Ilia

Beautycounter

Marie Hunter

Sources

http://www.safecosmetics.org

https://www.ewg.org

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Transcript

A poisonous kiss? This discovery almost put me over the edge. In today’s episode, we’re talking about my one, true makeup love — and vice — red lipstick.

Before starting this podcast, I got almost all of my clean beauty advice from my friend Claire who owns The Clean Beauty Box. She knows so much, is incredibly thorough with her research and even has this giant chemistry book that she casually keeps on hand to look up ingredients.

So, when she told me red lipstick has lead in it, I wanted her to be wrong about everything. If there’s one thing I can’t part with it’s a bold lip. But of course, I knew in my heart she was probably right.

What I found is that until 2007, lead in lipstick was an urban legend. But then the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a study that tested 33 popular brands for lead in their lipstick. The results found that 61 percent of lipsticks contain lead, including cheap brands like CoverGirl and L’Oreal all the way up to a tube of $24 Dior lipstick.

Then in 2010, a follow-up study found that lead was actually in 400 different types of lipstick.

So, here’s the problem, there is no safe level of lead exposure. If there’s anything we’ve learned from the disaster in Flint it’s that lead is linked with a host of health concerns: neurotoxicity, reduced fertility, hormonal changes, etc.

That’s all to say, my Bobbi Brown crimson lipstick is dying a slow death in my makeup bag now. But thankfully, there are some clean beauty brands making bold lip colors. 

Ilia is my favorite red lip and while it’s not perfectly clean, it is one of those products I still only wear a couple times a month. For everyday use, I love Beauty Counter’s lipglosses.

As always, I will link my recommended products on the product list section of the show notes. Just go to cleanlivingpodcast.com/lipstick

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something today I would love for you to share this episode with a friend. Maybe the friend who you know loves a bold lip as much as I do. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

pink crystals for clean deodorant alternative

Deodorant

pink crystals for clean deodorant alternative

Deodorant is typically a staple in our daily routine. But have you ever thought about the ingredients in your choice of anti-perspirant? 

In this episode of The Clean Living Podcast, I’m sharing the reasons to switch your stick ASAP with suggestions for cleaner alternatives.

 

Product Recommendations

Native

Agent Nateur

HunnyBunny

Schmidt’s

Earth Mama Organics

Sources

https://www.ewg.org
https://www.madesafe.org
https://time.com

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Transcript

Okay, so this is probably an overshare, but in college, I used to wear men’s Old Spice deodorant. Yes, I smelled like a flannel-wearing lumberjack. But there was an important reason why… and it wasn’t so I would repel every straight man who came into my path… in today’s episode, we’re talking pits.

This might surprise you, but I wasn’t wearing Old Spice at the age of 19 because of the zesty pine smell. I was in college when I learned that there was aluminum in every mainstream women’s deodorant. This was back in 2008 and I remember storming the shelves of CVS and picking up a stick of Secret, then a stick of Dove, then a stick of Mitchum and so on and not being able to find a single brand without aluminum.

At the time, I didn’t know of the myriad other toxic chemicals in conventional deodorant but I was able to find one brand that was aluminum-free. In the men’s section. 

Enter Old Spice and the four ignorantly blissful years I spent swiping it on my pits.

When I look at the ratings now on the Environmental Working Group, Old Spice and other conventional deodorants, rank 7,8 and 9 out of 10 in allergies and immunotoxicity. This was last updated in February 2019, well after clean, non-toxic deodorants came on the scene, so I don’t want to imagine what the rating would have looked like in 2008.

So what’s the problem with most deodorants? Over the years, studies have shown that ingredients in conventional deodorants not only enter the bloodstream but also get stored in fat cells under your armpits.

The research goes on to show that deodorants and antiperspirants contain compounds that can cause developmental or reproductive issues, as well as cancer, and mess with the very important microorganisms that live on your skin.

The main five ingredients to be concerned about are aluminum, parabens, triclosan, phthalates and fragrance. Ironically, these are also the common ingredients of concern in cleaning supplies.

Here’s the thing about deodorant, like so many other products, you cannot always trust the words “natural” or “essential oils” or “mineral.” The very best way to rid yourself of harmful chemicals is to go deodorant-free, but I know most of us don’t have that luxury.

