Organic and Non-Toxic Beauty Products

Reduce your cancer risk by cutting toxin exposure in your home and on your body.

mascara It might make you mad to know that you are a guinea pig for the effects of carcinogen exposure and its effects on the human body. You would be shocked to learn how many known – and suspected – carcinogens are you are using in your home and on your body!

A five-year EPA study of over 600 households revealed that contaminant levels in the average home are up to 70 times higher than those found outdoors!

The Environmental Working Group, a public interest research and advocacy organization, has revealed that more than one third of all personal care products contain at least one known carcinogen. The average woman is exposed to approximately 126 such chemicals on a daily basis. In combination, these products are even worse; some “penetration enhancing” skin care products, for example, allow harmful ingredients to be drawn further into the body.

Penetration enhancers have been used to effectively deliver patch drugs deeper and faster through the skin and into the blood vessels. Although rarely added to cosmetics for the purpose of enhancing penetration, many ingredients used in cosmetics are found to have penetration-enhancing properties. The concern with penetration enhancers in cosmetics lies not in the toxicity of the enhancer itself but in the fact that the enhancers open the skin to greater absorption of carcinogens, toxins, and other harmful chemicals that the product may contain.

My list of what I use.

I make my own facial cleanser with honey, baking soda, lavender oil, rose oil, sweet almond oil, Vitamin C, salicylic acid, a few drops of Dr. Bonner’s hemp soap, xantham gum. It cleans, perfectly, doesn’t strip the skin of essential oils, replenishes with oils that are good for the skin, exfoliates beautifully.  It’s for sale on my web page-  Optimum Nutrition. I also make distill lavender flowers, roses and calendula flowers for toners that nourish the skin.  I have also posted the recipe on my business web page-  Optimum Nutrition – Recipe of the Week.

EveryDay Minerals – Great powders, average packaging. GREAT prices!! And free samples, so you can try them. They let you order FIVE generous samples in different colors so you can find a match. I loved the three colors of powders, wasn’t so wild about the blushes, didn’t show hardly any color on the skin.

Jane Iredale Jane Iredale is pricey, but very clean and decadently elegant. I have a real problem with all the packaging and metal compacts and such…but ooohhh…I love her products. Her pressed powders are amazing. Lipsticks are clean and really stay put, but need gloss as they are very matte.

Evans Garden– ineffective cleansers and chalky powders, but the GREATEST facial moisturizers in the world. So clean you could eat them.  They couldn’t be any higher quality, moisturize perfectly and are very affordable.  And the owners are sweeties!

burts bees Burt’s Bees has the best Lip Balm I’ve ever found.  Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil is my favorite.  They also

Aubrey Organics has wonderful Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. They are awesome for permed or colored hair. Their Rosa Mosqueta body lotion is the most luxurious and wonderful body lotion I have ever used! However a VERY close second is;

Burt’s Bees Carrot Moisturizer Lotion (the smell is a heavenly vanilla scent!).

 BB Carrot Lotion

Neem Farms Neem Powder- for toothpaste is my favorite.  It’s whitening and anti-bacterial. I also use the Neem Mouthwash.

Dr Hauschka Dr. Hauschka has my favorite lipstick, lip pencil and eye liner. 

PF Organics Physician’s Formula Organicwear for mascara- non-gooey, doesn’t clump, stays on and comes off easy.

UVNaturals is the only sunscreen I have found that I am willing to put on my skin! I can even wear it under makeup. Recent medical research is indicating that certain sunscreen ingredients are in fact having a detrimental effect through cumulative use.

Best exfolient and fade treatment in the world- my daughter Rachel, an esthetician, taught me this- make a paste from baking soda and fresh lemon juice, apply as mask, leave on 15 to 20 minutes, re-wet with lemon juice if it starts to dry out.  It fades brown spots and works as well as glycolics to exfoliate!

These ingredients can mimic oestrogen, create free radicals, or accelerate the production of free radicals in the body. The can also damage DNA within the cells.

When you go read the label on most of the personal care products that you are probably using, you will find parabens and phthalates. These chemicals have been definitively linked to breast cancer.

