Bright and Beautiful Inside and Out Non toxic and chemical free health and beauty secrets Wed, 28 Oct 2015 02:14:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Charming Winter Wedding Mon, 23 Mar 2015 04:51:39 +0000 Continue Reading]]> This wedding was one of the most elegant and delightful events I've done makeup for! The bride is Sarah Oulahen, Naturopathic Doctor from SOW Health in Toronto. She tied in beautiful elements of nature and old world charm into her two day wedding celebration.  I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share the day with you! Enjoy these photos!

The Process

Greenkit & Makeup Application - BBinsideout Sarah B Sarah C

Mother & Daughter Smatt_Wedding_Friday-86

Sarah Sarah E

Time to Get Married!


 Day 2: "Let's Celebrate!"

Downtown Toronto Photoshoot, Reception & Dance

Mr. & Mrs.

Sarah & Matt 2

Mother of the Bride

Mother of the BrideSarah & Matt 1Sarah & Matt


Congratulations Sarah and Matt!

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Celebrity Skin Secret: ONE Simple Ingredient that Heals Skin Conditions and Slows Down Aging Tue, 13 Jan 2015 19:45:25 +0000 Continue Reading]]> Rosehip cut open with the seedsWhether you have normal, dry, aging, acne prone skin, or eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis, there is one simple thing you can do to feed your capillaries cancer fighting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and chains of fatty acids that your skin needs. Can you guess what it is? I recently added this to my daily routine since I had rashes and bumps on my face from hormonal disruption and food sensitivities, and within a few weeks, my skin is softer and the bumps are gone.

How it Works:

It is one ingredient. That's it. This beautiful light weight oil is cold pressed from organic seeds and is grown in the intense sunlight of Chile and South Africa.  It is naturally rich in beta-carotene, which your skin enzymatically turns into vitamin A, which is known for it's ability to heal sun damage and skin conditions.  It also contains vitamin C and E, that help stimulate collagen and elastin levels in the skin, resulting in firmer, smoother and more youthful tissue. Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids heal scarring, reduce inflammation and also help prevent water loss in the skin.

What is it?

If you guessed rosehip seed oil, you are correct.



My Routine:

Recently I made a consistent effort to include this in my Skin Essence morning and evening routine and I cannot believe the difference it has made in less than a month! I use 2 squirts of rosehip seed oil before bed, and I use 1 squirt added to my daily Soothe moisturizer in the mornings. I use the Soothe because of the additional GLA in the Borage Seed because of the rash-like symptoms I was experiencing.


Rosehips picking them from the rosehip bushes in chileThe ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans used Rosehips for their healing properties. Studies even from back in the 1980's showed dramatic results when women with extreme premature aging, scarring, and sun damage applied pure rosehip seed oil for 4 months, their sunspots almost completely disappeared!

It is by far the single best thing you can add to your daily routine to give you results without breaking the bank.  If you have major skin problems, dermatitis, or a skin condition, this is for you, but remember, for serious results you need to be serious about consistency. Often your skin is not producing the proper omegas, like gamma- linolenic acid (GLA) so your skin will need the nourishment everyday.


My Favourite Rosehip Seed Oil & Why

Rosehip Seed Oil - Organic, Cold Pressed & UnrefinedThe freshest unrefind and cold pressed rosehip seed oil comes from a small dynamic Canadian company called Skin Essence Organics. I like their's the best because it has a higher concentration of anit-oxidants and vitamins because they press small batches all the time as needed, their seeds come from Chile where there is the most sunlight, they bottle in tinted UV protected glass with an easy to use pump, they have 30mL's in a jar apposed to 20mL's, plus there is no added preservatives or vitamin E added. It's the purest, freshest and richest blend on the market with a competitive price. I also love that it is made in Canada, fairly traded, cruelty free, and a certified organic ingredient as well. You can purchase them in local health food shops and online here.


Celebrities who use it and love it:

Actress and Victoria Secret model Miranda Kerr uses it every night. Actress Rose Byrne uses it at night for her skin sensitivities.  Gwyneth Paltrow & Kate Middleton's facialist's use it, British model David Gandy, Canadian model David Brooke. Dr. Oz also talks about rosehip seed oil for treating wrinkles and eczema.

