• People Still Buy This S#@!%!?

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    Beauty is more than just skin deep.  Surely this has been made clear by the multitudes of ads and movements directed at healthy eating. It’s always been said, “You are what you eat!” However, it is also important to remember that what you put onto your skin can drastically affect your overall health. Therefore it is crucial to know your beauty products’ ingredients and understand how they interact in your body.

    This is a much easier feat to accomplish when you use all-natural products, since the labels will contain pronounceable words whose purposes will be easily investigated. Isn’t that refreshing? Now you don’t have to cross your fingers that your body won’t react poorly to some ingredient with 20 letters and an injection of colorants.

    Natural products give you peace of mind knowing that you are entirely sure what you are putting onto your skin.

    Take the Madness out of Your Skin Care

    The United States has not passed a single federal law regulating ingredients in personal care products since 1938. The federal Food and Drug Administration allows many of these chemicals to slide under the radar because they simply do not have safety data on them. Imagine that. We don’t even have conclusive evidence about how all of these chemicals affect our bodies! Conversely, the European Union has spent the past twenty years weeding out noxious chemicals in their products. Today the EU bans more than 1,300 ingredients, while the U.S. bans a meager 11.

    What are some of the ingredients that are allowed in U.S. skin care products but not in Europe? Well, here are a few of the more toxic ones, and their effects on your body.

    Synthetic Fragrances

    First off, why engineer a scent when there are so many natural ones to choose from? Engineering a scent not only robs it of its complexities, but it also infuses your body with thousands of chemicals, many of which are allergens or hormone disrupters. Unfortunately, the combinations of chemicals in most synthetic fragrances are unavailable to the public because the formulas are federally protected as trade secrets. This means that when you use fragranced products you never really know what you are putting onto your body.

    Polyethylene Glycol (PEG Compounds)

    These compounds are used in a variety of ways in most cream-based products. They can serve as thickeners, solvents, or moisture retainers. PEG compounds’ chemical content changes with the manufacturing process. Often they contain ethylene oxide (as the chemical name would suggest) or 1,4 – dioxane. Both of these additives are carcinogens that are toxic irritants to your body’s organs and respiratory system. Knowing this, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that anything containing polyethylene glycol is wise to avoid.

    Parabens

    Last, but not least, parabens are a big no-no. Likely you have heard of parabens before, as you can easily see them as one of the first ingredients listed on many cosmetic labels. Parabens are a common form of preservative in personal care products. Unfortunately, they also interfere with the endocrine system of your body. For women, they are particularly troublesome since parabens act just like estrogen in your body and disrupt your natural hormonal system. Over time this can reset your internal hormonal balance to such a degree that they have even been linked as a cause of breast cancer.

    Beautycounter

    A full list of exceptionally harmful ingredients is available through Beautycounter, one of the leading authorities on all-natural personal care products. At Beautycounter, employees are striving to get safe products into the hands of everyon,e through product research as well as congressional lobbying. Your health is important to more people than just yourself. You touch so many others’ lives, why not ensure that you are treating your body with as much respect as possible and use natural ingredients? You deserve your health. Even strangers at Beautycounter seem to think so.

    Use the Easy Button

    It’s tempting to do things the easy way. It’s easy to pick up drugstore face soap on your weekly grocery shop. It’s also easier to eat a bag of chips rather than cook yourself a meal. The key, however, is to think about the future. How will your choices in skin care, now, affect your future self? Sure, you can get all kinds of magical cosmetic cures to fix your skin, but isn’t it just easier to spend a little time searching for products that treat your skin gently and whose ingredients you can understand? A little time investment now will save you a whole lot of regret and dollars in the future.

  • The Manscape

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    The male demographic is definitely the less chartered territory in the beauty world. Of course, there are plenty of products and creams for men, but there is just not the same push for men as customers, as there is for women. Usually these poor fellows are just skipped over in the beauty world. They don’t have mountains of magazines dedicated to their beauty regimens, nor are they being offered the array of products, natural or otherwise, that are available to women.

    This is, however, a mistake. Men are conditioned to think that anything more than basic hygiene isn’t masculine. But, the times are changing. They are beginning to realize that they need to take care of themselves and make sure that they are using products that naturally enhance their looks and health, and not chemically damage them.

    Do yourself a favor and spend some time learning about your skin and how natural products can make you a cleaner, greener, and happier human.

    Men Are from Mars

    Okay, there’s this great argument on how men and women are different.  In many respects it’s invalid, but in terms of the anatomy of the skin there is a real difference between men and women.

    Sebaceous Glands

    It turns out that men have smaller oil glands than women. Since products are absorbed through these pores, it is a no-brainer that they need to be formulated differently than those for a female’s skin.

    Oily Skin

    Although men have smaller oil glands, they have oiler skin than women. This is due to the fact that men have high testosterone levels that increase oil production. Therefore, men are more susceptible to acne and skin blemishes, and it is necessary for their products to take this into account.

    Skin Thickness

    Fun fact: Men’s skin is thicker than women’s. Physically, not metaphorically. In the physical world this means that men’s skin absorbs less of damaging sun rays and is less susceptible to suffering from signs of aging.

    Fragility

    Although thicker, men’s skin is more fragile than its female counterpart. You wouldn’t think that this is the case, but there are several reasons for it.

    • Historically, men take less care of their skin than females.
    • Shaving your face destroys the hydrolipidic film, meaning that your skin loses its natural barrier and moisture.
    • Men’s skin tends to be exposed more often to damaging environments.

    On the Outside

    Now that you know there really is a physical difference between men’s and women’s skin, it’s time to think about how you care for yourself on a daily basis.

    There are many products in a man’s personal hygiene arsenal; and, no, don’t say that this is not the case for you. This applies even to the lowest-maintenance rugged men out there. You need shaving cream, hand soap, deodorant, and body wash, at a bare minimum. Not to mention, shampoo and probably conditioner, if you like clean hair.

    Let’s use the most ubiquitous product in a man’s daily routine for a case study on why all-natural products are beneficial: deodorant.

