Frequently Asked Questions

Personal care and household cleaning questions

Is this natural cleaning product failsafe?

Do you have any suggestions for hair products?

Do you have any failsafe remedies for cradlecap?

Do you have any failsafe remedies for my daughter’s teen acne?

Is there a low fluoride plain toothpaste for kids?

Are Neways products failsafe?

Are there any failsafe moisturisers?



  Q. Is this natural cleaning product failsafe? I have recently been introduced to your book and recipe book which has taken our family by storm. Thank you! I have a query about a cleaning product that I have been encouraged to buy. It is new to the market apparently and is supposed to be 100% natural, chemical free and non-hazardous, completely safe for your children etc. The brand is Nature Direct. Does this product fit with the failsafe lifestyle?

A. I looked at the Nature Direct website under Products-Composition and found that SeeK cleaning products are a mixture of natural colloidal agents and plant based essential oils including Clove, Cypress, Savoury, Mint, Eucalyptus, Pine, Rosemary, and Thyme. Essential oils are NOT failsafe due to inhaled salicylates from the smell - see more in Fed Up page 156 and inhaled salicylates factsheet. You can clean your house with vinegar, soda bicarb, low fragrance dishwashing liquid, dishwashing powder and fragrance free washing powder such as Omo Sensitive, see more in the Failsafe Shopping List.

  Q. Do you have any suggestions for hair products? - I have fine, curly hair that tends to turn to frizz and I haven't yet found a product that I can tolerate to tame my hair.

A. Most hair care products are NOT failsafe due to fragrances. There are two recipes for home-made hair mousse – one with egg whites, the other with gelatin – that I am intending to try, and would love some feedback:

  Q: Do you have any failsafe remedies for cradlecap? Our second baby whilst being exclusively breastfed developed eczema over Christmas. She also has quite severe cradle-cap. The shampoos the docs have prescribed all contain salicylates as well as the olive oil they are telling me to put on her head. I've noticed her head becomes quite red after application of olive oil.

A: Members of the failsafe eczema group usually recommend failsafe oils (e.g. rice bran oil, sunflower oil, canola oil - no antioxidants) for both scalp and skin as well as avoiding foods to which your baby has an allergy or intolerance (including from your diet if you are breastfeeding). See their comments below:

  • A bit of failsafe oil massaged onto his head. Leave it for a bit to soften then with a comb, comb out the cradle cap. About 2-3 times, should be gone. That's what I did for both my boys.
  • Baby oil is usually the conventional treatment, but any failsafe oil should do the trick. After all, you're just trying to soften the scales.
  • Please find out if your son has any other allergies. My DD's cradle cap did not ease until we got rid of the stuff she was allergic to. – thanks to the failsafeeczema group


Q: Do you have any failsafe remedies for my daughter’s teen acne?

A: Many adult failsafers report that their longstanding acne improved when they went failsafe but everyone is different. Some of the culprits have been bread preservative 282, gluten and salicylates. Many people recommend avoiding fried and fatty foods and chocolate; drink lots of filtered water. There are some home remedies involving failsafe foods that may be worth a try:

  • Ice cubes - to shrink the redness and inflammation of a pimple and make it less noticeable.
  • Potato - slice a raw white potato and place it on top of your acne outbreaks. Leave for five to seven minutes. Will reduce inflammation and swelling and help with healing
  • Soda bicarb - wash face with a gentle cleanser. Mix soda bicarb and a little water together to make a paste. Dab paste on individual pimples, let them dry, then rinse. Or apply to your whole face, leave on for 30 mins, then rinse off. If acne improves, repeat several times a week.
  • Cucumber (peeled is moderate in salicylates) – rub the wet side of cucumber peel on your face and leave on overnight
  • Sardines – if you have passed your amine challenge, eat sardines in spring water 2-3 times a week for omega benefits. Otherwise try ½ tsp flaxseed oil daily (but see cautions in our Supplements factsheet). (Ref Kaimal S, Thappa DM. Diet in dermatology: revisited. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2010 Mar-Apr;76(2):103-15.)

See more failsafer reports in Success stories.

  Q. Is there a low fluoride plain toothpaste for kids? My 2 year old daughter is addicted to salicylates - she loves breaking into the bathroom and sucking on her minty Wiggles baby paste.

A. Young children shouldn’t swallow fluoride toothpaste, because too much fluoride can affect the formation of permanent teeth and possibly other health problems. An advantage of plain toothpaste – other than lack of salicylates - is that children aren’t tempted to eat it. Normal toothpastes contains about 1 mg of fluoride per gram of toothpaste and low fluoride toothpaste contains about half that. I don’t know of any low fluoride children’s toothpastes that are free of both flavours and colours but you can use plain toothpaste in small amounts. The current medical recommendation for children under six is to use only a pea size amount of low fluoride toothpaste or a smear of regular fluoride toothpaste twice a day. See our toothpaste factsheet

  Q: Are Neways products failsafe?

A: You will have to judge each product individually. When I checked, the shampoos and conditioner were not failsafe because they contained ingredients with strong salicylate smells such as tangelo oil, despite the 'fragrance free' label.

  Q. Are there any failsafe moisturisers?

A. Look for products without fragrances, see Failsafe Shopping List.