Green Beauty Basics

Did you know your skin, the largest organ of the body, is a giant sponge capable of absorbing all kinds of things, which are immediately carried into the bloodstream?

Did you know there are some very questionable ingredients in the majority of cosmetics we’ve been slathering all over ourselves?

Consider the average woman (maybe you) uses about 12 products per day with 168 different ingredients*.  Over her lifetime she will ingest 4 to 6 pounds of lipstick!

Now, don’t you want to know what your body is absorbing, what you are licking off your lips and how it could be affecting your health? 

As decades have passed, it is undeniable that the rate of cancer, particularly breast cancer, has increased at an alarming rate.  While it’s not true to say that one has directly led to the other, it’s too hard to ignore the studies which tell of the rising concern that toxic chemicals found in many beauty products mainly used by women, are showing up in breast cancer tissue.

Here are some good things to know which will help get you on the healthier side of beauty:

Green Rule #1: If you wouldn’t put it in your body, you shouldn’t put it on your body.

Your skin is the largest organ of the body. It acts as a giant sponge capable of absorbing all kinds of things. Actually applying something toxic topically can more dangerous than swallowing it, because it goes directly into the bloodstream and is transported to a variety of vulnerable organs very quickly.

Green Beauty is a lifestyle and a philosophy that we no longer have to sacrifice our precious health or environment to makeup our faces, smell pretty, have shiny hair and glowing skin.

Green Rule #2: Don’t believe everything you are told. These are false promises with dangerous consequences.

We have become a society of cosmetics users that has been led to believe the more it foams, the more it cleans; the more slippery it feels the more hydrating it is; the more we slather on, the more effective it will be.  All of these are myths and in fact are doing us more harm than good. Years ago I ran into a chemist from one of the largest cosmetics corporations in the world.  He told me then that,

ingredients, like Alcohol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Mineral Oil, which give women the feeling they want of being squeaky clean, or having very hydrated skin, are the very same ingredients which slow the skin’s ability to create healthy cells and can strip it of its natural moisture…ultimately creating the reverse effect. 

When the natural oils are stripped away, skin becomes vulnerable to bacteria, absorbing other toxic chemicals and is more dehydrated, ultimately speeding up the aging process.  You Could Be Aging Faster with an Anti-Aging Cream!  

The aisles at the drug stores, the maze of counters at the department stores all become a dizzying blur of brands desperately trying to reach out to you, and fulfill your desire to look stunning, fresh, young, and ultimately more alluring.

Having been lured by the promise that beauty is just one jar, tube or bottle away, we have succumb to the skillful marketing of brands who sell us an un-attainable image by means of perfectly lit, positioned and groomed models who have then had every normal asymmetry or blemish removed digitally before the final photograph ever sees the cosmetics aisles. Between the unattainable standards, empty claims and unhealthy ingredients, beauty just isn’t as beautiful anymore.  

Green Rule #3: Educate yourself and read the ingredient labels

Bombarded with an in-your-face, “buy me”, neon signs flashing experience it’s hard to discern what’s real and what is fiction.  When the bottle says “natural” or “herbal” or “infused with green tea extract” why would you ever consider turning the label around to see if those claims are really true?  “Somebody must be policing this”, you think. Sadly, no one really is.  There are very few regulations imposed on the cosmetics industry as to what goes on the front of the bottle and what goes in it.

There must be regulations by our government to protect us, right?

Sadly, there’s not very many.  Companies are pretty much self-regulating in the US, with very liberal standards.  In an effort to save money or give the customer a certain texture or wearability, they have been coming up with all kinds of chemical cocktails for our skin, hair and nails. For decades no one seemed to question the impact of the ingredients being dumped into products. No research has been mandated to find out if those chemicals would have a long-term, cumulative and dangerous effect to consumers. Unfortunately more and more independent studies are finding that most of our beauty products are rather ugly in terms of ingredients and effects.  See the Toxic Ingredient Glossary.

Green Beauty Rule #4: Small Choices Affect our planet

Using natural products is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t create demand for the production of toxic chemicals or leave harmful residue during disposal into the sewer or landfills.

What ends up in our water supply or soil, gets circulated into our eco system, and toxins were not meant to be in our air or water.

Packaging is also something to consider with how Green a product is. In the best case scenario, products are packaged in an eco-friendly way with the minimum amount of materials and using recycled paper, non-toxic ink, and biodegradable plastics that will easily decompose in our already overfilled landfills.  Green packaging asks companies and consumers to think globally about the impact of our consumption for generations to come.

Hopefully after reading this you understand why going green makes a big difference.

It is our true wish that through the resources on this site, you will learn to create a healthier, more beautiful YOU, for today and the rest of your life!  Join us on our mission and become part of the word-wide Green Beauty Team!

* {information provided by ewg.org}