    The Great Pitfall

    Every man wears deodorant. Not typically considered a “beauty” product, it is nonetheless an important hygiene staple that nearly every man has in his bathroom. Since that is the case, and you use it likely every day, imagine how all the chemicals in it build up in your system from repeated use. Yes, gentlemen, even something as harmless as deodorant can take its toll. For instance, almost all traditional men’s deodorant has fragrances, and these fragrances are, 9 out of 10 times, synthetic.

    What is the problem with synthetic fragrances?

    Engineered fragrances are just that: scents that have been created by man to mimic natural smells. Well, in order to complete this wonderful feat of science, engineers must infuse these scents with thousands of different chemicals that will forever remain unknown to you because the recipes are federally protected trade secrets. If maintaining your car were cloaked in trade secrets, you wouldn’t stand for it, and this is your body!

    They say what you don’t know won’t hurt you, but, in this case, it would be in your best interest to switch to products with ingredients you can pronounce, investigate, and understand. This may seem like a tedious and unworthy task, but, at least then, you’ll know what is accumulating in your system.

    There are many all-natural products specifically created for men. Brickell Men’s Products and 80 Acres of McEvoy Ranch (how much more manly does it get?) are two product lines that cater to men. If you’ve never ventured into men’s personal skin and hair care products, it’s best to do a little private research before buying. Start with an online company that sells a variety of men’s product lines, so you can get the lay of the land, and then begin your foray into a healthier you.

  • Dr. Hauschka: A Celebrity Favorite

    Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you will have heard of Dr. Hauschka’s natural skin care. Born from a passion for healthy skin and natural medicine, Dr. Hauschka’s products take a holistic approach to beauty. Touted as a choice pick by media outlets, and a regular feature in the medicine cabinets of the stars, you can’t go too far without someone mentioning the benefits they receive from this amazing skin care line.

    Kate Upton

    Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream

    Model Kate Upton, recently revealed, “I love Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream to wash my face. I love it because I am left with super soft skin.” The Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream combines calendula, chamomile, and St. John’s wort with sweet almond meal to remove dirt and impurities. Keeping the moisture intact, skin is strengthened and cleansed.

    Jennifer Lopez

    Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream

    Jennifer Lopez admits to being a huge fan of Dr. Hauschka. In particular, the Rose Day Cream has been part of her beauty care tradition for many years now. The day cream features extracts of rose petal, rose hip, and avocado to soothe skin and reduce redness and dryness. All natural, exactly thirty rose petals go into each tube of Rose Day Cream.

    Anne Hathaway

    Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk

    Anne Hathaway just can’t seem to get enough of Dr. Hauschka products. "I love the Dr. Hauschka range and use the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer every day," she says. The Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk is extremely mild and can even double as a shaving cream for men. It leaves skin super soft.

    Bridget Malcolm

    Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Cream

    Victoria Secret Model Bridget Malcolm uses a trio of Dr. Hauschka products in her daily regimen, including Soothing Cleansing Milk, Clarifying Toner, and Rose Day Cream. However, when the winter season kicks in, she prefers to switch to Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Cream for maximum results. This light moisturizer refreshes normal to slightly dry skin while supporting moisture content.

    Jenny Lewis

    Dr. Hauschka Translucent Makeup

    Country-folk singer, Jenny Lewis, just loves to croon about Dr. Hauschka Translucent Makeup. "This is so pure, you could eat it. I don't, but I could." The translucent makeup enhances the skin’s naturally radiant glow for a dewy, flawless finish. And, even better, it goes on smooth and stays on all day. No wonder it is one of her top beauty picks.

    Jessica Lange

    Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Neck & Décolleté Cream

    Talk about aging gracefully. Jessica Lange says, "I have taken very good care of my skin over the years, so that probably helps somewhat. I use Dr. Hauschka. We have to be aware that what we're putting on our skin goes directly into our bodies. The Regenerating Neck & Décolleté Cream is a firm favorite as macadamia nut and argan replenish the neck and décolleté to suit even the most sensitive skin.

    Kirsten Dunst

    Dr. Hauschka Blackthorn Toning Body Oil

    Fashion forward Kirsten Dunst admitted to Elle Magazine that her favorite beauty product is Dr. Hauschka Blackthorn Toning Body Oil. Created with extracts of blackthorn, birch leaf, and St John’s wort, it strengthens, moisturizes, and protects skin elasticity. Regular use of the body oil will help blend and tone skin.

    Naomi Campbell

    Dr. Hauschka Daily Hydrating Eye Cream

    Naomi Campbell names hydration and sleep as her best beauty secrets. “Less is more,” she says. She includes Dr. Hauschka’s under eye cream as part of her daily moisturizing routine. The skin is in for a treat, as pineapple, marshmallow, and calendula provide a calming and revitalizing effect on the eyes, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

    Madonna

    Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner

    Madonna nourishes her skin using Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner for instant refreshment and rebalance. The facial toner can be used as part of a regular skincare routine or throughout the day on an as-needed basis. Madonna uses the world-renowned facial toner three times a day to keep her skin in tiptop condition.

    Mary-Louise Parker

    Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Serum

    Mary-Louise Parker, star of Weeds, owes her great-looking skin to Dr. Hauschka Regenerating Serum. “They’re natural, and I can use their stuff on my kids even,” she says. The hydrating quince seed extracts, along with kalanchoe and organic clover blossom honey extracts, combine to help refine and support the skin’s natural renewal functions.

    Brad Pitt

    Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick

    Not just for women, Brad Pitt was introduced to Dr. Hauschka products by a make-up artist. His most treasured product is the Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick which he swears by. Made using plant wax and beeswax, the lip care stick seals in moisture to create soft, silky kissable lips. Unlike other lip care products, the ingredients promote healthy lips without the need for continuous use (unless you want to, of course).

    More than a passing trend, people are looking for quality organic products that provide real results. They can be found in Dr. Hauschka’s natural organic skin care line.

  • The five best natural and organic skin care products

    There are so many reasons to use organic and natural products. Taking responsibility for your health, avoiding dangerous chemicals, and protecting the environment are just a few factors that should motivate the average person to avoid fabricated additives in favor of ingredients that can be pronounced.Although all-natural and organic products are now embraced in the food industry, oddly there is still much resistance in the beauty industry to all-natural products.

