• Environmental Impact of Non-Organic Beauty Products

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    As you might know, many personal care items such as shampoos, body wash, makeup and sunscreen all contain a dizzying array of ingredients on their labels, but, how much of the components in your products contain chemicals that are toxic and can wreak havoc on your health?

    It may or may not surprise you that most of the ingredients in everyday personal care items are full of dangerous chemicals, so it is important to know their effects. The fact is, our skin acts as a sponge rather than a barrier, and we absorb up to 60 percent of what is put on our skin. Even worse, children’s bodies are at a higher risk since their bodies absorb 40 to 50 percent more than adults.

    These staggering statistics further prove the importance in checking your product labels on all skincare, cosmetics, and personal care items, and be sure to always choose organic items that are free of harmful synthetic chemicals.

    Ingredients to avoid:

    • Benzoyl peroxide
    • DEA, MEA and TEA
    • Sunscreen chemicals
    • FD&C color
    • PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
    • Phthalates
    • Dioxin
    • DMDM Hydantoin and Urea
    • Parabens
    • Propylene Glycol & Butylene Glycol
    • Triclosan
    • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate

    Obviously, those names don’t sound natural or healthy for use. In fact, below are just some of the most common effects the chemicals have on our health. Since most of the major beauty, cosmetics, and skincare products have a combination of the above ingredients, plus more, you should also strive to buy organically, since the toxins are linked to:

    • Breast cancer
    • Asthma
    • Skin dermatitis
    • Attention deficit disorder
    • Type II diabetes
    • Autism spectrum disorders
    • Behavioral issues
    • Neurodevelopment issues
    • Birth defects
    • Low IQs
    • Altered reproductive development
    • Infertility
    • Skin allergies

    While your health is certainly reason enough to forgo all products that pose a risk to you and your family, these chemicals don’t stop there. Their damage reaches past humans, and affects the environment and planet. Think for a second: If all those chemicals are harmful to our bodies, what do you think they do to the planet when flushed or rinsed down the drain?

    Since our sewage systems are not quite intelligent enough to separate the toxins, they end up hurting aquatic life and ecosystems, and further threatening the already vulnerable water supply. Even the products that are thrown out into the garbage bin find their way to landfills and, eventually, the toxic concoctions seep into the earth. If you haven’t assumed it already, they are no better for the soil than for our bodies or waterways.

    Some of the ways non-organic personal care products affect our environment:

    • Strong plastics that hold beauty products are often tossed in landfills and take hundreds of years to break down.
    • Chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products cause genetic mutation in aquatic life, along with altered behavior and growth in many different species.
    • They cause death in many fish, plankton, and amphibians.
    • They contribute changes to the biochemistry to fish, amphibians, and aquatic plants.
    • They affect the reproductive cycles, and population and growth patterns of fish, insects, plankton, aquatic plants, and amphibians.
    • Unsustainable harvesting poses a threat to plants, animals, and the local ecosystems.
    • They expose water to chemicals that deem it unsafe for consumption. Animals and plants who come into contact with water experience health issues, and the chemicals threaten populations of many species.

    While you may have vowed to take better care of your health and the planet by purchasing green products that are organic and safe for both you and Earth, what do you do with the remainder of your hazardous products? Your best bet is to safely dispose of them in a hazardous waste facility,  and then make it a point to avoid future purchases of a similar nature.

    Why you should always choose organic products:

    • You can safely dispose of the product without threatening our Earth.
    • Products are safe to go down the drain.
    • They work better. (No, really!)
    • There are no toxic or synthetic chemicals in them, meaning your health is not compromised.
    • Packaging is usually recyclable and/or biodegradable, taking up less space in landfills.

    So, remember, turning our beauty routines green will help preserve our planet and keep our children’s (and grandchildren’s, great-grandchildren’s, and so forth) environment safe. It pays to educate yourself about the practices we do today and the effects they have on future generations. Be sure to always look at your product’s ingredient list, purchase organically, and recycle all possible packaging.

  • 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Makeup/Skincare

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    Are you one of those shoppers who takes the time to look at every food label when shopping in the grocery store—even if that means taking a longer time on each aisle? We don’t blame you! We want to know what we put in our bodies, too! A smart shopper tries to make the best decision for her/his health while trying to cut down on their carbon footprint on the environment.

    But, how often do you look at the labels on your makeup? Or the ingredient list on the back of your skincare products? While you may be concerned about what you feed your body, have you thought about what you put on your hair, skin, and makeup?

    Many of these chemicals found in hair care, makeup, and skincare irritate your skin, clog pores, and harm your health as well as the environment. To see for yourself, just go ahead and take a peek at the label on your favorite beauty products. Chances you’ll see a dizzying list of names you are not familiar with, and ones that definitely do not sound natural.

    We’re not saying you should stop wearing makeup or call off shampoo forever! We just want to urge you to familiarize yourself with safer and smarter options on the market, and learn which ones you should avoid. So, before you buy new products, take the time to look at the label. While there are many more harmful ingredients than just these, here are 10 you should always avoid:

    1. Parabens
    You may have heard this term thrown around before, but do you know why many shampoos and other products are boasting “paraben-free” on their bottles? Well, paraben is an element that is used as a preservative that fights the growth of mold in products such as cosmetics, body washes, shampoos, deodorant, and face wash. But, don’t let that fool you! This toxin does much more than that. The chemical possesses properties that are carcinogenic and which are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

    2. Synthetic Colors
    Take a long look at your beauty labels. Did you notice either FD&C or D&C? They represent artificial colors, and the abbreviation often precedes a color and number. Why should you care? Synthetic colors are derived from coal and petroleum sources, they are suspected to be a human carcinogen, and are known to be a skin irritant.

