Monday, August 20, 2012

Cosmetics and the Environment



Have you ever thought about how your cosmetic use effects the environment? It might be a safe bet to say that the average person doesn't think too hard about the effect their products had on the environment. Some people will do their part and be conscientious about how they discard of their empty cosmetics containers, but there may still be traces of the chemicals inside even after they've been emptied and rinsed. The pollution from cosmetics goes farther than their disposal, however, their production is just as bad if not worse.

Cosmetic products make up 1/3rd of all landfill waste, and though some containers are recyclable some are not. These containers are generally made of non-renewable petroleum based plastics that can take thousands of years to decompose. The leftover residues in the bottles, as well as any moisturizers or sunscreens you may have on when swimming, can leech into the water ways and throw off the reproductive health of marine life due to the phthalates they contain.

The production of cosmetics requires the use of petrochemicals, such as petroleum based petrolatum, which are non-sustainable resources. Switching to agricultural ingredients would be much more sustainable and much less harmful to the environment. In the vein of natural products, animal testing kills over 35,000 animals per year, a number that could be reduced or completely eliminated if we were to stop using chemicals in the production of cosmetics.

These are just a few of the more obvious detrimental effects that cosmetic products have on the planet. As non-sustainable, harmful and potentially deadly products, how long do we have left before we are finally forced to change our ways?

Men's Cosmetics: What's Inside?



When most people think of the word “cosmetics” they think of women and make-up, however men participate in cosmetic use every day as well. The average man in North America uses between six to eight cosmetic products each day, ranging from shampoo to aftershave to deodorant and those products combined can consist of up to eighty different chemicals. A lot of people don't think too much about the products they use every day, they just go through their daily routine, but it may be hurting you mentally and physically. Some of the chemicals in men's fragranced products can even have a negative effect on reproductive health when inhaled.

Much like women's products, men's products consist of toxins that the average person would probably not apply to themselves by choice in its pure form. Cologne, aftershave, deodorant, shampoo and shaving cream often contain diethyl phtalate, a chemical that is linked to sperm damage in men and reproductive abnormalities in infants.

Hair and beard dyes are made with lead acetate, a substance banned in Europe because of its known toxic effects on reproductive health. Coal tar is yet another chemical banned in Europe because it is a known human carcinogen, but in the states it is used in anti-dandruff shampoos.

Formaldehyde is an allergen that causes nasty skin rashes, is a possible human carcinogen and is often used to embalm dead bodies. However, even with all its negative effects, it is often used in the creation of many kinds of shampoos and body washes.

Why do cosmetic companies find it important to use so many harmful chemicals in their products? Is it really necessary to use a chemical preservative such as formaldehyde to wash our bodies? Why haven't we started regulating the use of these chemicals in our cosmetics when it is such an obvious solution to any current or future health problems? Many of the chemicals used in the creation of these products aren't even required to be stated on the packaging due to certain legal loopholes. As consumers, our best solution to getting rid of harsh and potentially life threatening chemicals in our cosmetics is to write our senators and petition for new legislation. Someday all our cosmetics will be “clean” cosmetics!

Homemade Skin Care


A lot of men and women struggle with skin problems, whether it be that their skin is too oily or dry or that their lips chap in extreme temperatures. Maybe you want to treat yourself to an at-home spa day but you don't want to buy any expensive products to do so. A good, cheap, and pretty easy alternative to drugstore cosmetics is the under practiced art of DIY cosmetics.

With a little bit of preparation time and in some cases, cooking time, you can make your own alternative cosmetics at home. If you're worried about the cost, the quality of the product you're making for yourself as well as the ability to choose exactly what goes into the product you're going to be using should balance it out. The possibilities are virtually endless, but for this blog we will be focusing on skin care.

Here are a few recipes for homemade cosmetics:

Essential Oil Flavored Lip Balm
What you will need:
4-6 small lip balm sized screw top containers
3 tablespoons grated unbleached beeswax 

5 teaspoons carrier oil (sunflower, castor or jojoba) 

6 or 7 drops essential oil (lemon, tangerine or grapefruit are good if you're looking for a fruity flavor, and oils such as peppermint and spearmint have a cooling sensation.) 

1 teaspoon honey, for flavor

Instructions: 
Melt the beeswax and carrier oil together in the top of a double boiler, stirring to combine. Remove from heat; add honey and essential oil. Mix thoroughly so the honey does't clump. Pour the mixture into containers; let sit 20 minutes before covering or moving. For glossier lip balm, use 2 teaspoons wax and 8 teaspoons carrier oil.
Frozen Egg & Honey Facial Mask 


This is recommended for dry or sunburned skin.
What you will need:
1 Empty toilet paper roll1 Bowl1 egg 
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (but not hot) 
1 tablespoon honey

Instructions: 
Beat the egg in a small bowl until frothy and well-mixed. Slowly add the liquid coconut oil and honey, beating until the mixture is the consistency of mayonnaise. Take an empty toilet paper roll and set it on end in a clean bowl. Spoon mixture into the cardboard toilet paper roll. Place tube in the bowl, in the freezer overnight. To use, peel away just the top 1/4 inch of the cardboard roll and smooth the frozen stick over your face. Leave your mask on for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
Return the cream stick covered with plastic wrap and frozen between uses.