    This is due, in part, to many years of advertising. It has been proven that boys and girls will become patrons of beauty products in their teenage years and will often continue with these same brands throughout their lives. This argument holds water. Most people will have developed a beauty routine for a specific purpose and grabbed onto the promises offered by chemically infused products.

    Not only have natural cosmetics had to fight against the advertising industry, but, because of social conditioning, they weren’t even taken seriously as alternative products until recently. It is only now that natural self-care products are beginning to make headway in the market, but many still think that natural products simply don’t deliver the same “oomph” as the chemical infused ones do. This is just simply untrue.

    Your Skin Mirrors Your Inner Health

    Your body’s biggest organ is also the most exposed one. Therefore, adverse effects caused by the environment are likely to pop up quickly and let you know that something is out of balance. Think pimples, dry skin, under eye circles. The good thing about the skin’s tendency to display inward imbalances through outward imperfections is that it serves as your body’s warning sign. If you address these issues early on and continue to work on them preemptively, then you are well on the way to not only a clean and happy inside, but also glowing skin on the outside as a natural reminder of your innerhealth.Since your skin is the outward mirror of your health, pay attention to it. Skin is such an exposed organ that it has the ability to soak up everything that is put onto it and introduce it into your system. This means all the chemicals that you electively slather onto your skin during your beauty regimen make their way through your pores and into your system.

    The FDA maintains that the chemicals that are licensed to be put into beauty products are safe to use. This is not untrue – in small doses. It is just that the number of times in which these products are repeatedly used compounds the dosage put into your body. The gravity of the problem is not just that chemicals are entering your bloodstream, but that no one is sure how all these chemical in combination will react and affect your body.

    So, with this happy news, you are probably already rifling through your medicine cabinet looking at your product labels. However, don’t worry: There is some good news to be had!

    Thanks to natural, organic products, you can avoid all these harsh chemicals in favor of ingredients that will not damage the body inside or outside. This is important to keep in mind when searching for your beauty products.

    Is Natural as Effective as Synthetic?

    Organic products do work as well as synthetic ones. Seriously, don’t let those chemicals fool you. Organic products work better on skin because they use superior ingredients. Each ingredient in an organic, all-natural product is in there for a reason. These ingredients serve their tasks without the aid or masking of chemicals, so the best quality products make sure that the ingredients are effective and can deliver on their promised benefits.

    Using good quality ingredients in beauty is much like using good quality ingredients in cooking. Ever heard the phrase, You are what you eat? Well, this holds true for your skin care regimen too, since whatever you rub into your skin is being absorbed into your body. Choosing to use better ingredients in your skincare will not only treat you better on the outside, but it will also deliver much needed nutrients to your body without the nutrients’ benefits being overwhelmed by preservatives and toxins. In a nutshell, better ingredients, better results.

    In fact, many people with sensitive skin find that switching to natural products heals their problems. This happens because when you omit all the synthetic materials being introduced into your body, your body stops having to filter them out and can concentrate on healing. Without having to spend the extra energy protecting you from toxins, your body can work on resetting its equilibrium, leaving you with a healthy complexion.

    Not Necessarily Natural

    The buzzwords “natural” and “all-natural” have become marketing jargon slapped haphazardly onto labels in the beauty world to make products more appealing to a wider audience, but be careful with these claims. Unfortunately, there are no current regulations against noxious products and how they are labeled in the beauty industry. Even the USDA made a comical video about the lighthearted way “all-natural” is used as a blanket statement for products.

    The surest way to make sure that the “natural” claims are really all-natural is to read the labels carefully. Watch out for petroleum byproducts! These are often snuck into products with seemingly harmless labels like oil, paraffin, parabens, sulfate, and petroleum. If you are unsure about an ingredient on a label, a great resource is the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. This site rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity,and can give you further information on common ingredients.

    This amount of scrutiny over labels may require a greater time investment in your shopping routine, but it will be an illuminating experience and is the only way to know what you’re really putting onto your body.

    Opt for Organic

    Now, to take it a step further, the painful truth is that it would not be all that surprising if the
    “natural” ingredients that make up your “all-natural” products aren’t actually all that natural. In fact, it’s likely that they were drenched in toxic chemical pesticides while they were being cultivated. Sadly, that defeats the purpose of buying all-natural products when you are trying to avoid harmful, synthetic toxins. Fortunately for you there is a solution. You can thank your lucky stars for the rise in popularity of everything organic.

    When a label claims a product is organic, this means those ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. But, again, buyers beware! Just like “all-natural,” many labels claim organic ingredients, but they may not be made up of organic components. See what they did there The labeling industry is sneaky. To ensure that you are buying a fully organic product, make sure that it is USDA certified organic. You can be sure of this by looking for the USDA seal on the package. If you don’t see the label, it is safe to assume that the product isn’t organic. When caring for something as important as your physical body, your time and effort will be well-spent finding truly healthful, natural, and organic products that enhance your well-being.

    Babies and You

    What makes your skin any different than a baby’s skin Other than years of use, it is still a delicate organ of your body and must be well tended to. At all stages of life, skin serves the same functions. However, there are some key differences, mainly the permeability of the skin barrier. Although not greatly pronounced, the younger a person is, the easier it is for the skin to absorb chemicals from the outside world.

    The barrier function is the most important function that your skin serves.Your layers of epidermis are the only things separating you from the hostile environment that can contaminate your inner home ostasis.Your skin creates this barrier from birth to death, and it is your job in between to make sure that it can do its job to the best of its ability. This means, if you’re trying to preserve your youth by preemptively fighting age with beauty products, you are ironically layering products onto a more easily damageable canvas. Be conscious of the products that you use on your skin, and take care to make sure that your skin’s barrier remains strong. Think of your skin as a baby’s skin and treat it as such. It will thank you in the long run.

    Selection and Shopping

    Now that you’ve informed yourself on what to look for when shopping for natural ingredients, here is a list of five of the best natural and organic skin care products on the market.

    Body Cream

    For an all-around body cream, try Dr. Hauschka Quince Hydrating Body Milk. This moisturizer is made from quince seed extract, causing it to be sensorially refreshing while simultaneously being grounding and stabilizing for your skin’s hydration and nutritional needs. Quince Hydrating Body Milk will maintain your skin’s moisture year-round, leaving you soft from the hottest summers to the most brutal winters.