Organic Mascara, All Natural and I LIKE IT!

I have been trying to find a decent natural, organic mascara for 30 years! I finally did it; it’s not gooey, doesn’t clump and it stays on until I wash it off…and it washes off easily, I might add…no yanking out the eyelashes to get it off. YEAH!!!

Organic wear®

For more information about Organic wear®, visit

Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Mascara 

Hypoallergenic. Safe for Sensitive Eyes and Contact Lens Wearers.

Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Mascara

  • Revolutionary 100% Natural Origin formula contains the purest ingredients and provides 5x Lash Boosting for lash length, volume & definition naturally.
  • 100% Recyclable Eco-Brush defines each lash with ultra-soft plastic bristles.
  • 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals, Synthetic Preservatives, Parabens, Clumping, Smudging, Flaking, Fibers & Dyes.

Shade: Ultra Black Organics Black Organics *


  • Sweep mascara brush from lash base to tips.
  • Apply multiple coats for added volume.



Where to Buy

Net Wt. 0.26Oz./7.5g
Price:  $9.95

5 Greenwashed Myths of the Beauty Industry (And How Not to Fall For Them)

A great post from TreeHugger

1. If it’s "natural," it must be green

washing face "Natural" and "all-natural" may lead us to surmise that a product is as pure as the driven snow (or as pristine as a virgin rainforest), but because they’re not regulated labeling terms, marketers are free to bandy them around with alacrity and, more important, without fear of reprisal. Plus, much like their kissing cousins "nature-inspired," "naturally derived," and "based on natural," they’re also vague, misleading, and essentially meaningless.

Tacking "Naturals" at the end of a company’s name, branding one’s packaging with earthy tones and botanical allusions, and peppering advertising copy with exotic fruit and vegetable extracts are other strategies used to lull us into a false sense of security. The point of this PR legerdemain? You’ll be too distracted to notice the disconnect between the laboriously crafted fantasy and the sordid reality.

2. It contains organic or fair-trade ingredients—totally eco, no?

It’s true that we’re judged by the company we keep, but tossing a couple of organic or fair-trade ingredients into the mix, commendable as that might be, does not an unsullied concoction make—yes, even if you bold said ingredients and strategically craft your marketing campaign around them. When methylparaben and PEG-100 stearate are bumping uglies with organic cocoa butter and fair-trade mango extract, you have a tainted product on your hands.

3. It has no parabens. We’re home-free, right?

Not so fast. While these ubiquitous, hormone-mimicking preservatives are chief among the Big Bads of skincare ingredients, in terms of the attention they’ve received and the controversy they’ve generated, they’re not the be-all and end-all. Be wary of companies that use the exclusion of parabens, usually followed closely by phthalates, as a smokescreen for letting other toxic nasties slide by.

4. It has someone’s seal of approval, so we’re good

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program isn’t the only sheriff in town, even if the Food and Drug Administration is strictly hands-off when it comes to regulating the use of "organic" in cosmetics, bodycare, and personal care products. (Confused? You and us both.) The proliferation of certifications and labels over the past few years has made what was already a sticky quagmire of "who said what" even more unnavigable, with standards like OASIS, Whole Foods’ Premium Body Care, and Sephora’s Naturally Gorgeous either contributing to or muddying up the conversation, depending on whom you ask.

Third-party verification is a wonderful thing, but many of these "internal ratings" are tantamount to saying that your own standards of awesomeness have summarily judged you to be TEH AWESOME. (And Terri Bly at Feelgood Style notes that Sephora is selling a load of crock anyway.) As TerraChoice so eloquently put it, thou shalt not worship false labels.

5. Babies and kids use it, that makes it safe

Think again, kemosabe. Just because a skincare product is geared toward the pint-size, doesn’t mean it’s been tested for safety. With no standards in place to protect them—and despite their increased vulnerability—our children are exposed to some of the muckiest ingredients chemistry hath wrought, including known carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Even a trusted, supposedly child-friendly institution like Johnson’s, maker of the iconic No More Tears shampoo, regularly hits the highest score on the Environmental Working Group’s hazard scale. Won’t someone think of the children?

