No matter if you are an occasional cosmetics user or an every-day kind of gal, if you want a bit of cover and color added to your face, shooting for natural or organic alternatives are an ideal choice. Cosmetics are used and then washed away every single day, so all those artificial colors and powders are getting sucked down the drain every night.
That should be a concern to everyone. An even bigger concern to those using makeup is the fact that our facial skin is some of the most delicate skin we have on our bodies. When cosmetics include unsavory ingredients, either we don’t know about them or simply ignore them in favor of fashion. Just like skin care products, hair care products, oral products, and other personal care items, cosmetics are not regulated at all when it comes to safety. Companies aren’t going to put out products that kill customers on a regular basis, but if a chemical works and doesn’t have too many adverse affects or enough research stating that it isn’t safe to use, then they have no problem using it.
Both companies and the customers are at fault. It is only when consumers begin demanding change that iffy ingredients will be thrown out the window. In fact, natural cosmetics are growing in popularity. People have begun to realize that what they put on their faces can not only affect their skin, but also soak into their bodies and affect other areas from tissues to organs. There are a number of great companies out there selling their wares to green-living people, and with time and research, you’re likely to find several more.
Annemarie Borlind (www.borlind.com): Created in Germany, they offer a wide spectrum of products to customers, including blushes, powders, and eye colors, all of which come in a great array of colors. The company holds itself and its products in high esteem, aiming to bring buyers only the best of the best when it comes to natural and organic ingredients. The makers of Annemarie Borlind are serious about creating prime products that work well and are as natural as can be.
Canary Cosmetics (www.canarycosmetics.com ): No artificial fragrances and preservatives here. Only natural ingredients that come filled with pure minerals will be placed on your face, giving your skin a little color as well as a little nourishment. Sensitive skin buyers, check online for some great products.
Éminence Organics (www.eminenceorganics.com): Professional- grade cosmetic goodies that are made by hand using organically grown plants that include fruits and vegetables. Several customers who use these will swear by them, appreciating the time, effort, and quality put into each and every soft powder the company makes. There is no need to worry about synthetic chemicals or preservatives here.
Jane Iredale (www.janeiredale.com): Jane Iredale doesn’t just make cosmetics, they make natural cosmetics that allow the skin to breathe and act naturally. Whereas other cosmetics (especially the chemical-filled versions) tend to clog pores and get in the way of natural skin reactions. In 2009 they celebrated their 15th anniversary and continue to strive for state-of-the-art cosmetics, including products that block outside damage and pollutants to skin, as well as SPF protection products on both the UV-B and UV-A spectrums. Expect plenty of shades and innovative ideas from this company as they continue to go strong.
The Organic Make-Up Company (www.organicmakeup.ca ): Based in Canada, the Organic Make-Up Company offers completely organic products. They also go a step further; organic and vegan, so no animals whatsoever are involved with the creation of their colorful goods. They keep their rules strict; not even beeswax is used.
Their packaging is also environmentally-friendly, so consumers can feel great about buying from them.
Applying makeup often means involving cotton balls, swabs, and rounds. However, cotton is yet another plant often treated with an array of pesticides to keep it growing large and fluffy. But along with synthetic chemicals from cosmetics and facial treatments, pesticides are the last things you want to end up soaking into your face. Fear not—there are organic cotton products on the market that have met the USDA standards to obtain the stamp of approval (as cotton is a crop and not a personal care product).
It’s completely natural for humans to sweat. However, on the whole we have an aversion to sweat in most circumstances. In response to that, over the years various sprays, powders, gels, and creams have been created to battle sweat and eliminate odor. Today we are more aware of the ingredients in these products—and most of them happen to be chemical and synthetic materials that we ought to be less than excited about using.
Again, the problem lies in the effectiveness of these products. We use them because they work, and they work because of the chemicals. A deodorant’s main job is to kill off the bacteria that hangs out in the area and ingests the sweat, thus causing the odor. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, are actually classified by the FDA as over-the-counter drugs because they affect our body’s natural function. The blend of varying chemicals within antiperspirants actually blocks the flow of sweat to keep your underarms dry. Now more companies are coming out with “clinical” level products — claimed to be prescription grade but allowed to be over-the-counter. They are stronger and contain more powerful levels of the ingredients that stop sweat within your skin.
If you want to know what is in your deodorant or antiperspirant, check the label. Look out for some of the chemicals first mentioned in this chapter as well as triclosan, ethanol (sd alcohol 40), and aluminum salts. The debate over aluminum salts is still ongoing, with some believing it to be okay (it actually gets into your sweat glands to hold sweat at bay), while other studies show it may have a relationship to breast cancer. These ingredients are extremely common in these types of products (as well as some others) so the only sure way to avoid them is to find green alternatives.
Aubrey Organics (www.aubrey-organics.com): If you can think of a personal care product that ought to be green, Aubrey Organics may very well have one ready for you. Bar soap, shaving cream, moisturizers, men’s products, baby products, spray deodorants, and roll-on deodorants, the list goes on and on. Each and every product is natural, utilizing herbs, essential oils, and natural preservatives to keep products fresh, functional, and smelling fantastic. What’s more, none of these products are tested on animals, so everyone wins.
Burt‘s Bees (www.burtsbees.com): Burt’s Bees has been around for a long time, popular for their innovative uses of beeswax and other ingredients collected straight from Mother Nature. Though they do use some animal-related ingredients such as milk and royal jelly, they ensure that it comes from quality sources and does no testing on animals. Their packaging gives them an extra gold star because much of it comes from post-consumer recyclables.
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care (www.drhauschka.com): Focusing on holistic health and care, Dr. Hauschka’s Skin Care line zeros in on organic materials and using them in a pure manner. They skip chemical additives altogether and even offer a short online test for customers to find out which products would work best for them. Whether you need moisturizers, cleansers, SPF products, or deodorants, you can find them at many natural markets or buy directly from the website.
Terressentials (www.terressentials.com): In 2004, Terressentials received the honor of being a top product by The Green Guide. Their shampoos and other products have no detergents, chemicals, or artificial fragrances, only 100% natural ingredients like clay minerals and botanical tinctures straight from Mother Nature and carefully bottled fresh for consumer use.
For ladies, using feminine products is another aspect of life that there is little to think about. After deciding whether to use a tampon, pad, or a few of both every time the occasion calls for it, there is little else to consider. The numbers add up quickly though. With so many women using feminine products, every one of those ends up in a landfill. Even those that are safe to flush away will be strained out of the water and tossed into the local landfill. Consider your numbers for a moment—your monthly average. Then consider how many products that is per year. Then consider how many products that is for 10 years. Now consider the number of women doing the same thing. You’ll get the idea quickly enough.
Tampons carry extra issues due the nature of their creation. Tampons are essentially made of cotton waste; leaves, stems, and other bits basically known as “gin trash.” The cotton used is treated with chemicals to grow and pesticides to keep insects away, so not only are tampons made of cotton scrap, but chemical-laden cotton scrap. In addition to this, the materials are bleached white in order to look clean and pretty. And we’re placing all that inside our bodies several times a day for several days? Just like every other personal care product, feminine products have no safety regulations, so we are all relying on the companies to provide safe products for us.
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