Sunday, July 22, 2012

All Beauty and No Beasts! My Top Picks in Safe Bath and Beauty Care Products

After last week’s show and the blog post with my Top 12 Chemicals to Avoid in your Bath and Beauty Care Routine, I started getting requests for which products that I personally recommend that are both “clean” and effective.

Through the years I’ve been experimenting, testing and otherwise becoming a guinea pig so that I could determine just how products work on my sensitive, pale red head skin!  While the skin on my body is pretty sensitive, the skin on my face is even more sensitive than the average and the skin around my eyes is the first to react in rather dramatic fashion!  And some of these reactions happen from things I inhale – like fumes from nail polish remover or synthetic fragrances or gasoline fumes – so I’m a little like a canary in coal mine when it comes to chemicals.

I’ve always been a bit of what my friend John in Spokane calls a “wash and wear” kind of girl, so I’ve never worn tons of make up but back in about 1999 I found that I had cancer for the second time and I began to look at EVERYTHING that I was putting in and on my body – including all bath and body care products, makeup and even the types of fabrics my clothes were made from.

At that time there was not a lot of information about the chemicals in these items, so I adopted an overall attitude that if I could not pronounce it or eat it that it did not belong in my bag.  Of course this immediately reduced the number of things At least not until I could research that word to find out what it was. 

To my surprise and delight some of those “unpronounceable” words were just the Latin or “official” name of a perfectly ordinary plant oil like sunflower or coconut oil.  But sometimes they were synthetic productions of one of those oils . . . and just a few letters can make the difference!

As I looked and researched back in the late 90’s I began finding companies who’s products I still use to this day.  In addition to the name of the company and website, I'm also sharing the products I personally use in their product line.

Dr. Hauschka - rather than petrochemical based oils, this company uses rose oil!  I love their tinted moisturizer and use it in place of a foundation.  The coverage is light and pretty and smells like roses!  I also like their mascara - and yes it smells like roses!

Gabriele Cosmetics/Zuzu Luxe - this company produces many beautiful cosmetics and I particularly like their concealer and some of their eye shadow colors.  Their website has a fantastic sheet that lets all allergy sufferers know if there is a common allergen in any product.  The only products in their line I would shy away from are the liquid eyeliners.  They are GF and Vegan!

Osmosis Skincare - this is a skin care line that can be purchased only through an aesthetician to ensure that you are using the products that are perfect for your own skin type.  They have a stem cell serum and a variety of face washes that I use regularly.  

Source Vital – this company makes a wide array of algae based products.  While I discourage the use of antiperspirants, deodorant is altogether different and their Deozin is fantastic.  The algae based formula not only stops odor but feeds the skin with valuable minerals.  Their  First Aid Spray is pretty great.  Don't be put off by their use of PEG 6 and PEG-20, their formula uses vegetable glycerine not petrochemicals.  Be sure to try their Cuticle Gel - it's quite amazing for all of us with hard working hands!

Jane Iredale - mineral make up line that uses primarily titanium dioxide as the delivery system.  This line is also a professional line available through aestheticians but some items can be purchased on line.  There are several kits like the one pictured, duos and even a bronzer with 4 colors that can really be a space saver when traveling because I use it as a blush, bronzer and even eye shadow all in 1 compact.  

Deep Steep – the bubble bath, body wash and foaming liquid hand soap are my favorites!  The scents are wonderful combos of some of my favorite herbs, flowers and essential oils.  The foaming hand wash is perfect and the bubble bath really does create tons of thick, rich bubbles for that super relaxing bath!

Badger Balm - their chest rubs are great as are their lip balms which make your lips feel like silk!  I never recommend using bar soaps - because the pH is much too alkaline to create healthy sking - but the remainder of their products are really nice.

Zoya Nail Polish - they offer wonderful colors that are long lasting and durable without the formaldehyde, toluene, DBP and camphor!  You can feel better about having pretty toes with this polish!  Their Anchor (base coat) and Armour (top coat) really make your mani/pedi last a long time!  In addition, their remover works great without all of the harsh chemicals typical of nail polish removers!  

MyChelle Dermaceuticals - this company makes wonderful scrubs, masks and peels. My favorites include the Incredible Pumpkin Peel, Cranberry Mud Mask, Fruit Enzyme Scrub and Fruit Fiesta Peel!  I can really tell a big difference in the way my skin looks and feels after using any of these products.  I generally make my own scrubs but when traveling it's nice to have something that doesn't need refrigeration or a blender!

And MEN - there is a really extensive men's skin care line as well!

Lavish Aromatic Botanical Products - this is a San Diego based company (in other words I can visit any time!) that makes all of their products in house.  The ingredients are simple, straight forward and come together to make some of the most luxurious lotions I have ever had the pleasure of putting on my skin!  They even offer fragrance free lotions so you can customize them or go sans scent!  Be sure to watch for their Peppermint Foot Cream and body butters near the holidays (they are seasonal).  For all of you who are also ionizer friendly, they do use ionized water in their products.  (Yes, I am aware that it is not one of the better ionizers on the market!)  They even offer dog and cat shampoo and conditioners . . . but they do not have photos of their products!

In addition to all of these products I have researched and tried, here are a few more that I think are worth mentioning.  Each of them is "clean" with great reputations and nice selections, I simply haven't had an opportunity to give them a try yet!

Green Beaver – GF, vegan, biodegradable and certified organic I found this line while visiting my daughter Allison in LA.  After looking up the company info I was really impressed and  look forward to trying it soon.  If any of you have or decide to give it a try, please let me know what you think!

Juice Beauty – is an all organic line of skin care products.  They have teamed up with Alicia Silverstone, a long time vegan and organic supporter to create a new line of products.  They seem to incorporate a lot of fruit and vegetable acids, pulps and extracts into their line.  Since I believe in the concept of using whole foods whenever possible, even on the skin, I truly think this is a line to try.

The Honest Company – all sans harsh chemicals, organic, and eco friendly, this company was started by Jessica Alba after the birth of her first child.  From biodegradable diapers to body wash, dishwashing and laundry detergent to skin care and shampoo, this company seems to offer quite a wide variety.  The reviews were stellar and they offer bundles of products, like the one pictured, at a discount.  You can even set up regular deliveries to your door!

I do hope this has helped to expand your repertoire of products and product lines!  Remember your skin is your largest organ and it's the only organ that comes into contact with your environment.  So keep it healthy, keep it clean, keep it moisturized and provide it with a little pampering each and every day! 

Until next time,

Dr. P


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  3. This is exactly the kind of post I was hoping for after reading the previous what to watch out for blogs! Thank you so much. One thing I didn't notice, though it may be there, is sunscreen. What do you recommend? Thanks again Dr. P for your research and great job of sharing it.

  4. Thanks everyone! I'm certainly glad you found it helpful. As for sunscreen, I'm still doing a bit of research on that subject. So far I've not found anything I want to recommend, but I have come across some new options and I'm trying them out. I am a good test subject since I can burn in about 10 minutes here in San Diego where the sun is so direct!

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