Keeps indefinitely.


Strawberry Hand and Foot Exfoliant 

What you will need: 

8-10 strawberries 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of coarse salt, such as Kosher salt or sea salt

Instructions: 
Mix together all ingredients, massage into hands and feet, rinse and pat dry. Strawberries contain a natural fruit acid that aids in exfoliation!
There are many more DIY recipes to be found on the internet, have fun and get cookin'!

Ricky Gervais Says Animal Testing is 'No Laughing Matter'

English comedian/actor/director Ricky Gervais has recently come out to speak against cosmetic companies by their use of animals in their product testing. The stand-up star along many many animal-rights activists have stood up against notable companies such as Avon and Estee Lauder in their animal testing that exposes them to harsh and toxic chemicals. As the ongoing beauty and cosmetic market continues to grow in China, many big companies are resulting in animal testing to stay competitive.



Animal testing is legal (and a requirement) in China, but many activist groups today such as PETA are fighting to introduce new cruelty-free testing to notable Chinese cosmetic companies.

(Source: DailyGlow)


Uncovering Cosmetics is now LIVE!

The new project and website from the 2012 Summer Multimedia Capstone class is now open for viewing. Click on the button below to uncover the truth about cosmetics!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Upside of Cosmetics


 

We have all learned about the negative effects cosmetics have on the environment and on ourselves. But no one has talked about the positive effects they have, besides some of the things that they do for us like, make us look younger, smell nice, keep us clean, keep our teeth clean, etc. make-up also helps psychologically and also boosts self-esteem of the people who wear it. A lot of women suffer from poor body image and wear make-up to make themselves look better, and it works, there is nothing wrong with that. With higher self-esteem women will have less anxiety and more confidence due to make-up use.

I think the use of make-up and being able to avoid the dangerous ingredients in them is something that women should be supported in.  Below is a link to a list of common ingredients in the make-up that you should avoid.

http://uncoveringcosmetics.weebly.com/what-to-avoid.html

You Have a Voice


It doesn't take much time or effort to become aware of the hazards in so many of the cosmetics that we use. But what do we about it? Here are three steps to take action!
  1. Goto www.ewg.org and review your favorite cosmetic products! This is a cosmetic database that rates the safety of over 7,500 cosmetic products! Products are ranked from 1 to 10, the higher the number, the higher the toxicity level(s). Products that contain ingredients which potentially cause cancer, trigger allergic reactions, interfere with the endocrine (hormonal) system, impair reproduction or damage a developing fetus. It's very easy to research for new, less toxic products.
  2. Visit the FDA's website at www.fda.gov and familiarize yourself with the steps that you can take in order to file complaints or concerns about consumer products.
  3. Visit www.safecosmetics.org to learn more about how you can become involved with bill AB 908 to ban phthalates in beauty products in the United States.
Take action and make the change you want to see!

Pregnant Women and Cosmetics


According to new research, many pregnant women’s bodies are polluted with chemicals found in cosmetics. Growing concerns over the exposure of pregnant women to chemicals that may lead to birth defects have prompted calls for a new cosmetics labeling system in the European Union which aim to mark out some products as prohibited to those women who are pregnant or nursing.

Partners at the Washington Toxics Coalition, the Commonweal, and the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition reported that chemicals in cosmetics that can disrupt development and hormonal systems were found in all nine of the pregnant women who participated in a recent biomonitoring study. It is already widely known that chemicals can be passed from mother to fetus, but now one of the latest distresses is finding the serious, long-lasting impacts cosmetics can have on the future health of mothers and their babies.

A different study found that women exposed to high-levels of hairspray during pregnancy were twice as likely to have babies born with hypospadias- a condition in which the urinary tract grows on the underside of the penis. Studies concerning this condition suggest that the birth defects were linked to the chemicals in the hairspray that have shown to alter the hormonal systems of the body; ultimately affecting reproductive development of fetus’. And that’s just one product! Parabens, for example, are chemicals which act as preservatives in makeup and other cosmetic products, have also been found to affect hormone levels and in some cases act as contributors to the formation of cancerous breast tissue (parabens found in deodorant).

On a positive note, scientists have backed the labeling scheme- "labels enable people to make informed choices. In the vulnerable period of pregnancy, it makes sense for people to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals," said Professor Paul Elliott of Imperial College London, who led the hairspray study, "it is part of a broader discussion about minimizing chemical exposure in early pregnancy."


