Natural Beauty: Why is This Approach to Beauty Worthwhile?
Every day we use lotions, potions, and cosmetics to make us look, smell and feel better, but what if those same products are actually making us feel worse. Pure Natural Diva shares a couple of the reason she is SO passionate about choosing natural & organic personal care products.
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Almost every week – things arrive on my doorstep. Some are sent via PR and some I order online… not always the greenest way to buy, but it is a tool in this busy mom’s toolbox.I decided to share what comes from PR because they often send great natural eco savvy choices for me to try and when they are good, I want you to know about them.
Sharing things that I order, ties in naturally because another way to for readers & viewers to get insight into how I make the choices for our family.
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Natural Beauty & Sunscreen on MommyToMommyTV
Check out the fun! Kimberley Blaine – from MommyToMommyTV – sat down with me for a chat – and we talked a little bit about make up… in particular safer make up choices! Enjoy!
Looking for help with Sunscreen this summer…? Be sure to check out the PND 2011 list of safer sunscreen picks. We are also working feverishly to bring you the PND product guide – in the meantime, if you have any products you need guidance with… I’m on twitter – all – the – time – and I’m always happy to do what I can to help you find the right product – find us @purenaturaldiva.
A few of the shots from the day with Kimberley!
Talking Natural Beauty & Sunscreen On Location at the Montage Beverly Hills
Share your favorite Natural Beauty & Sunscreen Tips!
Ensure your using Safe Cosmetics starting with Powder, Lipstick & Lotion
When I think about what I’m using on my face, and whether the products have safe ingredients, I immediately think of the make-up bag I carry with me for touch-ups during the day. Powder, lipstick, lotion, and essential oil for a quick pick me up, and so on.
My make-up bag is full of safe cosmetics I simply cannot live without!
In my life, my on-the-go safe cosmetics are more than what I have at home. Since I often will walk out of the house with nothing but a moisturizer on my face, the rest comes later. Based on this, I am going to start our detox process with those necessities because it is a small place to start, and we should start somewhere.
First: Powder, the base for safe cosmetics
When shopping for Powder look for: Talc.
If a mineral foundation has talc in it, its almost guaranteed to be an irritant, especially for acne prone skin as talc and cornstarch clogs pores. When I first used a mineral foundation I broke out in red, oozy welts and my face never felt clean. That’s when I looked at the ingredients of the product, the first was talc.
Another important feature to look for is if the product has micronized minerals, which means the minerals are ground really super fine.
These can get into your eyes, your lungs and can fill up your pores. I have heard many stories of friends coughing while putting on their makeup!
Also, be mindful of ease of use.
Personally, I do not walk out of the house without it because my oily nose will break through whatever is on my face eventually. Mineral powders are all the rage, yet can be messy and I do not even want to think of the carnage if a lid comes off in my purse. There is a new generation of lids out there, which click shut, which will alleviate said carnage, but I am not one to carry my foundation around where ever I go. Once I put it on in the morning, that container and the kabuki brush stays at home. That is just way too much to carry, and some of those jars can be bulky. When I started using vegan mineral powder foundation I was still using a brand name pressed powder for touch-ups, which was also considered a “mineral” powder, yet had talc listed as its first ingredient. I hated using it but I needed something. Then I found a Pressed Powder, in the same colors as the foundations! Even better, there are refills for the compact so you are only buying the compact once. That solved the pressed powder problem.
Many mineral powders come loose, which means you have to carry the container and a kabuki brush. A quick Google search will find you purse sized, or even retractable kabuki brushes. Shake out well after use. I personally use a non retractable brush, when I am through touching up I shake it out good and put it in a small cloth pouch. That way I don’t have to worry about contamination. When it comes to your foundation to carry in your purse, I recommend one of two things: order a smaller jar to keep in your purse only, or order a small empty jar and tap in the powder from your jar you keep at home. (Those new locking jars are great for purses). A small makeup bag to keep your foundation and your brush (and maybe a mirror) can keep your tools together and make touch ups quick, easy and non messy.
When shopping for Lipstick look for: absence of carmine, which is ground up beetles, used mostly in red lipstick colors.