    Sun Screen

    By now you know the importance of sunscreen in your daily beauty regimen. If you are still not on board with the “sunscreen is necessary” theory, here is another reason you should use it daily. It is the most important preventative measure you can take to keep your skin young and healthy. Erbaviva Children’s & Adult’s Sunscreen is an incredibly light and versatile option to use. This sunscreen is sensitive enough for a baby’s skin, but strong enough to protect even the most outdoorsy adults. This sunscreen’s adaptability is what makes it recommendable to everyone,
    since everyone should use sunscreen.

    Body Oil

    Body oils are some of the most intense forms of moisturization that are available. For those with really dry skin that is in need of a little extra hydration, try Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil. Created with cold-pressed certified organic fruits and vegetable seeds, this body oil is chock full of antioxidant and moisture benefits to leave even your roughest skin silky smooth and glowing.

    Cleanser

    Cleansing is the basic building block of all skincare routines, and everyone needs a good basic cleanser in their arsenal. Whether it is being used as a quick rinse between work and play, or it is being employed for a heavy-duty, at-home facial, S.W. Basics Cleanser serves every purpose. This all-natural cleanser is the perfect first step for your skin. Infused with organic tea and rosewater, it is effective for all skin types. S.W. Basics Cleanser’s simple, natural ingredients work especially well for problem or sensitive skin.

    Body Wash

    Who says that natural skincare has nothing to do with chemistry Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic Body Wash is a harmonic mixture of antioxidants and nutrients that will balance and invigorate your skin. Infused with Nutrient’s own Intellimmune Oil, this body wash combats free radicals, which are charged oxygen particles that create chemical bonds in your body that destroy skin proteins. Plus, this body wash does it without the benefit of synthetic additives.

    Need Numbers

    One final round of reasons why you should consider going fully natural and organic: look at the statistics. Currently in the United States, only ten ingredients are banned as additives in the cosmetic industry. Compare this to 1,100 ingredients in the European Union. Not only are most of these ingredients unpronounceable, but they are also known to cause a whole host of serious effects, not the least of which is organ damage. Remember, since your skin is your biggest organ, by using all these chemicals you are damaging exactly that which you are trying to improve.

    Just say no to these unpronounceable ingredients. Help your body, help yourself. If you aren’t willing to read the ingredients on labels and understand how they affect your body, no one will do it for you. Unfortunately, the FDA is largely a paper tiger and has no real power to regulate the beauty industry. All the scientific data that it receives from the testing of cosmetic additives

  • Implement a winter skincare regimen today

    There is no doubt that the winter season is a time when taking proper care of your skin is essential.During this time of the year, both indoor and outdoor air quality are factors that have a dramatic eect on the way that your skin looks and feels. A winter skincare regimen that’s followed daily helps protect your skin from being damaged by the elements.

    TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR HOME
    SKIN FRIENDLY IN THE WINTER

    Wintertime is like a double-edged sword when it comes to keeping your face and skin looking and feeling healthy. Harsh, cold winter air pulls moisture out of the skin while creating issues associated with general exposure. Interior air that is not augmented with humidity is equally damaging to the skin, making it dry and aky.

    One sure sign that your skin is dry and needs to be taken care of is if you're experiencing uncontrollable bouts of wanting or needing to scratch your legs, arms, or midsection, and there are no other reasons why this would be happening.

    When you are indoors, heat that is produced using forced air heaters, replaces, and other types of heating units tends to be a “dry’ heat can agitate the skin, your nasal passages, and your sinuses.

    One of the most eective ways to improve the air quality in your home is by regularly using a humidier to add moisture to your home. Not only does this help make your living environment more comfortable, it helps reduce irritations to your skin and your respiratory system.

    In addition to using humidiers, the use of air puriers is highly recommended. Air puriers help improve air quality by removing dust, pollen, and other pollutants that are put into circulation every time your heating system blows heat through your venting. Not only can these ne particles get lodged in your skin, they can be problematic for people who suer from allergies or asthma, causing breathing diculties, headaches, sinus infections, sore throats, and other maladies.

    When used in combination, humidiers and air puriers are a powerful way to make your home environmentbetter for your skin, as well as the rest of your body.

    WATER TEMPERATURE MAT TERS

    Once you have optimized your home for more comfort in the colder winter months, the next step is establishing a skin care regimen that is well suited for the time of the year.

    If you have noticed that your skin is feeling irritated, one easy adjustment you should make is the temperature of the water you use when bathing or showering. While there is nothing quite like the way a steamy, hot shower or bath feels on a cold, wintery day, the use of extremely hot water dries out the skin. Instead of turning the shower up to the highest setting available, choose a setting that is still warm enough to be comfortable without being too cold.

    When bathing, you will also want to be sure that you use high-quality body washes and scrubs that are made of all natural ingredients, such as Coconut Butter, to help restore balance to your skin cells. People who are sensitive to fragrances or other additives that are commonly found in bath products will nd that this is a product does not cause skin irritation while gently removing dead cells that contribute to dry, aky skin on your legs, arms, and other parts of your
    body.

    SKIN LOTIONS KEEP YOUR SKIN SMOOTH AND HYDRATED

    Skin lotion is a very powerful tool in defending against dry, irritated winter skin. After showering, liberally applying skin lotion helps to lock in moisture for several hours.

    Better quality skin lotions are typically made with all natural ingredients, such as aloe vera, olive oil, jojoba oils, and a variety of essential oils.

    When body lotions are used regularly and consistently throughout the winter months, you will nd that your skin feels and looks considerably better than had you not.

    USE GENTLE CLEANSERS WHEN WASHING YOUR FACE

    You will also want to take special care with your face, since it is the one part of your body that is consistently exposed indoors and outdoors.

    For best results, your face should be washed with lukewarm water and gentle facial cleansers that are made with organic and natural ingredients that are hypoallergenic, and formulated to work on sensitive facial skin.

    These facial cleansers help remove dirt, debris, and excess oils from your skin, without upsetting the delicate Ph balance of your skin.

