With all the recent press on both the health and safety of our personal care products as well as the limited FDA regulations on labeling them, the average consumer is both disillusioned and concerned. This consumer is however helping to create the necessary change needed for the cosmetic industry. Cosmetic sales are projected to reach 9.9 billion dollars in the US by 2016. And the largest contributor to this growth will come from products touting “natural” and “organic”. This section in particular has boomed in the past ten years. Small companies “known” for producing all natural products are quickly being gobbled up by large firms, from Shiseido’s acquisition of Bare Essentials to Clarins’ acquisition of the French organic brand Kibio.
As women in the beauty industry one of the biggest complaints that our customers express to us is chronic hyperpigmentation, or those unsightly dark spots that remain on the skin after a breakout is long gone. It seems that women are becoming more concerned about the aftermath of a bad breakout rather than the breakout itself. There has been much information circulating about acne and how to treat it, fight it, and prevent it but there seems to be little information on how to stop the discoloration of the skin surrounding the area of devastation. In response to this we’ve put together some practical solutions for those seeking to heal those pesky dark spots, and some tips on how to prevent them in the first place.
Nail polish is a luxury that some women can't live without. While some choose to glam it up in today's world, it's a kind of tribal decoration that undoubtedly once carried a lot more significance than we give it credit for. However those natural dyes and resins our ancestors once used to color themselves with have been replaced by harsh chemicals. Think your nail polish is safe and just a harmless indulgence? Guess again. Check out some of these ingredients that could be in your favorite nail polish.
With the spring season typically comes the urge to get rid of the clutter and scour away the dirt. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the American Cleaning Institute, nearly three-quarters of Americans engage in spring cleaning every year, paying particular attention to windows, closets and drawers, floors, and curtains. You’re probably already planning your cleaning efforts in the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom, but what about your cosmetic drawer or cabinet? When was the last time you sorted through that?
According to a survey published in 2007, a substantial proportion of the U.S. population has symptoms of eczema—31.6 million to be more specific. Most of these cases are not diagnosed by a physician, which shows these conditions are often undertreated. Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) affects both kids and adults, and is more common in cities and polluted areas. It’s also linked with asthma and allergies, and causes symptoms like itching, redness, and rashes.
Usually when we talk about toxins in personal products, we focus on women. After all, they typically use more personal care products on a daily basis. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted in one study that exposure to phthalates (a plastic chemical linked to hormone disruption) was widespread, but higher in women than men. The researchers stated that women had more phthalates used in “soaps, body washes, shampoos, cosmetics, and similar personal care products.” According to the University of Illinois, the average woman in the United States uses 12 products a day. But women aren’t the only ones. The average man uses six.
Since we are big bakers in my family, our friends, family, and neighbors are used to receiving our baked goods for every occasion. My girls brought cookies, cakes, and pastry to every school event. Somewhere along the line, we started cooking up bath concoctions instead of consumable goodies, and everyone loved them. For birthdays, teacher gifts, and parties, our treats were in high demand. But beware: When you start to give your loved ones your homemade products, they get hooked, and it is hard to keep up with the demand. People will expect these homemade products, and they won’t be shy about letting you know this when holidays, birthdays, and special events roll around.
You may have seen it on the ingredient list of your shampoo, conditioner, cream, lotion, foundation, or makeup primer—dimethicone. What is this ingredient, and should you avoid it? What is Dimethicone? Dimethicone is what the chemists like to call a silicon-based polymer—”polymer” meaning it’s a large molecule made up of several smaller units bonded together. Simply put, it’s a silicon oil, man-made in the laboratory and used in personal care products as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, and skin and hair conditioner.
What's that smell? Unfortunately, there's no way to know. “Fragrance” is considered a trade secret by law, so companies are not required to disclose the chemical components that add scent to a wide range of personal care products. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, an estimated 80% of products – everything from colognes and body sprays, to shampoos, deodorants, and even make-up – contain fragrance. Even "unscented" products may contain masking fragrances, which are chemicals used to cover up the odor of other chemicals.
A coffee ground scrub infused with almond and vanilla oils is a fantastic wake up for skin. An easy, all-natural body scrub that will have you smelling and looking delicious, while giving an eco-friendly purpose to your used coffee grounds.
Can you trust labels such as "natural” and “organic" and what about “trusted” names like Johnsons & Johnsons? Most consumers believe if a label says “organic”, “ natural” or “safe”, it must be true. We assume that there are regulations that govern what companies can claim on their personal care product packaging. This assumption makes sense—food labels are highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and many of the same claims appear on both food and cosmetic products. But the ethos of food labels does not extend to cosmetic labels. The truth is, the 60 billion dollar beauty industry is hardly regulated, leaving marketing teams free to paste half-truths and all out lies on labels. The onus falls on consumers to learn how to decipher the truth and use the information to make choices that fit within their comfort zone and lifestyle.
When I look at protecting and maintaining beautiful skin, I look beyond the products we apply. Our lifestyle is reflected in our skin. Everything from stress to lack of sleep effects the way we look and feel. It is the sum of our life that keeps us glowing. Winter can be harsh on both our exterior and interior. With everything from constantly being inside with heaters on (which cause excessive dryness and dehydration), to damage from elements (such as wind, ice, extreme cold temperature), and lack of natural sun light, winter can be difficult. Here are some tips to keep your spirits up and your skin beautiful this winter.