55 Years of Organic Skin Care

It feels so good to get back to “my roots”, even if it is just with something simple like my choice of skincare.  I am Hungarian on my mothers side.  My Grandmother came to America at age 17!

So, I’m really excited to recommend my favorite skincare line ÉMINENCE ORGANIC SKINCARE

Readers can learn about the Éminence Certified Organic Farm

Make sure to click the FREE GIFT link! Enter your email and they will plant a tree in your name! eminenceorganicfarm.com/free-gift/

To learn more about the products and take a Quiz to help select the right skincare for your skin type, go to the main website for Éminence Organic Skincare

You can also Shop Local in many areas, and purchase Éminence Organic Skin Care at your salon or spa. They have a “Find A Spa” link at the top of the page.

I shop both locally and online, and my favorite Authorized Éminence Online Store is buynaturalskincare.com

They have a really cool Loyalty Rewards program where you Earn Reward Points and get extra free samples!

If you are not sure which product line you should buy, the sample sizes are fantastic!  I bought this travel sized collection to try out the various products in the Stone Crop Collection and I love it!  My skin has never looked or felt better!


NOTE: I did not receive any products at a discount or free in exchange for my review, nor have I been compensated in any way. I am just a very satisfied customer! I have no material affiliation with any of the products or websites in this blog post.

Talc? No Thank You!

This is just one example of why I place ZERO faith in the hazard scores produced by the EWG Skin Deep database:

Talc – Low Risk score of “3”.

ref. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706427/TALC/#

The Skin Deep database is a project of the Environmental Working Group, so it is a surprise that the people who score this ingredient might appear to be unaware of an article from their own parent company: “Federal Regulators Knew In 1976 That Asbestos Can Contaminate Talc

ref. http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2015/09/federal-regulators-knew-1976-asbestos-can-contaminate-talc

So the potential health risk for both inhalation and vaginal use is known to EWG.

FairWarning reported that a March 1976 Food and Drug Administration memo it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act “charged that cosmetics makers had been lax in monitoring the safety of talc supplies.” In light of the industry’s weak efforts, the memo said, FDA had “not much choice but to move ahead as speedily as possible with a proposal of a regulation on asbestos in talc.” FDA backed off, however, after a cosmetics industry trade group said it had developed a test companies would use to screen talc for asbestos.”

So why is this ingredient still being used in makeup? Do professional cosmetic formulators think the risk of brushing on and breathing in a cloud of talc is not something that women should be concerned with?  Do these companies only care about our vagina’s and ovarian cancer, and not our lungs and lung cancer?

Example; this information must be known to Mia Davis, Head of Health and Safety at the cosmetics company Beauty Counter, since her resume includes being the Organizing Director of the The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics from January 2007 – December 2011 (5 years).

  • The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) is a project of the Breast Cancer Fund.
  • Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a founding Member of the CSC.
  • Beauty Counter is listed on their websites as a supporter of EWG.

But how, you may ask, is EWG’s Skin Deep related to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics?

The Skin Deep database was conceived and created by, and is run by, our research team here at the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC. We are also cofounders of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. We’ve helped that coalition by using our Skin Deep database to monitor companies’ progress in meeting safe cosmetics standards. But Skin Deep is an independent EWG project.

ref. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/faq/

So my question, why do some Beauty Counter cosmetics contain talc as their first ingredient?

Their own Head of Health and Safety knows not only that this ingredient is linked to causing cancer but also *should* know there are safer and more eco-friendly alternatives. We might expect this ingredient in an inexpensive grocery store or drug store brand, but in a high end, expensive, product line marketed *as* being “safer products”? With or without asbestos contamination – TALC is a hazardous ingredient and one which has no place in a product line marketed as “safer”. Exactly how is TALC “safer” than an ingredient found in a competing brand?

While there may not be safer alternatives to all cosmetic ingredients – the most challenging being preservatives – there ARE safer alternatives to TALC!

DISCLOSURE: This is a personal opinion on the ingredient “talc” and not disparaging of the product line being used as an example in this article.

Read the Labels

Much of what we read on the front panel of our cosmetics is marketing. When making a decision about what products to buy, it’s not unlike reading food labels – is this product sweetened with organic cane sugar or conventional, even GMO, corn syrup?  The actual calorie count may be the same for both but which one do you want to feed your family? Use the same logic when choosing cosmetics.  Read the Labels. The reality is you can’t sell a shelf stable product that contains water (and that includes the naturally occurring water in ingredients like aloe vera juice or hydrosols) unless the product contains ingredients which work as antimicrobial preservatives. You can’t sell a shelf stable lotion without ingredients which serve as emulsifiers.

Buzz words to watch out for are “nontoxic” or “chemical free” – because every ingredient in the wrong dose can be toxic and every ingredient is 100% chemicals.

So…lets review the ingredients in the NYR Organic Invigorating Seaweed Conditioner Hair Conditioner that I sell.

Independent NYR Consultant 250x250

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl alcohol, Persea gratissima (Avocado) oil*, Cetrimonium chloride, Lanolin, Fucus vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) extract*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) oil*, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) peel oil*, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree) leaf oil*, Potassium sorbate, Citric acid, Citral, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

*Organically produced ingredient.

