Thursday, May 8, 2008


Nowadays we're all aware that some products contain toxic ingredients, and we're careful to avoid them. Even after taking these precautions, harmful chemicals and agents still manage to get into your body when you bathe with city water, brush on makeup, or simply put on a pair of dyed jeans.

Some of us are already skin-deep in toxins before we even make it to our morning commute. This spells trouble for our health and also for the health of the earth.

What's in Your Medicine Cabinet?Some of the products you use regularly every day - toothpaste and shaving cream - may be a closer shave than you think. These products contain phenols, carcinogenic chemicals that have been found in everything from laundry soap to household cleansers. ALL NATURAL HEALTH CARE

In the case of laundry soap and cleansers, these chemicals may not present an extreme threat, as little to none remains in clean clothing and we can use gloves when handling cleansers. But when these chemicals are included in toothpaste and shaving cream, it's a different story.

Both of these items are used near the mouth, so there's a higher risk of inadvertently swallowing some. Phenol exposure through skin contact or fumes is always somewhat toxic, but ingesting phenols in even small amounts can cause respiratory failure and other serious ailments.

Your safest bet is to drop by your health food store and pick up natural toothpaste and a shaving cream made with almond or coconut oil. While you're there, why not pick up some phenol-free household cleanser and laundry soap?

Get that Glow Naturally
Every morning, many women "put on their face" as a daily ritual to enhance their looks. Ironically, achieving that healthy glow with cosmetics is actually putting you in harm's way. The cosmetics industry is one of the biggest users of harmful chemicals, and there are few regulating laws.

Your lash-enhancing mascara may have formaldehyde as an ingredient, and there might be plastic resins in your lipstick. You may find asbestos-contaminated talc in eye shadow and blush, and foundation makeup often includes chemical solvents. These are all suspected carcinogens.

Why take risks?
Bag the dangerous makeup and opt instead for natural alternatives found in health food stores that use colored clays, vegetable oils, and other natural ingredients. For more information about beauty products that I recommend, click here.

Healthy Hair Care
It's time to use hair care that's health care. Your scalp is very porous and can easily absorb harmful chemicals. Many commercial hair products, from hair dye to shampoos and sprays, are full of coal-tar dyes, ammonia, formaldehyde, plastic resins, and artificial fragrance that can cause serious health threats, everything from skin irritation to cancer or blindness. Natural alternatives to these chemicals are widely available in health food stores.

You can even make your own hair care products! For natural hair dye, use strong black tea or coffee for a dark color hair; lemon juice can be used for lightening. To shampoo, rub baking soda into your scalp and rinse - it does a better job than commercial shampoo, which can leave chemical residues on your hair and scalp. Try using orange water or honeyed water as hair spray.


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