If you’re like me, you love beauty products. Despite my love affair with these products, I have to admit some concern with them. A few years ago, I read an article about how ingredients used for personal care products are not regulated and how the skin is the largest organ that absorbs up to 80% of what is put on it. Yikes! In fact, the Environmental Working Group reports that there are more than 10,000 ingredients used in personal care products and only 11% have been reviewed for safety.
So many products today contain hormone disruptors and cancer causing carcinogens, which can be just as damaging to our health as a poor diet and lack of exercise. Creators of these products will tell us the dosage is so small there is no need to worry, but I disagree.
It was a real eye-opener when I took inventory of how many products I use on a typical day and some I use twice a day:
4. A hair styling product
6. Body lotion
8. Facial serum
9. Eye Cream
10. Facial lotion
15. Eye shadow
17. Lip Liner
19. Lip gloss
20. Makeup remover
21. Night cream
Wow! That’s 21 products to achieve a natural glow! No wonder the beauty industry is a 160-billion dollar a year business. It’s probably safe to say that these products contain over 200 ingredients that I’m absorbing every day and you may be doing so, too. Why would we expose ourselves to such ingredients when we have safe alternatives?
The Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a great place to find safe products, and to learn more about potentially dangerous ingredients and check on the safety of the products you’re currently using.
In September I attended A Night for Green Beauty Event in NYC to kick off Fashion Week. It was great to sample so many organic, natural makeups and skincare lines, and what I loved most was the versatility of the products. For instance, skincare oil is used as a cleanser, a moisturizer, a skin brightener, and as hair and cuticle oil. It probably could have been used as a salad dressing, but I didn’t think to ask.
The good news is green beauty may be going mainstream! Wal-Mart just announced a Sustainable Chemical initiative that will have them working with suppliers to reduce or eliminate a list of 10 hazardous ingredients and promote safer alternatives while improving the disclosure of product ingredients. In addition, Johnson & Johnson and Proctor & Gamble are taking steps to produce safer products.
The problem is that this change will take time, but there are plenty of companies that are already producing safe products that work and are good for you and the environment. Here’s a list of some of the brands I’ve been using:
Make-up – Revolution Organics, Red Apple Lipsticks, Mineral Fusion, Logona, Mineralogie
Skincare– CV Skinlabs, MyChelle, Dr. Hauschka and La Bella Figura, Eminence
Hair care – John Masters Organics
Sunscreen – Badger Broad Spectrum Unscented (for the body), Mychelle (for the face)
Toothpaste – Xyli White by Now Solutions, Fluoride Free
Deodorant – Crystal Rock Deodorant, Sure Original Solid Unscented Deodorant/Antiperspirant … when you need an antiperspirant Sure is a safer one!
Makeup Remover – Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Coconut Oil
If this all seems too overwhelming, commit to reviewing and replacing products as they run out. Your beauty routine is just another way that you can reduce your toxic load and enjoy vibrant health.
Please share what you do to keep your beauty routine natural and healthy. I’d love to know.
“Nature didn’t need an operation to be beautiful. It just was.” ― Scott Westerfeld
Author: Suzanne Foglio, Holistic Health Coach and founder of Vibrant Life After Cancer