Miranda Kerr uses Rosehip Seed oil every night for her sensitive skin

Miranda Kerr

Rose Byrne actress who uses rosehip seed oil for

Rose Byrne

David Brooke - Canadian - Model - Rosehip Seed Oil - Skin Essence Organics - Passion MagazineDavid Brooke

David Gandy - British Model - uses Rosehip Seed Oil

David Gandy

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Big Beauty Corporations EXPOSED – Who & What they are using that’s making us sick, infertile and contaminating drinking water (Greenwashing Part 2) Thu, 08 Jan 2015 21:14:20 +0000 Continue Reading]]> Dangerous ingredients have everything to do with it

Chemicals, compounds and esters that are harmful to humans, are also harmful to all other life on the planet. For our own good, we need to protect our soil, water ways, wildlife and aquatic life. Sending toxins down our drains everyday will affect the safety and quality of the food and drinking water and will catch up with us.

Here are the common cosmetic ingredients to avoid causing endocrine disruption, infertility, birth defects, and cancer:

David Suzuki FoundationDavid Suzuki's Dirty Dozen Report

BB logo bbinsideoutBBinsideout's summary of  10 Toxins in Your Makeup Bag

ExposedProducts can also have contaminated ingredients that are chemical byproducts of processing during manufacturing or chemical interactions once combined with other ingredients. For example 1,4-Dioxane and Formaldehyde:

"1,4-Dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a clear-cut animal carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. It is also on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals known or suspected by the state to cause cancer or birth defects. Because it is a contaminant produced during manufacturing, the FDA does not require it to be listed as an ingredient on product labels." (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, see more here).

Toxic 12 Ingredients in Cosmetics and Personal CareWHO is using HARMFUL, CONTAMINATED ingredients & GUILTY of Greenwashing us?

Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara
"Natural Base Cosmetics": (polymeres - plastic resins, propylene glycol - anit-freeze) Propylene glycol has even been found as a nasty contaminant in our drinking water.

Younique 3D Fiber Mascara - Greenwashing

Aveeno Active Naturals "The beauty of nature + science": (Plastic resins, dimethicone, petro-chemicals such as isohexadecane (suspected as an environmental toxin by Environment Canada), petroleum, ethoxylated ingredients such as Di-PPG 2 meryth-10 adipate, causing the toxic contaminant of 1, 4-dioxane, phthalates, fragrance)

Aveeno - ultra-calming daily moisturizer

Proctor & Gamble (mascaras, BB creams & more): Cancer causing chemicals found in many of their products, Read here for details.

Johnson & Johnson: (Petroleum derived ingredients, 1, 4-dioxane, phthalates, fragrance, preservatives) See list of contaminated women's and baby products contaminated here.

Max Factor (BHA, polymers, dimethicone - plastic resins, coal tar, methylparaben & more) Read these ingredients for yourself & tell me what you think. Methylparaben preservatives mimic estrogen in the body causing endocrine disruption. It also has been found to mutate cells in sunlight so this ingredient is extra harmful in sunscreens, creams, and foundations.

Max Factor - Whipped Creme Foundation  Ingredients

Covergirl (BHA, formaldehyde releasing preservatives: DMHM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Polyoxmethylene urea, Quarternium-15) Formaldehyde is acarcinogen and a potent skin allergen.


Covergirl - lashblast fusion mascara imageCovergirl - Lashblast Fusion Very Black Mascara Ingredients

Remember: formaldehyde is not listed as an "ingredient" on the product label. It is a contaminant as well. Here are some ingredients that release formaldehyde: (full EWG article here)

  • DMDM hydantoin
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Quaternium-15
  • Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol )
  • 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane
  • Hydroxymethylglycinate

Panteen PRO-V Nature Fusion (as they advertise: "If this formula were any more au naturel, it would be inappropriate"). Couldn't ask for clearer greenwashing: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, propylene glycol - anti-freeze, PEG's, petroleum derived ingredients & many more)

Panteen Pro-V natuerFUSION Shampoo Ingredients

The list can go on and on. Let me know what companies and products contain harmful ingredients that you know of. Together we can take a stand and boycott these companies causing illness and disease for us and future generations.


