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Published on January 26th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli

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cosmetic safety: the good, the bad, and the ugly!

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We put hundreds of products on our bodies each week- but how many of these are good and clean? And how many of them are actually bad for our bodies? Unfortunately, the answer is that too many products are unhealthy, and many would argue that what we put ONTO our bodies is just as important as what we put into our bodies.

Cosmetics are not regulated like food, and therefore can contain any number of chemicals, additives, and generally toxic ingredients. If this is something you are interested in- or know someone who really loves their beauty products- please check out The Story of Cosmetics. It’s a super interesting look at the non-regulations regarding cosmetics, and gives us some scary information about the stuff that’s inside our lotions, shampoos, and washes. You can also find information about the stuff that is in your bathroom here on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

some of my favorite natural products; photo from Just Green

And if you are already knowledgeable about this topic and just wondering WHERE you can buy the good stuff, check out this great article from Groovy Green Living which looks into which retailers sell the good stuff! Not surprisingly, Whole Foods is at the top of the list; they have policies in place to keep chemicals out of their products. CVS also has some policies in place to limit the chemicals in baby products- but their shelves are still lined with the conventional brands full of crap. Not surprisingly, Target, Walgreens, Walmart and Macy’s are the worst offenders- they each offer some safer alternatives, but generally their body care products are full of the worst offenders: parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and colorings and scents derived from petrochemicals. We must give some recognition here to the local health food store  here in Hawaii (full disclosure: DTE is one of my employers). Down to Earth has an extensive policy that limits chemicals, synthetic ingredients, and even animal by-products from the supplements that it sells. It is especially helpful as a vegetarian to know that none of the products contain animal products like gelatin and that all the body care is clean and awesome!

But if you are feeling REALLY ambitious, you could make your own body scrub, homemade lip balm, anti-fungal foot spray, or body lotion!

What types of body care products do you use? Have you ever looked into the ingredients in your body products? Do you use ‘natural’ body care products? Let us know in the comments!



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About the Author

Vegetarian chef, educator, blogger, and yogi based on the gathering isle of Oahu, and the Marketing Manager for Oroeco. Follow her foodie adventures at Vibrant Wellness Journal, Vibrant Wellness Education, Green Living Ideas and Green UPGRADER. Find more from Andrea on Facebook, , Instagram and Twitter.



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