Works Cited:

“Pregnant women warned off make-up,” Shields, Rachel. 30 Nov 2008. The Independent. Website. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/pregnant-women-warned-off-makeup-1041649.html

Is there lead in your lipstick?


The cosmetics industry in the United States gets by being very loosely regulated despite the fact that consumers are putting these products on their bodies and may even accidentally ingest them at some point in their lives. The idea of “all natural” in reference to cosmetics is also unregulated, so you can't trust a package based solely on its sustainable looking design, even if it says its all natural. Instead you should pay attention to the back of the box, its likely that most of the cosmetics you use on a daily basis have 10 or more kinds of chemicals in them.

First and foremost is lead. Lipsticks have notoriously been cited for including more than a “safe limit” of lead, Proctor & Gamble, L'oreal and Revlon being the worst offenders. (Wondering how your lipstick measures up? More info here) Unlike some chemicals that may leave the body after some time, lead will build up and create learning, language and behavioral problems, which makes it very dangerous for children and pregnant women to use.

Synthetic dyes are regulated by the FDC but that doesn't mean they're safe. These dyes are made from coal tar which has been found to cause cancer when injected into lab rats and have been banned from use across the globe because of their carcinogenic properties. D&C Red 6 dye is used in many different cosmetics even though it may contain mercury and arsenic in addition to lead.

Other chemicals you need to keep an eye out for are Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) which is used to achieve a shiny varnish look to manicures and pedicures but is dangerous for the nervous system when inhaled. Diazolidinyl and Imidazolidinyl Urea are two chemicals that work as formaldehyde releasers, slowly inundating your body with formaldehyde, a chemical used for embalming and a known human carcinogen. Triclosan is another chemical to look out for, as it has been approved for use in toothpaste and facial scrub despite it being developed for use as a surgical scrub.

When most of your products including synthetic lipsticks and glosses, sunscreens, lotions, and deodorants contain dangerous chemicals and metals that can and may give your cancer or any slew of neurological or reproductive problems, is it really worth it to continue to buy these unregulated synthetic brands? In the long run it may be more cost effective to buy legitimately natural products, if not for the money for the possible future you might save yourself from.

Coconut Oil Toothpaste And 38 Other Cures

This link shows 39 things that you can do with coconut oil including homemade toothpaste.

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/03/homemade-toothpaste-with-coconut-oil.html

Jason Yates

Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

The following link gives an easy homemade toothpaste recipe.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Toothpaste-1/

Jason Yates

Ash Soap Recipe

I have included a link that gives an ash soap recipe.  It is not lye-free but will provide an alternate in your soap making considerations.

http://www.grandpappy.info/wsoap.htm

Jason Yates

Lye Free Soap Recipe

Source:  http://www.freebathrecipes.com/soap-recipes/handmade-soap-without-lye.html

Jason Yates


Handmade Soap Without Lye
This recipe lets one make homemade soap without lye, using the handmilled soap making technique. 
This technique makes a wonderful homemade soap without the need to measure all sorts of ingredients. 
This technique is so easy to do that even a child can make handmilled soap using this method.

Instructions

Using a cheese grater, grate the soap into shreds. Using a double boiler or a pot placed in a larger pot of 
water, heat the sweet almond oil and milk using a pot placed in water that is simmering but not that is 
not boiling.

Once your sweet almond oil and milk is heated well, add a few soap shreds and stir with a wooden spoon 
until the shreds have melted. Continue adding soap shreds until all shreds are completely melted. Finally 
add your FO or EO, plop the hot mixture into your mold (A pringles can works well). Place waxed paper on 
top of the soap once it’s in the mold, and using a towel, press down to press it down gently until all air 
bubbles have been pressed out of the soap.

Let cool, cut and enjoy!

Ingredients

1 Pound Rebatch Base
1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil
1 Tablespoon Of Desired FO or EO
2 Tablespoons Milk

For Whiter Teeth


Teeth whitening used to be a service that only your dentist could provide. With the advent of at-home do-it-yourself teeth whitening kits and even some homemade recipes this is no longer the case. At your local grocery or drug store you can find multiple formats of teeth whitening tools. There are toothpastes, mouthwashes, press on strips and more.



Most of these kits aren't exactly cheap (I'd say they start at $15.00 but can go much higher than this) so you want to know if they actually work and if they are safe - especially since you are now being allowed to try a technique on your teeth that used to be only performed by a trained and highly educated professional.



The good news is that all of the products you can find in the dental care aisle, to aid in your goal of having whiter teeth, are safe as long as you follow all of the directions. It's possible that if you have sensitive teeth or gums to begin with that these products could cause some discomfort but it should be minimal if you carefully read and follow the directions.