    3. Fragrance and Phthalates
    Is it just us, or is “fragrance” a sketchy ingredient word to list? What does “fragrance” mean, exactly? This term was created to protect the company’s formula for their scents; however, for the consumer, it means that you are likely to suffer from headaches, dizziness, asthma, dermatitis and allergies from an unknown allergen. This ingredient can be found in a number of items such as perfume, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and moisturizers.

    Phthalates are tricky. We spoke of companies being allowed to list “fragrance” as an ingredient. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are used to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics, but are often not listed because they are considered to fall under the “fragrance” ingredient, which obviously poses a big problem, since they can be used in hundreds of products. They have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues in both men and women.

    4. Mineral Oil
    This is an ingredient that is harmful because it creates a barrier over the skin that prevents it from releasing toxins. It is a by-product of petroleum that is found in baby oils, styling gels, and moisturizers.

    5. Oxybenzone
    This toxic chemical is an active ingredient used in chemical sunscreens and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, and low birth weight. All the more reason to protect your skin with natural sunscreen.

    6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
    This harmful ingredient can be found in a whopping 90 percent of hygienic and cleaning products. Alone, it is known to be a skin, eye, and lung irritant, but when combined with another chemical or product, it has been shown to cause cancer.

    7. Formaldehyde
    Found in many different beauty products, formaldehyde is a preservative to stop the growth of mold. It is banned in the EU, as it has been deemed a human carcinogen, may harm the immune system, and can cause allergic reactions.

    8. Talc
    Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory issues, talc is similar to asbestos in composition, and is found in cosmetics such as baby powder, eye shadow, and blush.

    9. Propylene Glycol
    You would think that since propylene glycol is classified as a skin irritant, causing hives and dermatitis, the chemical would not be used for skin conditioning agent in sunscreen, makeup, and shampoos and conditioners.

    10. DEA/TEA/MEA
    These are ethanolamines, which make up a chemical group of amino acids and alcohols. They are extremely harmful to the environment and are used in shampoos, soaps, and body wash as foaming agents.

  • Organic Skin Care Products

    Why Organic Skin Care Products

    Are More Than a Trend

    Over the last few years, the organic skin care market has experienced a huge increase in sales and media attention. More people than ever before are buying organic products, and it’s not simply because the rich and the famous are doing it. As people become more aware of the awesome health benefits these products have to offer, organic skin care lines have been working hard to keep up with the demand. While some naysayers predict that buying organic skin care products is merely a trend, there is a good amount of evidence showing that these products are here to stay. Here are some of the many reasons why organic skin care products are more than just a trend:

    Brand Loyalty

    Have you ever heard of someone saying that they are displeased with their organic product? It doesn’t happen often. It seems that complaints are rare when it comes to testing out organic beauty products, but those who have tried out regular skin care products have voiced a lot more frustration. Some people may complain about the price of an organic product, but most people are so pleased with the results of their purchase that they will gladly pay any amount of money to achieve the fabulous results that come from their organic products.

    In addition, many of these people know that the higher concentration of organic ingredients and the use of less filler ingredients means that they will end up using less of the product to achieve the desired results. Everyone has that one product in their arsenal that they have fallen in love with because of how beautifully it works, so now refuse to switch to anything else. Organic skin care products have a high success rate with those who purchase them, and this creates a loyal following who will stick to these products for life.

    Paying More Attention to the Environment

    For the past decade, people all over the world have gotten more serious about their carbon footprint and the impact our habits have on the environment. From hybrid electric vehicles to eating “clean” diets, the U.S.A., in particular, is focusing on going green. Many people don’t think twice about the potential effect their skincare products have on the environment, but, as more studies come out detailing their impact on the environment, more people are choosing to switch permanently to organic skin care products. Organic products are made without toxic pesticides or fertilizers, which can get into our water and soil, and that are harmful to the environment.Pesticides have been linked to short-term symptoms such as headaches or dizziness, and even long-term effects, such as cancer or reproductive harm.

    The Horrors of Animal Cruelty

    Anyone who has read even one news article regarding the horrific tests that animals are subjected to for skin care products would have a difficult time going back to their old products. Animal rights advocates have been trying to raise awareness for decades on this issue,with some success, although there is still a long way to go. People are beginning to become more aware of the pain and torture that animals endure on a day-to-day basis, despite there being numerous alternatives to animal testing. Because of this, more people are choosing skin care products that are organic and cruelty-free. There has also been an increasing demand to stop companies that refuse to stop testing on animals, such as Johnson & Johnson, Clorox, and L’Oreal. While public outcry may have an effect, the best way to stop these companies for good is by choosing to not buy their products, and by switching to organic and cruelty-free ones instead.

    Awareness of Regulation Standards in the Skin Care Industry

    When organic products first started hitting the market, many people hastily bought them without checking labels or ingredients. As more people began to buy organic, more scrutiny was placed on the skin care products, and it was uncovered that the industry had a severe lack of regulation. This information became more widespread, and now those who purchase organic skin care products know to check the label, even if it claims to be organic, before making their purchase. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the terms “organic” and “natural,” but the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has four levels of certification for organic products:

    100 Percent Organic

    Only organic ingredients are in the product, and it can display the organic seal.

    Organic

    At least 95 percent of ingredients are organic, and the product can display the organic seal.

    Made with Organic
    Ingredients

    At least 70 percent of the ingredients are organic, and the product cannot display the organic seal.

    Less Than 70 Percent Organic Ingredients:

    The product has some organically produced items, but cannot use the term “organic” anywhere on the packaging and cannot display the organic seal.

