Posts Tagged ‘Cosmetics’

Happy Greener Halloween!

From candy to face paint to candles, Halloween can be a “toxic” holiday.  There are simple ways however, to make Halloween greener without spoiling the fun!

Face paint, play make-up, lipstick and nail polish contain chemicals and lead that are harmful to kids and linked to hormone disruption and cancer.  Instead try natural cosmetics.  You can check the safety of your cosmetics at cosmeticsdatabase.com. Skip the colored hairspray, which contains harmful chemicals and fragrance that kids can easily breathe in.  Wigs, hats or funny hairdos work too.

Rather than buying a cheap, synthetic costume, why not get one from a resale shop or borrow one from a friend?  Return to simpler times and make one using items you already have. Those are the ones your child will remember.  I have a vivid memory of being a ghost made from an old white sheet!

Synthetic facemasks and fake teeth are made from plastics and unlabeled materials.  Putting plastic teeth in your mouth or breathing the chemicals from the plastic masks doesn’t seem like a good idea for young developing bodies and can be harmful.  Try making your own mask from a paper bag or use a half-face mask instead.

English: Child in Tiger face paint

Traditional paraffin-based candles (made from petroleum by products) give off toxic compounds.  Use fragrance-free ones made from soy or beeswax.  Avoid  plastic pumpkins and other cheap Halloween accessories.  Fall gourds, pumpkins, corn stalks, and even leaves make beautiful natural decorations.

Kids look forward all year to Halloween candy, but there is a steady stream of holiday candy from Halloween through Valentine’s Day.  Why not give out healthier granola bars, puffed rice squares, or bags of popcorn or pretzels? Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell less sugary candy.  With my kids I would “buy back” a portion of their Halloween candy and then let them buy a new toy with the money. (I always over paid them but it was worth it to limit the candy.) They actually loved spreading their candy out, sorting and counting the candy and deciding which to give back and which to keep.  It was a good math game too.

As with all holiday indulgences, moderation is the key.

Some information compiled from Environmental Working Group http://www.ewg.org.

Safe Cosmetics

One of my readers asked about safe cosmetics.  I did a post on this subject a while ago, but I am reblogging it because it’s such an important topic.  According to the Environmental Working Group,  on average American women use 12 products a day and men average 6 products daily, which means an adult is likely to be exposed daily to 126 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products alone.

Personal care army

Personal care army (Photo credit: A30_Tsitika)

We might not realize that the make up we put on our faces or the hair and body products, sunscreens, and nail polish we use on a daily basis have a host of dangerous chemicals and allergens like mercury, lead, parabans, pthalates, and others. Watch out for products with fragrances. There are no regulations on ingredients and there are usually dozens of synthetic compounds.  I always wonder why American cosmetic companies sell the same products in Europe without the chemical additives! Well, the European Union strictly regulates the extremely hazardous chemicals found in everyday products in the United States and has banned about 1,100 chemicals, while the FDA has banned only ten!  Of the more than 10,000 chemical ingredients in personal care products, 89 percent have not undergone safety testing, according to the Environmental Working Group.  If you read about what these additives do to our bodies, especially young, developing bodies, you would only use organic personal care products!  It’s scary….

The average woman “eats” more than 6 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime, just one of many cosmetics used.  Fortunately finding safer products is getting easier. Whole Foods Markets and independent natural food stores have several lines of organic skin care products that are safe to use, like Dr. Hauschka, Mychelle, Badger, Burt’s Bees.  Some products are “cleaner” than others, so make sure to always read the label and be wary of names too long to pronounce.  A knowledgeable sales person will be able to help you find the safest products.

Organic cosmetics and personal care products are not only better for your health, but better for the earth too!  When discarding them, fewer chemicals will go down the drain or in the trash, seeping into our water supply and landfills.  Many watch dog groups like the Environmental Working Group and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow are forcing pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies to eliminate these harmful chemicals.  To rate the toxicity of your personal care products, visit www.safecosmetics.or, which does an online safety assessment of 75,223 products.

Information from ewg.org and ecosalon.com.  

Let me know if you have certain topics you want me to write about.  I’m happy to do so!