What’s in your makeup? Part 2

September 8, 2008

by Kristen Miller

After writing last week’s article about coming to grips with the fact that I’m putting chemicals on and in my body, I decided I better write a follow-up about what to do now.

So, I took a trip to Dan and Becky’s Market in Cokato to chit-chat with them as to their thoughts on these chemicals in cosmetic and body products and to see what they had in store.

Before I begin, I have to say my interest in organic products has piqued due to talks that chemicals, such as parabens, can be linked to cancer.

Though the talks have been interesting, it is a little scary to think about what these everyday products could be doing under our skin.

The weekend after writing my column, my mom and I visited The Little Red Hen, where low and behold, I found the book, “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients,” by Ruth Winter, M.S.

My mom just laughed and told me this dictionary with very big, unpronounceable words could take my sanity.

I disagreed and purchased the book, despite her warning.

The book identifies every possible ingredient written on the back of labels of these beauty products we purchase – labels I never cared to read before.

What’s nice is, you not only can identify some of the not-so-good ingredients, but also those ingredients that don’t sound good, but really aren’t bad at all.

Back to my trip to Dan and Becky’s Market.

After learning about some of the harmful chemicals, I examined what I had at home. One product happened to be my foot scrub.

Upon walking in the door at Dan and Becky’s Market I saw Good Thymes Bath and Body products, made by Cokato’s own Cheryl Niemela, where I found Happy Soles Natural Mint and Thyme Foot Soak. Perfect, right?

This is a great alternative to the good old bath and body products I’m used to, and they are made from organic products that I can feel good about.

Then, I began talking with Becky (Dan was with another customer at the counter) and I told her my revelation and that I was interested in purchasing some organic beauty products.

Becky recommended making a gradual change to organic products to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

My main concern was what I was putting directly on my skin every night before I went to bed – body moisturizer.

There are plenty of all-natural, paraben-free lotions out there that will work perfectly, without the harmful chemicals such as Nature’s Gate.

Next, I wanted to find an alternative to my lovely body wash, that isn’t so lovely for my health – without throwing away my loofah.

Becky recommended Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps made with organic oils. It’s pure-castile soap that supposedly used to be commonplace back-in-the-day.

Just a dab on my loofah will do, though she said I shouldn’t expect too many suds since chemicals are what helps make soap lather.

Then, I thought I could change one more everyday item and my one-day shopping excursion would be complete.

Hearing that toothpaste can be harmful as well, I purchased floride-free Nature’s Gate Creme de Mint Natural Toothpaste – with baking soda for whitening, and spearmint oil for fresh breath!

Another concern of mine is finding a deodorant/anti-perspirant that was aluminum-free, since aluminum in deodorant is said to be linked to breast cancer.

Dan and Becky can special order, and that’s when I found TCCD International deodorant on the Internet, which they will order for me (there is also a couple brands at Keaveny’s). Don’t worry, I won’t quit using my regular deodorant until it comes in!

The site even had a pink ribbon, indicating the company is an advocate for breast cancer awareness.

Some of these products may tend to be a tad bit more expensive, even though the products I purchased were comparable. Just remember, a little can go a long way.

It seems it’s a little easier to be more wasteful with things that are inexpensive, like a $3 bottle of shampoo.

I haven’t begun the whole change-over to organic foods yet, though eating more wholesome has also become a priority of mine.

Becky does recommend staying away from what are known as “the four white deaths” – white flour, white sugar, white salt, and white rice – because most or all of the nutrition and fiber has been extracted.

For those who want to know more about living and eating healthier, Becky recommended the book “What the Bible Says About Healthy Living: Three Biblical Principles That Will Change Your Diet and Improve Your Health,” by Rex Russell.

“We have this idea we have to improve how God created things,” Becky said.

I guess this shouldn’t be the case, since it’s turning out to not be such an improvement after all.