Teeth whitening products are not considered drugs so they are not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration but if a product in the form of toothpaste, mouthwash or gum seeks and qualifies for it, they can have the American Dental Association seal of approval on their packaging. I personally would go with an ADA approved product over a product lacking this certification. If you visit their website, they have an interactive search feature so that you can find ADA approved products. However, the ADA will not endorse over-the-counter teeth whitening kits because, according to their website, "the ADA recommends that if you choose to use a bleaching product, you should only do so after consultation with a dentist.  This is especially important for patients with many fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains. A thorough oral examination, performed by a licensed dentist, is essential to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment. The dentist and patient together can determine the most appropriate treatment.  The dentist may then advise the patient and supervise the use of bleaching agents within the context of a comprehensive, appropriately sequenced treatment plan".

The one at-home teeth whitening kit that they do have listed on their website is Opalescence - "a dentist-controlled, dentist-supervised, take-home bleaching system dispensed in unit dose syringes" so you can't buy it at the store but you can get it from a dentist to take home.



If you think all these products sound too expensive, difficult or chemical-ridden there are also homemade teeth whitening options. One popular, more eco-friendly method is mixing a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide rated at three percent with a tablespoon of baking soda. To make this mixture taste a little better you can add a dab of essential oils or about a teaspoon of mint flavored mouthwash. If you go with this homemade option, just like all of its over-the-counter counterparts, you wouldn't want to swallow any of it.


Below is a video demonstrating homemade teeth whitening - she says it takes about 2 weeks to see results:


Happy whitening!

Eco Make up Remover: how to make one or which one to purchase


After you but your make up on, after all day being out, you also have to take your make up off.  The problem is that most of the make up removers are full of chemicals ranging from skin irritants to hormone disruptors to carcinogens. So when you are already investing in eco make up why not figure out a natural way to remove it.
 
You can make your own make up removal:

Put milk or yogurt on a cotton ball and use it to wash off makeup.

Apply a thin layer of olive oil or jojoba oil on your eyes, allow to sit for a few minutes to break down the makeup, and rinse off.

Put some milk and cucumber in a pot and simmer for 10 minutes, then apply with a cotton ball. Refrigerate any leftovers.

 Or you can purchase a natural make up removal.Alternatively, there are now several good brands of off the shelf natural makeup removers on the market that offer a safer solution for removing your cosmetics and the dirt of the day:
   Chamomile & Green Tea Eye Make-up Remover - Earth Science
   Cleansing Water - Claudalie
   Herbessence Makeup Remover - Aubrey Organics
   Well Off - Origins

Getting a natural make up removal will help you with acne and skin irritation. So go GREEN.




Saturday, August 18, 2012

Estee Lauder: Environmentally Friendly Company


One of Estee Lauder’s main goals is to have long-term success and they don’t believe that would be possible without taking into consideration the ecological impacts their business has on the environment. They make the effort to find the most environmentally friendly materials and non-processed chemicals as well as often updating their manufacturing facilities and processes to decrease their waste and emissions. The company is also very firm in their recycling program and has programs to recycle glass, plastic, metals as well as paper and corrugate materials. They also try their hardest to recycle and reuse waste materials when it is possible, but when it isn’t they send the left over waste to energy recovery facilities.

Since the year 2007 Estee Lauder has been able to offset 100% of its operations’ electricity usage.

Estee Lauder doesn’t believe in animal testing and has eliminated the process from their company. They don’t test their products or ingredients on animals and neither do they ask anyone to do these tests for them. The only testing they conduct with their finished products is on panels of volunteers. They also help fund research to eliminate animal testing from the industry as a whole.
Estee Lauder has implemented a plan for their packaging called “Our Environmental Packaging Goal” which focuses on finding ways to minimize the impact on the environment their packaging has.
This company is very environmentally aware and conscious of their carbon footprint and is doing many things to reduce it. Other companies should make this a priority as well, but if these morals are important to you, maybe this is a company for you to support in the future.

Recycle Your Makeup Containers

Recycling is a large part of keeping the planet “green” and it is important to many people to do what they can to help the environment. It is also one of the easiest ways for individuals to contribute and help out. Makeup is a very large industry and if you think about it, each product comes in it’s own little container, that is a lot of cosmetics containers! Some companies are doing what they can to recycle those empty containers, and some even offer a freebie to encourage their consumer to help out. Here are several different companies that have recycling programs (if you are a frequent buyer to these companies you should think about taking advantage of these programs and maybe even be rewarded for it!):

Origins
Origins has installed recycling receptacles in each of their stores so their consumers can come in and drop off their empty bottles and compacts, they even take brands other than their own! When you do this, you receive a free sample of your choice of one of their skincare products.

M.A.C

This program entails the consumer returning six empty M.A.C containers and you get a free lipstick of your choice! You can return them either to a store or online.

Kiehl’s
Kiehl’s accepts their own empty bottles and containers which they recycle and sometimes there is a freebie for doing so you just need to check your local Kiehl’s location to see if they are running some type of promotion!

