Natural beauty organically, how do you find it? Toxins and poisons in cosmetic and personal hygiene products….how do you avoid them?
Why am I slathering formaldehyde on my eyes?
I run away from the perfume counters when I go to the department stores. I’m actually terrified those waif-girls, dressed in all black with their hair slicked up into a bun will spray me with the latest scent du jour. When they do that, I will not only smell like I just stepped out of a whorehouse, but will have a raging migraine the rest of the day.
I noticed my sensitivities to many large brand name beauty products and perfumes. I had even started avoided going to the movies since if I sat behind someone that slathered them self in some rose scented lotion, even that would give me a headache.
Working in the spa business, I was often offered complimentary beauty treatments such as facials and massages but I would always decline mani-pedis since going into those places would mean insta-migraine. I would often give an instant negative review for any spa where I was greeted with the scent of nail polish. Why do those workers always wear masks, like they are working at a nuclear reactor? If those environments seem so toxic, why is it that women feel it is a treat (and often an excuse to get together with a girlfriend) to get their nails done?
What is in these products I was wondering? Why don’t these beauty products affect other women they way they do me? Am I just more aware or is there something wrong with me, Am I oversensitive….I would often wonder.
I started to seek out products with no scents, botanically based and with the USDA organic seal of approval. The word “natural” in the beauty (and food product industry) has no regulatory or legal merit behind it and is probably the most cliched, abused and meaningless term in both of these industries. I guess using ingredients that have been proven to cause birth defects can render something “natural”, some well-compensated executive started thinking and slapped this moniker on every synthetic formulation and put some flowers and green leaves on the packaging to make it appear like it was made directly with ingredients that came from virgin soil.
Even using some of the major very expensive high-end beauty products would start to make me feel heady and yuck-brain. Working in the aesthetic medical business, I was exposed to some of the best and the worst practices and products. I became increasingly more aware of the toxic melange that was added to most of beauty products and started to have a deeper appreciation for the cleaner lines – Jurlique, Juice Beauty, Soleo, Bare Escentuals, John Masters, Waleda, Burt Bees, Avalon Organics, Evan Healy, Dr Hauschka, Jane Iredale, Josie Maran and a few others (as mentioned in the book).
Reading this book made me rethink all of my choices related to how we buy (or why we don’t buy) cosmetics.
So many of my paranoid conspiracy theories about the poisonous ingredients were confirmed. This book is well researched, written in down-to-earth language and is filled with great tips on how to beautify ourselves with both home-made tips which range from using egg whites for hair mousse, avocados to moisturize our bodies and hair, to using beets for lipstick. It also lists which beauty brands are ones that are made with cleaner ingredients that also perform just as powerfully. They also include well-known stores, such as Whole Foods and Target that carry some of these more pure beauty lines.
This book also gives a few tips on advocacy at the end on what we can do to incite the FDA and our politicians to start to regulate and police this industry so that our bodies and faces are better protected. It’s written in a no-nonsense but entertaining fashion that makes it a compelling and informative read.
Let’s not forget the most powerful tool all of us have – our wallets. Buying products that are made with our health and lives in mind is the most daring action we can all take. The authors of this book are to applauded for the daunting task of researching this gigantic almost unregulated industry that affects our bodies and faces in the most intimate of ways.