What is Green Beauty?
Green (Clean) Beauty is a lifestyle choice that every person can benefit from by using skin-care, make-up, hair-care, dental-care and other personal-hygiene products that are free of harmful chemicals, dyes, carcinogens and other dangerously toxic ingredients that can lead to a multitude of health problems. No longer do we have to sacrifice our health and harm the environment just to look and feel beautiful.
Why do I choose Green Beauty?
In November of 2015, I embarked on the craziest health crisis of my life (Aubrey’s Health Journey parts I, II & III). Once I realized that eating naturally, locally and organically could possibly heal my body from the inside-out, I thought “why not also heal my body from the outside-in?” On January 1st, 2017, I made a promise to myself that I would eat as organically and naturally as possible and use topical products with the least invasive and toxic chemicals that I could find on the market.
I choose to use products from Green Beauty companies such as 100% Pure, Beauty Counter, Fitglow, Kypris, Lily Lolo and others because they commit to using all natural ingredients and eco-friendly packaging to reduce the impact on human health and pollution of the planet that every human calls Home. Natural and organic products do not require high demand for more harmful chemicals or leave harmful residue in our sewers and landfills which makes them environmentally friendly, woo-Hoo! Packaging of products is equally important and the best case scenario will have as minimal packaging and wrapping as possible or use glass bottles, eco-friendly inks and adhesives and biodegradable plastics that will easily decompose.
Also, did you know that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies? Yeah, no joke! So it is even more important to ensure that harmful toxins are not being absorbed into our blood stream through the pores of our skin. It does not have to be overwhelming or difficult to switch out your products, just focus on one product at a time. Think of it this way, if you choose to spend a lot of time, effort, money and energy eating an organic-real foods diet so that your body is nourished from the inside out, that same level of care should also be directed towards your daily skin-care & beauty routines.
Check out this amazing website called EWG (Environmental Working Group) where their mission is to “empower people to lives healthier lives in a healthier environment.” They have n entire page where you can search products that are EWG Certified and even rate the toxicity of your everyday use products from body lotion to dishwasher detergent.
How Might it Help YOU?
If you are like me and have experimented with an elimination food diet, you may have found that you are allergic/sensitive/intolerant to specific food such as gluten, dairy or soy (for example). If you know that ingesting those ingredients could potentially make you feel sick, what do you imagine would happen if they are absorbed through your skin? Even after I eliminated all common allergens from my diet, I was still suffering from phantom symptoms such as hair falling out, itchy scalp and random patches of eczema, just to name a few. FINALLY I made the connection between my personal hygiene products and chronic symptoms.
If you are still suffering from stubborn symptoms and you cannot pinpoint the cause of them, I highly suggest looking at your personal care products. Deeply research each and every ingredient because the term “gluten” might be labeled using a hidden name. Oh, yeah, those dirty conventional products can sneak in harmful products by using another name and we never would know.
My best rule of thumb, if you cannot pronounce the product or know where that product derives from then I would highly suggest avoiding that product.
If you are new to Green Beauty and are not sure where to start, begin by reading the ingredient labels and try to avoid products containing any of the following:
- Gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts and other food-related allergens.
- SODIUM LAURYL/LAURETH SULFATE (SLS & SLES) – Found in almost anything that foams ranging from shampoo, toothpaste to baby wash. A common skin-irritant that is rapidly absorbed and retained in the eyes, brain, heart and liver.
- PETROLEUM/PARAFFIN/MINERAL OIL – Found in baby oil, lip balms, moisturizers, mascara, lip stick, lip gloss, hair gel, beard oi. It prevents the skin from breathing and generating skin cell growth which causes long-term problems for the largest organ of our body.
- FORMALDEHYDE – Found in nail polish remover, eyelash glue, shampoos/conditioners and other hair care products. It also can be known as: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), glyoxal and oxaldehyde. Recognized as a carcinogen and may be linked to cancer.
- HYDROQUINONE – Found in skin lightening creams and is also linked to cancer and skin irritation.
- MERCURY (thimerosal and merthiolate) – Found in ear & eye drops and is a metallic function known to cause brain dysfunction and damage.
- PARABENS (isobutylpareben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propolybaraben) – Found in almost every type of personal care product and can be linked to breast cancer as well as endocrine disruption and infertility.
- PHYTHALATES (DDPB, DEHP, DEP) – Found in synthetic fragrance, nail polish & hair-care products. This chemicals may cause birth defects, disrupt the enicrine system and has been linked to damage of the kidneys, lungs and liver.
- SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE (parfum) – Found in almost every type of personal care product. It hides behind ingredient names such as: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), glyoxal and oxaldehyde.
- PROPYLENE GLYCOL – Found in cosmetics, baby wipes, lotion, toothpaste, hair-care and deodorant. Known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema.
