How to Make Your Face Pretty and Safe

There’s a lot of controversy over what is safe to use (or not) in cosmetics. Even though many ingredients have been approved by the FDA, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy. Below is a brief overview of some safe ingredients (and some not so savory) that you can make note of before beautifying.

The Bad News First: But There’s Still a Rainbow

One of the newest reports is that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has suggested placing a limit on the amount of lead used in beauty supplies. This includes make-up, skin creams, and shampoo. Getting a lot of the lead out is a good thing.

Unfortunately, we may be using products that contain more than a safe amount of lead. The FDA can’t really enforce a limit, but it can strongly suggest one based on health risk findings. The agency recommends less than 10ppm of lead be used in cosmetics. Exposure to long-term, low levels of lead, as well as short-term, high levels can cause damage to any of our organs.

One good thing is that the majority of cosmetics in the U.S. contain less than 10 ppm of lead. But again, The FDA can only regulate so much. Currently, cosmetic companies don’t have to share safety data with the FDA, nor many of their ingredients.

Just to Let You Know…

Below is a brief list of ingredients used in our beauty supplies, which are not safe or healthy.

– phthalates

– parabens

– fragrance

– triclosan

– sodium laurel sulfate

Avoid the above. If you want to read more on this topic, click here.

Here’s The Pretty List…

Below is a brief list of ingredients that can be safe in your skin and make-up products when used appropriately and as directed. Never ingest or inhale any of these; they are for topical use.

  • Allantoin – Although this element is often chemically synthesized, it is non-toxic and nature-identical to cosmetic raw materials.
  • Bentonite- There are several types of this impure clay. They include: calcium, sodium, aluminum, and potassium. They consist most of a specific type of volcanic ash and are often used in facial masks.
  • Calcium Carbonate- It’s produced usually from quarried or mined marble. It absorbs oils well, making it a good ingredient in matte finish products.
  • Fibroin- It’s one of the main proteins secreted by the silkworm and synthetically produced into powder.
  • Magnesium Myristate – This is found in plants and is actually a fatty acid. It’s great for toners and cleansers. Magnesium Stearate is an earth powder, a different product, but also safe.
  • Rice Powder- It comes from the starch in rice and can be an anti-inflammatory and aids in increasing collagen production. It’s a nice substitute for talc or cornstarch—and more beneficial.
  • Zinc Oxide- It’s a great skin protector from the sun derived from the mineral zincite. It’s not absorbed into the skin, but rather sits atop and creates a cover.

Looking beautiful does not have to be linked with placing yourself in a health risk dilemma. Feeling good inside and out is a fantastic goal. For other articles on safety, best health practices, and beauty, check out



Poisonous Toxins in Your Home?

Toxins are Everywhere

At the risk of sounding like a complete downer, it’s an unfortunate fact that our air is polluted. What many of us don’t realize is that common household products emit toxins. Everything from our furniture, carpeting, paint, candles, hair gel, cosmetics, and more, contain dangerous pollutants. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the toxicity—which also includes collecting indoor plants.

What’s in the Air?

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added formaldehyde to our list of known carcinogens. Believe it or not, this toxin is used a variety of products. Formaldehyde is used to treat wood flooring, particle board, and some furniture. It’s also found in carpet, paint, and building glue. The smoke from cigarettes emits the chemical’s fumes. Even in some fabrics, formaldehyde is used to make “wrinkle-free” clothing. And let’s add nail polish to this as well.

So, although there are known carcinogens, somehow they are still allowed in products we consume daily. And unfortunately, we’re not always aware of an item’s true ingredients. Hence, in order to combat potential health risks, here are some tips to help keep your family toxic-free.

What to Do

If you smoke cigarettes, quit now. Nothing good health-wise can come to you or anyone else from the emissions. Speaking of emissions, your clothes dryer can infiltrate your home with dangerous pollutants. Avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets. They contain “fragrance” with includes toxic chemicals. Try plant-based detergents or even hang clothes to dry.

Mood lighting is lovely, but scented candles can be poisonous. Synthetic candles emit benzene, which is another known carcinogen. Opt for pure beeswax if you love candles. For a nice scent, try organic essential oils for aromatherapy.

Ventilation is key in your home. Fresh air can help dispel toxins coming off your furniture, walls, and even from your shower. Our water is full of chlorine, which is essentially toxic in large amounts. Get a filter for your showerhead to reduce airborne gases from spreading through your home. Additionally, that will reduce chlorine from entering your body through your skin.

Green is Good

Recently NASA made some incredible discoveries about indoor plants. They’ve been studying plants’ effect on air quality for about two decades now. As it turns out, many of these common household plants remove formaldehyde, benzene, and other dangerous pollutants from the indoor air. Here is a list of 20:

Aloe Vera, areca palm, elephant ear philodendron, lady palm, bamboo, rubber plant, dracaena, English ivy, dwarf date palm, ficus, Boston fern, peace lily (dangerous to cats), golden pothos, Kimberely Queen fern, chrysanthemums, Gerbera daisy, dragon tree, red emerald philodendron, parlor palm, and the spider plant.

To read more helpful tidbits about keeping our families and our planet healthy, check out

A Connection between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum?

Aluminum found in Alzheimer’s Patients

The purpose of deodorant is to alter the scent of body odor, which is created from a mixture of sweat and bacteria. Deodorant doesn’t stop you from sweating. Antiperspirants are formulated to clog pores so less sweat escapes. Deodorants contain fragrance and/or anti-bacterial compounds. Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts.

In the late 1980s, studies began, which explored the nature of aluminum in our products and the resultant levels found in our bodies. Surely traces are found in everyone because some exposure to aluminum is inevitable since it is omnipresent in our world. Only one study, conducted in 1990, showed toxic levels in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. That study has since been discredited because the data was provided by patient surrogates, not directly from the patients. Additionally, scientists have since hypothesized that the high levels of aluminum found in the brain may be a result of having Alzheimer’s disease. Dying cells are often unable to eliminate toxins, making them more likely to contain high levels of the metal.

Another study was published in 2002. Those researchers followed more than 4,500 people who used antiperspirants and antacids for several years. No toxic levels of aluminum or increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s was concluded. So is it safe to moderately use a product that contains aluminum salts? These reports make it appear so.

But if you’re a person who errs on the side of caution, it may not be just be the antiperspirant you want to consider. Many deodorants contain fragrance. The vast majority of chemicals in synthetic fragrances are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous waste list. Loopholes allow toxins such as benzenes, aldehydes, and phthaltes to be used in our cosmetics without constraint or regulation. Phthalates are hormone disrupters that are linked to cause breast cancer, reduce sperm count, onset of diabetes, obesity, and reproductive malformations.

You can also try deodorants that only use organic, plant-based compounds (no artificial fragrance.) For antiperspirant, the crystal may help, but remember, it too, may contain aluminum salts. So if you’re completely running scared at this point, you can opt to use nothing and just stay on top of it by washing your armpits with soap and water a few times a day. Don’t be afraid to sweat, it’s good for you. As for the odor, don’t sweat it (couldn’t resist the pun)—a healthy diet and proper hygiene should keep it manageable.