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Published on October 21st, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans

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Eco Fashion and Natural Beauty

Making a green statement in your fashion styles and beauty choices has never been easier!  There are many options available to help you go 100% natural and organic with your personal care products. When you seek beauty treatments, consider the natural and sumptuous beauty and body care treatments available at day spas.  Natural and ethical clothing items and fashion accessories are hitting the shelves, and eco-inspired designs are also just a click away, with a wealth of choices available on the virtual e-shelves.

Chemical

Harsh, toxic and synthetic chemicals are common ingredients in many personal care products, with heavy metals ranking as a standard ingredient of many cosmetic products.  We all know that the harsh ingredients used in nail polish have that strong signature smell which announces an array of toxic chemical ingredients.  You can minimize your contact with these heavy toxins by investing in the natural nail polish options available – they don’t contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, or toluene found in most standard formulas, which research has linked to skin irritation and birth defects, among other possible unknown effects.  By selecting natural options for your skin and body care regimens, your skin and the environment will absorb less of the harsh ingredients that cause damage over time with regular use. 

Harsh, toxic and synthetic chemicals are common ingredients in many personal care products, with heavy metals ranking as a standard ingredient of many cosmetic products.

Natural Ingredients

Natural Skin Care Ingredients Look for plant and mineral substances as natural ingredients in your personal care products.  Use cosmetics, skin care or hair care products that are labeled as having "natural" or "organic" ingredients in their formulas. Natural ingredients can be organic.  Organic means that the harvest product has been organically grown. 

To be certain that products labeled "natural" or "organic" actually make the grade, visit Skin Deep, an online database courtesy of the Environmental Working Group.  This database allows you to search-up skin care products by product, ingredient or company: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

The ingredients used in natural personal care are selected because of their beneficial effects.  The commonly used natural ingredients are also chosen because they generally don’t inflame skin sensitivities or allergies, and a wide range of skin types can tolerate them.  Even so, it is important to be aware of any potential allergic reaction or sensitivity to an herb before using it.  If you have diet restrictions concerning salt or sugar, you should avoid products with these ingredients if you are not sure how your body will react.  For this reason, you should stay away from a body scrub that is either sugar or salt-based.  Avoid soaking your body, hands, or feet in baking soda, Epsom salts and sea salts when salt restrictions are a factor in your diet.  Natural ingredients are versatile and can be used in different natural beauty, skin care and hair care formulas.  Some common natural ingredients include distilled water, olive oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, herbal extracts, clays and essential oils.  You can also find natural waxes, such as beeswax and floral wax, in personal care products.

Natural Soaps Natural soap is used in bath and shower formulas.  Natural soap may also be an ingredient in natural shampoos.  Soap can be made from animal product and plant oils, but use only soaps made from all-vegetable oil for a pure product that doesn’t use animal-sourced ingredients.  Most natural soaps contain vegetable glycerin which can soften the skin.  All-natural soaps are free from detergents and toxic chemicals, and can be enhanced with essential oils, clay, herbs and natural colorants.  Natural soaps may also have added scrub and deodorizing ingredients.

Facial and Body Care Products

Facial and body care products can also come with natural ingredients.  You can use natural and organic cleansing, toning and moisturizing formulas, which can be used effectively on dry, oily, combination, sensitive and mature skin.  There are also green choices for acne conditions and sunburn treatments available, as well.

Hair Care

There are many options for natural hair care.  You can use natural soap-based and non-toxic shampoos, which are made using natural cleansers, essential oils and herbal extracts.  You can also use natural hair dyes, lighteners, sprays, setting formulas, beautyfashion1.pngpomades, rinses, anti-frizz formulas and conditioners, which are not laden with neurotoxins.

Cosmetics

Achieving a stunning look with natural cosmetics is possible, too.  Natural cosmetics can have a dry, water-based or oil-based formula, so choose one based on what works best with your skin type.  The gorgeous natural colorants used in cosmetics typically come from minerals and plant-based materials.  

Spa Treatments

You can find luxurious and effective treatments for beauty, skin care and body care at day spas.  Fulfill your skin and hair care needs by choosing from a variety of natural spa treatments, including massage.  Fruit masks for the hair, face or body are great ways to nourish and replenish your skin.  There is a wide range of calming and natural spa treatments – you could be wrapped in seaweed and essential oils, or sunken deep into a tub of clay or floral waters.  Make the choice to get pampered naturally at a day spa.

Clothing

Natural and eco-friendly clothing is made from organic bamboo, cotton, hemp, soy, linen and woolen materials.  Message T-shirts made with green screen-printing methods are also popular, as green fabric painting methods use eco-friendly paints and treatments.  Get a natural look by avoiding fabric made from synthetic material or synthetic blends.  Avoid white fabrics, as this color indicates that a great deal of bleach was probably used to achieve the effect.  Watch out for dyes, too.  The dyes used to color most fabrics are not environmentally-friendly because they can contain toxic substances, heavy metals and/or synthetic chemicals.  Plant and animal fibers can be processed with natural dyes and lightening methods.  Choose fabrics and clothing that have been processed naturally – they’re not as hard to find as they used to be.  Some fashion designers are creating great designs and comfortable styles for common items, like organic cotton denim jeans.  Some companies that use organic materials encourage you to send used clothes back – they’ll either give you a percentage off of your next purchase or donate a percentage to a project in sustainable fashion.  You can also care for your clothing with eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning methods.  You can find natural cleaning solutions that are free from detergents, bleach and other harsh chemicals.  There are also natural cleaning methods available for your fashion accessories – check online and at your local beauty store. 

Avoid white fabrics, as this color indicates that a great deal of bleach was probably used to achieve the effect.  Watch out for dyes, too.  The dyes used to color most fabrics are not environmentally-friendly because they can contain toxic substances, heavy metals and/or synthetic chemicals.

Accessories

Choose green jewelry to accessorize. Since the typical extraction methods used to procure metals, gems and precious stones damages and causes pollution to the planet, it is important to recycle and to use recycled precious metals, stones and gems.  You can also find an abundance of fair trade jewelry.  Hemp, bamboo, clay beads, concrete, stones, and recycled material are all substances used to make alternative jewelry styles. Avoid using jewelry that has been made with endangered wood products or new precious metals and stones.  For example, instead of buying a diamond made available through unethical environmental methods and business practices, you can search for a green diamond.  For a green wedding diamond, you can choose from a host of recycled, conflict-free and free trade diamonds. Recycle your fine jewelry if it is not being worn any longer.

The Fur Factor

Planning on wearing fur?  You should know that the only ethical furs are fake furs.  You should also know that even though fake furs provide a greener choice over real furs, fake furs can be made of synthetic fibers and substances.  This means that fake furs are not actually an eco-friendly choice.  If you can’t avoid wearing fake fur, there are synthetics available in a variety of colors and textures to choose from.  You can find fun and realistic-looking fake furs to be used on hats, vests, coats and as trim on clothing articles and fashion accessories. Going green in your fashion and beauty goals will open up a great variety of choices to you.  You can look and feel better by adding natural and organic ingredients and materials to your repertoire of beauty and fashion solutions.  Keeping up with fashion trends no longer has to come at the price of our health or the expense of our planet!





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