We get it. It’s starting to feel like all of our belongings — from personal care products to home goods — are “out to kill us” these days. It can feel pretty exhausting and defeating when it seems like every single day we’re learning about something new that we have to get rid of because it’s supposedly “toxic.” 

We feel that pressure ourselves at Rescripted, which is why we’ve put together a starting point for swapping out your conventional goods for more body-safe options. It’s not about being perfect but doing the next best thing for us. 

You don’t need to throw away all of the cleaning products, food, skincare, makeup, and furniture in your house. But slowly over time, you can begin to make small changes that will add up in the long run. Your home goods and personal care items are an amazing place to start, which is what we'll get into below. 

Why the need to stop using conventional products?

According to the State of California, the U.S. has over 80,000 synthetic chemicals under commercial use across consumer goods categories, and only 45% of them have been formally studied for human safety. 

And according to the Endocrine Society, at least 1,000 of these or more are endocrine disrupting, but because there’s such little formal research done in this space, it’s likely this number is higher. 

Aside from disrupting your endocrine system (i.e. your hormones), the variety of chemicals found in your personal care, cleaning, and food products, can lead to poor indoor air quality, which can contribute to the development of allergies and respiratory problems.

When these products are disposed of, they can also cause harm to the environment by contaminating water sources, contributing to air pollution, and disrupting wildlife spaces.

For sensitive populations like pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, and anyone with an underlying health condition, a surplus of synthetic chemicals should especially be avoided. 

What is an endocrine disruptor?

An endocrine disruptor is a man-made chemical that can interfere with your body’s hormone synthesis, secretion, and metabolism because they mimic the chemical structure of naturally occurring hormones. 

These “trick” your body in three main ways: 

  • They can block the pathway between a naturally occurring hormone and a receptor 

  • They can act directly on a gland, such as the thyroid, causing it to make too much or too little of a hormone

  • They can mimic a hormone, causing the body to overreact or react at the wrong time

Hormones are chemical messengers for biological reactions across your body including circulatory, metabolic, and immune functions to name a few — so the body is entirely dependent on a healthy endocrine system to stay alive and well. 

Because hormones act in very small and delicate amounts, minor disruptions in your levels can have negative health impacts such as decreased sperm quality, menstrual irregularities, fertility issues, immune suppression, thyroid dysfunction, and more.

Where are endocrine disruptors found?

Endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including cosmetics, hygienic products like deodorant and body wash, food and beverages (and their packaging), cleaning supplies, air fresheners, candles, furniture, toys, carpet, and more. 

Chemicals that act as flame retardants (often found in furniture and mattresses), synthetic fragrances, petroleum-based candle waxes, and lead-core candle wicks are also endocrine disruptors.

The main culprits to avoid:

  • Atrazine: one of the most common herbicides in the world used on a variety of crops 

  • Bisphenol A (BPA): commonly found in can lining, plastic water bottles and containers, toys, receipts, and more 

  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): a class of over 12,000 chemicals used across manufacturing and consumer good categories, including non-stick cookware, paper, foam, clothing, cleaning products, waterproof gear, and more

  • Phthalates: commonly found in personal care products such as lotions and perfumes, household items like paints and air fresheners, plastics, and toys

  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): otherwise known as flame retardants, these chemicals are used on a variety of clothing, furniture, mattress pads, and electronics 

  • Fragrance: because the fragrance industry is highly unregulated, manufacturers don’t have to disclose which ingredients have gone into their “fragrance”; many modern fragrances are synthetics petrochemicals derived from crude oil that may carry potential carcinogens and even “natural” fragrance falls under this boat

Overwhelmed and don't know where to begin? 

Here are our top 12 "clean" household swaps: 

1. Bathroom cleaner 

ECOS Bathroom Cleaner

Blueland Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tablets

Mrs. Meyer's Liquid Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Method Bathroom Cleaner

2. All-purpose cleaner 

Mrs. Meyer's All-Purpose Cleaner

Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner

Blueland All-Purpose Cleaning Spray (with 4 refill tablets)

Method All-Purpose Cleaner Spray 

3. Dishwashing detergent 

Seventh Generation Ultra Power Plus Dishwasher Detergent Packs

Seventh Generation Gel Dishwasher Detergent

Blueland Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

Molly's Suds Dishwasher Pods

4. Cookware 

Look for: cast iron, stainless steel, ceramic, and enamel-coated cast iron (none of these have Teflon coating on them, which you want to avoid) 

Caraway Non-Stick Ceramic Baking Sheet

Caraway Nonstick Ceramic Frying Pan

Our Place Perfect Pot

Caraway Non-Stick Ceramic Rectangle Pan

5. Food storage containers 

Look for: glass, ceramic, stainless steel, silicone (avoid plastics)  

Vtopmart 8 Pack Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids

S Salient 18 Piece Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids

Bayco 8 Pack 30oz Glass Food Storage Containers

6. Candles

Look for: 100% plant-based waxes such as soy, coconut, and beeswax (avoid paraffin wax, which is petroleum-based) and wicks made of 100% cotton, hemp, or wood 

Les Boy Smells Candle

Hemlock Park Crackling Wood Wick Handcrafted Candle 

River Birch Almond + Honey Candle 

Arctic Wicks Handmade Coconut Beeswax Candle

7. Laundry detergent 

Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent

ECOS Dermatologist Tested Laundry Detergent

Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

My Journey

Get personalized women’s health content, tailored to your own unique experience.

  • Personalized articles
  • Our best videos for you
  • Science-backed product recs
background color gradient

Attitude Liquid Laundry Detergent, Plant- and Mineral-Based Formula

8. Dryer sheets 

Molly's Suds All Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets

Seventh Generation Dryer Sheets 

Mrs. Meyer's Dryer Sheets

Biokleen Laundry Dryer Sheets

9. Wood and floor cleaner

Method Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Grove Collaborative Floor Cleaner Refill Concentrate (can be used with any refillable bottle) 

Aunt Fannie's Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Begley's Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner

10. Hand and dish soap

Mrs. Meyer's Hand Soap 

Everyone Liquid Hand Soap

Raw Sugar Hand Wash Variety Bundle

Seventh Generation Unscented Hand Soap

11. Body wash 

Native Gender Neutral Body Wash

Raw Sugar Sensitive Skin Simply Body Wash 

Attitude Body Wash, EWG Verified

Mrs. Meyer's Moisturizing Gender Neutral Body Wash

12. Cutting boards 

Look for: solid wood (maple, walnut, beech, teak) free of finishes or with natural finishes such as coconut or walnut oil; ceramic is a decent option too, but can potentially dull your blade’s sharpness

Avoid plastic, epicurean wood fiber, and bamboo (it’s often sealed with formaldehyde)

JNE Hinoki Cypress Wood Cutting Board

Luxdecor One Piece Wood Cutting Board

John Boos Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board

Remember, these changes don't need to happen all at once. Start with 1-3 swaps once you run out of what you currently have, and then slowly begin adding to your "clean" arsenal from there. It’s not about being perfect, but getting 1% better over time and working within your own personal budget. Fortunately, as the demand for non-toxic alternatives has gone up, the price point has evened out to be roughly equivalent or just slightly higher than conventional options, so you don’t have to sacrifice an arm and a leg to prioritize your health and well-being. And that is something to celebrate. 

Caroline McMorrow is Rescripted's Content Manager.