    Now that we have better information regarding this lack of regulation, buyers of organic products know what to look for and can feel more confident in their choices. Without this knowledge, those who want a decent skin care product could simply give up and decide to go back to their harmful skin care products, but this doesn’t have to be the case today. Public service announcements are widespread across the web and through social media, making it much easier to identify questionable beauty products and make the right choice.

    Impact on Our Health

    One big reason why people are sticking with organic skin care products is for the damaging health studies that have come out in recent years regarding skin care products. The harmful effects that regular skin care products have on our bodies is truly frightening and, unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers that they subject their skin to every day. By learning some of the ingredients that are known to be harsh on our bodies, we can avoid unnecessary damage to our skin.

    Studies on Skin Care Products

    More people are sticking with organic skin care products because of the large quantity of studies coming out that reveal how bad regular skin care products are for our bodies. Areport published by the Environmental Health Perspectives in 2005 may cause you to think twice about how bad your regular skin care products are for your body. This report gives insight to the reproductive and developmental problems that have been linked to toxins from our cosmetic and personal care products.

    Anotherstudy was published in 2015 and warns of the potential presence of toxic heavy metals, such as lead in our lipsticks, lip glosses, eye shadows, and henna hair dyes. While the amounts of the toxins found in these items are not toxic in small quantities, we use these products on our bodies every day. If you think about it, that quickly adds up. It may be tempting to purchase the cheapest available skin care product, but your skin may suffer from this decision, and you could end up paying more in the long run from potential side effects.

    Harmful Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

    Some skin care ingredients can do more harm than good to our skin, and we unknowingly put many dangerous chemicals on our bodies without blinking an eye. The people who have switched to organic skin care products permanently are aware of the awful ingredients in regular products and are making wise decisions when it comes to their beauty regimen. Here are only a few of the many ingredients that you should reconsider when you see them on a label:

    Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde is popular for preventing bacteria growth, but the chemical is identified as a carcinogenby the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC). It is suspected to contribute to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers, in addition to causing allergic reactions and problems with the immune system.

    Fragrance

    There are other ways to smell good from your products than synthetic fragrances. Fragrances in skin care products are often the cause of skin irritation and allergy symptoms. Choosing fragrance-free products will also give you a better chance of purchasing a product with fewer chemicals in them

    Diethanolamine (DEA)

    Diethanolamine is suspected to be a carcinogen and is commonly found in shampoos and body wash.

    Lead acetate

    Lead is found in lipsticks and hair dyes, but this sneaky ingredient manages to escape the label because it is technically a contaminant and not an ingredient.

    BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

    Diethanolamine is suspected to be a carcinogen and is commonly found in shampoos and body wash.

    Parabens (Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben,
    Methylparabenand Propylparaben)

    Lead is found in lipsticks and hair dyes, but this sneaky ingredient manages to escape the label because it is technically a contaminant and not an ingredient.

    Synthetic Colors

    To make the beauty product more appealing, many companies add synthetic colors to their products. They are usually labeled as FD&C or D&C, with a number and a color. Synthetic colors are suspected to be carcinogens and should be avoided.

    Propylene glycol

    According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, propylene glycol is “used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food.” That doesn’t sound like anything we want to put on our bodies.

    Phthalates

    Commonly linked to liver, kidney, and lung damage, phthalates are found in many plastics, in addition to fragrances and perfumes. They are also linked to endocrine disruption.

    Triclosan

    Another endocrine disruptor, triclosan has been suspected of messing with reproductive and thyroid function. It is commonly found in toothpastes and deodorants.

    Plain and Simple—Organic Products Work

    Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that organic skin care products are here to stay is that people realize how well these products work compared to regular skin care products. Frequently, users of regular skin care products will find that their blemishes and skin problems get worse with product use. Instead of irritating the skin with these regular products, many people have found relief from organic skin care products, and now refuse to look back. Today, organic skin care products are becoming more readily available, although smaller companies are still the norm for many to find their organic beauty products.


    If you are looking for a trusted organic skin care company, here are a few things to be on the watch for:

    What Is Their
    Philosophy?

    An organic skin care company’s personal philosophy can reveal a great deal about their company and products. Organic skin care company’s such as Organaca not only offer beauty products with ingredients that are gentle on the body, but they also promote educating those on the importance of what goes into your body and the environment

    What Brands Do
    They Offer?

    Companies that offer trusted brands in addition to their own lines can be a safe bet. Many organic skin care companies stock popular brands such as Dr. Hauschka that are free of artificial preservatives and other ingredients that are harmful to our skin.

    Do They Promise
    Magic Results?

    Skin care companies that insist that their products will produce magic results after using them are probably best left alone. While some people may rave about their organic skin care products, they are rarely going to magically cure a serious skin issue overnight. Don’t fall for claims that seem to promise too much.

    Organic Skin Care Products Are Here to Stay

    Those who think that organic skin care products are just a trend may find themselves eating their words in the years to come. Organic beauty items have become increasingly popular in the last few years, but this in no way makes them another trend that will soon fade. Thanks to new research, many people are simply becoming more aware of the harmful effects that regular skin care products can have on our bodies and are choosing to spend their money more wisely. In addition to this, the uglier side of beauty products—which includes animal testing and the awareness of harmful toxins—has come to light, further encouraging our need for organic skin care products. The fact of the matter is simple: People realize that organic skin care products produce the desired results without harmful side effects, making it a long-term choice for anyone who cares deeply about their health.

  • African-Inspired Skincare Organic Beauty Products

    African-Inspired Skincare Organic Beauty Products

    In Western culture, we are always on the look-out for the next best thing in skincare products. In a market saturated with products containing ingredients that are harmful to our skin, many of us are desperate for organic skincare products that won’t leave our skin feeling awful.

