Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cosmetics, Food and Health

While investigating natural cures for rheumatoid arthritis over the years, I have been fortunate to learn about other areas of my life that may be creating havoc with my health such as the food we eat, the cosmetics we use and the cleaning supplies we use to clean our house. Through this research I have been able to make changes that not only affect me but also my entire family.

First I read about the hormones and pesticides in our food systems and we have changed from grocery meat, veggies, milk and eggs to food purchased from farmers we know. Farmers who are making conscientious choices to provide food that is safer for our bodies and the environment.

We have learned about the chemicals that are in everyday products like soap, deodorant, dish soap, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc and have switched to products we feel eliminate these chemicals and make them safe to use in our home. Also, we make a few of our own cleaning solutions.

I would never describe myself as a "high-maintenance" gal, but I am not ready to give up my cosmetics either. (I have already given up hair coloring!) Although I am probably on the more natural side of fixing myself up, I do enjoy doing my hair and putting on make-up. However, after reading numerous articles about the dangers hidden in cosmetics and knowing that I have a daughter not to far from possibly wanting to use these same cosmetics herself, I knew I had to do some experimenting myself.

Luckily, there is a group that helps take some of the guess work out of this game. The Environmental Working Group has a site that focuses just on cosmetics called Skin Deep. Here you can type in a product name or what you are looking for such as "eyeliner" and a list of products will show up with a number attached to it. The number signifies the danger it presents to you along with information about whether or not the company has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics or not, the ingredients that cause danger, whether or not they test on animals, and more.

So, for the last few years I have been experimenting with cosmetics. When I am in need of a new product, I first go to the Skin Deep site and research the products with the lowest numbers. So far, I have been very pleased with everything I have bought. The prices have been good and my face never itches or gets dried out as I experienced with other cosmetics and facial creams.

I am currently using Tropical Traditions moisturizer for my face. It is wonderful! I have always had dry skin. But since using this product and adding fish oil to my daily supplements, this problem has gone away. Plus, they often have "buy one get one free" deals so you can stock up.

For cosmetics I have tried Aubrey Organics which was decent for blush and powder but takes a lot of experimenting with to find the right colors. Their lipstick goes on like a gloss and is very soothing to the lips. I have also used Larenim products which is a mineral based cosmetic. Their eye shadow is wonderful and they have a ton of colors to choose from. Also, if you email them about your color tone, hair color, eye color, etc they will send back suggested colors to try. I also like their mascara. This week I decided to give Honeybee Gardens a try. Sometime this week I am getting eyeliner, mascara and nail polish for my toes. I am excited!

I do want to warn you though to check back with Skin Deep each time you buy new products because I found with Aubrey Organics that originally their numbers were low but something must have been added later because their numbers went up on the danger side for hair products. It is still low, but something must have changed. Also, just because a product is sold in a health food store, doesn't mean that it is going to have a low number on Skin Deep. I was surprised to find that we were spending extra money on some products at Whole Foods that showed up having some dangers I wasn't comfortable with.

What about you? Have you made similar changes? What worked for you?