Clean Beauty Products

washing face I have been reading Green Blogs this morning and found several with lists of what the authors thought were fairly clean products. One listed several that had a toxicity level of “under #3”  on the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep site. I don’t know about you but I do not want ANY toxic chemicals in my products that I use.

I decided to make a list of my favorite products and where to find them.

I make my own skin cleanser; here is the recipe;


3 cup water
2 cups baking soda
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 ½ cup honey
1 Tbsp. Dr. Bonners Almond liquid soap
2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid powder
1 teaspoon Salicylic acid
3 Tablespoons Xantham gum

On low heat, combing all ingredients except honey. Remove from heat and let cool. Add honey. Let the recipe mellow a day, then refrigerate most of it. I keep about a cup of it in the bathroom in a glass jar. Apply to the skin like a soap and rinse off with tepid water.

I make my own exfoliator by adding extra baking soda (a fruit acid) to my cleanser to make a paste.  I use baking Soda mixed with fresh lemon juice as a mask to fade brown spots and even out my complexion. Prior to making these products I had used Retin-A and glycolic acids on my face for about 15 years.  I find these inexpensive, non-toxic products just as affective.

images Jane Iredale her loose powder, mascara and lipsticks are simply the best and cleanest available. And her products are packaged in metal, not plastic. Pricey, but luxurious.

EveryDay Minerals – Great powders, average packaging. GREAT prices!! And free samples, so you can try them. They let you order FIVE generous samples in different colors so you can find a match. I like thier blushes and eye shadows also.

light-cream-250 Evans Garden waxy,ineffective cleansers and chalky powders, but GREAT moisturizers. I use their Light Cream for Oily Skin for daytime, Crème Rose and Rose Facial Serum at night.  I don’t think there are any finer moisturizers on the market. 

Burts Bees Burt’s Bees has the best Lip Balm I’ve ever found.

aubrey Aubrey Organics has wonderful Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. They are awesome for permed or colored hair. Their Rosa Mosqueta body lotion is the most luxurious and wonderful body lotion I have ever used! However a VERY close second is Burt’s Bees Carrot Moisturizer Lotion (the smell is a heavenly vanilla scent!)

Neem Powder- this toothpaste and mouthwash is my favorite; cleans, whitens and is a natural disinfectant.

UVNaturals is the only sunscreen I have found that I am willing to put on my skin!  Although I hardly ever wear it, there are tomes I do need it; sailing, long bike rides…I can even wear it under makeup. Recent medical research is indicating that certain sunscreen ingredients are in fact having a detrimental effect through cumulative use.


Greener Beauty Products

If you have been reading my blog awhile, you know I am serious about not using any chemicals on my body.  However…every once in a while, especially in the summer, I love to paint my toes red.  I have tried a few polishes from the health food store with no luck finding good quality ones…  Here is a post from TryingToBeGreener;

I feel pretty, oh so pretty! March 20, 2009

I would say that I keep things pretty basic with the daily beauty products I use. I don’t have a ton of makeup that piles up or multiple shampoo bottles to choose from in my shower. I do, however, like to wear perfume and nail polish occasionally. In fact, I’ve found that when I do wear nail polish, it helps me to want to keep my hands from looking like they wash dishes all day long – it reminds me to pamper them a bit more. The problem is that I stopped wearing nail polish after hearing how much of  it contains formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

Nicole, made by OPI, is free of DBT, toluene, and formaldehyde and their glass packaging is recyclable. The Nicole line comes in both the traditional nail polishes in the glass jars, called Nail Lacquers, and brush on pens, called Nail Sticks. Both options come in many, many colors and are available at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Meijer, Longs Drugs, and Harmon Discount Health and Beauty.

I tried the Nail Stick alone without a top or bottom coat and found it to last respectably for 5 day. Pretty good, if you ask me.

Nicole Nail Sticks

Nicole Nail Sticks

I also purchased Soy Polish Remover from a local “green store” near where I live made by Pritti. Its ingredients are soy ester, corn ester, orange oil, and vegetable glycerin. Their DBP, toluene and formaldehyde free nail polish and polish remover can be purchased through Amazon.

