Ingredients to avoid
in health and beauty
A friend once tried to explain to me why she didn't
believe in facials.
"Don't get me wrong, it feels good, but I'm not convinced
that massaging a few creams into my skin actually accomplishes
This is a woman who gets her birth control through
a patch on her hip and yet, she wasn't connecting the
What we put on our skin, the body's largest organ,
affects not only the way we look, but can actually affect
our health as well. So, before you swipe a gloss applicator
across your lips one more time, or commence that daily
post-shower body lotion ritual, ask yourself if what
you're putting on your body belongs in your body.
A moment on the lips
What goes on your mouth may end up in your mouth. It's
been widely reported that the average woman will ingest
over four pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. And while
these "calories" may not hit your hips, they could affect
A 2004 Environmental Working Group survey examined
hundreds of lipsticks and found that 28% of those tested
contained ingredients associated with cancer risk. Meaning,
what you don't know could hurt you. EWG's Skin Deep
database aims to bring consumers out of the Dark Age,
detailing the safety levels of cosmetics and comparing
those products to other brands.
concerns are just one reason that Mundo Products
has found a market for its all-natural bath and body
line. The Mundo collection even boasts Vegan products
like their Vegan Lip Balm ($6 at mundoproducts.com).
Crafted with an organic hempseed oil base, the balm
contains no artificial flavorings, petroleum, alcohol
by-products or chemical sun blocks. Mundo has also signed
the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge made by manufacturers
to formulate products that do not use ingredients known
or suspected to cause certain health harms.
Log on to EWG's Skin Deep database at www.cosmeticdatabase.com
to research the products you use daily.
The organic movement is picking up speed, with more
and more consumers seeking out food that is free of
chemicals and pesticides. And that demand for wholesomeness
is making its way to personal care.
Simply Organic, founded by Floridian Gene Martignetti,
produces a collection of bath and body products based
on the simple premise of banning dangerous ingredients
including chemical preservatives and lathering agents.
The Simply Organic line, available at www.simplyorganicbeauty.com,
includes shampoos, conditioners, styling products, skin
care and more.
Beauty is another company serving up skin care crafted
from certified organic ingredients. The company's two
female founders develop products based on their belief
that what we put into our bodies is as important as
the products we use on our bodies. Juice Beauty's Green
Apple Cleansing Gel, $26 at www.juicebeauty.com,
boasts certified organic apple and lemon juices and
other botanicals which promise to cleanse while renewing
The bottom line? Armed with some basic knowledge about
what to put on your body, and what to avoid, it's easy
to look beautiful, naturally.
Top Ten Ingredients to Avoid
According to National Georgraphic's The Green Guide,
there are ten top ingredients you simply must avoid
in personal care products.
HEAVY METALS: LEAD AND MERCURY
PETROLATUM (vaseline, petroleum jelly)
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS)
For more information about why to avoid these ingredients,
log on to TheGreenGuide.com