Coalition for Safe Cosmetics

Environmental Working Group


Cinco Vida by Britta Aragon

Amazing Discoveries

Book: “Safe Trip to Eden: Ten Steps to Save the Planet Earth from the Global Warming Meltdown,” by David Steinman

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How to See Past the Greenwashed Lenses Mon, 01 Dec 2014 04:53:24 +0000 Continue Reading]]> Are you seeing through greenwashed lenses?

Green Lenses - Sunglasses - GreenwashingGreenwashing is straight up deceit and dishonesty and its' prevalence makes me sick to my stomach. Money motivated companies deceive good people with good motives who want to make healthy choices. Corporations put a lot of effort into marketing specifically to an educated audience, you and I, who care about a healthier planet and a healthier self.

2010 study by TerraChoice, an independent testing and certification organization, revealed, out of 2596 products, only 265 were actually as green as they claimed. They evaluated baby products, toys, health and beauty, housewares and cleaning products in Canada and the US.

Greenwashing - Definition

sins of greenwashing - 98 percent committed at least one sin

How to discard the green glasses

What to Watch Out For: The Sins of Greenwashing:

1. Broad Statements or Vagueness, ie: "Gentle" "Safe" "Natural" "Green"

2. False or Misleading Claims, ie: "Paraben Free" "Sulfate Free" "Fragrance Free"

3. Hidden Trade Offs: Claiming "green" based on a narrow set of attributes without any attention to other important aspects, ie: "BPA Free" or "Made from recyclable materials"

3. No Evidence: Look for third party verification, ie: Certified USDA Organic, Canada Organic, The Green Seal, The Non-GMO Project, Leaping Bunny, Fairtrade International, Design for the Environment, Quality Assurance International... and know what they mean. Here's the easiest way to get to know these certifications and what they mean: view the eco-label guide.

Natural - the sin of vagueness

To learn about all of The Sins of Greenwashing, here is the official report.

With practice looking for the above Sins of Greenwashing and being diligent to read ingredients ourselves, we can see through the lies and unregulated feel good marketing. When it comes to cosmetics and skin care, it is key to read the ingredients and research the company's track record and verification labels. By questioning the ingredients, rather than trusting the misleading packaging, you can begin to decipher the good, the bad and the very bad...  <know the toxins that are harmful to aquatic life, the most commonly used human carcinogens, those that cause allergies, developmental and reproductive toxins, and those that are banned in other countries>... more on these in my next post and I will reveal some of the worst offenders of greenwashing! Comment below if you have any suggestions or brands you would like exposed for their greenwashing sins!

Take a minute and play this game and guaranteed you will be a smarter consumer:

Sins of Greenwashing - Play the GameFood For Thought:

canada - frequency of sins committed - greenwashing - follow up study

biodegradable - smart consumer info

consumers - supporting greener products

The Sins of Greenwashing report, statistics and images credits of: The Sins of Greenwashing Home and Family Edition

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Actions & Reactions: Taking Chemicals Seriously Fri, 25 Jul 2014 04:20:16 +0000 Continue Reading]]> what's in your personal care products - hands - lotion

Today I felt it was important to share with you a simple concept that can make a big difference in your life. Do you remember in science class learning about Newton's Law, Action and Reaction? If you recall, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction".  I am not going to go into a science lesson, truthfully science was not my thing! But this reminded of me that everything we do matters and creates a reaction.

Applying The Logic

fragrance spray onto the skin - skin absorptionWhen it comes to the chemicals we allow into our homes (via: dish soap, disinfectant, toothpaste, creams, fragrances, deodorant, cosmetics...) we must use this logic that we learned back in our school years. For every chemical we place on our skin, there is a reaction. When chemicals are absorbed we know that they are delivered directly into our bloodstream. Where does your blood go? Everywhere... delivering these chemicals to all of your vital organs including your brain. Knowing that every chemical creates a chemical reaction, shouldn't we be careful and cautious as to what chemicals we are allowing into our bodies?

