Eco-Beauty Essentials

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Just what is eco-beauty? It could be described as your ability to take fabulous care of yourself from head to toe without exposing your body─or the planet─to potentially dangerous toxins. While technology and science have advanced us in many ways, we’re also paying a price in the form of numerous chemicals and pollutants which pose a danger to both the environment and our personal health.

Eco-beauty is about becoming more discerning about the personal care products you select, as your skin is highly permeable, absorbing up to 60% of what you put on it. In fact, applying chemicals topically may be even more dangerous than swallowing them, as they enter your bloodstream directly, and are rapidly transported to vital organs.

Unfortunately, most mainstream personal care products contain a plethora of potentially toxic additives. Astonishingly, neither these products, nor their ingredients, are reviewed─or approved─by the FDA before they’re sold to the public. According to the Environmental Working Group, many Americans use up to 126 different ingredients daily─one-third of which may cause serious health problems, even cancer. Additives that are best avoided include:

• Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
• Synthetic Fragrances
• Parabens
• Formaldehyde
• Phthalates
• Propylene Glycol
• Dimethicone
• Triclosan
• Talc

For a great resource that details the health risks associated with these chemicals─plus a wealth of other great eco-beauty and green health information─check out Easy Green Living by Reneé Loux:

Fortunately, you can easily obtain clean, natural personal care products in virtually every category from health food stores and numerous websites. Brands like Kiss My Face, Ecco Bella, Beauty Without Cruelty, Aubrey Organics, Aura Cacia, and Burt’s Bees, among others, deliver beautifully and safely.

Consider simple, multi-use items as well─which save you both time and money─such as biodegradable soap, coconut oil, aloe vera, honey, plain Greek yogurt, and lavender, tea tree, and other essential oils. Think green tea toners, lavender baths and facial mists, soothing yogurt-honey masks, and coconut oil for a sumptuous, full body moisturizer. Check out Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox for over 250 simple recipes for Body, Bath, and Hair:

While good topical care is important, healthy, glowing skin is primarily an inside job. Drinking plenty of water will help keep your complexion healthy and radiant─as will eating a daily rainbow of fresh, hydrating fruits and vegetables, rich in skin health nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E. Also, be sure to add an extra glass of water for every cup of coffee and cocktail you consume, as both caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate your skin.

These tips should help you on your quest. Now, let that natural beauty shine!

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