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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid

TriclosanTreehugger has a great article out, Beyond Parabens: 7 Common Cosmetic Ingredients You Need to Avoid.

As a brief teaser, the article includes fragrance as well as Polyethylene glycol, which they say, "while PEGs can be mild irritants, they're less than desirable primarily because they help traffic funky chemicals across your epidermis."

Nanoparticles are another one to watch out for. Although the jury is still out on its danger, the Consumers Union states that "consumers must be aware that nanomaterials are being put into sunscreens with very little evidence about their safety and relative efficacy."

Phenoxyethanol is a ubiquitous preservative and "is classified as an irritant by the European Union and a restricted substance in Japanese cosmetics. According to its Material Safety Data Sheet, which refers to 100 percent concentration, phenoxyethanol is not only harmful if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin, but it can also cause reproductive defects and nervous system damage. In cosmetics, concentrations are typically less than 1 percent, but your exposure to the ingredient could be compounded depending on how often it rears its head in the products you use."

Triclosan, the antibacterial found in many cleansers, is classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen. "Linked to cancer, developmental defects, and liver and inhalation toxicity, overuse of this hormone-disrupting pesticide—yes, pesticide—can also result in strains of drug-resistant superbacteria."

To get the full skinny and the rest of the list, made sure you check out the article.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green model search

If you are interested in being the next "green" model a la Summer Rayne Oakes, and you are passionate about environmental issues, then you might want to check out and enter Project Green Search, a modeling competition for those who bleed green.

From the website: "Take a stand, get noticed, align your modeling endeavors with your personal beliefs, be an advocate for the environment, animal welfare, fair trade, and human rights. Be the poster girl for what is ok to sell... and what is not."

To be eligible you must meet the following:
1.Candidates must be female at least 17 years of age and US residents.
2.Candidates must be dedicated to professionalism, environmental awareness and social responsibility.
3.No previous modeling experience or agency representation is required.
4.There are no restrictions on age (other then the minimum age) or height.
5.Must be able to attend Portland Fashion Week for final competition October 9th-12th, 2009.

All you need to do is submit a form, send in an essay, pictures and a short video clip and you'll be on your way to being the next green model. Registration closes on September 16th and online voting begins the next day, which will allow the public to narrow the entrants down to 10 finalists.

Ms. Crunchy Domestic Goddess has convinced me to enter and, since there's no age limit and us antiques are allowed to submit materials, I think I'll give it a whirl. If I do, I'll let you all know when you can vote online. Should be a hoot!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Burt's Bees Aftershave for Men

My husband has never been one to use many personal care products. When I met him, I'm pretty sure he used a bar of Ivory soap for everything - shampoo included. Add in antipersirant and toothpaste and that about rounds it out. So, lately, when he's been having more issues with razor burn when shaving, he was at a loss as to what to try.

Since his skin issues are somewhat related to his stem cell transplant (one of the "side effects" is the donor immune system attacking your skin), he wanted to make sure that whatever product he used was gentle and non-irritating. Figuring something like Aqua Velva would be appalling on a number of different levels, I went in search of an aftershave for him that was naturally based and soothing.

Now, I know that some of you get your panties in a twist now that Burt's Bees* is owned by some unfriendly conglomerate, but the ingredient list on their Natural Skin Care for Men Aftershave included mostly innocuous ingredients, with the main ones being sunflower and coconut oils.

Not only does it have a nice smell to it but, according to my husband, it seems to be working well for him. Since he tends to (these days) have a violent skin reaction to anything with chemicals in it, the fact that it not only doesn't bother his skin, but seems to be helping it is a good enough endorsement for me.

I asked him if he would buy more when it ran out and he seemed interested in seeing what else is out there, so if any of you have a good suggestion for a natural men's aftershave, let me know!

*I have in no way been contacted by this company nor have I been paid for this review.