THIS FOR THAT: Deodorants I’ve vetted for you and can recommend are Native (which is so widely distributed it can be found in Walgreens), Agent Nateur, Schmidt’s and Earth Mama (I’ll link to them in the show notes at [link) 

I’ll also just add a closing thought on your armpits, think about that part of your body and I know I already mentioned we have a lot of fat cells there but that’s also where our lymph nodes are. And I don’t know much about lymph nodes but I do know that they route fluid through your body. So, if you have a neurotoxin like aluminum going on your skin and then potentially filtering through your body that’s probably not ideal. Making the switch to clean deodorant is worth it — even if it does cost a few dollars more. Also, remember to give your pits a break every once in a while… maybe on a day when you’re home alone : ) 

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you learned something today and can leave a positive review, it will not only make my day but it will help more people find out about the podcast. Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.

Woman wearing sustainable clothing outfit

Clothing

Woman wearing sustainable clothing outfit

Eco-fashion was my first introduction to eco-living. In this episode, I’m sharing the first change I made to my shopping habits and one easy way to create a more sustainable wardrobe — without breaking the bank.

 

Product Recommendations

Online:

ThredUp

Poshmark

Retail:

Buffalo Exchange

GoodWill

Salvation Army

Sources

https://www.cancer.org

https://www.allergystandards.com

https://shop.thegreydesign.com

https://oecotextiles.blog

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Transcript

Some of you may not know this but my first introduction to eco-living was actually through eco-fashion. In college I was a bargain-bin junkie — I loved Forever21 and the other fast fashion chains and I was known for buying a 15 dollar dress once and then throwing it to the back of my closet never to wear it again. But for the last 10 years and counting, I’ve dedicated my career to the sustainable fashion movement. And I will say switching over to a more minimal, ethical and sustainable wardrobe was one of the best things I ever did. So that’s what we’re talking about in today’s episode.

Do you remember, back when malls were a thing, going into a big department store like Macy’s or JC Penney? Once you got past the perfume section, there was always this other distinctive smell as you walked into the clothing section.

I remember first learning about what that familiar smell was. Have you noticed it? It’s a smell for me that brings me straight back to back-to-school shopping with my mom and sister. So you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that odor is actually formaldehyde and other potent chemicals used as finishing treatments on fabrics. 

These finishing treatments ensure that the clothing stays wrinkle-free, moth proof and mildew resistant on its journey from the manufacturer to the retail store. The problem is that these finishing treatments contain neurotoxins that can cause nervous system damage, brain toxicity and endocrine disruption which affects your hormonal systems.

The good news is that since 2008, when I was probably last in a mall, the use of formaldehyde has gone down in textile finishing treatments. But my inclination is to avoid any level of formaldehyde, even if it’s 500 parts per million instead of 3,000ppm like it was in the 1960s. 

That’s all to say, when I started down my sustainable fashion journey in 2010, one of the first things I gave up was new clothing from non-sustainable brands. The thing was, I couldn’t afford

the high-quality, well made clothing from small indie brands that used sustainable fabrics and worked with ethical manufacturers. So for the longest time I only shopped second-hand from thrift stores. It was not only as cheap as fast fashion but it’s also just about as sustainable as it gets.

I was never one of those people who loved the thrill of a thrift store treasure hunt. I remember being in Australia after college and going into the Salvation Army with two of my new backpacker friends. I watched in awe as they both just dove into the unorganized bins and racks of other people’s old clothing. So, I understand that thrift shopping isn’t for everyone — although, I will say, some of my best finds over the years were vintage Betsey Johsnon and Marc Jacobs that I honestly found in Goodwill. 

Thankfully, though, second-hand shopping has gotten a lot more accessible with websites like ThredUp and Poshmark that allow you to shop second-hand from your computer.

So not only is shopping second-hand better for the environment and cheap, but you don’t have to worry about formaldehyde and urea resins transferring from the new clothing onto your skin or into your airways.

So, in this episode’s “This for That” segment — my suggestion is to switch from new clothing to old clothing. Especially if you’ve never done it before (I’m talking to you mom). Most of us are shopping online anyway and I promise you, buying something from Poshmark or ThredUp doesn’t feel that much different from shopping on UrbanOutfitters or Nordstrom.com. Give it a shot, see what happens and if you can’t bring yourself to wear someone else’s old clothing, that I’ll share more about shopping from sustainable and ethical fashion brands in an upcoming episode.

For links to my favorite second-hand websites and shops, as well as a source list, go to cleanlivingpodcast.com/clothing

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Clean Living Podcast — I’m your host Shannon Lohr. If you want to learn more about sustainable fashion, you can check out the company I’ve been running since 2014 called Factory45 — that’s factory45.co.  Here’s to creating a cleaner, more sustainable world for all of us.