Governance of Synthetics

chemicalsThe problem with synthetic (the nice term for "chemical" or "not natural") ingredients in products is that they are only governed by the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 which does not even categorize ingredients as "toxic" and "non-toxic". Products are often labelled "FDA Approved" but did you know that the FDA does not take any responsibility for health risks, cancers and diseases caused by personal care products? They do not even have the authority to execute a recall of a product. The TSCA grandfathered in 60,000 chemicals (allowed in with NO testing required) into the market that were already being used in the marketplace when the law came into effect. (Canada does not have their own Act to control chemicals; they actually just follow suit as to whatever the American legislation allows). New chemicals are also introduced to the market every year and companies send in their own studies to tell Health Canada and TSCA that they are safe.The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976

Chemical Interactions

One of my biggest concerns around chemical legislation is that companies do not have to prove what happens when ingredients interact with each other. Most products on the market have multiple or even dozens of chemicals in each plastic bottle. Also, some chemicals interact with heat, or the environment. For example: the preservative methylparaben (common preservative in the west; banned in the European Union), found in the majority of conventional makeup, sunscreens, creams etc. This preservative in many studies has shown that it becomes toxic and mutates cells when it interacts with UVB rays.

Toxic chemical exposureYour Daily Exposure

The Environmental Working Group sent out this today:

10,500: That’s how many unique ingredients are in various personal care products we use every day.

126: That’s how many cosmetics ingredients to which the average American is exposed daily, according to an EWG survey.

0: That’s how many chemicals in personal care products – including shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant and cosmetics – are required to be tested for safety before they’re sold in the marketplace.

The Coalition for Safe Cosmetics has worked closely with EWG and released other studies on the body's chemical body burden:

The average female is exposed to an average mixture of 200 toxic chemicals in her daily routine. Men average 100. Studies have shown that teens are even at a higher risk of exposure.

From a sample of 1,029 people studied by the FDA, every one of them tested positive for phthalates in their blood or urine.

Do yo know what phthalates are? Phthalates are plasticizers used to add texture and help make a scent linger. They are commonly found in fragrance, moisturizers, cosmetics, soft plastics, glues; they are known to change hormone levels and cause birth defects.

wecandoitMy Challenge to You

For the sake of living a full and prosperous life free from cancer, illness and disease, and for the sake of keeping our waterways clean and keeping the environment non-toxic for wildlife and for a healthy ecosystem, limit the use of chemical products! Buy toothpaste without SLS... deodorant without aluminum... lotions without parabens... and babycare without petroleum. It was a journey for me that started 5 years ago and it took me a year to become chemical free. Now that you are conscious of it, read the ingredients of each product you purchase. If you are applying a product to your skin remember where it's going. As David Brooke, owner of Skin Essence Organics, says,  "whatever you put on your skin should be able to eat."

By saying NO to chemicals you are saying NO to cancer and disease, and YES to life!


Personal Care Products: Chemicals & Side Effects

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The Truth About Deodorant & Antiperspirant Wed, 09 Jul 2014 05:19:56 +0000 Continue Reading]]> plugging noseAmerican's spend $18 billion a year trying to "stop sweating"

Most of us are pretty ashamed of our own "body odor" and we would do just about anything to cover it up.  BUT your body needs to sweat! There are important reasons why we sweat. Sweating rids the body of harmful toxins, keeps your skin clear, and regulates your internal body temperature.

Are you familiar with all of the ingredients in the product that you are lathering under your arms? Most deodorants are a combination of deodorant (kill bacteria & provide a fresh scent) and antiperspirant (temporarily clog the sweat ducts). They are a concoction of anti-bacterial chemicals, fragrance, and sweat blocking aluminum powder, in order to give you the all day protection you are looking for.

Let's start with some facts that Dove, Secret, Speed Stick and Degree do not want you to know

1.  437 women with breast cancer were interviewed; of those women, the ones who used deodorant at least twice a week and shaved their arm pits at least 3 times a week, developed cancer almost 15 years earlier than those who did neither (European Journal of Cancer Prevention)

2. Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. This is the area closest to the lymph nodes (under the arm), causing a high concentration of locked in toxins which can lead to mutating cells (American Cancer Society)

3. There is a link between exposure to aluminum and Alzheimer's disease (since the 1960's). The World Health Organization found that higher usage of deodorant corresponded to higher risks of developing the dementia. "Aluminum, once absorbed, is distributed in most organs within the body," (World Health Organization, p. 3)

4. Aluminum accumulation has been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Laboratory animals had aluminum injected into their brains also developed neurological diseases similar to Alzheimer's.