    MOISTURIZERS HELP QUENCH YOUR SKIN

    Once you have cleansed your face, applying a layer of organic moisturizer is a great way to quench the skin on your face. Moisturizer is also helpful for reducing ne lines and wrinkles that are common around the eyes, mouth, and nose as we age.

    Depending on the type of facial moisturizer that you choose, it may also contain other anti-aging
    components that help boost natural collagen and antioxidants that combat against skin damage caused by free-radicals.

    For best results, it is always a good idea to use moisturizers that are formulated for your specic skin type and the area of the face on which it will be used. For instance, a moisturizer that is formulated specically to address the area around the eyes will contain a blend of ingredients that targets this area of the face. Eye creams and moisturizers help make sure that your skin is nourished using organic compounds that promote skin health, while minimizing ne lines in these areas.

    Moisturizing Cream is also helpful for treating redness and can be used to even-out your skin tone for a healthier glow.

    If you wear makeup, you will notice that your cosmetics apply more easily and tend to last longer when you moisturize your face rst.

    AVOID CHAPPED, DRY LIPS!

    In the winter months, cracked, chapped lips are more painful than any other time of the year. Cold, dry air is usually a culprit in contributing to chapped lips.

    Just like the rest of your skin, you will want to make an eort to protect your lips from the ravages that winter weather can bring. These days, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to healing and preventing chapped lips that are common in the winter months. Lip balms made of petroleum-free ingredients help with healing and restoring your lips to a healthier state.

    Most lip balms are helpful for providing a base for other cosmetics designed for the lips, including lipstick and lip liners. Women who want to add a splash of color to their lips without using lipstick may also opt for a lip balm that is lightly tinted. This is a cost-eective way to protect your lips and add a splash of color to your lips while using just one product.

    When evaluating tinted lip balms, you should always keep in mind that they are exactly that: tinted. This makes them perfect for everyday use, since the colors are not overpowering, and they simply accentuate the shape and color of your lips without the full-color saturation that traditional lipsticks are known for.

    If you are suering from chapped, dry lips, lip balms and tinted lip balms can provide immediate relief and healing. Continued use, regardless of the season, is great for preventative care, and making sure that your lips always look and feel fabulous!

    DON’T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN!

    Despite what you may think, protective sunscreen isn’t something that should only be used in the warmer spring and summer months. If you are planning on spending signicant time outdoors during the wintertime, Ultraviolet rays (UV) are still often very strong, despite the colder temperatures. Even cloudy days can be high-UV days.

    Strong sunlight in combination with snow intensies the impact of UV rays, making wintertime a dangerous time to not protect your skin. Don’t make the mistake so many others have in thinking that sunscreen is somehow an option during the winter. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth! Winter is when you need the extra help from the sunscreen most of all.

    Any time that you will be spending hours outdoors, it is always a smart idea to apply sunscreen to any areas of your body that will be exposed to the skin. In most cases, this will most likely only be your face, but sunscreen is very eective in curtailing sun damage if you are going to be outdoors shoveling snow, or participating in outdoor winter activities such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, sledding, or playing in the snow.

    Parents should keep in mind that sunscreen is benecial for keeping their kid’s skin safe. There’s little debate that the ozone layer is being depleted daily. As the earth loses more of its natural protection against UV rays, the responsibility of ghting these dangerous rays is now in the hands of regular people. You have to take the steps necessary to mitigate the damage done by UV rays, because you’re the one who will have to shoulder the burden should a tough skin condition develop. Sunscreen is a strong tool in your battle to keep your skin staying healthy.

    SUNSCREEN IS A SMART IDEA FOR MEN AND WOMEN OF ALL AGES

    Sunscreen applies to everyone, regardless of their age or sex. The problem with the ozone layer aects everyone on earth. Whether you’re 18 years old or 81, if you’re outside getting exposed to UV rays, you will benet from adding sunscreen to your winter skincare regimen. The amount of skin cancer being detected in the developed world is rising rapidly.

    The way to ght back is by instituting mindfulness when you know you’ll be receiving the sun’s rays. Since covering your entire face from the brunt of the sun and glare might not be feasible, an organic sunscreen oers a higher level of protection for the delicate skin on your face.

    Choosing broad spectrum SPF protection is always a good idea. Broad spectrum protection ghts against the damage done by Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB).

    Here’s why you need strong protection against both:

    UVA rays are even more deeply penetrative than UVB rays. These Ultraviolet A rays cause most of the signs that are traditionally associated with aging, including sagging and wrinkling. These rays also cause skin cancer.

    UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn. They do their damage to the upper surface of the skin. UVB rays also cause skin cancer.

    Pay close attention to the label on the sunscreen you’re using. All the details you need to know are right there. Use an SPF score that is appropriate for your skin. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied after you’ve been exposed to the sun for a few hours, so make this a regular practice of yours. Otherwise, the sunscreen weakens as the day wears on. Sunscreen is not perfect protection, but it’s very useful in doing its job. When you use it as part of a diligent campaign against skin damage, its use pays o.

    In recent years, the labeling on sunscreen products has improved greatly since the FDA set stricter new guidelines. You should be able to read a label now on a sunscreen package and get an accurate idea about the protection you’re getting. It’s worth reading the label to make sure your skin is getting the level of protection that you are looking for. If not, a bit of research will help you ll in the blanks so you completely understand what it is you’re paying for.

    The better informed you are, the more likely you are to make the right choice when it comes to safeguarding the health of your skin. You already have a strong desire to learn more about the subject, which puts you on the path to instituting a safe and eective game plan. Skin cancer is not something anyone wants to go through, so any preventative steps taken to avoid experiencing this fate are good ones.

    A POSITIVE MINDSET MAKES A DIFFERENCE

    Keeping your skin looking its absolute best this winter is as simple as setting your mind to accomplishing the task! Armed with a strategy and a commitment to avoid the pitfalls associated with skin health during winter, you’ll overcome the cold months and come out with shining colors.

    Stay positive and take the steps necessary to ensure your skin thrives, and you’ll end up getting the exact results you want. Skin problems are generally something that can be worked on using common-sense principles and quality products. As you gain more knowledge on the subject, so that you’re condent about which steps to take, you’ll see that keeping your skin healthy during winter is well within your grasp. Skin health is worth the extra eort it takes.

