TIP 1: Cleaning with vinegar and lemon. This is a natural disinfectant and degreaser. Simply fill a spray bottle with half vinegar and half water and add 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil. You can use on sinks, showers, floors, toilets, you name it. If using on your bathtub, allow it to sit for 5 or 10 minutes before scrubbing for an easier clean.
TIP 2: Antibacterial Microfiber Cloths (from silver, chemical free!!!) such as the Envirocloths from Norwex. I have fallen in love with their bath mitt and mop as well. All you have to do is dampen their cloths to activate them; no cleaning products or chemicals required, to disinfect and thoroughly clean surfaces. I also love how they shine stainless steel and faucets with such little effort. This has saved me oodles on paper towels and reduces waste. They also have a 10 year warranty.
I spend peanuts now on keeping our house clean! I am no longer tempted to purchase any cleaning products with layers of fragrances and VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are toxic to children and change your air quality. Did you know that according to the German Air Quality Standards, even many of our "green cleaning" products on supermarket shelves here in Canada still worsen air quality by 35% with VOC's? Here is a study completed in Canadian homes, by the Environmental Defense, with conventional and green cleaning products with the results. Click here.
TIP 3: Switching to glass food containers for left overs and lunches and never ever reheating anything in plastic, even for 10 seconds. This was an easy change for us, plus they last forever.
TIP 4: Bringing my ceramic or stainless travel mug with me as much as possible, instead of using BPA lined disposable coffee cups. To learn more about the other health hazards associated with BPA and BPA, melamine, and polystyrene in coffee cups, click here.
These are a few of my new clean living habits. What are yours? Feel free to comment in the comment section below. I will be at the Green Living Show this weekend, April 16th & 17th, at the Skin Essence Organics booth #430, near the food court. Here is a map of the show.
1. Zuii Organic Flora Lipstick in Wine
2. ZuZu Luxe Eyeliner Pencil in Leaf (Deep Blue/Green / Cool)
3. ZuZu Luxe Mineral Bronzer D28
4 ZuZu Luxe Mascara in Onyx
5. ZuZu Luxe Eyeliner Pencil in Ocean (Matte Navy / Cool)
6. ZuZu Luxe Mosaic Illuminators: Light / Medium / Dark (Dual Purpose: Brightening & Coverage)
7. Zuii Organic Flora Eyeshadow in Blue Marine
8. Zuii Organic Flora Lipstick in Classic Red
9. Zuii Organic Flora Lipstick in Primrose
10. Gabriel Cosmetics Liquid Concealer - Light / Medium
Are you familiar with the ingredients petrolatum, paraffin wax, mineral oil or petroleum jelly (AKA Vaseline)? These cosmetic ingredients are byproducts of petroleum or what you might know as fossil fuels. You might have heard the bad rep that mineral oil has gotten since we know that it is associated with clogged pores and causing allergic reactions. We know that it creates a plastic like barrier on the skin and has addictive properties. Over time the skin learns to stop producing sebum (oil) on it's own. The skin therefore becomes reliant on mineral oil. For all of these reasons, I stay away from mineral oil and petrolatum, however there is a much more serious concern about these ingredients that you must know... They can be contaminated with PAHs.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are are a group of more than 100 different chemicals that are released from burning coal, oil, gasoline, trash, tobacco, wood, or other organic substances such as charcoal-broiled meat, (National Library of Medicine).
Petrolatum, mineral oil and all petroleum derivatives can be contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) during the manufacturing process. Studies show that exposure to PAHs are associated with cancer. The European Union classifies petroleum as a carcinogen and restricts it's use in cosmetics. PAHs can also cause skin irritation and allergies as well (David Suzuki Foundation: Petroleum).
The Environmental Working Group rates PAHs as a 9/10 on the HAZARD SCORE admitting they have robust research backing the data. You can read all of the list of resources and details here. Or check out the chart below:
A study published in Pediatrics in 2000 found that extremely low birth weight infants treated with petroleum jelly were more likely to develop systemic candidiasis (fungal infections). It created a warm moist place for fungi to grow.
Dermatologists and Pharmacists often still suggest these skin treatments for people who have skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. They create the strongest physical barrier on the skin and believe that the skin can heal more optimally while protected.
My favourite way to protect sensitive skin is to nourish the skin daily, and if needed, treat it with nutrition: 100% natural, cold pressed, organic E-Cream. I love that this Canadian organic product sources it's beeswax from a 3 generation organic bee farmer is used to help lock moisture into the skin, and includes gentle anti-inflammatories and herbs to soothe irritation. The skin also requires important minerals to help strengthen cell walls as the skin heals/replenishes. Skin Essence has done such a beautiful job in this blend, to provide the skin with all of it's vital minerals, to naturally strengthen weak skin. I enjoy the Tropical Tradition Sun Lotion as a hand and body moisturizer as well. You can also blend your own simple healthy hand and body lotions and lip balms with healthier emollient's. Here are some recipes: Lip Balm, Body Butter.
Thank you for reading. Please add your feedback below.
Vaseline (Every product is based with petroleum jelly)
Covergirl Lash Exact Mascara
Max Factor Mascara
Andrea EyeQ's Eye Makeup Remover Pads
To try any of these professional and non-toxic beauty products, message firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to join the exclusive client-order list (which gives you an option to order safe cosmetics once/month), or check out our beauty boutique here. For info on consultations, makeovers, or lessons click here.
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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.
If you guessed rosehip seed oil, you are correct.
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.
The 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.
The 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.
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.
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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:
Products 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).
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.
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)
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.
Covergirl (BHA, formaldehyde releasing preservatives: DMHM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Polyoxmethylene urea, Quarternium-15) Formaldehyde is acarcinogen and a potent skin allergen.
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)
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)
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
Book: “Safe Trip to Eden: Ten Steps to Save the Planet Earth from the Global Warming Meltdown,” by David Steinman
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Greenwashing 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.
A 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.
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.
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!
The Sins of Greenwashing report, statistics and images credits of: The Sins of Greenwashing Home and Family Edition]]>
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.
When 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?
The 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
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.
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 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.
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."
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.
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)
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.
I 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!
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!
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.