I have found plenty of organic balms and lip gloss but I was not having any luck with organic lipstick. I have used plenty of brands, some that were spendy! I started out with a tinted lip balm that worked even better than my standard drug store lipstick: great color, long lasting, not greasy and full of skin loving things and the prices were fabulous. I carry two lip balms, a lip-gloss and a lipstick in my purse and if I could hug my lip products, I would. Etsy[dot]com is a great place to start, simply put organic lip balm, organic lipstick or whatever lip product you are looking for in the search and you’ll have a wealth of items on your computer screen. Some shops have samples you can order for around one dollar! If you do not have an Etsy account, I strongly suggest signing up for one.
Also, look for lip products that have as much natural goodness in them as possible. Women consume somewhere around 4-5 pounds of lipstick in their lifetime, its been said, so if we have a tendency to eat or lick off our lipstick, then reapply countless times during the day, the more close to nature the product is the better. Thankfully, organic lip products are very easy to find. What sounds better, a lip product with beeswax, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, hemp oil, and maybe an essential oil or two, or a lip product with lead, alcohol and other ingredients you cannot pronounce? There are organic lip products out there with very few ingredients. One of my favorite lipbalms (has no color) contains fruit and nut oils, beeswax, essential oils, olive oils, flavorings or essential oils.
When shopping for Lotion look for: the smaller the brand the purer the products, I have discovered.
I cannot stand dry hands and soap in the ladies bathroom is super drying. Also, I work in an office environment with a no fragrance rule, a rule I agree with given the toxic chemicals lurking in commonly in fragrances. Two months ago a co-worker who was sitting a good 50 feet away from me put on some foul smelling vanilla lotion. It was not a “real” vanilla smell, it was sickly sweet, made my eyes water and I got a horrible headache. Another co-worker became ill from the smell and had to go home for the rest of the day. The acceptable lotion product at work is unscented and available at any drugstore, but is not what I want to use on my hands as it contains benzyl alcohol, dimethicone and other nasties. Also, I cannot tell you how many tubes leaked in my co-workers purses. My solution was a solid, all natural, organic lotion bar with natural scents, like lavender or lemon. So rich and thick, I could use them sparingly without fuming up the office and making my co-worker sick. Interestingly enough, one day my hands were itching, and without thinking about it, I grabbed my lavender lotion bar and put it on my hands, not realizing the entire section I worked in smelled like lavender. I apologized for using it, but all I got were compliments as to how the “air seemed to get fresh all of a sudden”. My co-worker with the sensitivity was not bothered by the lavender at all, because she said it was not perfumy, it was actually refreshing! Even better, no toxic chemicals.
Some of the best lotions I have found come from small home based businesses and are made by hand. I have one homemade lotion that only has a small handful of ingredients in it, all of which I can pronounce! I have a handmade lotion bar that contains Avocado and Apricot Oil, Aloe Butter, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Beeswax, Pure Lavender Essential Oil and that is all. Its crafted in small batches and is lovely. Hop onto your internet search engine and pop in “Handmade Lotion in (add your state)” and see what lovely cottage based industries pop up.
These three things are the foundations of my safe make-up bag that I take with me to work, and these items were the beginning of my change to non-toxic products. I finally got used to reading labels on food products, to check for sodium levels and for artificial sugars, I had no idea I would be pouring over ingredients in my cosmetics, but what I learned has changed the way I see myself and how I choose to take care of myself.
The change is not stressful; in fact, the transition from toxic to safe cosmetics is not difficult at all. I find it is interesting and fun because of all the natural ingredients that can benefit our health, not damage it. I never thought lipstick could be so cancerous, or that lotion could damage cells. Using organic, natural ingredients will make a difference in how you feel about your body, and how your body feels. We are bombarded with pretty ads and fancy marketing regarding products that are supposed to make us look and feel younger, yet the chemical composition of said products are taking our health away from us. We need to take our health and well being back, and it is easy!
Tune in next time when I help you make over one product that leads to using your safe cosmetics, and gives instant gratification: soap.