Aveda
Aveda has a “Recycle Caps with Aveda” program to help eliminate plastic bottle caps in the environment. This program collects caps with a “5” shown on the plastic or in the recycling arrows. This is not only for beauty products, but also things such as water, soda, milk, or food products.

Furless Cosmetics

Although most of us tend to concentrate on the actual products themselves when it comes to natural and alternative cosmetics, there is also a market out there for natural cosmetic brushes. An Australian based company named Furless Cosmetics has recently come out with vegan certified and cruelty-free make-up brushes that has already gained appraisal from PETA. This allows many users to use these items along with their non-animal based products.



Since their release, Furless Cosmetics has gained positive reviews not only from regular users, but also professional makeup artists. As many makeup brushes today use animal hair for their brush heads, this allows a great alternative for those who are looking for one.

To learn more about the company, you can visit their website at: http://furless.com.au/

(Source: Examiner)

Olympic Beauty?

Although the 2012 London Olympics came to a close last weekend, some of us (including myself) are still in the Olympic spirit. A lot of Olympic athletes not only train hard for the games, but also strive to look their best also when representing their country— since there's cameras everywhere they look when they take the big stage. Some athletes have taken a step further and have gone towards permanent cosmetics (yes, I said permanent— like tattoo permanent!).


Divers Mariya Koroleva and Mary Killman (photoed above) from the United States' synchronized swimming team have revealed this to be their secrets in avoiding running makeup from their faces when coming out of the water. Possibly one of the most (if not, the most) extreme solution in alternatives from conventional cosmetics, it also provides as an advantage since female athletes don't have to apply/re-apply makeup after grueling training sessions, yet can still look and feel good in front of large audiences. Not only does it improve their looks, but the divers say they wear make-up so the judges and audience members can see them from a distance.

Permanent cosmetics can run a person from $100-800, and must be retouched every 2-6 years.

(Source: FemaleFirst)

Leading Organics Cosmetics Line 'Intelligent Nutrients' Coming to Canada

 Leading natural and certified organic brand Intelligent Nutrients (IN) will soon be making its way into Canadian market. IN is best known for combining its knowledge in 'food science' and incorporating it into its cosmetic line in using food derived ingredients. Founded by Horst Rechelbacher (the same man who founded the renowned Aveda Corporation), the company advertises that they are one of the few true and honest natural cosmetics companies since they actually carry an Organic's Certified label for all their products. Rechelbacher advocates strongly against 'greenwashing'— where most companies today mislead their consumers in buying their "natural" or "organic" products, but don't carry the certification or actual approval.



In his description of his own company Rechelbacher explains, “..what we put on our bodies should be as safe and nutritious what goes into our bodies", which has been the main theme for all of his products. Today IN offers many products such as hair, skin, and nail products— all of which use eco-friendly and sustainable packaging.

You can purchase Intelligent Nutrient products today in their selected retail shops or online at: http://www.purestembeauty.com

(Source: PRWeb)



Look For Renewable Ingredients



Look For Renewable Ingredients

Many cleaning products rely on petrochemicals derived from nonrenewable resources. Others contain highly processed chemicals that require large amounts of energy (often produced by burning fossil fuels) to produce. Look for products that rely on renewable ingredients such as vinegar, citrus oils and pine oil.


http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Homes.aspx

Starbucks' Environmental Culture

Starbucks' Environmental Culture
When people think of the most popular coffee house in the country and world, they immediately think of Starbucks. That's because it's true, Starbucks culture is a strong focus on environmental awareness.
Based on the results, Starbucks made a commitment to reducing emissions by:

• Purchasing renewable energy—annually, five percent of the energy needed by its North America retail stores, generated by 11 large-scale windmills, and estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by two percent;

• Addressing the impact of its transportation operations—working with Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) Clean Cargo Group on ocean transportation and using the Clean Cargo tool to engage freight vendors;

• Monitoring roasting plant operations— an environmental team at each of the company’s four roasting plants are creating measures for reducing emissions and conserving energy;

• Taking leadership and raising awareness—by encouraging others to take action.

• Setting a reduction target—in fiscal 2005, the company will establish a gas emissions reduction target.

Source:
http://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/environment/


Batteries effect on the environment

Batteries effect on the environment

Batteries contain lead, nickel and mercury, all of which can damage the environment when thrown away. When batteries are incinerated at landfills, toxic substances enter the air and water. According to Earth 911, the average person throws away eight batteries a year. Rechargeable batteries reduce that number, but they eventually lose their ability to hold a charge and they too are made of toxic materials. Rechargeable batteries are one of the easiest items to recycle because most major electronics stores, such as Radio Shack and Best Buy, will recycle your dead batteries for you at no cost. Although there. What is a best solution?  Avoid throwing them and take the free recycling place.

