|Posted on October 20, 2009 at 10:24 PM|
Just recently I stumbled across The Safe Shopper's Bible - A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food by David Steinman & Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. This book is a true eye opener and worth the few dollars that it costs (I bought mine on half.com for $ 5.00). Even though it was published in 1995, this book offers valuable information when it comes to living naturally. The chapters range from household products (cleaning products, paint and related products, pesticides, pet supplies, auto products, art and craft supplies) to cosmetics (eye and face makeup, hair care, dental and oral hygiene, feminine hygiene, nail products, and skin products) to foods and beverages. Interestingly, when I looked under the "Skin Lotion" section, the less common and lesser known brands are the ones mostly recommended compared to well known brands such as Almay, Chanel, Clarins, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Jergens, or even Lubriderm and Oil of Olay. What these well-known brands have in common is that they use fragrances and preservatives some of which can be very harmful. Manufacturers do not have to label them as harmful as often only traces of a specific ingredient can be found. However, used on a daily basis over a prolonged period of time, even the most minimal trace adds up and can be harmful.
Some years ago I had bought a moisturizing facial cream because "advertisers told me" (you know, commercials on TV can be oh so persuasive) that I needed it for anti-aging prevention. I did not think twice, did not read the label, paid $ 40.00 for a tiny jar (and that was cheap!), went home, and used the cream only to frantically wash it off a little while later because my eyes were itching and getting puffy. How upsetting is it to spend so much money on a cream only to be allergic to it?! Synthetic fragrances and preservatives are very often the cause of allergies so if you are like me and experience or suffer from an allergy and have no idea where it is coming from, take a look at what you put on your skin. Stop using your cosmetic products for a while and see if your allergy gets better. Read the labels, research the products online, become an educated consumer. A very good reference site is Skin Deep. Better yet, make your own products! You always know what you put in your own product. You can use different ingredients depending on your need, skin type, or mood if you like fragranced products. Instead of using synthetic fragrances, essential oils are the safest substitute. Some essential oils are photosensitive (e.g. bergamot and any citrus oils) and also can cause an allergic reaction. As it is with any product, test a drop of essential oil on the inside of your forearm.
Be well and live well!