    Nothing makes you look more vibrant and attractive than healthy, glowing skin. People these days are doing a great job of extending their good looks through proper tactics. It’s simply a matter of them applying their practical knowledge and using the best possible skin health products they can nd. Anyone who is willing to do that will have excellent results that help them stand out from the crowd. This year perfect time to instill a lifetime commitment to taking care of your skin all year round.

  • The Top Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products

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    When you slather on your sunscreen, apply lipstick, or wash your face, do you think about what makes up those products you are putting on your body? Chances are, no. Most women use multiple skincare, makeup, and beauty brands and products every single day. But, we would guess that the majority of ladies don’t even realize the hundreds (yes, really!) of harmful ingredients all these products and brands contain.

    While in some cases ignorance is bliss, this is not one of those cases. Unfortunately, many of these beauty and skincare items contain dozens of synthetic chemicals that harm our health and the environment. And, we truly believe that if more women and men knew the harmful elements to avoid and the effect they had on our planet and our health, they would avoid them.

    So, it is in your health’s best interest to become educated and make smart choices when it comes to your skincare routine. While it’s time-consuming to research every single product you use, you can take small steps toward an organic beauty routine. By just paying attention to the heavy hitters, you can create a healthier skincare routine. Pay attention to your labels and make sure you avoid purchasing items with the following ingredients:

    1. Fragrances

    Parfume bottle and roses. Retro style.

    Not only do fragrances cause allergic reactions and other health issues, but here’s the kicker. the government doesn’t require companies to list the ingredients that are used to make the fragrance itself. This loophole allows for dozens of chemicals to go unmentioned, as it is only listed as “fragrance” on the label. So, if you see fragrance listed as one of the many ingredients on your label, you might as well double or triple the number of synthetic chemicals found in the product.

    Not only is it a sketchy way to list an ingredient, but, since we don’t know what makes up the fragrance, we don’t know how it will affect our body.  Needless to say, it is best to stay away.

    1. Microbeads

    Those microbeads that are often found in face wash and body scrubs are designed to exfoliate the skin. However, they do major damage to the environment. They are made to flush down the drain, but the problem is they don’t break down in the environment. They have been found in alarming quantities in large bodies of water and, when marine life ingests them, they are then exposed to the toxic chemicals that micro bead harbor.

    1. Parabens

    This is a big one to stay away from. Paraben is an element that is used as a preservative that fights the growth of mold in a wide range of products, such as cosmetics, body washes, shampoos, deodorants, and toothpaste. 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, reproductive issues, and skin allergies.

    1. Sulfate

    There are hundreds of variations of sulfates that are floating around in shampoos, body washes, toothpastes, facial cleansers, and shaving creams, as the chemical creates the foam that is often found in these products. If you take a peek at the ingredients list of these items, you’ll likely see sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) or another form of the harmful chemical. While sulfur can be naturally found on earth, most manufacturing companies produce sulfates with petroleum or alcohol. Plus, since sulfur and petroleum are non-renewable sources, you don’t want to knowingly purchase products that further take away from our planet.

    It’s known that sulfate causes skin irritation, such as allergic reactions along with dryness, redness, and itching. But, while that might seem like a mild chemical, it is also carcinogenic.

    1. Phthalates

    These bad guys are also found in many products, such as nail polish and fragrances, and even the plastic containers that house the products. Make sure to pay close attention to the label and avoid purchasing items that have phthalates on the ingredient lists, as they can disrupt your hormone system, affect your reproductive system, and cause damage to sperm cells.

    Oh, and remember what we said about fragrance? A lot of companies will slip dozens of chemicals under the catchall phrase and, often, this includes phthalates. Yet another reason to go fragrance-free.

  • The Dirty Dozen

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    When searching for safe cosmetics and beauty care items, one can easily get lost in translation with terms such as “green” “natural” and “organic.” Unfortunately, these words are too often tossed around the cosmetic aisle. Even though terms are popping up on labels more and more, what do they really mean? Did you know that “natural” and “organic” don’t actually mean the same thing? We’ll break down the definitions for you:

    • Organic – An organic product label means the item is certified organic by any of the numerous certifying institutions (look for the certified organic label) and that all products are harvested without the use of synthetic chemicals. Additionally, the manufacturing process of the item must abstain from chemicals and synthetic elements.
    • Natural – A natural label on a product means the company is more concerned with consumer safety than the purity of the product. Meaning, some petrochemicals and preservatives are allowed in these items. However, they do not include the most problematic of chemicals or the ones that do the most harm to you health.

    While labels like to claim their product is either organic or natural, many times, if you actually take the time to read the ingredient list, you’ll see a few natural origins (at best!) mixed with plenty of chemical and synthetic elements. Which, needless to say, can cause major health issues throughout your lifetime. It’s important to take care of your body, and, if you strive to eat healthfully and lead an active lifestyle, why would you fill it with harmful chemicals?

    While we know the importance of organic skin care and cosmetics, we are also realistic. Most people cannot simply throw out all their products and start from scratch. It’s okay to start small and work your way into an all-organic beauty routine. So, while on your journey to green up your beauty routine, know the chemicals that you should avoid at all costs.

    1. Synthetic sunscreen

    While sun protection is important, synthetic sunscreen can mimic estrogen and cause hormonal disruption and irritate the skin. When you head outdoors, it’s best to use sunscreen that is effective and safe.

    1. Fragrances

    If you see fragrance on your product’s ingredient list, it’s best to step away. Fragrance is a loophole used to mask the number of chemicals that are needed to make the synthetic smell. The problem is that the company doesn’t have to name the ingredients; they can simply put “fragrance” on the label.

    1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate

    Added to soaps and shampoos to create foam, these chemicals not only dry out your skin, but are extremely irritating, and cause rashes and allergic reactions.

    1. Phthalates

    This component is often used as a carrier for fragrances in products like hair spray, lipstick, and perfume. It is known to negatively affect fertility and fetal development.

    1. Propylene Glycol

    A group of petroleum-based ingredients that don’t sound good for your skin no matter which way you spin it. They are linked to cancer and can cause harm to your nervous system.