5. Aluminum is a neurotoxin that "inhibits more than 200 biologically important functions and causes various adverse effects in plants, animals, and humans" (International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease)

Aluminum - Associated Diseases

For more detail about some of the other common ingredients that you absorb in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants (petroleum, proplyene glycol, parabens, triclosan, talc, PEGs etc)...  CLICK here to read more.

In conclusion, since your body needs to sweat and eliminate toxins, and because the harmful ingredients in conventional deodorants are absorbed and remain in the body, and delivered to your vital organs, including your brain, I suggest eliminating conventional deodorants from your routine. I also encourage you to watch Carly's video below that I linked in, and she explains the body's sweating process. Below I have also listed the only natural deodorant that actually works.

The Only Natural Option That Really Works

best-deodorant purelygreat - all naturalI had gone through many years of trying new "natural deodorants" knowing how harmful conventional deodorants are. I tried just about every one on my local health stores shelves from the Kynk powder to Green Beaver and everything in between. NONE of them really worked.

Since then I found ONLY 1 that ACTUALLY WORKS to eliminate body odor!! It's made of 4 natural non-gmo ingredients plus natural essential oils. It's called PurelyGreat. I made en effort to connect with Deb, the owner/developer, who is also Canadian and makes the product right here. I had to let her know how amazing it is! I had my husband even test it out since he has a physical job and is a big guy, and after a long day of active work, he did not smell either!

Because of it's effectiveness and purity of ingredients, I have arranged to have it available on my online store!

Click SHOP, there is a Natural Deodorant category. I am in love with the Citrus! It's such a relief to finally have a safe and natural deodorant that really works!

Natural-Deodorant-for-Women-Citrus_smYou can also watch The Health and Beauty World youtube video clip: "Natural Deodorants with Carley - R.H.N".

The only thing Carley doesn't know yet is that PurelyGreat is an option that really works (on everyone) no matter what your diet or lifestyle is! But this video is great info on sweating.

Is your deodorant toxic

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Spring 2014 Makeup Trends Thu, 09 Jan 2014 10:30:13 +0000 Continue Reading]]> It's time for your 2014 Makeup Trends Report!


Usually spring brings us sweet and gentle trends such as pink petals, shimmery eyes or rosy cheeks and lips. This year we are immersed with exciting BOLD and SEXY makeup looks!

Audacious Trend #1: Orange Lips

Bold, electric orange. This can sound intimidating to some. However, orange lips can look great on almost every skin tone! Orange and tangerine lipstick are all over the runway! For a natural alternative free from parabens, lead, and talc, try Zuii Organic's Flora Lipstick in Copper or for a more subtle look, try Mandarin. Even Zuii's bold Corral Red would be a great fit for this season! See Zuii's lipsticks on real lips in this chart.

hbz-orange-lips-001-rag-and-bone-lg from harpersbazaar


Simple Trend #2: Au Naturale

Go with a dewy healthy natural glow. This requires caring for your skin and using a well matched foundation. Go with a neutral blush. Elle Canada is calling this current look the "No Makeup Look". Prime with a simple moisturizing serum, such as Nourish from Skin Essence Organics, that delivers vitamins and minerals to your skin cells and restores a healthy glow meanwhile promoting healing and increasing your natural collagen production.


Bold Trend #3: Pastel Sweep of Eye Shadow

In the past this has been a "don't". However this spring, we see this everywhere! (Antonio Marras, Badgley Mischka, Prada, Costello Tagliagietra, Giorgio Armani, Rochas). We are seeing the pastels: a lot of pink, some blues, green & even soft violet. For a healthy alternative try Zuii's Flora Eye Shadow in any of these gorgeous pastels: Raspberry, Blossom, Forest, Seafoam, or Grape.


Sexy Chic Trend #4: 90's Rock Black Eyeliner

Black eye liner has always been a trend, and there are so many ways to wear it. This chic rocker look uses a strong solid liner, often using a liquid liner on the top and smudging a soft eyeliner pencil on the bottom. The focus is all on the eyes. So keep the cheeks simple with a gentle peach hue and use a nude lipstick or a crystal gloss. Try ZuZu's non toxic water resistant Liquid Liner in Raven and smudge Obsidian on the lower lash line.