Cheryl David is a writer who is detoxing her entire life, not just make-up, one flaxseed at a time. Her mission is to show everyone the benefits of being more aware of what we put in and on our bodies. Follow the journey at The Holistic Chick Blog or check her out on Facebook.
What steps are you taking to ensure you’re using Safe Cosmetics?
This is a great presentation by the President of the EWG, Ken Cook.
The risk of Cancer in the United States is higher than any other country in the world. Invest a few minutes to watch this video. For the health and safety of your family – it’s eye opening.
Fragrances are a key area of concern for many people trying to reduce their exposure to potentially toxic chemicals and phthalates. There are numerous articles dedicated to this subject on the EWG website. My concerns have led dramatically reduce my perfume use – opting instead for pure vanilla and to stop purchasing room fragrances.
The trouble is – it’s still really nice to have a nice room spray to freshen up a room when it’s needed. This recipe does the trick in our home.
So – now I make my own! It’s simple, fast and inexpensive. Anyone can do it and keep their powder room safely fresh.
1/2 Cup of Distilled Water
1 Tablespoon of Vodka
20 drops of Vanilla (or other favorite) Essential Oil
1 Teaspoon of Grapeseed Oil
Combine all the ingredients and store in a glass container for 45 days. When you think of it – or every 7-10 days shake your concoction.
Once the fragrance has aged – use a funnel to transfer the liquid into a gorgeous atomizing container.
On of the fun things I was able to do while in NYC at Blogher was sit down and visit with Yahoo! Shine. They were asking bloggers to share how they reinvented themselves. It an interesting question to be asked and take the time to contemplate!
On a fun note – they had a team doing our make up! Knowing we were camera ready sure made it easier to relax and enjoy the interview!
My spot was confirmed 18 hours before my arrival, so most of you didn’t have a chance to listen live… however… the producers were kind enough to send me a file to embed for your listening pleasure.
Click here to listen to the entire segment: Pure Natural Diva
The below recipes were featured on Morning Living:
Stay tuned to hear and see more Diva NYC adventures… There were so many highlights!
Summer is coming – which sunscreen will you slather on your skin?
Sunscreen is a product that we are encouraged to use to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays while enjoying the outdoors. If you’re a parent, it’s likely you are even more concerned about protecting your children’s sensitive skin and making the safest choice possible.
But what to do we really know about the safety of the products we are choosing – in my research – it seems clear that we don’t know enough.
Note – be prepared when switching to safer sunscreens you are going to move into products that are going to be thicker, whiter and slower to absorb that other sunscreen choices. This is because they rely on a high concentration of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to block the suns rays.
At least 7% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for UVA & UVB protection.
What to Avoid:
Spray and Powder Sunscreen
Sunscreen insect repellent combo – pesticides absorbing into your body
Ingredients; Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3, skin absorption, allergies, hormone problems
Brands; Coppertone, Banana Boat and Most Neutrogena
From the EWG:
No one understands the health implications of our exposures to complex mixtures of industrial compounds and pollutants: remarkably, federal health standards do not require companies to test most products for safety before they are sold, including nearly all chemicals in sunscreen and other personal care products. Little is known about the safety of most industrial chemicals. In the absence of data the federal government approves new chemicals for the market using computer models to predict if they are toxic to humans.
After 30 years of debate,the government has failed to set mandatory sunscreen safety standards. Companies are free to make their own decisions on everything from advertising claims to product quality. FDA now stands in direct violation of a Congressional mandate requiring the agency to finalize sunscreen safety standards by May 2006, flouting not only Congress but also consumers, who are reliant on sunscreen to protect their health.
EWG’s Top Ten List:
California Baby (SPF 30 or Higher)
CVS (with zinc oxide
Jason Natural Cosmetics – Sunbrellas Mineral Based Sunblock
Kiss My Face – Paraben Free series
Neutrogena – Sensative Skin Sunblock
Olay Defense Daily UV Moisturizer with zinc
SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense
Solar Sense Clear Zinc for Face
Walgreens Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose, & Ears
After studying the EWG’s extensive list the following products have an EWG score of 0-3 for toxicity. My selections are for individual products, not the brands in general, as brand scores can vary widely.
Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Mineral Based Physical Sunblock SPF 30+
Kiss My Face Sunscreen Spf#30 + With Oat Protein 100% Paraben Free
Nature’s Gate Organics Be Solective Sunscreen for Face, SPF 30
All California Baby Sunscreens
Dermalogica Super Sensitive Face Block, SPF 30
Mustela Sun Cream for Sensitive Areas, SPF 50
Kiehl’s All-Sport ‘non-Freeze’ Face Protector, SPF 30
DDF Organic Sunblock, SPF 30
CVS Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide, SPF 45+
Walgreens Sunblock with Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose & Ears, SPF 45+
Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer, SPF 30 – Available at my Target
No-Ad Ultra Sunblock Lotion, SPF 60
If you must use a spray – these are your best bets:
Almay Sun Protector for Body Spray, SPF 30
Dermalogica Waterblock Solar Spray, SPF 30
Banana Boat Ultra Mist Kid’s Tear Free Continuous Spray Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30 – Only SPF 30 the SPF 50 is rated 9!
Shopping at Target:
I was recently at target, they had walls of sunscreen. I could only find one of the above products – After an hour of research using my telephone I was able to find 2 sunscreens that were an EWG 3 and the lowest score for a spray was a 5.
Coppertone WaterBabies Pure & Simple – SPF 50 – oil, fragrance & dye free
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion – SPF 60+
Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen – SPF 50
To learn more:
Planning a getaway for some fun in the sun this winter? You’ll want to protect your winter white skin from the sun with sunscreen, but you’ll also want to be sure the protection doesn’t care it’s own set of concerns.
Kabana Skincare offers a selection of ultra pure sunscreens, baby care products, soap & bodywashes that offer light UV protection for everyday protection, moisturizers, lip balms and sunscreens.
To learn more about the importance of careful sunscreen selections read the Diva Guide to Safer Sunscreen.
Kabana offer’s sunscreen in both Tinted & Untinted. Many of the safer sunscreens contain a high amount of zinc, as does Kabana’s. Many people don’t like the white pastiness you end up with from the zinc. Tinted sunscreen provides a solution to this problem. I’m very fair and the tint disappeared into my skin. Those with darker skin my find the tinting a little pale.
Sunscreen is an important part of a skincare regime. Not only does it prevent skin cancer, but wrinkles too. Let’s face it, most of us are more motivated by vanity then our health. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists – 90% of wrinkles are caused by sun!
What I love about the Kabana line is their streamline approach they take with their products. Their Tinted Sunscreen has 8 ingredients. Eight! They focus on high quality, effective ingredients. I was initially concerned that they didn’t offer a SPF 30. Their founder, Eric Kreider believes that an SPF 20 is all the protection we need and equates to absorbing 95% of UV, while an SPF 45 only gives you 2.8% more protection while exposing our bodies to more chemicals that typically carry a %300 increase in associated health risk along with a higher price tag.
With a Diva Total 13.7 of out of 15 points this product is: Divaliscious!
8 Points Skin Deep Low Hazard Rating ~ 1
2 Points for being Organic – The Tinted Sunscreen comprised of %86 organic ingredients.
1.8 Points for effectiveness Worn at the Beach in Sunny California and on a Palm Springs getaway, my fair skin didn’t get burnt. I did get a bit of extra sun on my nose – I should have reapplied after 2 hours as per the instructions.
.8 Point for Texture This product was very smooth and creamy. For a zinc based sunscreen I found it absorbed in more quickly than other products I’ve tried.
.7 Point for Fragrance The Kabana Sunscreen is unscented and doesn’t contain any fragrance to mask it’s natural scent.
.3 Points for Packaging Appearance The packaging is very sporty in appearance. Royal Blue with Bright Yellow and Green Writing accents.
.1 Points for Packaging SustainabilityThe Sunscreen is not packaged using any additional boxes, but there was no information on their site or the tube.
With a nice texture, effective sun protection and ultra pure ingredient list, this is a great sunscreen option for your entire family. If whiteness from the zinc bothers you, choose the tinted option. Otherwise I didn’t notice a difference between the two offerings.
Note – Don’t forget to shake the tube well prior to application as it separates when it sits.