    1. Parabens

    This preservative is found in soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and hair care products. Parabens are extremely dangerous, as they act like estrogen in the body and can lead to infertility or damaged fetal development. They have also been found in breast tissue.

    1. Petrolatum

    Found in skincare products like lip balm and makeup, petrolatum is dangerous, as it contains impurities that are linked to cancer. It’s worth noting that words like petroleum jelly and mineral oil are often used to identify the chemical.

    1. Heavy metals

    Heavy metals are used to block sweat and whiten, lighten, or add color. These are found in lip products, whitening toothpaste, sunscreen, eye drops, and plenty of makeup. It’s best to avoid these, as they are a possible carcinogen, cause developmental and reproductive issues, cause allergic reactions, and bio-accumulate in the body.

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    1. Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

    This is a preservative found in hair care items, body wash, and sunscreen. The chemical poses as a possible neurotoxin, contributes to health risks in unborn children, and causes allergic reactions.

    1. Formaldehyde

    Often found in items such as nail polish, deodorant, and shampoo, formaldehyde is an impurity released by chemical preservatives. Not only is it carcinogenic, but it irritates the skin and lungs, and is linked to gastrointestinal and liver issues.

    1. DEA, TEA

    This is a foaming agent used in many shampoos, body washes, and skin care products. It’s dangerous because it can form cancerous compounds with mixed with other cosmetic ingredients.

    1. 1,4 Dioxane

    Used in products such as shampoo, facial cleansers, body wash, bubble bath, and liquid soap, this chemical is carcinogenic, causes irritations to the skin and immune system, and is a suspected cardiovascular and blood toxicant.

  • Organic Is Easier Than You Think

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    Beauty buys are seemingly harmless. They are designed to better your skin from impurities and blemishes, protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and sometimes a girl just needs a little color on her lips to make herself feel better. However, while these are made to bring out the natural beauty in all of us, there is hardly anything natural in these products.

    Just one glimpse at the ingredient label will make your head spin. It’s likely you’ll see a long list of stuff you’ll hardly recognize. The sad truth is that most personal care items are chock full of harmful toxins that have lasting and irreversible effects on our bodies. Major toxins that are found in most beauty buys have been linked to the following:

    • Skin allergies
    • Asthma
    • Cancer
    • Birth defects
    • Reproductive issues
    • Infertility
    • Attention deficit disorder
    • Behavioral issues
    • Type II diabetes
    • Autism spectrum disorders
    • Neurodevelopment issues

    Yuck! That’s a scary list. Anyone who strives to live a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t feel that their products work against their diet and fitness routine. Give your beauty and skincare products a makeover and go organic. Other than the obvious, you might be surprised at the benefit you’ll receive from the switch.

    Why Go Organic?

    Beauty products that are certified organic (look for the FDA label and product list to ensure genuine organic ingredients) clean, tone, exfoliate, and protect your skin just as “regular” products do. The difference being, organic products do this without the use of additives and toxic chemicals. While that’s reason enough to ban those products for good, we wanted to drive the point home and give you a few other reasons why you are more than deserving of organic beauty products.

    • Eco-Friendly

    Not only are these items better for you, but they are better for the planet! Just as the many chemicals are toxic to humans, when they have flushed down a drain, they can cause harm to waterways and aquatic animals. Plus, a lot of organic companies use recyclable and biodegradable packaging as well.

    • Gentle on Your Skin

    Do you consider yourself to have sensitive skin? Are you often avoiding certain products because they are too harsh? Well, since organic beauty buys contain ingredients that are natural and treated naturally, they are gentle on your skin. You should experience drying, redness, and irritation just to stay moisturized.

    • Simple Is Better

    Just as we all deserve to pick and choose all the foods that we put into our bodies, we deserve to know what we put into our bodies as well. There are plenty of loopholes that companies use to hide toxic chemicals on the ingredient list. Take the term fragrance, for example. It is not mandatory for companies to list the dozens of chemicals used to create the scent of a product. Instead, all they have to list is “fragrance,” which leaves buyers in the dark. However, on all organic labels, what you see is what you get.

    It’s Easier Than You Think

    Okay, so far you’re on board, but do you think making the switch will be too complicated? Are you thinking to yourself that you don’t have the time to make all these changes? Don’t become discouraged! It’s easier than you think to green up your beauty routine. Just follow these easy steps and, in no time, you’ll make the switch, and you can say goodbye to harmful hormone-disrupting, skin-irritating products for good!

    • Avoid fragrance.

    If you see “fragrance” listed on the ingredient list, step away. Avoid fragrances, as they have dozens of harmful chemicals hiding behind the word. This is an easy way to make sure your products are safer, and a great start to simplify your skincare products.

    • Start from the inside.

    Diet makes a huge difference in your skincare and beauty routine. When you eat nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, and lead an active lifestyle, it shows on your skin. Make sure to take care of yourself in these ways and don’t rely heavily on serums, creams, lotions, and potions.

    • Pay attention to packaging.

     

    Packaging plays a role in your green beauty buys. Make sure the containers and packaging aren’t made from harmful chemical or plastics. Also, try to buy items with packaging that is 100 percent recyclable and/or biodegradable.

    • Reach for organic and natural products.

    When shopping for your skin care supplies and cosmetics, take this newfound information and make a change for the better. Always read the label and reach for natural and organic products.

  • Everything You Should Know about Toothpaste

    Image of pretty female brudhing her teeth in front of mirror in the morning

    While we talk about converting our skincare, sunscreen, and cosmetics to natural options that are safe from harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfate, and phthalates, there is often one product that gets left out of the discussion – toothpaste. Why is it that we give such little thought to our toothpaste? The product we use each morning and before we lay our head down each night. While oral health is of high importance in America, and more people than ever have become aware of taking the natural or organic route in their beauty routines, toothpaste is hardly brought up.

    However, just as with other everyday products, there is an ugly side to this staple. Everyone needs to clean their teeth, but we should do so safely. Here we break down everything you need to know about toothpaste.

    The Ugly Side of Fluoride

    Ever since we were children, dentists and parents alike drilled into our heads the importance of fluoride. It strengthens teeth, reduce cavities, and is essential for all-around dental hygiene. However, there really isn’t a need for fluoride-filled toothpaste and mouthwash, because many municipalities have fluoride in their water systems. Despite what you may hear, many Americans are exposed to a significant amount of fluoride each day.