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Reducing the Chemical Burden on Your Body Mon, 14 Jan 2013 22:30:15 +0000 Continue Reading]]> The Body's Chemical Burden

Makeup BrushesWe are exposed to chemicals in our daily hygiene, makeup, and cleaning routines that have a profound impact on our health.  The cocktail of chemicals we are breathing in, metabolizing, and absorbing, are in our everyday products that we use daily and we expect that they are safe, and they should be safe. I keep seeing product labels that say "Safe and Gentle" or "Non-Comedogenic" and "Dermatologist Tested", however, in the extensive list of ingredients, I am seeing a concoction of carcinogens, teratogens, skin irritants and organ toxicants, reproductive toxins, and endocrine disruptors; even in these so called "safe and gentle" formulas.

I had the privilege of speaking at the North Toronto Mom's group last week and was inspired by this supportive, smart, and passionate group of women who care about their families and their community.  I shared  some foundational information on the Chemical Body Burden and have had quite a bit of feedback and interest on the topic, so I have decided to include some facts and resources in this post regarding this topic for all of you.

Known Toxic Chemicals

Gas Mask Working in the LabDid you know that the average female is in contact with an average of 200 toxic chemicals in her morning routine? From a sample of 1,029 people studied by the FDA, every person tested positive for phthalates in their blood or urine.

Below is a list of a few common ingredients to be cautious of. Here is a Pocket Reference for Toxic Chemicals in Body Care & Cosmetics that I've created, and you can print for yourself and your friends and family, to help guide you through those extensive ingredients lists on products and help you purchase safer and less toxic options.

Click here for a detailed list of Toxic Chemical Ingredients and how they affect your health, in my post "Chemicals in Your Makeup Bag".


Each ingredient has it's own adverse health effects, but Health Canada and the FDA do no require companies to test the combinations of chemicals that they are putting together to create their formulas. Health Canada makes it clear that we need to protect ourselves, I quote, "We provide tools for Canadians to protect themselves" and they have a "Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist" of ingredients to be aware of. They ask that companies self-regulate their product's safety, and if they use ingredients in the hotlist, they are to test their own formulations and reduce the amount of the chemical to a safe level.

Toxic Chemicals in Products - Pocket Reference - FRONT


Why Are These Toxins Still Used Today?

laboratory_chemicals1. They increase absorption rates, enter the bloodstream quicker

2. Enhance texture, creamier, thicker, desired consistency

3. Synthetically stabilize, preserve, increase shelf life, mass manufacturing, increase revenues

4. Cheaper filling options

5. They are available and legal. Many left over chemicals after WWII were introduced into fertilizers and beauty products and they revolutionized the cosmetic industry. 62,000 chemicals were grandfathered into the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (the American legislation that Canada also refers to) without any required testing; to this day, many of those chemicals have never been tested.

Be an Informed Consumer

Intelligent Truth Seeking WomanThere are safe options out there but it's your job to protect your family's health!

  • Know that there are limits to the laws!
  • Read ingredients labels
  • Use the "Resources" section on my blog to check product recalls/news articles etc
  • Use the Skin Deep Database to check your products for safety (look up products, ingredients or companies)
  • Stay informed through the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
  • Research Companies and their practices
  • Choose truly organic options whenever possible

Healthy & Safe Alternative Makeup & Skin Care - Pocket Reference - BACK


Safer Baby & Cleaning Products - Pocket Reference - BACK

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Chemicals in Your Makeup Bag Mon, 14 Jan 2013 22:09:41 +0000 Continue Reading]]> Get to Know the Common Ingredients in Your Makeup & Skin Care and Why They Are Toxic

Lipstick ChunksHere's a quick guide to the common cosmetic chemicals that you will find in conventional makeup and body care products in Canada and the US. Click here for a mini  Pocket Reference for Toxic Chemicals in Body Care & Cosmetics that you can print for your wallet and share with your friends and family and start using healthier and safer products.