A Green Clean

A Green Clean

A clean home isn’t necessarily a healthy one. As you peruse the cleaning aisle’s furniture polishes, air fresheners, carpet deodorizers and stain removers, you may realize that a full product arsenal could contain literally hundreds of chemicals and include dozens of safety warnings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that conventional cleaning products make a significant contribution to indoor air pollution. In one study conducted at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine, researchers found that the chemicals in everyday household cleaners can trigger the onset or worsening of asthma. Children with asthma can experience respiratory symptoms in a newly cleaned home. At least one study also suggests a possible link between prenatal exposure to low doses of common cleaning chemicals and attention deficit disorder or even autism in children. You can clean your house from top to bottom with just eight simple ingredients. To save time and money
Natural Cleaning Ingredients:
·         Baking Soda: A truly multitasking cleaner, baking soda is a perfect substitute for cleaning powders that scour sinks and tubs without scratching. It’s also great for wiping down and deodorizing the fridge.
·         Distilled White Vinegar: This pantry staple cuts grease, eats away lime deposits and destroys odors.
·         Salt: Perfect for cleaning grungy ovens, this natural abrasive is also great for soaking up fresh carpet stains such as red wine, coffee or ink. Pour salt on the wet stain. Let dry, then vacuum.
·         Lemons: Lemon’s citric acid content cut stubborn grease and makes your home smell fresh. Lemon juice is also natural bleach.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Toxic Shaving Products


Toxic Shaving Products
There are a wide variety of shaving creams for men and women. They feel nice and smell nice. The FDA allows all sorts of chemicals to be used in these products, including chemicals that are known carcinogens and that are linked to developmental/reproductive toxicity, nervous system disorders, allergies/immunotoxicity, liver failure, etc. Toxic ingredients include: TEA, DEA, solvents, mineral oil, propylene glycol, DMDM hydantoin, lanolin, FD&C colours, synthetic fragrance and a host of other ingredients. PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone) a contact allergen, is often used to give the cream or gel body. Carefully check the labels of products you use.

Does organic cosmetics safer than non-organic cosmetics



Does organic cosmetics safer than non-organic cosmetics




Does the all organic cosmetic’s safe?  The answer is no. When shopping for organic cosmetics there are specific ingredients that should not be on the label. These are:
1.      Grapefruit Seed Extract. It derives its antimicrobial properties not from grapefruit seed, but from toxic chemicals, primarily benzethonium chloride, and to a lesser extent from triclosan and parabens.
2.      Cocamidopropyl Betaine. It is toxic to the immune system and can cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions.
3.      Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. Anytime you see something that is hydrolyzed there is a hidden source of MSG that is absorbed into your bloodstream when it comes in contact with your skin.
It’s most important that you read the labels, and here are some ingredients that you do not want to see in your organic.

Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart Sued for Selling Toxic Baby Shampoo


Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart Sued for Selling Toxic Baby Shampoo

There is class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart Stores of selling shampoo and baby wash that allegedly contains methylene chloride, an ingredient banned by the FDA in cosmetics because it’s linked to cancer. Johnson & Johnson said it would reformulate all of its beauty and baby care products, including Aveeno, Neutrogena and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, by the end of 2015.  The reformulations will either reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals that are increasingly being linked to health problems such as breast cancer, diabetes and birth defects.
 Johnson & Johnson ingredients:
Water, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium
Trideceth Sulfate, Glycerin, Lauroamphoglycinate, PEG-150 Distearate,
Sodium Laureth-13 Carboxylate, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-10,
Tetrasodium EDTA, Quaternium-15, Citric Acid, D&C Yellow #10, D&C
Orange #4.

Fear of Household Products


One of the scariest things I found during my research for these blog posts was that, while I'm over here cleaning my house thinking I'm ridding bad germs, the reality is that my nervous system is being affected negatively by antimicrobial ingredients found in the products I'm using. The active ingredients in products like hand soaps, dish soaps, lotions, and a number of other products has been led to cause nerve damage. The damage done can be so harmful to the extent of accelerating Alzheimer's disease. 


Triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that has been used since the 1970s, and continues to be used in everyday products. It's the most popular anticrobial ingredient today, though it forces many dangers including harmful skin irritation and allergies. Triclosan is a fat-soluble agent that is stores in fat cells, where the concentration continues to grow. In a CDC study, triclosan was found in 75% of the people tested, including being found in 3 out of 5 breast milk samples. 

A slightly scarier ingredient used as a foaming agent, sodium laureth sulfate, is found in many products today as well, including soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, etc. Similar to everyday soap, which is just as affective for antibacterial usage according to the FDA, sodium laureth is used in products for cleansing and emulsifying purposes. SLES can cause constant irritation when used at a "safe" concentration for cosmetic products, but that's not keeping in mind constant usage. What this product does exactly is strips the skin of natural oil leaving it rough, and dry. It also attacks the formation of essential proteins if in the eye, leading to cataracts in adults and preventing children's eyes from proper formation. 

