Skincare Swapouts

Now that you’re pregnant, it’s time to toss the toxins in your beauty closet with these tips from the founders of No More Dirty Looks.

Skincare Swapouts

I used to be a beauty junkie. As a magazine editor -- even a men’s magazine editor -- you get lots of free products, and heck, I just couldn’t let them go to waste. I had enough moisturizer to switch brands every week for a year, and more mascara than a girl could wear even if she went out every NYC night. Then I read No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, and it changed my life. I wasn’t even pregnant at the time, but it didn’t matter. Alexandra Spunt and Siobhan O’Connor’s revelatory book about the toxins rife in the beauty industry got me to break my habit -- fast. So when I became pregnant, I immediately bookmarked, their organic beauty and lifestyle site, so I could make sure I was making safe skincare decisions for me and the little one inside. Because, as you’ll learn below, reproductive toxicants are no joke.


No More Dirty Looks’ founders recently gave Well Rounded NY a little primer (the healthy kind) on how to get your beauty routine in shape during pregnancy, and tipped us off to some of the most important skincare categories for swapping out your beauty products, stat.

Why is it so important to clean out your beauty closet and healthy-up your skincare routine when you become pregnant?

Shall we get into the bad news right away? Some beauty products contain chemicals that can affect the development of a fetus in utero — they're known as reproductive toxicants. We're not doctors, we're journalists, and we think risking it is rarely worth it, so we suggest you avoid products that contain neurotoxins like lead and mercury, and products that contain phthalates. There is a decent amount of animal research showing that high exposure to phthalates can affect development of a fetus in utero. The easiest way to avoid this class of chemicals is to eliminate perfume, air freshener, synthetically scented candles and artificially scented products altogether.

Are there any particular concerns for pregnancy that make a product zero-tolerance once you get the plus sign?

There's no need to panic — you have enough to think about right now! But it's important to be informed about what's in your products and salon treatments, and to use your common sense once you are. So in addition to what we just said, we also suggest you stay out of salons that aren't well ventilated for your mani-pedi, or go to a salon that uses truly clean products only. Google around and see if you can find one in your area. When it comes to hair dye...that one's up to you. Some experts recommend you forgo dye during pregnancy; some say there's nothing to worry about. My personal advice — remembering again that I'm not a doctor — would be to avoid chemically straightening or coloring your hair, to stay out of stinky salons, and to do what you can to limit your exposure to phthalates.

Must you go cold turkey with all your favorite (possibly dirty) products?

We get asked this all the time and the simple answer is no. We always suggest you replace as you run out. So use up that shampoo and that tinted CC cream, but then when the bottle's empty, make a cleaner, healthier choice. When you're pregnant, though, you'd be wise to slightly amend that because the early stages of a pregnancy are a big time for you and an important time in the development of your fetus. Why not make it an opportunity to treat yourself to products that are kinder on your skin? Start with the products that contain phthalates, and the ones you use daily or over a large surface area of your body. Obvious examples are body lotion and soap, as well as shampoo and perfume. That perfect red lipstick you spent a decade looking for can stay — forever — but over time, phase out any other conventional products you still have lying around. You skin and your hair (and your little one) will thank you.


Some ingredients don't penetrate the skin and get into the body; others do. Shampoo and body wash's main ingredient, SLS or SLES, is surprisingly efficient and getting passed your skin — and it also dries the heck out of your hair. I love Intelligent Nutrients' PureLuxe line and Acure's hair line as well. Both are gentle enough for everyday use, and smell so good people ask me what perfume I'm wearing.


We've already explained why phthalates are a tricky one for pregnant women, so phase this out quickly. If you love wearing a personal fragrance, look for ones that contain 100% organic flower and plant essences. I love Tsi-La and Honore Des Pres — both have surprising blends that wear beautifully, and differently, on everyone.


Whether you're a DIY girl or a salon junkie, switch your polish to something 5-free. Some nail polishes still contain DBP, another phthalate you don't want on your body.

Body Lotion

Since the skin on your body is, comparatively speaking, rather vast, and since you probably lotion on it every time you bathe, switch this one out stat. I like simple body oils. You can make your own with olive oil or coconut oil, or get something luxe. I love Lina Hanson's Global Body Serum. I also love Alaffia's extremely affordable magnums of shea-based cream, which you can get at Whole Foods or online.

Anti-Aging Skin Cream

This one's hard, we know: People get attached to their skin fixes! But since most anti-agers are designed to penetrate into your skin, you should go gentle when you're pregnant. We love Tata Harper on the higher end. We also love Juice Beauty's tinted CC cream as an amazing 3 (or is it 10?) in one.

Image source.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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