Beauty Tip:

flower essenceFor glowing, healthy & young looking skin, avoid chemicals altogether! Your skin, like the rest of your body needs minerals, vitamins, and nutrition, not chemicals. Your skin is equipped to care for itself, to clean and protect itself from outside contaminants if we let it. Chemicals create a pH imbalance of the skin, often change the natural sebum production (stopping it or creating more of it), creates cracking and drying of the skin, may cause DNA and pigment damage, and many have addictive properties. Whenever possible, choose products with truly organic ingredients made from plants, flowers and essential oils. Click here to see a couple of my favourite safe skin care and makeup companies.

Chemicals in Your Makeup Bag: What to Avoid & Why

1. Parabens

  • in 75-95% of products in the west; in all kinds of makeup, foundations, cleansers, toners, moisturiers, fragrances, etc.
  • Act as preservatives; they are readily absorbed by the skin
  • Look for ingredients ending in the word "paraben" (methyl, propyl, butyl etc)
  • Found in breast cancer tissue in studies in England and B.C.
  • Methylparaben is banned in the European Union & regulated in other markets
  • They are fat soluable so they have difficulty excreting the body
  • Methylparaben has been linked to hormone disruption. It has also been found to react with UVB rays, increasing DNA damage, damages pigment, leads to increased skin aging & increased cancer risk

2. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate); SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

  • Degreaser in garages; creates a bubbling action
  • "Laureth"means it's been processed with ethelyene oxide; it's been "ethoxylated" and is contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which is linked to cancers and allergies
  • Found in most soaps, cleansers, shower gels, shampoos
  • Damages outer layer of the skin and eyes, is a suspected carcinogen, doesn't easily degrade

3. Phthalates

  • Oily substance in perfumes; makes the smell linger; in wood finishes; softens plastics
  • Found in many soaps and scented products
  • In a study by the FDA of 1,029 people, every one tested positive for phthalates in their blood or urine
  • Mimics estrogen in the body; endocrine disruptor, hormone & reproductive & developmental toxin; may cause birth defects
  • ie: dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in nail polish & creams, aids in texture, creaminess & shine

4. Fragrances

  • Combinations of hundreds of hydrocarbons
  • Many trigger allergies; associated with cancer & neurotoxicity
  • Considered "trade secrets" and the cocktail of chemicals does not legally need to be listed in the ingredients

5. Petroleum derived ingredients

  • Addictive properties; the skin stops producing it's own sebum.
  • Ie: Mineral Oil, vaseline, isopropyl alcohol (causes miniature cracking and allows bacteria to enter the skin)
  • Coal Tar (dyes that are often a 5 digit #); recognized carcinogen, often contaminated with low levels of heavy metals that are toxic to the brain
  • PEG's (PEG#) - thickener in creams and penetration enhancer.

6. Oxybenzone

  • Chemical sunscreen blocker
  • Associated with photoallergic reactions, immunotoxicity, bioaccumulation; endocrine disruptor.
  • Absorbed through the skin in significiant amounts

8. Formaldehyde

  • Many preservatives release formaldehyde over time in the bottle
  • ie: Quarternium-15 purposefully releases formaldehyde to kill bacteria and it is a penetration enhancer
  • Found in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo along with 1,4-dioxane (carcinogen) in the "No More Toxic Tub" Report.
  • Greatest offenders were: Johnson & Johnson, Sesame Street bubble bath, Grins & Giggles Milk & Honey Baby wash, Huggies Naturally
  • Was found again in Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo in "The Tub is Still Toxic" Report in 2011. Johnson & Johnson committed to removing harsh chemicals by 2013; now they have a new commitment to remove them by 2015, read most recent news article.

9. Triclosan

  •  An active anti-bacterial agent and preservative; mainly found in antiperspirants, cleansers, hand sanitizers. Also found in garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture, laundry detergent, facial tissues, and a variety of cosmetics
  • Suspected to interfere with hormone function
  • Was detected in urine of 2517 people tested
  • Irritating to the skin and eyes; very toxic to acquadic organisms
  • React with dioxins which bioaccumulate
  • The Canadian Medical Assoication called for a ban on consumer products with these anti-bacterial agents

10. Other Contaminants

  • There are a variety of contaminants that are not listed on product labels. This is because they are part of the manufacturing process rather than an ingredient that has been added to the product.
  • ie: The process of "ethoxylating" with ethylene oxide to make the other ingredients feel "less harsh" on the skin creates a biproduct called 1,4-dioxane which is a toxic chemical that is completely banned from personal care products in Japan and Sweden and regulated closely by the European Union.
  • Heavy metals are also contaminants that are not purposefully added. Coal tar is often contaminated with heavy metals and lead. Lead is a common contaminant in lipsticks. See the levels of Lead in Lipsticks Report (and which were the worst offenders) from the FDA here under Resources.