    Thankfully, smaller organic companies are starting to pop up throughout the country to meet this demand, and they have plenty of beauty secrets that larger markets haven’t figured out yet. These smaller organic skincare companies have tapped into African culture to create African-inspired skincare products that are filled with healthy antioxidants and skin moisturizing agents. From marula oil to the African potato, the secret to getting healthy, radiant skin could lie in Africa’s diverse landscape.

    Why African-Inspired Skincare Products?

    Africa’s ancient beauty secrets are finally making their way across the globe. The healing and herbal medicines used in ancient tribal traditions were largely ignored until recently, despite producing some of the most valuable ingredients for skin and hair. Now, more companies are discovering the benefits themselves and spreading it to other countries such as the United States for all of us to enjoy. As a first-world country, many people in the United States are getting tired of products that are terrible for our skin, and which slide by regulations and into the skincare market. Africa’s use of organic products gives them a healthier skincare regimen that is enviable to all of us.

    Hazards of Standard Beauty Products

    Many of us are frustrated with government regulations that allow a large amount of dangerous ingredients to be used in products for our beauty regimen. Not only are these ingredients hazardous to the human body, but they are also detrimental to the environment as well. It is no wonder that African-inspired products are becoming more appealing. Choosing organic ingredients over ingredients whose names you can’t even pronounce is ultimately a much safer bet for anyone wanting better skincare products.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    Many of us simply don’t know any better when it comes to shopping for our skincare needs, and choosing organic products can be confusing, especially considering that most people don’t understand the difference between “natural” and “organic.”Here are some skincare ingredients you should avoid:

    • DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine)
    • Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40)
    • Synthetic Fragrances
    • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
    • Benzoyl Peroxide
    • Dioxin
    • DMD Hydantoin and Urea
    • Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)
    • Phthalates

    These are just a few of the many ingredients in our skincare products that are terrible for our skin. A good rule of thumb is this: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.

    Origin of Beautiful African-Inspired Skincare

    Now that we have shown enough disgust for the current market of skincare products, let us look to just where and how organic ingredients in Africa began making their appearance. Researchers are responsible for studying the exact effects of these ingredients, but noted Africans in history, such as the stunning Cleopatra, didn’t need much convincing when she dipped her toe into her honey and milk bath. This is where some of today’s African-inspired skincare products come from:

    Ancient Egyptians

    One of the most famous ancient Egyptians—Cleopatra—was known for her extraordinary beauty. She captured the hearts of both Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar, and was also an accomplished botanist. Unfortunately, our history classes didn’t give us much information on her beauty routine (we might have paid more attention, otherwise). Cleopatra was known for her milk and honey baths infused with oils and flowers to make her smell amazing. Ancient Egyptians may not have known that the lactic acid in milk helps remove dead skin cells and the benefits of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, but they could see that milk and honey baths left their skin soft and supple. The Egyptian beauty also regularly employed the use of other ingredients to enhance her appearance, such as the following:

    • •   Dead Sea salt in her baths
    • •   Regular use of aloe vera on her skin
    • •   Olive oil and coconut milk for hair

    We regularly use these popular ingredients in our own beauty products today and know the science behind how they work, but the ancient Egyptians were way ahead of us. While the more popular ingredients have become common in various countries, Africa still has many skincare ingredients that are indigenous to the area and which are not as relatively well-known.

    The Bororo Tribe

    The Wodaabe of Bororo are a nomadic group of people in North Africa who are known for their superb skincare and have been referred to as the founders of beauty pageants. This is largely due to their yearly celebrations that involve “charm competitions,” in which men make themselves as beautiful as possible to show off their charm and good looks to women as they perform two special dances.

    If you think that this is the complete opposite of the culture in the United States, you would be right. In today’s age, it is usually the women who dress up and make themselves as beautiful as possible to attract male attention. The Wodaabe men use herbs and flowers from their surroundings to create skincare treatments that will leave their skin appearing smooth, vibrant, and the picture of optimal health.

    The Moroccans

    As one of the most diverse countries in Africa, Morocco has an abundance of ingredients that are used for skincare. Naturally, the Moroccans took advantage of their diverse landscape and have a long history of excellent skincare treatments. Their Moroccan hammam ( steam bath) ritual is still widely practiced today all over the globe, in addition to the famous African Black Soap (Anago Soap, AlataSimena, or Ose Dudu), which is coveted for its healing properties. Made from the ash of local plants and barks, this soap has been known to help treat eczema, blemishes, and dark spots on the skin. It is usually always in pure form in Africa, whereas the United States and other countries have the tendency to saturate it with artificial ingredients.

    Popular African-Inspired Skincare Products

    Many of the ingredients used in popular skincare products are found in Africa’s diverse and rich plant life. Local ingredients such as rooibos and marula are easy to find in the area and Africans take advantage of this by incorporating them into their skincare routine. In fact, Africa essentially hit the jackpot when it comes to many skincare ingredients. Here are some of the ingredients native to Africa’s landscape that are amazing for your skin:

    The Moroccans

    You can find macadamia nuts all over Africa, although the nut is originally from Australia, and many companies such as Rohr Remedy have used the macadamia nut to inspire their own line of organic beauty products. The oil that is extracted from the macadamia nut has amazing moisturizing properties that leaves even the driest skin feeling soft and supple.

    Rooibos

    You’ve probably heard of rooibos tea (if you haven’t, you should try it—that stuff is delicious), but rooibos is also used in many beauty products. It is found in South Africa and has been used by natives to help eczema, acne, and promote healthy skin. Rooibos is packed with vitamins and minerals that give your skin a healthy shine, such as zinc and vitamin D, and has plenty of flavonoids as well. The fact that rooibos is hypoallergenic is also a huge plus, considering how our current skincare market is riddled with products that can negatively affect certain skin types

    Shea Butter

    It is almost a sure bet that you have heard and/or use shea butter, but did you know that it comes from the nut of the African shea tree? We have Africa to thank for those amazing moisturizing creams containing shea butter. Made by grinding the nuts to produce a creamy oil extract, it can treat skin discolorations, stretch marks, and dry skin, and is used for its medicinal properties as well. You can find your own organic shea butter products such as this lavender body butter from Organaca that combines organic shea, mango, and coconut butters to soothe and moisturize your skin.