- TRICLOSAN – Found in antibacterial products such as soap, hand sanitizer, deodorant, dental-care and cosmetics. Known as an endocrine disruptor and enables bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant.
- TOLUENE – Found in: nail polish and is a volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects.
- BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE – Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers and is a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye and respiratory irritation and allergies. BenzophenoneA possible human carcinogen and hormone disruptor used as a fragrance ingredient and to absorb ultraviolet light.
- BISPHENOL A (BPA) – Found in: plastic bottles, lining of aluminum food cans, possibly in eyeshadow and styling gel and is a hormone disruptor that may also alter DNA, used in plastics and resins.
- BUTOXYETHANOL – Found in: fragrance, hair color and is a solvent used to control viscosity, or a “fragrance” additive. It irritates skin and may cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. (See also Synthetic Fragrance)
- BHA & BHT – These synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors, and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
- BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE – Found in: mineral powder makeup. While this may not be a truly toxic ingredient, it is an irritant to about 80% of people causing irritation and sensitization such as redness, itching, rashes and inflammation. Because of its molecular crystalline shape, many people experience itching from this ingredient, particularly when they sweat.
- CARMINE – Found in: cosmetics with reddish dyes and colorings. It’s an insect based ingredient. Crushed beetles to be specific. Companies use it for color instead of other FD & C, Coal Tar derived ingredients which are considered toxic. Vegans and those with allergies or sensitivities to insects and/or their bites should steer clear of items containing carmine.
- COAL TAR (AMINOPHENOL, DIAMINOBENZENE, PHENYLENEDIAMINE). Found in: hair dye, shampoo, colorant in cosmetics. Coal tar tar ingredients are known carcinogens. It is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent.
- CYCLOMETHICONE AND DIMETHICONE. Found in: skin care, foundation, tinted moisturizer. Ingredients Cyclomethicone or those ending in -siloxane are known endocrine disrupters which can harm reproductive and immune systems. They have the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms. Dimethicone contains residual amounts of -siloxane toxic ingredients.
- DIAZOLIDINYL UREA AND IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA. Found in skin, body and hair products, antiperspirants and nail polish. These formaldehyde-forming preservatives can cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, insomnia and asthma. They can also weaken the immune system and can even cause cancer.
- DEA, MEA AND TEA (DIETHANOLAMINE, COCAMIDE AND TRIETHANOLAMINE). Found in: in most personal care products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps and facial cleansers. Also in hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint. Ingredients which are linked with kidney, liver, and other organ damage according to several government-funded research studies. They can cause hormone disruption, irritation of the eyes, skin, respiratory tract, sore throat, asthma and allergic contact dermatitis. surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development.
- EDTA (ETHYLENEDIAMINETETRAACETIC ACID). Found in: hair color, moisturizers. A binding agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs.
- METHYL CELLOSOLVE (OR METHOXYETHANOL). Found in: anti-aging creams. Fragrance ingredient and solvent that is an irritant and a possible neurotoxin, developmental toxin, and cause of DNA mutations that could lead to cancer.
- METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE AND METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE. Found in: shampoo, conditioner, body wash. A chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers and causes of contact skin allergies.
- OXYBENZONE. Found in: sunscreen, moisturizers, foundation and lipsticks with SPF. Sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption.
- PHENOXYETHANOL. Found in: cosmetics, skin care and hair care. This ingredient is widely used as a preservative and an alternative to parabens. It’s still a controversial ingredient because isn’t of major concern for most people, though some do have skin, eye or throat reactions to it. The EU considers this toxic when used in products for the mouth area.
- POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG COMPOUNDS). Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, foaming cleansers, creams, sunscreen. Used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. It’s purpose is to dissolve oil and grease. PEG’s can strip the natural oils of the skin leaving the immune system vulnerable. They are also potentially carcinogenic. A by-product of manufacturing that is a probable human carcinogen (a known animal carcinogen) as well as toxic to organs and the respiratory system, and a skin irritant. Likely to be present where ethoxylated ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate, PEGs, and ceteareth are listed on ingredient labels.
- PVP/VA COPOLYMER. Found in: hairspray and cosmetics. Petroleum derived and considered toxic.
- RESORCINOL. Found in: hair color. A colorant and fragrance ingredient that is a skin irritant, toxic to the immune system and organs, and suspected to cause hormone disruption.
- RETINYL PALMITATE AND RETINOL (VITAMIN A). Found in: anti-aging and blemish control skin care. A nutrient that may damage DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Reports are very mixed on this topic though.
- SYNTHETIC COLOR. Found in: cosmetics. Used to make cosmetics “pretty,” synthetic colors, along with synthetic hair dyes, should be avoided as many can be carcinogenic. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Example: FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No. 6.
- TALC. Found in: cosmetic powders, eyeshadow, blush, baby powder. Its particles are similar to asbestos and data suggests that it can cause tumors in the lungs as probable respiratory toxin in large amounts.