Priti Nail Polish Remover

Priti Nail Polish Remover


Cut the Risk of Cancer with Sunshine?


One specific treatment for cancer brought to the “research forefront” is sunshine. According to a study, men with higher levels of vitamin D (typically obtained through sunshine exposure AND grass-fed meat, eggs and butter, which are your best source for Vitamin D) in their blood were half as likely to develop aggressive forms of prostate cancer than those with lower amounts.

Experiments also suggested vitamin D inhibits cell growth. Yet despite sunshine’s apparent health benefits, doctors are not entirely comfortable with prescribing the “sunshine vitamin,” though many see little harm in getting the 15 minutes of exposure time a day the body needs to make enough of this vital nutrient. (It is recommended people get a daily vitamin D amount of 400 international units.) Doctors warn, however, that there must be a “happy medium” to receiving vitamin D: Too little won’t do any good, while an overload can cause critical health problems such as skin cancer.

Sunscreen Found to Generate Harmful Compounds that Promote Skin Cancer

A team of researchers from the University of California has found that sunscreen can do more harm than good once it soaks into the skin, where it actually promotes the harmful compounds it is meant to protect against.

The research team found that three commonly used ultraviolet (UV) filters — octylmethoxycinnamate, benzophenone 3 and octocrylene — eventually soak into the deeper layers of the skin after their application, leaving the top skin layers vulnerable to sun damage. UV rays absorbed by the skin can generate harmful compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. The researchers found that once the filters in sunscreen soak into the lower layers of skin, the filters react with UV light to create more damaging ROS.

The Cal team’s research is the first to indicate that sunscreen filters — intended to protect the skin from the very UV damage they apparently promote — have reacted in such a way.

The researchers found that the filters only become damaging when they are soaked into the skin and another layer of sunscreen is not applied.

"This research confirms what the natural health community has been saying for years: That sunscreens are harmful to your health," said Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate. "The best sunscreen is actually achieved with a diet high in antioxidants," he explained. "When you eat berries, superfoods and fresh produce on a regular basis, these natural antioxidants are utilized by your skin to protect you from excessive ultraviolet ray exposure. Sunburns are caused more by poor nutrition than by UV ray exposure."

Unilever takes a bite out of your face cream

From EWG


If you follow our work on cosmetics, you know that companies have free reign over what they put in your products. FDA can’t require companies to test products for safety before (or after) they’re sold, and unlike for food additives and drugs, FDA doesn’t review or approve cosmetics before you buy them. Companies are the deciders when it comes to what’s safe enough to sell.

Cosmetic companies may not have to test, but they do have to list ingredients on product labels, and on at least 126 products you’ll find the ingredient “squalene” listed in tiny print. It’s an oil used to soften skin and hair.

Turns out that squalene can either be squeezed out of the livers of deep-sea sharks, or made naturally from rice or wheat. Seems an obvious choice for cosmetic formulators. But guess what Unilever picked.

Thanks to pressure from our friends at Oceana, Unilever announced this week that it would switch from sharks to plants to make the squalene it adds to Pond’s, Dove, and other Unilever brands. This is great news and an important action, given that shark populations are plummeting worldwide from overfishing.

But what remains disturbing is the fact that, either way, Unilever’s choices are in full compliance with federal cosmetic standards, which allow companies to use ingredients synthesized from, well, anything really — including animal species collapsing globally in numbers, or petroleum products, or mining industry products –with no requirement that health or the environment be considered.

Our research shows that companies even use ingredients that are known human carcinogens (like coal tar) and chemicals that can harm brain development (like mercury). Not to mention the nearly 90% of cosmetic ingredients that have never been assessed for health or environmental impacts, by the cosmetic industry’s safety panel, the FDA, or any other publicly accountable institution.

Unilever’s action, spurred by public pressure, is taking a big bite out of your face cream. But it’s a nibble when you consider the more than 7,000 other cosmetic ingredients in face cream, sunscreen, deodorant, toothpaste, baby products, and more that still need the same kind of scrutiny.