For additional cosmetic chemical details, read this post and scroll down to see my Summary Chart of the Report: Dirty Dozen Summary Chart researched by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Toxic Lipstick

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Holiday Bliss… Making Healing Honey Mint Lip Balm Sat, 05 Jan 2013 01:29:23 +0000 Continue Reading]]> Today was my honey mint lip balmlast official day of holidays so I felt compelled to finish my "holiday to do list" and #1 on my list was to make a batch of my favourite lip balm. I have been running low for a few months and no other lip balm compares to homemade! My friend has been on me for months asking me to make this for her, she won't use anything else, and it's her birthday on Monday... so I am excited to surprise her with her favourite "Healing Honey Mint Lip Balm"!

Customize Your Lip Balm: Personalize Ingredients Based On Your Needs

There are many ways to personalize your lip balm. You can choose your favourite nourishing oils along with your favourite natural scents from essential oils to make it feel and smell just how you want it! I will list my recipe below for you to try. You can also choose ingredients that suit your needs better than what any company can. If you have super dry or chapped lips, you might want to add a higher concentration of emollients such as coco butter, beeswax, or sweet almond oil, to soften the skin and prevent the loss of moisture. Coco butter is high in fatty acids that are quickly absorbed and has beautiful softening properties. If you have peeling or cracking lips, you might want to add a higher concentration of soothing and healing ingredients, such as coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, or rosehip seed extract. Apricot kernel oil soothes skin conditions and is high in vitamins A and C and is great for aging skin. Rosehip seed is also fabulous for it's nutritional benefits, high in vitamin C, A, B3, and stimulates cell renewal; it is also rich in fatty acids, naturally tones, prevents scaring, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and helps heal broken capillaries. Pure cold pressed unrefined organic rosehip seed oil is my favourite ingredient especially in moisturizing serums and I've been using it as a stretch mark prevention as a moisturizer for my baby belly.

The Process: How To Make Lip Balm

You'll be happy to know, it's very simple!

Step 1: Pre-wash your little containers and have them ready so that you can pour the warm liquid into them immediately before any hardening may take place. I disinfect my containers beforehand with boiling water and let them dry fully before using them.

Step 2: In a small or medium size sauce pan boil water and leave on simmer. Then use a glass or stainless steel bowl to make it into a double boiler. Put all your ingredients in the bowl above your hot water and stir with a whisk until smooth.

Step 3: Fill your lip balm jars immediately while the liquid is warm.

Step 4: Let your filled jars cool and voila! You've done it!

making lip balm

 Healing Honey Mint Lip Balm Recipe

I am a terrible example when it comes to recipes... I'm kinda like Chef at Home Michael Smith... I'm the chef without a recipe. I usually know my proportions and then improvise using my favourite natural ingredients... However, here is a receipe for you to follow for your first time. Feel free to improvise. If it calls for almond oil, don't be afraid to substitute with rosehip or apricot or whatever you prefer. If you prefer it a little harder, add more coco butter or beeswax.

2 tsp. beeswax

2 tsp. coco butter

1 tsp. shea butter

8 tsp. apricot kernel oil

2 tsp. jojoba oil

2 tsp. caster oil

1 tsp. lanolin

1 tsp. pure vitamin E

1 tsp. honey

12 drops peppermint essential oil (or lemon, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, vanilla etc)

Customize Your Receipe

4-5 tsp. solid emollients

14 tsp. liquid nutritious oils

1 tsp honey

10-12 drops essential oil

Make it more solid: add greater proportions of your solid emollients.

Make it more glossy: add greater proportions of your liquid oils.

Make it coloured: Use pure loose minerals (mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides). You can use the loose eye shadows from bella pierre cosmetics or other brands with just pure minerals to add a tints to your lip gloss.


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