Nontoxic Beauty Products and Why You Should Care (Guest Post)

by Beaming with Health on January 20, 2014

BWH - Clean beauty productsMy passion for clean, nontoxic beauty started out of necessity.  About a year ago, I became ill with Histamine Intolerance (HIT) which is a very serious condition in which your body becomes sensitive and reactive to many foods and environmental triggers. My management and recovery of HIT included a very restrictive diet as well as the elimination of all environmental irritants. This meant saying goodbye to my favorite NARS blushes, Dior BB Cream, Urban Decay eye shadow palette, and MAC and Revlon lipsticks. If you’re a beauty lover like I am, you’ll understand how sad it was to banish these items from my life. Despite this initial sadness, it was a no-brainer to fully make the switch over to nontoxic products as I felt increasingly better as I let go of my old toxic products. Plus, my health depended on it.

I began to research the toxicity of beauty products and became horrified to discover how unregulated the industry is. Did you know that no premarket safety testing is required for industrial chemicals that go into personal care products? The Food and Drug Administration allows the cosmetic industry to self-police ingredient safety through its Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel, which has only rejected 11 ingredients in over 36 years. To put this into perspective, there are over 10,000 chemical ingredients used in personal care products. (source: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2011/04/12/why-this-matters/)

BWH - my faceSo who should care about this and why? Anyone who uses soap, shampoo, lotion, or toothpaste should care about this. In other words, everyone should care. All of these seemingly harmless products contain several ingredients that penetrate the skin. Scientists have found harmful cosmetic ingredients in human tissue such as parabens in tumors (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2011/04/12/why-this-matters/) and BPA in newborn cord blood (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=newborn-babies-chemicals-exposure-bpa).

The process of detoxifying your routine and finding effective replacements can be overwhelming. There are so many products out there being marketed as “organic” and “natural”. It’s hard to decipher which are actually good for you. I’m here to share my tips on selecting natural products and also some favorites that I have found.

TIPS ON DETOXIFYING YOUR ROUTINE

1) Use the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Skin Deep product database to decipher the toxicity of a product. Many popular products, from makeup to laundry detergent, can be found by searching the database. However, some may not be listed. For these items, I like to use EWG’s “Build Your Own Report” function. You basically cut and paste in the ingredients, and the database ranks the product based on the toxicity of those ingredients. A personal rule I like to abide by is not to use any product with a toxicity rating above 3. This useful tool can be accessed here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

2) Use the Good Guide’s product rating database. Using the EWG database isn’t an exact science. If you’re neurotic like me, you might find it comforting to “cross-reference” the Good Guide which is a product rating website serving a similar purpose as EWG. (http://www.goodguide.com/)

3) Read up on safe and clean products. Books that I recommend on this topic are No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt and The Non-toxic Avenger by Deanna Duke.

4) Be patient and replace your old favorites at your own pace. Obviously the sooner you stop exposing yourself to harmful chemicals, the better, but no one’s perfect and it can be rather overwhelming to replace everything at once. Go at your own pace, and please don’t get frustrated. It will get easier as you find new products that perform well while supporting good health.

MY FAVORITES

Lip Products: ILIA Beauty (http://iliabeauty.com/)

Concealer: rms beauty “un”cover-up (http://www.rmsbeauty.com/)

Foundation:  W3LL People Narcissist Stick Foundation (http://www.w3llpeople.com/)

Blush: rms beauty lip2cheek (http://www.rmsbeauty.com/)

Hand lotion: 100% Pure Honey Almond Hand Buttercream (http://www.100percentpure.com)

Deodorant: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (http://soapwallakitchen.com/)

Toothpaste: Nature’s Gate Creme de Mint Natural Toothpaste (http://natures-gate.com/)

Places to shop: www.ecodivabeauty.com & www.iherb.com

Detoxifying my personal care routine started out as a daunting and frustrating task that involved lots of trial and error. It has now become a really fun process as I find new favorites to get excited about. Besides, clean beauty products can be extremely luxurious and modern. There is also something for every price range. For more affordable products, I like to look on www.etsy.com to find smaller natural shops that have integrity to clean ingredients. I also think of www.iherb.com as my online green drugstore.

For more information, you can find me at www.vivianmadeline.com where I blog about wellness, clean beauty, and clean skin care products that I love.

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