    Kola Nut

    You might have tried a small amount of a kola nut without even realizing it. The kola nut was once a popular flavoring ingredient used in Coca-Cola, which is how the drink originally got its name. While using the kola nut as flavoring for Coke products is now relatively uncommon, it has plenty of other uses in our beauty products. Native to the tropical rain forests of Africa, the kola nut has a bitter flavor, and it is thought to have medicinal properties by natives. Today, we use the nut for its ability to firm up our skin and achieve a more youthful appearance

    Marula Oil

    Anyone looking to fight sun damage and wrinkles needs to buy organic beauty products with marula oil as a key ingredient. This oil is becoming increasingly popular in Western culture because of its incredible healing and hydrating abilities. Harvested in South Africa, the marula nut contains tons of antioxidants and essential fatty acids such as omega-6 and omega-9, which help prevent premature aging. Marula oil products are great for any skin type, including those with oily faces, because it won’t clog your pores like other oils do.

    Baobab

    The secret to looking fabulous could lie in baobab, which is found in the seeds of the Adansonia tree. These trees are native to Africa and can live to be thousands of years old. Baobab oil is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and F, and is great for improving collagen production that helps reverse the signs of aging and restores damaged skin. It works well with all skin types and can help eliminate harmful toxins that interfere with our skin’s ability to defend itself.

    Melon Seed Oil

    You’ve probably heard of rooibos tea (if you haven’t, you should try it—that stuff is delicious), but rooibos is also used in many beauty products. It is found in South Africa and has been used by natives to help eczema, acne, and promote healthy skin. Rooibos is packed with vitamins and minerals that give your skin a healthy shine, such as zinc and vitamin D, and has plenty of flavonoids as well. The fact that rooibos is hypoallergenic is also a huge plus, considering how our current skincare market is riddled with products that can negatively affect certain skin types

    Aloe Ferox Plant

    Despite there being hundreds of aloe plant species throughout the world, only some of them have medicinal properties. In addition to this, studies have shown that aloe ferox is one of the most effective of all aloe species. This is because it contains five times the amount of polysaccharides as other aloe veras, which helps the skin repair itself and keeps skin looking radiant. Found in Southern Africa, it is commonly used by natives to treat anything from inflamed wounds to rheumatism and arthritis. Incorporating it into everyday skincare regimen caught on quickly throughout the world, and it is now a common ingredient in Western beauty products.

    Senegalese Oil

    Senegalese hibiscus oil is cold-pressed from flower seeds that are grown and harvested by locals in Africa. The exotic oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, making it a popular ingredient in organic beauty products to help fight against premature skin aging and improve skin elasticity. It also works well with all skin types and can help keep skin firm and moisturized.

    Choosing African - Inspired Products

    It’s no wonder why Africans have had so much success with their skincare products, considering that the best ingredients can basically be found in their backyard. Now many companies in the United States are beginning to realize the wisdom of ancient African healers and their use of plant life. With a skincare industry that contains an abundance of chemicals in manufactured products, many of us are demanding eco-friendly skincare products that won’t harm our bodies. Tapping into Africa’s vibrant heritage in order to discover their skincare secrets could be the answer we have long searched for.

    African Potato

    African potatoes have been used by healers for thousands of years because of their medicinal properties and are considered miracle-workers by natives. African potatoes contain a high plant sterol content that contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. This helps restore skin that has been damaged by the sun or for those who suffer from eczema. It is also a common ingredient in skincare creams to help treat general skin conditions, in addition to acne, rashes, and sunburn.

  • 5 Harmful Ingredients in Mediocre Skincare Products

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    Beauty consciousness has become a strong obsession among females around the world. Almost every girl is deeply concerned about maintaining the health of her skin in order to appear as beautiful as she possibly can. Keeping your skin in good condition is much easier said than done. Lack of knowledge or misinformation can make it quite difficult for women to use ideal skincare products and apply the most effective skincare techniques. As a matter of fact, a lot of women buy into the propaganda of billboard advertisements, television commercials, and promotional online content, which highlight the so called benefits of using synthetic skincare products.

    It is imperative for you to understand that these skincare products are usually nowhere near as good as they are made to appear. Most of them are of mediocre quality and have very little “real benefit” to offer to your skin. In fact, you will be surprised to know that many of these ordinary skincare products are formulated with harmful ingredients that can spell disaster for your skin and which can be detrimental to your overall health.

    There is no alternative to doing your own research when it comes to buying skincare products. Hence, you should always thoroughly check the list of ingredients on the label. If the list contains any one of the following five ingredients, then you ought to avoid purchasing that product.

    1) Parabens

    Parabens are a group of chemicals which are identified by many names such as methylparabens, IIsoparabens and Butylparabens. Parabens are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry as preservatives. There is evidence collected from recently conducted studies to suggest that parabens can be connected to potential carcinogenicity in the bodies of those who use ordinary skincare products. It is also worth noting that researchers have failed to prove that the repeated and prolonged use of parabens is a safe practice. Then why are parabens still in existence? The skincare brands are big fans of parabens, because they are low cost preservatives that extend the shelf life of the product. As a result, these parabens are not going away anytime soon. You simply need to avoid them in order to keep yourself safe from their harmful effects.

