Natural and Organic Beauty Products
There are already many cosmetic companies that create all-natural, safe, organic alternatives. Drugstore.com and Beauty.com sell several brands of organic and all-natural personal care products.
One of the first things you may want to do is check the labels on your cosmetics or go online to Skin Deep (www.cosmeticdatabase.com). According to a Skin Deep report by the Environmental Working Group, more than one-third of personal care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
Other companies that offer all-natural and organic personal care products and cosmetics include the following:
Alima Cosmetics (www.alimacosmetics.com) offers 100 percent natural mineral cosmetics.
Saffron Rouge (www.saffronrouge.com) sells organic face and skin care products.
Terressentials (www.terressentials.com) makes handcrafted certified organic skin, hair, and baby care products; it uses USDA-certified organic food-grade ingredients.
Avalon Natural Products (www.avalonnaturalproducts.com) sells organic body care products and cosmetics by Avalon Organics and Un-Petroleum products by Alba.
Tom's of Maine (www.tomsofmaine.com) is one of the original all-natural personal care product lines.
Origins (www.origins.com) is an organic beauty brand that is a division of Estée Lauder; it sells cosmetics and bath and body products.
Trillium Organics (www.trilliumorganics.com) has a nice selection of natural, organic products.
JASON (www.jason-natural.com) offers organic skin care products.
Garden of Eve (www.garden-of-eve.com) sells natural and organic products.
Purely Shea (www.purelyshea.com) offers organic shea butter skin care.
Mother Nature (www.mothernature.com) carries a wide variety of personal care products from all the big companies — Avalon, Tom's of Maine, and more — in addition to many other items.
Many mainstream companies are adding green cosmetic products to their existing lineups. Physicians Formula introduced a line called Organic Wear. It is supposed to be 100 percent natural origin makeup made with certified organic ingredients, completely free of harsh chemicals, parabens, and synthetic preservatives. It comes packaged in recyclable paper containers. Organic Wear is also the first ECOCERT certified line of organic makeup in the United States.
ECOCERT is an independent organization accredited by the French committee for accreditation, which conducts inspections and certifications to insure organic quality and integrity. It is much stricter than, and far superior to, conventional standards that govern organic cosmetics.
Why are petroleum-based ingredients in beauty products unsafe?
Mineral oil, paraffin, and petrolatum are all petroleum-based products. These petroleum-based products coat the skin, clog the pores, and create a buildup of toxins. They can disrupt hormone activity, can cause early signs of aging, and are a suspected carcinogen. However, they are a major ingredient in most beauty products.
Look for other companies that support eco-issues. Check to see if companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, pledging that their products are free of any potentially harmful chemicals that are known to cause or are suspected of causing cancer or birth defects. You can find these companies through www.safecosmetics.org.
You can even make your own natural beauty products with many ingredients you may already have in your kitchen: sea salt, cornstarch, cornmeal, honey, oatmeal, sugar, and many fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Food oils that are used as bases for many natural beauty products include almond, apricot kernel, avocado, castor, coconut, jojoba bean, macadamia nut, olive, sesame, soybean, sunflower seed, and wheat germ oils. These natural oils are safe alternatives to chemical-laden body lotions, creams, and oils. A good rule of thumb is “If you wouldn't put it in your body, you shouldn't put it on your body.”
According to an industry researcher, Package Facts, the natural care market's sales increased from $2 million in 2002 to $6.1 million in 2006 with sales continuing to grow at a rate of nine percent annually. Natural and organic personal care products are already filtering into the main-stream in Europe, which is a leader in the market.
If you are interested in recipes and more information on how to make your own cosmetics at home, check out the books Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles and Natural Beauty at Home by Janice Cox. Natural Beauty at Home does have a few recipes that include petroleum jelly and/or mineral oil, but you can skip them or use nonpetroleum products instead. There are also many websites full of recipes and useful do-it-yourself advice. Check out www.modernwife.com and www.the-cats-meow.com/naturalcosmeticindex.shtml. Cranberry Lane (www.cranberrylane.com) sells DIY bath and body care supplies and, its website is full of recipes and ideas.