Is it beauty? (If it’s toxic?)

Reprinted and revised from Idia’Dega Eco-Fashion Blog

Recently I attended an event discussing the Beauty industry and its not so beautiful ways.

In addition to the consistently culturally biased views of beauty so prevalent and globally distributed and sadly happily digested by the world. The way many of these products are made and what they are made from are destructive to us, our families and the environment.

If we are going to put something on our bodies shouldn’t it  be good enough to put in our bodies.

Women for a Healthy Environment has some great links and resources, click here.

  • Check the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, here (You won’t want to know but you really should…) to see what is contained in the products you use.
  • Avoid the ingredient “Fragrance.”  Because fragrance is undefined and basically unregulated it can be one of or many of literally 100s of ingredients, and not to be negative I am assuming they aren’t all good.  Also WHE notes ‘unscented’ does not been fragrance-free.
  • Look out for “Green washing” cosmetic and personal care products are still not regulated like the food industry (which has its on issues with defining ‘organic’ but that’s for another post).  Really really read the label.  Remember what Gza said: “You gotta read the label, read the label.”

Wait, I can hear you screaming, too much work.  Too hard to do.  Plus I love my moisturiser, perfum, etc etc.  Well this is the thing, as Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis Executive Director of Women for a Healthy Environment said at the event.  “If you love your perfume fine, keep it.  But switch out some of the other products in your home.”

And when you get down to the end of bottle, jar, etc, take the opportunity to get something new, green and healthy to replace it.  You don’t have to do a wholesale Green makeover of your cabinet, closet and pantry but when you can, you should really try.

In terms of beauty products I have some that I like to use and that I find are green and greener than most.

Nahla – one of the best lines in the world and really truly natural and organic.     (site)

They also have a informative list of widely used but  toxic products to avoid.  For example

  • Parabens:  Preservative. Highly carcinogenic, allergenic, toxic and possessing hormone-disrupting properties.
  • Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate:  Sudsing agent, often deceptively labeled as coconut or plant based. Highly allergenic, harsh and extremely processed. Impacts immune system function negatively, penetrates major organs and residuals remain in the body’s tissues.
  • DEA, MEA, TEA: Found in foaming products. Readily absorbed into skin, contains hormone disrupting chemicals, linked to an increased risk of cancer, carcinogenic.
  • Polyethylene Glycol:  Also known as PEG. Used in cleansers to dissolve grease and oil, as well as to thicken products. Leaves the immune system weakened, disrupts the skin’s natural moisture balance, encourages pre mature aging.
  • Phenoxyethanol: The new paraben-like preservative. Highly toxic, damaging to the nervous system, kidneys, repiratory system and digestive tract. Can trigger sever allergic reactions and lethal to small animals.
Oyin Handmade – hair products geared toward African-American and Afro hair, not perfect in terms of totally ‘green’ list but good and much better than 99% of products out there.

Talulah Jane –  Organic, natural wild-crafted perfumes made in a wind-powered studio in New York.  She made a fragrance to support ending and surviving  Breast Cancer but is not a Pink washer. “Yes, we’re all about supporting our sisters with breast cancer. No, we’re not buying a pink-ribboned product made with carcinogenic ingredients to do it.”  (Score:  Ecostiletto (an amazing eco site, a pioneer!)  is offering a discount on Talulah Jane products  Now through November 13th, get 15% off on any Tallulah Jane purchase with “ECOSTILETTO15”)

Intelligent Nutrients – products literally pure enough to eat.

image: Juniper Ridge

Juniper Ridge – Wildcrafted products, I love everything they make.

image: Juniper Ridge

image: 100% Pure

100% Pure – this is a line wiith many products, I use the fruit-pigment lip gloss.

Strange Invisible Perfumes – not only the best (my favorite anyway) line of perfumes in the world but also natural perfume!  Amazing amazing.
It’s not an issue of dogma but just do what you can, and then a lil more.

image: NASA


6 Responses to “Is it beauty? (If it’s toxic?)”
  1. vintagejenta says:

    YES. Fragrance free can carry over into other aspects of your life as well. I get fragrance free laundry detergent and try to get naturally scented dish soap. I also use fragrance-free lotion. Apple and citrus scents are good bets for using natural oils because I’m pretty sure it’s cheaper to make real apple and citrus oils than to synthesize chemical versions. And did you know that dryer sheets pump carcinogens out your dryer vents into the air? So that “fresh laundry” scent is actually not so fresh.

    Watch for a similar eco-friendly post from me tomorrow – it’s about… laundry! 😀

  2. idiadega says:

    Oh yeah! Looking forward to that one tomorrow, thanks.

    • vintagejenta says:

      Uh… so I got excited about Cowboy Beans instead. Lol. But laundry is next on the list! Might hang some more outside since it has stopped raining and is sunny and nice out!

  3. I’ve enjoyed this/my first visit to this blog … wonderful to witness friends collaborating & inspiring others! I look forward to exploring more of this site. In case you’re wondering, I discovered it via comment from vintabejenta on Thanks for the resources you’ve shared here. The fragrance info was especially helpful … seems harder to find natural fragrance options.

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