    2) Phthalates

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    This can be described as a very toxic skincare ingredient. Dibutylphthalate has been classified by the EPA as a potential human carcinogen. Despite this, the brands selling mediocre skincare products are not too interested to discontinue the use of this toxic chemical. Even the high end, internationally recognized brands such as L’Oreal have refused to take this potentially dangerous chemical off the market. Under such circumstances, your best bet is to resort to organic and natural skincare products.

    3) Diazodinyl Urea

    This is a type of formaldehyde which serves as a preservative in numerous skincare products on the market. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has placed this extremely harmful chemical in its highest toxic class. Much like the previous two ingredients, diazodinyl urea has mustered up a negative reputation for being a carcinogen. If you do not want to end up with headaches, fatigue, allergic reactions, and immune dysfunction, then you should stay as far away from this chemical compound as you possibly can.

    4) Synthetic Colors

    If your product label contains the letters FD&C or D&C, then it means that it contains artificial colors. These synthetic colors are extracted from sources that are filled with petroleum or coal tar. According to the results of recently conducted research, we can conclude that the use of synthetic colors is connected to the formation of cancerous cells in the body. Furthermore, these colors have been identified as a skin irritant. In addition to that, artificial colors in skincare products can be linked to ADHD in children. Interestingly, the European Union has criminalized the use of synthetic colors in skincare products.

    5) Sunscreen Chemicals

    These special chemicals work together to serve as a sunscreen agent for your skin. The chemicals absorb the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. On paper, they appear quite harmless and seem to be the perfect protectors of your skin. However, research shows that sunscreen chemicals are endocrine disruptors, which can be easily absorbed into the body. In simple terms, they have the potential to damage your endocrine system beyond repair.

  • 5 Reasons to Switch to Organic Cosmetics

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    As stereotypical and sexist as it may sound, there is hardly any denying the fact that makeup is one of the most essential items used by women across the globe. For a lot of women, makeup is the single most important accessory in their lives. After all, a huge part of being an attractive lady involves enhancing your beauty with the use of makeup.

    Given how much of an indispensable commodity it has become, it is about time that women take into consideration the health concerns related to wearing makeup. Ingredients used in beauty and personal care products are not entirely harmless. As a matter of fact, some of them can be linked to the development of cancer and neurological disorders. Exposing yourself to these health hazards for the sake of looking better is simply not worth it.

    These shocking facts should not necessarily compel you to give up makeup. However, they should influence you to look for alternatives, in the form of organic cosmetics. When a comparison is made between organic cosmetics and conventional makeup, it becomes quite clear that the former is a much safer option than the latter. Compromising your health for the purpose of upgrading your looks is a very unwise option. Here are five reasons why organic makeup should be your preferred choice:

    1) Enriched with Nutrients

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    When personal care products are applied topically, the skin is usually able to absorb chemical compounds contained within the product. Hence, it is very important for you to ensure that the chemical compounds that are being absorbed are not detrimental for your health. You do not want to create an opening for harmful chemicals to enter your body. One of the simplest ways of ensuring that is by following the rule which says, “If you can’t eat it, don’t wear it.”

    Wearing organic makeup helps your skin to absorb ingredients that are packed with a plethora of nutrients. For example, cocoa butter is a natural beauty care product that is mainly used as a moisturizer. This ingredient contains fatty acids which the skin can use to enhance its glow and retain its youthful vibrancy. Then again, you have the example of grapes, apricots, and teas, which all contain antioxidant properties needed to maintain the elasticity of the skin. As a matter of fact, these ingredients can be applied directly onto the skin. That is what a lot of people belonging to different cultures around the world do.

    You do not have to start slathering fruit over your face. Organic makeup that is enriched with essential nutrients is widely available in the market. You just have to look in the right places and cherry-pick the right products.

    2) Eco Friendly

    You can find a lot of petroleum-based ingredients and synthetic chemicals on the labels of conventional beauty products and makeup. Extraction of these ingredients and chemicals harms the environment to a great extent. In fact, miles of land and wildlife habitat are destroyed every year to collect aluminum, lead, and other elements required to compose the synthetic chemicals in conventional cosmetics.

    If you are a tree hugger (and you should be one), then you should switch over to organic makeup which is crafted in a much more eco friendly process. Rest assured, you will not be contributing to the destruction of the natural environment by buying organic cosmetics.

    Global warming is not a thing of the distant future. It is a bitter reality that we have to deal with in the present. Using organic cosmetics can be your small contribution toward combating global warming.

    3) Natural Aroma

    Man-made fragrance, as tempting as it may be, is not always good for your health. Artificial aromas have been linked to birth defects, nervous system disorders, and cancer. Exposing your skin to these toxic compounds and inhaling them directly into your lungs can be injurious to the body. This is why you should pick beauty products that have scents extracted from pure natural ingredients. Essential oils, in particular, are one of the most aromatic natural substances in the world.

  • Is There a Need to Use Natural Deodorant

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    When you think of enhancing the beauty of your body, the first things that pop up in your mind are lotions, makeup, creams, and moisturizers. If you give it a little more thought, you will realize that maintaining your beauty is not only about adding some glitter to the appearance of your skin. Beauty can sometimes be strongly connected with personal hygiene. Beauty starts with cleanliness. If your body is not clean, then it can never be considered beautiful. What is the point of having a chiseled physique when you are unable to stay clean and smell great? Pleasant fragrances can attract as much attention as curves can. This is why it is so important to talk about deodorants and the effects that they can have on our bodies.

    What Is Wrong with Conventional Deodorants?

    A lot of people find it uncomfortable to discuss the subject of sweaty armpits and the products used to keep them dry. This unwillingness to learn, combined with a lack of knowledge, makes it very easy for people to ignore the concerns regarding ingredients in conventional deodorants. Your armpit is a region of the body where the lymph nodes are very close to the surface of the skin. Hence, you should be careful about the kind of product or deodorant that you are slathering over it on a daily basis.