Citric acid, Citral, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool are natural constituents of essential oils listed, they are listed in the ingredient panel in italics, as required by the EU Cosmetics directive. They are not chemicals added to the product. They are disclosed as occuring naturally in the essential oils. Companies which label according to FDA cosmetics regulations, are not required to disclose these chemicals.

This product is Certified Organic by the Soil Association, and the product is made with 91% organic ingredients.

So what is “Cetrimonium chloride”. We answer that question on our Ingredients Glossary page.

“Cetrimonium chloride, made from plant-derived fatty acids, is used in our conditioners. It is a cationic (positively charged) surfactant that carries nourishing ingredients into the negatively charged broken hair shafts. In order to be effective a conditioner needs to remain on the hair shaft. What helps it stay put is magnetic attraction that works in the same way the positive side of one magnet sticks to the negative side of another. The positively charged ion in conditioners like cetrimonim chloride ‘stick’ to the hair shaft, which is naturally negatively charged, to keep nourishing ingredients on the hair and help repair the hair proteins. Cetrimonium chloride also has preservative properties.”

What about “Lanolin”? From the same Ingredients Glossary page:

“Lanolin is extracted from wool after a sheep has been shorn. This wax-like substance yields a nourishing oil that is high in sterols and is a very good emulsifier, moisturizer and humectant. We use it to thicken our hair conditioners and some creams to help skin and hair retain moisture. Although it is an animal by-product, obtaining it does not harm the animal. Health concerns about Lanolin are based on the presence of contaminants such as pesticides, which the sheep may have been exposed to. Our high quality lanolin meets the high standards of USP grade.”

NOTE 3 “We use standards developed by leading animal protection campaign groups and our continued commitment to animal welfare has been recognized by campaigners from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), who awarded us a ‘golden rabbit.’ The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) also commended our stance on the issue. We support the animal welfare charity FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) dedicated to the scientific development, acceptance and use of methods that can be used instead of animal experiments.”

If you have questions about this or any other product sold by Independent Consultants for NYR Organic, email me! I am happy to get an answer from you.

april-customer-offer-geranium-orange-shower-gel

Organic Soap?

True Soap

True Soap is made using water, lye* and oil or fat. Mixed together in the proper proportions and at the correct temperature, a chemical reaction happens and the process of saponification begins. After the saponification process is complete, the fatty acids from the oils/fats and lye/water are converted to a fatty acid salt known as “soap” and glycerol.  Handcrafted soapmakers leave the glycerol in their finished soap. There is no lye left in soap once it is cured or processed.

Even if 100% of the agricultural ingredients are USDA Certified Organic, it is still basically impossible to make a soap with more than 85% organic ingredients – remember the water and the lye are not organic, because they are not agricultural! For a more detailed explaination please visit one of my favorite websites: http://botaniesoap.com/frequently-asked-questions

If someone markets their soap as organic, ask them the name of their USDA Certifying Agent… organic claims for soap are regulated under the National Organic Program and without certification, organic claims are not allowed.

If someone markets their soap as handmade, ask if they make it from scratch or whether they handcraft from a pre-made base, if that matters to you.

If someone markets their soap as natural, ask what ingredients they use for color and scent. Unless they use pure essential oils, they may be scenting with synthetic fragrances, in which case the soap is not all natural! Soapmakers often use herbs, botanicals, and minerals for color.  These ingredients also can be natural or synthetic. If this matters to you…ask!

And if a product claims to be some amazing new technology but still pretends to be soap… if it sounds too good to be true…it probably is! Soap Cleans is a blog post I wrote about that subject!


 

*There are two types of lye: Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) which is used to make bar soap, and potassium hydroxide (KOH) which is is used to make liquid soap.

Cosmetic Labeling

Well…I went to my first Farmers Market of the summer on Sunday. I tried not to be confrontational…just “helpful”.

When I was told a certain product contained “no toxins” I politely asked “what toxins are those“? She actually meant allergins not toxins.

Then I asked if the raw materials were certified organic – and was told “No, organic certification is too expensive – but these ingredients are actually BETTER than organic.” BIG SIGH… really? I was so hot I could not even argue, but I did tell them they should recommend to their supplier that they check out BayState Organic – they have great prices, and also check into the rebate program because up to 75% of the costs of organic certification can be refunded!

So that said, I want to highly recommend this book by my online friend and author, Kayla Fioravanti, which not only covers how to make cosmetics but how to properly label them for sale!

The rules don’t change just because you are small… consumers deserve to know what is in the products they buy, and they have a right to know how to contact you if they have an adverse reaction to their product – so the laws for labeling cosmetics must be followed even if you are selling from a farm stand, a boutique, at a market or online!

Making Cosmetics

There is so much to know when you make cosmetics like soap, lotions, salves, balms, scrubs…from proper chemistry and safe preservation to the FDA regulations for labeling the finished products. It does not matter if you sell one or two products to friends, at the local Farmers Market or on EBAY, everyone has to follow proper cosmetic formulation rules in order to produce a safe and healthy product and the FDA regulations apply to everyone!

Here is my MUST READ list. I am fortunate that my past career working for the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild and later running the Natural Ingredient Resource Center, and selling advertising space for The Herb Quarterly magazine, introduced me to these authors personally. I highly recommend any and all of them!