Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Honest Company ~ My Favorite Products

When I was first pregnant, I started searching for "greener" cleaning supplies. I had tried some of the Clorox Green Works line but had not been impressed by their efficacy and I found their smell unpleasant. After some research, I decided to sign up for the mail order delivery system offered through The Honest Company

Many Honest Company products can now be found at Target or other retailers, but at that time most of their products were exclusively online in my area.

I started with their Essentials Bundle which costs $35.95 for five products and gives you the option of adding up to three additional products for a 25% discount. Shipping is free.

After my son's birth, I added the Diapers and Wipes Bundle which costs $79.95 for six packages of diapers and four packages of wipes and gives you the option of adding up to three additional products for a 25% discount. Shipping is free.

(There are no affiliate links in this post. These are simply my opinions of products I have tried.)

The key to the Essentials Bundle:

You can view the prices for any item when you are making your bundle. If you want to get the most for your money don't fill your bundle with the cheapest products. Especially if you want more than 5 items for your shipment, you can add the inexpensive items last as your "add-on" items and also get a 25% discount on them. For example, currently the nipple balm is $13.95 and the hand soap is only $5.95. You'll get a much better value if you add the nipple balm to one of your 5 "bundle item" spots and pay for the discounted hand soap as an "add-on" item.

My favorite Mom products include...

Spray Cleaners: Bathroom, Multi-Purpose, Glass, Floor, and Stain. I have these all and find them to be effective. The glass cleaner is a little more cumbersome than using Windex, you'll need some extra scrubbing power, but it dries to a streak free shine. The cleaners can all be purchased in full-size or refill size. The smaller refill size helps reduce waste. I don't buy the separate toilet cleaner, I just spray the bathroom cleaner in there and it does the job fine.

Conditioning Detangler: I love this product! It effectively detangles my fine, curly hair without weighing it down and it smells great too. A friend of mine loves to use it on her little girl's curls.

Dryer Sheets: I stopped using dryer sheets many years ago and use these Wool Dryer Balls. They don't come close to dryer sheets for eliminating static. Especially in winter, washing my husband's exercise clothes and my son's fleece clothes can lead to some major static cling. These dryer sheets get the job done and have a very pleasant, very mild smell - they are marketed as "free and clear." Despite the Honest claims, they are much less effective the second run through, but I just use a fresh sheet in loads with the biggest static cling problems and use already used sheets in my other loads such as towels.

Organic Nipple Balm: An organic balm comprised of food-grade oils, beeswax, shea butter, and aloe vera. It is nearly colorless and odorless and does not need to be wiped off prior to breastfeeding. 

Hand Sanitizer (Spray and Gel): A safe alcohol-based, non-antibacterial, option. I chose these specifically because they are not antibacterial. The spray is convenient for toddler hands, just make sure to rub it in. In September 2016, the FDA issued This Press Release banning the marketing of anti-bacterial soaps. And here is the CDC's Opinion on Hand Sanitizers

My favorite Baby products include...

Diapers: Oh this is a hot button issue! My opinion is that unless your child has an allergic reaction to a specific diaper brand, any diaper brand is safe to use. Some diapers (including Honest brand) are marketed as eco-friendly and are acknowledged to be better for the environment. I like the feel and texture of Honest diapers. It's hard to explain, but they just feel less synthetic to me. Compare an Honest diaper to a Pamper and you'll instantly see what I mean. Honest diapers have a slim profile and I found them very effective until my son started sleeping 12 hours straight overnight. Even Honest's "overnight" diapers which are thicker and more absorbent do not do the job. As I find nothing eco-friendly about washing my son's crib sheet and mattress pad every day, I switched to Pampers Baby-Dry - guaranteed for 12 hours according to the box - for overnight use. They have never leaked once overnight. I still get a pack of the Honest overnights in with my regular diaper subscription because I get more diapers that way. The overnight pack has 30 diapers and the size 4 has only 29 per pack so I get one extra diaper that way and I'll use the overnights for naps or if we are going to be out for a while as they are a little more absorbent than the regular diapers. Honest's website will tell you why they think their diapers are so great...but here is a review from BabyGearLab. I have been happy with the product and never sought alternatives. My son did wear cloth diapers off and on. We have the one-size/pocket-style cloth diapers which leaked considerably my first attempts in using them, but I think my son was just too small for them. I found they performed much better once he was around 4 months old. Perhaps I'll get around to a cloth diaper post some day!

Baby Wipes: Far superior (in my opinion!) to Pampers or Huggies, these wipes are fresh scented and so thick they are practically quilted in appearance. You can use fewer wipes to get the job done and they don't leave that greasy, chemical residue you can find with other brands.

Soothing Bottom Wash: This spray is great to remove poop residue. Especially if baby's tush is discolored from pooping after eating foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or beets. Just spray it on, let it sit a few seconds, and wipe it off. I've found it reduces redness and irritation.

Bubble Bath: I started using this once my son was bathing in the regular tub. It's non-drying for my son's skin and he likes the bubbles. I like that it is tear-free and hypoallergenic. I liked the original scent - Tangerine Dream - the best but it is discontinued. The Apricot and Orange Vanilla are both nice but I found the Lavender to be a little too perfumy.

Bug Spray: Great alternative to chemical bug sprays for your little one. The product is essential oils suspended in caster oil, soybean oil, and water. I also like it for myself!

Magnetic Bandana Bibs: Pricey but oh so cute! These have a small profile, look attractive in pictures, and are great for teething drool. They can be added to a bundle for a 25% discount. But...if your toddler likes to yank off their bib, the magnetic closures are not for you!

Baby Teether: Made of medical grade silicone, their butterfly teether is adorable. It is perfect for little fingers to grab and has soft nubs and different textures to soothe gums. 

Diaper Rash Cream: This makes the list even though I didn't continue to use it. It's a nice cream which is gentler and less stinky than the traditional Desitin. Alas I finally realized my son just could not tolerate zinc oxide creams from any brand. We switched to plain A&D Ointment and have been happy ever since.

Products I did not like...

Foaming Hand Soap: I ordered the Mandarin scent. The smell was awful and the foam didn't feel like it got my hands clean.

Laundry Detergent: I tried this product several times. Overall, I felt like the detergent got my clothes clean, but I was not crazy about the smell. After my son started feeding himself, I found it did not get the gross food smell out of my son's bibs even when I pre-rinsed them. The combo of the detergent's smell and the food residue smell was downright nauseating to me. It's quite pricey for the size and I much prefer Ecos Brand which is available at Sam's Club and Walmart. Trader Joe's store brand also makes a nice laundry detergent. Honest came under some controversy in March 2016 with reports that chemicals were found in the detergent which were not supposed to be there. Here is the Environmental Working Group's Report on the detergent.

Deodorant: Hands down the worst deodorant I have ever tried. The spray stayed tacky all day unless it wiped off on my clothes where it then left discolored spots. Ineffective and the bergamot sage smell is very unpleasant. Tom's of Maine has a much better product, available at Target, CVS, or other drugstores. Origins also makes a nice, but expensive, deodorant.

Sunscreen: It may just be paranoia... The Honest sunscreen which was on the market when my son was born in 2015 was recalled for being ineffective. The product was then reformulated. I purchased a tube of their new product last summer and tried it a few times, but I felt it wasn't working well, that my son's legs were turning pink too quickly. I preferred the Babyganics Mineral Sunscreen which I purchased from Target.

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