Save Face (and Body) with Safe Skin Care

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Last week, we gave you tips on how to make your own safe, natural skin care products, but if the whole make-it-yourself thing doesn’t work for you, that’s okay. There are plenty of options out there that are healthy for your skin and body. You would think that it would be easy to find safe, natural products that you can use on your hair, face and body without worrying about toxic chemicals and ingredients, but the first thing you need to know is that labels can be tricky, misleading and even dangerous if you don’t understand them. (See our story on chemicals to avoid.)

The toxicity of cosmetics and body-care products is a significant health issue. As we learn more about the cumulative, toxic effects of skin lotions, shampoos, sunscreens, toothpaste, soaps, and cosmetics, understanding their ingredients is essential. Most of them contain chemicals you do not want in your body. For instance, there are 3,163 ingredients that hide behind the word “fragrance.”  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists them all in their Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, where you can check the safety of the products you currently use, and download their Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics.

If you want a product that is totally organic, look for the USDA organic seal. If it doesn’t have the seal, read the ingredient label to find out how many ingredients are truly organic and how many are synthetic.”

And before heading to the store, be sure to look over the Organic Consumer Association’s very helpful working list of companies who use organic ingredients in their products. To save you time and frustration, Here are some companies you can trust (and can actually pronounce all the ingredients in their products).

For Your Hair:

Simply Organic,

Simply Organic offers an all natural and organic hair care line rated between a 0-3 in EWG’s cosmetic safety database. Think you’ll never be able to use hair spray or style your hair again the way you did with that can of aerosol in the 80s? You may not get the full effect, but that’s ok because Simply Organic has the perfect hold hairspray for 2011.

John Master’s Organics,

Another safe for your body and safe for the environment hair care line is John Master’s Organics (low hazard in the EWG cosmetic safety database). With a shampoo and conditioning line, whatever hair type you have will be satisfied with these natural products.

For Your face:

Aubrey Organics,

Aubrey’s natural hair, skin, and body care lines rate low hazard in EWG’s cosmetic safety database. Only the finest herbal, plant extracts and natural vitamins are used in all Aubrey products. You will find no parabens, no petrochemicals, and no artificial colors or fragrances of any kind. A number of the other companies that carry all natural face products have just one or two options, but Aubrey’s skin care line is great for anyone because it’s based on your skin type—dry, combination dry, normal, combination oily, oily, & sensitive.

Juice Beauty,

Juice Beauty offers a certified organic juice base, which means that every drop feeds your skin with powerful antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These amazing formulations are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Their skin care and make up are very low hazard in the cosmetic safety database, making it a great and healthy option for all your skin’s needs.

The Organic Pharmacy,

This line of body and beauty products is on the pricier end, but makes your skin feel oh-so-good! The majority of The Organic Pharmacy’s products are between 95-99% organic, and they prohibit the use of artificial preservatives, fragrances, and colorants in their product lines—including their make up. The Organic Pharmacy’s line of make up offers not only products free of chemicals and artificial preservatives and fragrances, but replenishes and enhances the skin with herbal extracts and antioxidants. Now wearing make up is a good thing!

Simply Divine Botanicals,

The name says it all! This line of facial creams, serums, and cleansers rejuvenates, banishes, firms, cleanses, and moisturizes—all without the use any chemicals or synthetic additives.

Overall skin & body:


This company is unique because it only uses 100% organic ingredients in all their products, each USDA Certified Organic (rated the lowest hazard—“zero”—on the cosmetic safety database). Their lotions, creams, body washes, and soaps will do a body good. Terressetials even has a safe deodorant—without all the synthetic ingredients like aluminum chlorhydrate, propylene glycol, xanthan gum, or parabens.

The Body Deli,

Inspired by the concept of natural living and driven by the science of “living foods,” The Body Deli’s products are designed to provide nutrition for the skin—both inside and out. All of the products are handmade in small batches and incorporate raw, fresh, natural and organic ingredients, including organic yogurt, amino acids, fresh fruit and vegetables, and all-natural plant oils. The result is nutrient-rich products for the body, face and hair that deliver fresh vitamins, enzymes and minerals at their peak potency.

Food for thought: if you wouldn’t eat it or you can’t pronounce it you might rethink putting it on your skin!

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