    There is very little denying the fact that conventional deodorants do a pretty good job of blocking sweat. If someone tells you otherwise, they are probably lying to you. We have all used conventional deodorants in our lives, and we have to come to accept the fact that they do indeed keep us fresh for long hours of the day.

    However, there is something wrong with conventional deodorants that we need to address before it’s too late. The problem with conventional deodorants is that they contain questionable ingredients that can be potentially detrimental to the health of the user.

    Is Aluminum Harmful?

    It is time to find out what goes inside the deodorants that you have been using all along to keep body odor under control. The active ingredient in deodorants is aluminum. This is used to keep our underarms fresh, dry, and clean throughout the day. The aluminum salts in the deodorant contain aluminum ions that are absorbed by the cells lining the sweat ducts. This causes the cells to swell. As the size of the cells is enhanced, the sweat ducts are squeezed tight. This prevents sweat from being released. Overall, it is a brilliant method of keeping our underarms sweat free. That being said, there is a catch.

    Aluminum might be very useful in making you smell good, but it is unfortunately detrimental for your body, since it is a known neurotoxin. As a matter of fact, the absorption of aluminum has been linked to the development of cancer (breast cancer) and other neurological disorders. In other words, the use of deodorants containing aluminum should be discouraged, given the potential dangers. After all, keeping body odor away is nowhere near as important as staying healthy and safe.

    Deodorants without Aluminum

    Aluminum does not necessarily have to be incorporated into a deodorant in order to make the product work. The ill effects of long term exposure to aluminum are too severe for you to take the risk of using conventional deodorants on a regular basis. This is where natural deodorants come into play. These deodorants are formulated with natural ingredients, such as herbs like sage, which are very efficacious at clogging sweat pores in your underarms. This means that natural ingredients are just at good at keeping you sweat free as conventional deodorants are. The blissful aroma of herbal ingredients is an added incentive to resort to natural deodorants.

    Some of these deodorants come with a beautiful citrus scent that is derived from pure essential oils. Instead of aluminum or parabens, natural deodorants contain safe chemical compounds, such as zinc ricinolate, that curb odor without affecting the skin’s natural function.

    So, the next time you are out shopping for a deodorant, you might want to let go of the popular brands and give natural deodorants a try. Remember, safety comes first.

  • Use Dr. Hauschka Night Serum for a Fresh Start Today

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    Getting a good night’s sleep can be really difficult nowadays. If work is not keeping you awake, then social media is sure to keep your eyes wide open. This stressful routine imposes a lot of pressure on the mind and the body. Going to sleep every single night like this can lead to a rough morning and a bad start to the day. You cannot change this habit in one night, but what you can do is apply Dr. Hauschka Night Serum and let it make your nights much more peaceful and tranquil.

    Why Is The Night Serum Ideal for Night Care?

    What is special about Dr. Hauschka Night Serum is that the product does exactly what it promises to do. It is a performance-led serum that helps you relax more easily at night. However, the function of this serum is not simply limited to providing relaxation and ease. There is a lot more to it. The Dr. Hauschka Night Serum can stimulate the renewal process of the skin and increase the rate of skin metabolism. In other words, it improves the growth and development of your skin as you lie asleep in bed. When you wake up in the morning, you are greeted with a fresh, firm, and radiant complexion that will inspire happiness and confidence in you. You might even hear a few compliments about your skin at work or in school.

    A Brief Background of the Night Serum

    Dr. Hauschka Skin Care was established in the year 1967. While other skincare brands were promoting the use of oils and creams for night care, Dr. Hauschka Skin Care came up with the idea of developing a product that adheres to the skin’s natural functions. It was a product that was designed to create a healthy and hydrated complexion. Thus, the Dr. Hauschka Night Serum was born, and it immediately changed the way people took care of their skin during the long hours of the night.

    The Importance of Night Care

    You might be wondering, “Why do I need a special serum to take care of my skin at night? What is so important about night care?” The answer lies in basic human biology. In the hours of the night, the activity of the skin rises. The cells divide at a faster rate, and a lot of metabolic wastes are eliminated. This allows the skin to regenerate and meet its moisture requirements for the following day. For elimination of metabolic wastes to take place, the skin must “breathe” adequately. It also needs to release its own oils to maintain the hydration. Only then can the skin remain in a good condition throughout the night. If the skin fails to carry out these basic functions, it will appear dry and flaky. Some people are known to experience itchy skin when they wake up from sleep in the morning. Understanding how the skin works will enhance your respect and love for your own body. If you do not know how the skin functions, then you will be unable to take good care of it.

    How Dr. Hauschka Night Serum Works

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    The Night Serum from Dr. Hauschka was not created overnight. It is the result of five years of extensive research and meticulous experimentation. The product was specially crafted to stimulate and support the nighttime patterns of hydration, elimination, and repair of the skin. In other words, it streamlines all the functions that the skin is supposed to undergo during the hours of the night. Applying the oil free Night Serum will allow your skin to “breathe” with much more ease. As a result of this, your skin will remain moisturized when you wake up in the morning. Using the Hauschka Night Serum will help your skin exude the fair glow that makes it gorgeous.

    Key Ingredients of Dr. Hauschka Night Serum

    The key ingredients in the Dr. Hauschka Night Serum are the fruit and the blossom of the organic Berner Rose Apple. While the blossom facilitates elimination and renewal, the fruit revitalizes the skin and maintains its firmness.

  • 5 Hair and Skin Benefits of Using Argan Oil

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    Using beauty products made from synthetic chemicals will only get you so far. These products have earned quite a bad reputation over the years due to their obvious ineffectiveness. The use of some of these products can even lead to significant skin and hair damage.