Many other dangerous ingredients are found in everyday products, including deodorants which contains aluminum, which essentially promotes dementia. Air fresheners contains carcinogens which are consistently being inhaled, directly promoting cancer as well as birth defects. The list goes on.

Just knowing even the tiniest amount of either of these ingredients is being used in my everyday cosmetic products is enough to keep me off them. The human skin is a complex organ, that has glands which continue to form oil on the skin to protect your body, why not let that happen naturally rather than harm your body further. Because certain ingredients are used at small amounts, they continue to be legal, yet highly dangerous. 


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Cosmetics Through History



Makeup found in your local drugstores and malls isn't quite as natural as the word cosmetic's Greek origin implies: "of this world or wordily". This description gives an organic notion to the word cosmetic, yet within research and testing it is found that most makeup has had harsh outcomes throughout it's history. Though there might not be noticeable changes, some ingredients in makeup products have negative affects on the human body. 

The world of cosmetics began with the ancient Egyptians who began using kohl, made from a lead ore (black galena), in which they created a staple dark-eyed look in history, an "eyeliner" aesthetic. Another popular look  for the Egyptians was applying white lead all over their faces, which also led to the first makeup usage in Greek and Rome. The application of both of these makeup creations held many dangers for those wearing it, beginning with mild lead poisoning causing headaches and vomiting. In severe cases, there were some fatal consequences, some went insane, and others became paralyzed. Lead paint was another key ingredient leading into the 16th-Century makeup fad. Many women including Helen Reynolds and Queen Elizabeth I whitened their skin with a layer of lead paint, which was toxic and lead to disfigurement. As a famous style setter in Europe, Queen Elizabeth also shared another trend of using eyedrops to enlarge her pupils and make her eyes look brighter. These eyedrops became highly dangerous as they were made from a poisonous deadly nightshade plant. The dangers of makeup seemed to be repetitive as time went on.


In the 1930's, there was a mascara product made with synthetic aniline dye, which wasn't being sold very long before it was seized for causing blindness and even death. One fad in particularly scary was a method of "blush" used on cheeks and often the lips, which led to easy ingestion of the poisonous red sulfide of mercury of which it was made. This poisonous sulfide had the power of transferring to an unborn fetus in a woman, attributing to many still births, miscarriages, and deformities. For the larger part of it's history, cosmetics were homemade not really knowing what would be safe for consumers. This doesn't mean products today are safe for consumers, either.

Lipstick in the last 5 years is still found to contain a detectable amount of led, as shown in The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics's study in Fall of 2007. In the study, 33 lipsticks were tested, and 61% of those lipsticks contained lead. "Lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the body over time, which is why tiny amounts ingested regularly could be hazardous" spokeswoman Stacy Malkan of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics talks about the subtle danger everyday usage can lead to. Mercury is another preservative found in few cosmetics today, including mascara, which is a potent neurotoxin that can cause brain damage in a developing fetus. Other products, for instance hair straightening treatments, contains a carcinogen called formaldehyde. Unfortunately beauty products today don't have to get FDA approval before being sold, leaving people to make their own choices on what they find dangerous for themselves. 

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Men's Product Safety

Men are faced with daily cosmetics products themselves. From hair shampoos, hair gels, shaving creams, colognes, aftershaves and etc. What majority of the men population fail to realize is that some of those products contain chemical substances that can be harmful to male reproductive health. The problematic formulas found in men’s every day product use are:
Men’s Shave To Drive Her Wild·         Diethyl phthalate (DEP): found in fragrance-containing products such as cologne, aftershave, shaving cream, shampoos and deodorants (recent human studies link DEP to sperm damage in adult men, abnormal reproductive)
·         Lead acetate: found in men’s hair and beard colorants
·         Coal tar: found in dandruff shampoos such as Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo
·         Triclosan: found in antibacterial soaps and deodorants such as Old Spice Wide Stick Deodorant, Speed Stick deodorants, Dial anti-bacterial soaps and Edge Advanced Shaving Gel, Ultra Sensitive ( linked to hormone disruption)
·         Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane: found in many leading shampoos and body washes (can trigger skin rashes and other allergic reactions.)

What will companies have to do?
According to Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, the cosmetics companies will have to:

·         Register the company and its products with the FDA; companies with under $2 million in annual sales are not required to register;
·         Fully disclose ingredients in products (businesses that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics have already agreed to do this, and hundreds of companies are already fully disclosing all ingredients, including those that make up "fragrance");
·         Pay a registration fee based on total annual sales to ensure the FDA has the capacity to evaluate the safety of ingredients; companies with under $10 million in annual sales are exempt from fees; and
·         Share safety data about product ingredients and ensure that all ingredients in the company's products have been assessed for safety. Safety data can be requested from ingredient suppliers or accessed from existing data on a publicly accessible database administered by the FDA.

