We live in a toxic world. Virtually everything we eat, drink, breath or touch is toxic and, although awareness of various forms of toxicity is at an all-time high, the world is not really cleaning up its act. We still need to eat, drink, breath and live. We can do what we can to fight the effect of these toxins on our body though by using products that reduce toxin exposure and, sometimes, actually battle toxicity (in the form of free-radicals) head-on.
I am a beauty-product addict. I am such a lover of beauty products that I have developed a system for analyzing, buying and using them. I eagerly wait for and then devour Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty edition or other magazine editions with a similar focus. I enter each product that sounds promising into a “maybe” shopping list in Evernote. I then research each product reading all the reviews and the ingredient list and if the product meets my discriminating standards (and my budget), I move the item to my real shopping list. I even have a line item in my monthly budget for “new beauty products.” My criteria for a good beauty product are: (1) results (2) price and (3) as toxin-free as possible. Here are my five favorites – at least until the next best thing comes along.
“According to Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 12 ‘beauty’ products per day, containing 168 ingredients.” According to Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo.com, “consumers need to be at least five times more aware of a skin care products toxicity than that of food.” (Click to Tweet) The “dirty dozen” toxins that are in many beauty products are: artificial dyes and coal-tar, Benzoates, BHA and BHT, DEA, MEA and TEA, Dibutyl Phthalate, Fragrance, Lead, Parabens, Petrolatum, Sodium lauryl sulphate, Stearalkonium chloride, Toluene, Triclosan. It is a challenge to find products that are completely free of any trace of any of these products but they do exist. To help you in your research, visit the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic data base that rates products on a scale of 0-9 (with 0 being the least toxic). www.ewg.org/skindeep.
Here is my list:
1. Organic Non-GMO Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is the best natural health and beauty product on the planet! (Click to Tweet) That’s a big claim I know. I started cooking with coconut oil when I made the move to a paleo diet. I love the flavor and the health benefits it provides such as relief from stress, cholesterol maintenance, weight control, boosted immune system, digestion and regulated metabolism. What I found out though is that coconut oil is also great for the skin because of its moisturizing, anti-aging and anti-viral properties. It also fights wrinkles because it has an antioxidant Vitamin E.
“Commercial moisturizers contain lots of water, which makes you feel like your skin is being moisturized. But as soon as the water dries, your skin becomes dry again.” To use, simply put on as you would your normal moisturizer. It is greasy at first (so I use it at night) but it will quickly absorb into your skin and then you will glow! You can store it at room temperature. I keep a bottle in my kitchen cabinet and another on my vanity. FYI: it’s also great for adding shine or taming fly-away’s in the hair.
2. Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum. This product, from the maker of the popular lip balm, is fantastic. While it does contain trace amounts of 3 of the “dirty dozen,” its overall ranking is a 1 by the Environmental Working Group. The product has pomegranate oil (an antioxidant) and evening primrose and borage seed oils for moisture. Put just a little bit of this serum on your bothersome wrinkles. Making this product even better is its price – less than $15.00!
3. The Honest Company’s Sunscreen Stick (SPF 30). Trying to find a clean sunscreen that actually works and that you don’t have to re-apply every 30 minutes has, until now, been a challenge. The Honest Company (founded by the actor Jessica Alba) has finally given us exactly this. EWG give the product an overall 0 rating. It is a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB), mineral-based product. It is water-resistant, does not go on white or greasy and is fragrance-free. Most importantly, it works! Recently, my daughter and I rented a convertible and went on an all-day driving road trip in sunny southern California. I fell into bed that night without even the slightest pink on my face.
4. The Honest Company’s Honest Face and Body Lotion. No, Jessica Alba is not my best friend. I just love this product and The Honest Company. With an overall EWG rating of 1, this moisturizer really is gentle enough for the face and body. I use coconut oil at night and this product during the day. It has organic olive, shea, jojoba and safflower oils (for hydration) and chamomile, calendula and aloe (for protection and to soothe). It is also pH balanced and only $10.00!
5. Cellex-C Eye Contour Gel. This “gel” is more like a liquid. It feels great going on the results are incredible. With an overall EWG rating of 1, the product which claims to have a patented vitamin C formulation really does help diminish the appearance of fine lines and crow’s-feet around the eye area although it takes at least a few months to see results. Even more exciting is that Vitamin C is known to help reduce the visible signs of aging caused by the destructive forces of oxyradicals.
There you have it – my top-secret list. It is possible to look great, fight the signs of aging and still reduce your exposure to unnecessary toxins. I would love to hear what you think of these products.
Do you have any clean products you love? I would love to hear about those so I can put them on my list.
April 19, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631, citing nutritionist Kimberly Snyder at http://kimberlysnyder.com.