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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Choosing your beauty products

Yes, this is important as we have already been surrounded by pollution, so we need to choose our beauty products carefully, especially when you have skin allergy or sensitive skin. Don't forget, it also helps us reduce damage to environment.

If you want to go green with your beauty products, The Green Machine has tips for you:

1. Avoid products with artificial fragrances
For the past 50 years, 80-90% of fragrances found in beauty products have been synthesized from petroleum—not from natural sources, as some labels might lead you to believe. Beauty product labels can be confusing—or worse, misleading—because the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate how companies use words like "fragrance-free," "unscented," "natural" and "hypoallergenic." Look for products that include natural fragrances in their ingredients, or no fragrance at all. Your best bet is to choose products from trusted cosmetic and body-care companies that use only natural, certified organic, non-toxic and non-synthetic ingredients.

2. Knows what in your potions and lotions
Be on the lookout for hazardous ingredients in your medicine cabinet and makeup bag. Cosmetic ingredients are not regulated by the FDA or any other government agency and often contain harmful ingredients that have not been adequately tested. For example, parabens are synthetic preservatives that can disrupt hormones but can still be found in many of our beauty products. Check the ingredient lists on your moisturizers, soaps, bath products, makeup, sunscreen, toothpaste and deodorant, and replace anything that includes any of the following ingredients:

· mercury
· parabens
· thimerosol
· lead acetate
· formaldehyde
· toluene
· petroleum distillates
· ethylacrylate
· coal tar
· dibutyl phthalate
· potassium dichromate

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group are two non-profit groups working to monitor the beauty industry. You can even check your beauty products online at http://www.safecosmetics.org to see how they rate!

3. Use natural oil to moisturize
Olive and jojoba oils are great natural moisturizing alternatives for skin care, hair conditioner and even massage. Oils transfer through your skin very easily, so be sure to use only natural oils that were produced organically.

4. Bring your own non-toxic nail products to the spa
Most conventional nail polish brands include harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates, which have been linked to problems ranging from skin irritation in people to birth defects in animals. Purchase safer alternatives at your local health food store; Brands to look for include No Miss Nail Polish, Sante Nail Polish, L'Oreal Paris Jet-Set Quick Dry Nail Enamel, Provida Organic Nail Care and WaterColors Nail Enamel.

Most hair dyes use ammonia, which can transfer into the blood stream via the scalp. As an alternative, you can use herb- or vegetable-based hair dyes that are free of ammonia. Coloring products to "dye" for include Born Again henna, Changes henna, Giovanni, HerbaVita, Light Mountain, Logona henna, Naturtint, Rainbow Research, Surya henna, Tints of Nature, Jason Natural, Nature’s Gate, Mill Creek and Aveda. You should feel free to bring your own ammonia-free hair color to your stylist if she doesn't provide these products—it's your hair, and your health.

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