    Which is not a good thing, since fluoride is more harmful than you may think. In fact, it’s a poison. That’s right. If you look on the back of your conventional toothpaste box, you are likely to see a warning that cautions you, if it is accidently swallowed, to contact poison control immediately.

    Brushing your teeth with something that contains poison doesn’t sound very pleasant. But, it doesn’t stop there. Fluoride can do the following:

    • Discolor teeth
    • Contribute to causes of cancer
    • Lead to birth defects
    • Suppress the immune system

    Benefits of Natural

    Besides eliminating unnecessary chemicals and additives, natural toothpaste works wonders for the health of your mouth. Here are just some of our favorite benefits:

    • Safer

    Besides the fact that natural toothpaste doesn’t include fluoride, they also contain no artificial chemicals, preservatives, or sweeteners that are used to fight tooth decay and gingivitis. Wouldn’t you feel safe knowing you can keep your mouth clean and healthy without using harmful ingredients?

    • Gentler

    Do you suffer from tooth sensitivity? Perhaps you notice stinging or bleeding at your gum line? Maybe you suffer from canker sores and mouth ulcers, which your toothpaste only worsens. Well, since natural options use plant and fruit extracts instead of harsh chemicals, they are gentler on your mouth.

    • Safely Imported

    Natural toothpaste companies formulate their products in the United States and, while they may have certain ingredients imported, their organic certification requires regular inspection of their facilities and products to ensure everything is organic. Other toothpaste manufacturing companies, however, do not have these same regulations.

    • Naturally Whiten

    Yes, we all want those pearly whites. But, you can get a whiter, brighter smile without the use of harmful chemicals. While artificial bleaching agents will whiten your smile, just think of what the chemicals are doing to your body and health. Natural toothpaste uses ingredients such as hydrated silica, papaya, and peelu to brighten your smile instead.

    • Real Flavors

    As a kid, you were probably a fan of the bubblegum flavor. As an adult, you probably turn to the minty fresh flavor to freshen your breath. However, wouldn’t you rather use a toothpaste that uses plant oil for flavoring? We think real peppermint flavors taste better than synthetic, laboratory-made flavors any day.

    • No Animal Testing

    Animal lovers will seriously appreciate this one. Natural toothpaste refrains from testing their products on animals, and they like to follow an environmentally friendly approach to packaging and manufacturing. You can’t get this from other companies.

  • 10 Reasons to Avoid Sulfate

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    By now, you probably are aware of all the harmful chemicals and toxins that are found in most of the beauty, makeup, and skincare products that sit on shelves in every store. And, while they are all bad, there is one bad boy that is worth focusing on – sulfate. Specifically, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SELS). Both SLS and SELS are found in everyday products such as:

    • Shampoo
    • Body wash
    • Soap
    • Toothpaste
    • Bubble bath
    • Dish soap
    • Stain remover
    • Laundry detergent
    • Shave cream
    • Mascara
    • Mouthwash
    • Sunscreen
    • Lotion
    • Moisturizer

    While it is often debated whether sulfate is a carcinogen or not, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid any form of this toxin. Below we’ve gathered just 10 of the top reasons to avoid sulfate.

    1. It’s a pesticide

    No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. While SLS is widely used in beauty and skin care products, it’s actually a pesticide and herbicide, and is commonly used to kill various plants and insects. In fact, SLS was recently petitioned for approval as a pesticide for organic farming. However, it was denied because of the environment damages it poses to the environment. Now, why would you want to cover your skin with something as harmful as this?

    1. Skin irritant

    Do you consider yourself to have “sensitive skin?” Do you often struggle with dandruff, dermatitis, or other skin problems, such as inflamed, dry, and itchy areas? Well, SLS may be to blame for that. Just another reason why you should think twice and check the labels before you slather on your lotion, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

    1. Eye irritant

    If it wasn’t bad enough that this chemical that’s found in a huge array of products irritates your skin, it also harms your eyes. It is proven that SLS harms the proper formation of eyes in children and can cause cataracts in adults.

    1. It pollutes our planet

    As we briefly mentioned, sulfate harms the environment. It infiltrates our groundwater and is toxic to various aquatic animals. Also, sulfate accumulates in the bodies of fish and often goes undetected in municipal water filters. Meaning, it can get into the tap water you drink.

    1. Corrosive properties

    This one is quite shocking. Forms of sulfate are usually found in garage floor cleaners, engine degreaser, and soaps specified to wash cars. What’s the harm in this, you ask? Well, all of these products need strong elements to break down substances, sulfate being one of these. Too-powerful-for-human-use sulfate also has the ability to corrode the fat and proteins that make up skin and muscles. Remind us again why anyone would want to knowingly use products with components that can do this?

    1. Emits toxic fumes

    When heated, SLS and SELS release toxic substances such as sodium oxide and sulfur oxide. Which begs us to ask – how hot would your shower have to be to release some of these toxic fumes?

    1. Has the power to permeate the body

    SLS molecules are so small that they are able to cross the membranes of your body’s cells. Meaning, this toxin can permeate your eyes, brain, heart, and liver.

    1. Can cause ulcers

    We brush our teeth to ensure we have healthy gums, fresh breath, and no plaque build-up. But, are canker sores the price to pay for a clean mouth? If you notice that you often get mouth ulcers, SLS or SELS could be to blame.

    1. The manufacturing process is highly polluting

    As if all the terrible effects on your body weren’t enough, sulfate also harms the environment. When it goes through the manufacturing process, cancer-causing organic compounds are emitted and pollute the air. Additionally, toxic solvents are used in the process, and traces of them can be left behind.

    1. Other chemicals enter your body

    As we mentioned, sulfate is a penetration enhancer (see number 7). Not only are the molecules able to make their way into your blood stream and vital organs, but, once they reach your organs, the compromised cells become vulnerable to other chemicals and toxins that enter your body.

    After reading through this scary list, you’ll want to give your skincare and beauty products an overhaul – if you haven’t already. When shopping, make sure you read through the product ingredient list and always choose natural and organic products for your beauty routine and your health.

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