    If you are really concerned about the appearance and the health of your body, then using natural ingredients as skin care products is something that you need to take into consideration. When it comes to seeking ingredients that are beneficial for your health and skin, there are plenty of options that you can choose from. Argan oil is one option that works best for a lot of beauty and health conscious ladies.

    Argan oil is an organic product that is extracted from the kernels of the argan tree in Morocco. This oil is loaded with nutrients, such as Vitamin E and fatty acids, that are essential for keeping your hair and skin beautiful. You will be delighted to know that argan oil is a popular cosmetic choice among a number of celebrities. If you want to know why gorgeous superstars prefer argan oil, then take a look below and find out more about its benefits for your hair and skin.

    1) Anti-Aging

    Once a woman reaches the age of thirty, it is very important for her to retain her youthful glow and keep the wrinkles away. You certainly do not want anyone to point out your wrinkly skin or tell you that your face is losing its vibrancy. This is where the anti-oxidant properties of argan oil can be of great help. Argan oil has the ability to restore the elasticity of your skin and make it feel softer. The soft and elastic skin will help you look your age, or younger. Holding onto youthful charm is something that every woman dreams of, and argan oil can definitely help you achieve this dream.

    2) Hair Conditioning

    Are you unhappy with the results of your preferred hair conditioner? Then you might want to throw argan oil into the mix for some much needed improvement. Experts in the field of organic hair care have labeled argan oil as the ideal hair conditioner. It is particularly useful in treating split ends and controlling frizzy hair. Regular use of argan oil makes your hair softer, silkier, and shinier.

    3) Skin Protection and Healing

    Maybe you are sick and tired of dealing with the cracks, irritations, and damage on your skin. If you are, then it is about time that you start using argan oil. This natural ingredient works wonders when it comes to speeding up the healing process of your skin. When skin is treated with argan oil on a regular basis, it suffers minimal damage. Indeed, the use of argan oil is one of the best ways of alleviating the coarseness of your skin. The oil will keep your skin protected throughout the day, and it will allow the skin to recover from damage within a very short period of time.

    4) Skin Moisturizer

    The main reason why people use argan oil is to hydrate their skin. The high Vitamin E and fatty acid content of argan oil contributes to the growth of softer skin on your body. It is considered to be a great natural moisturizer, since it is not greasy and does not irritate the skin. In short, argan oil gives your skin the natural boost that it needs to stay fresh, plump, and smooth.

    5) Styling Agent

    If there is argan oil at your home, there is no need to head over to the store and purchase an expensive styling agent. Since argan oil is very effective at managing frizz and adding luster to your hair, it can be easily used as a natural styling agent. Other styling agents can potentially harm your hair. Some of these are even known to cause your hair to fall out or contribute to permanent hair loss. The use of a natural styling agent, such as argan oil, will not put you at risk of hair loss, scalp infections, and other kinds of hair damage.

  • 5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid: Paraphenylenediamine, silicone-derived emollients and parabens … Oh MY!

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    Cheating your skin out of using the good, organic stuff has serious consequences. The list of health issues linked to common skincare chemicals goes a little like this: cancer, skin allergies, infertility, birth defects, reproductive problems, and learning disabilities.

    That may seem absurd, but so is today’s world. The further we get from the more natural lifestyle of our great grandparents, the more crap and crud we have to deal with. Yep, it sucks.

    But it’s not too late to turn things around for you and yours. Paying attention to the products you’re using means your skin doesn’t have to absorb all the evil chemicals that can literally kill you.

    Here are just five ingredients you should steer clear from the next time you shop for skincare. You won’t find any of these guys in the products at Organaca, by the way.

    1. Paraphenylenediamine

    This stuff is often found in hair dye and dark-colored cosmetics, among other things, but it doesn’t just blacken your hair. Since it’s been associated with rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, angioneurotic edema, and respiratory failure, we’d say it also blackens your insides. Don’t go there.

    2. Silicone-derived emollients

    You can recognize silicone-derived emollients by looking for names like cyclomethicone and dimethicone, which are found in many hair and beauty products. Their occlusive qualities mean that although they coat the hair to make it glossy and fill in skin wrinkles, they also seal in impurities and interfere with the skin’s ability to breathe already. That can cause skin irritation and, worse, promote tumors in the liver and lymph nodes. Stay far, far away, OK?

    3. Parabens

    Parabens, like methyl and ethyl, are used as preservatives in deodorants and skin care products — and they aren’t always labeled. So when it comes to smelling good, stick with organic products to ensure you don’t wind up with a breast cancer tumor full of parabens, because that’s where they’ve been found — seriously.

    4. Propylene glycol

    You can find this on the label of skin-conditioning products, like moisturizers and conditioners. But even with as little as two percent of propylene glycol in a product, it flares its ugly head and acts as an irritant. This chemical monster has been associated with causing hives and dermatitis.

    5. Phthalates

    Hair spray? More like, ‘scare spray.’ Good luck in finding an over-the-counter, everyday, traditional product that doesn’t contain this group of chemicals used to increase the flexibility of and softness of plastics. From nail polish to lotions to hair spray, you  can bet your bottom dolla that within those, you’ll find a trace of these chemicals, which are known to be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Phthalates are also not often labeled, since it’s added to fragrances, so be sure to stay natural when you buy deodorants, perfumes, moisturizers, and hair sprays.

    Whatever you do, remember that just because it’s FDA-approved, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you!

    FDA Approved isn;t always a good thing people!

    If the FDA gave a flying fig about your health, cigarettes would be illegal. So start reading labels the same way you do when buying foods — Trust us, your body will thank you!

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