Lead in Lipstick


“How much lipstick does the average woman consume in a year? The average woman consumes between 26 and 58 grams of lipstick per year.”(chacha.com) What if I said there is lead in lipstick, will it change ones perspective on using lipstick? Probably not because we are blinded by the products we use and we are in the urge to look our best imitating the advertising models. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipstick and found that 61 percent of lipsticks tested contained lead. According to safecosmetics.org, “It took nearly two years, pressure from consumers and a letter from three U.S. Senators, but in 2009 the FDA released a follow-up study that found lead in all samples of lipstick it tested, at levels ranging from 0.09 to 3.06 ppm – levels four times higher than the levels found in the Campaign study.”
The FDA found the highest levels of lipstick by the most popular brands on the market such as Cover Girl brand, L’Oreal, Maybelline and Revlon. Even with the truth being exposed the FDA has failed to take action on the safety of the consumers. Several bills have been introduced in Congress regarding the issues but the cosmetics reforms remain uncertain regarding it.
How can we test it ourselves?

Here is the test you can do yourself:
1.      Put some lipstick on your hand.
2.      Use a 14k-24k Gold ring to scratch on the lipstick.
3.      If the lipstick color changes to black then you know the  lipstick contains lead.
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Johnson & Johnson Makes Historic Commitment to Remove Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Historical commitment is being made by J&J and other cosmetic companies to remove cancer causing chemicals. The makers of Aveeno, Neutrogena and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo announced their removal of carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from their products. What is carcinogen, one might ask? Carcinogen is any substance that is involved directly in causing the cancer. Some carcinogen chemicals don’t affect the DNA directly but they can lead to other ways to causing cancer. According to cancer.org,” they may cause cells to divide at a faster than normal rate, which could increase the chances that DNA changes will occur. The risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including how they are exposed to a carcinogen, the length and intensity of the exposure, and the person's genetic makeup.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a national coalition organization of 175 nonprofit organizations working together to protect the health of consumers and lead the way towards the victory by pressuring companies of removing the health hazardous chemicals from their products. The nonprofit organization has lead for the J&J and other companies to commit to their products safety by removing dangerous chemicals, and the campaign is hoping others will follow J&J’s footsteps.
J&J has confirmed to the Campaign that it has set an internal target date of reformulating adult products by the end of 2015, and it will use safe alternatives when reformulating. It will:
·         Reduce 1,4 dioxane to a maximum of 10 parts per million in adult products;
·         Phase out formaldehyde-releasers in adult products;
·         Limit parabens in adult products to methyl-, ethyl- and propyl-;
·         Complete phase-out of triclosan from all products;
·         Phase out Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) from all products (no other phthalates are currently used);
·         Phase out polycyclic musks, animal derived ingredients, tagates, rose crystal and diacetyl from fragrances.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Far Will Some Go To Achieve a Sun Kissed Look?

One of the main reasons people identify summer as their favorite season is because of the sunny weather. A blue sky and sunshine is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and absorbing some vitamin D is a plus as well, but many people anticipate the sunshine for a summery bronzed look. Especially in places such as the Pacific Northwest where summers are short and sunshine is scarce, people resort to tanning beds and self-tanners for that sun kissed skin tone. Both of these methods can have very harmful effects, although creams are the safer alternative of the two. Tanning beds increase people's risk of melanoma and skin cancer and the artificial UV radiation does not help people absorb any vitamin D. When people use tanning beds, they expose themselves to these harmful ultraviolet rays which are extra strong in comparison to UV rays from the sun because there is a limited time of around ten minutes that one is allowed to be in a tanning bed. Another downside of these beds and other artificial tanning methods offered at tanning salons is the sanitation. There is no way of knowing for sure how well the bed was cleaned before the next person entered. This poses many risks such as skin rashes and irritation. Skin contact with an unsanitary surface along with artificial UV rays will even more seriously irritate the skin. UV radiation has also been found to cause DNA damage which leads to carcinogens. 

Although skin cancer is easier to fight in comparison to cancer of major organs, it should still be taken seriously. People should take the same preventative measures to protect themselves from skin cancer as they do to reduce their chances of other types of cancer. The risk here is far greater than the "reward" of temporary tanned skin. Tans will fade, but once diagnosed with skin cancer, there will always be a fight.


Breast cancer linked to parabens

                                     
                                              Breast cancer linked to parabens



Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products; they stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favorite creams and makeup, especially in the moist, warm environment of a bathroom. Parabens are xeno-estrogens, or chemicals that can act like estrogens in our bodies. They are commonly found in make-up, shampoo, lotion, shaving cream, toothpaste, mouthwash as well as some processed foods and in many over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceutical drugs. A comprehensive study of women with breast cancer published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Applied Technology found parabens in nearly 100 percent of all cancerous breast tumors. This evidence clearly links these chemicals to women's cancers. How to avoid it? Buy only personal care products free of parabens.

Sources:
http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/beauty/parabens-what-are-they-and-are-they-really-that-bad