Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Assure You I Won't Be Hugging Any Trees

Since the time I watched the movie Food, Inc. in February I have had this fire inside of me to make a consistent effort to get my family on the road to a healthier lifestyle. I have since come to find out that not only do I have to look at the food that we are putting in our bodies on a daily basis but I also have to look at the products that I am using in my home and products we are putting on our skin.

Now before you think "Oh here she goes on her organic/vegan/lets smear mud on our face and stop shaving our underarms" soap box again I assure you that I am far from putting on my Birkenstocks and spending the day outside hugging my favorite tree. Stay with me here.

Hubs and I have often talked about the beauty products that we use on an everyday basis. (He may be strongly opposed to the fact that I just said that he uses "beauty products," but I digress...) We got to thinking that the long list of ingredients on our favorite shampoo and moisturizer bottles can't actually be good simply because half of the products aren't even easily pronounceable (totally a word).

About three weeks ago I was watching Good Morning America in which Sophie Uliano was a guest plugging her book "Do It Gorgeously" which gives recipes for all natural, homemade beauty products. I was instantly intrigued. As soon as I got home I logged on to the library website to see if I could put this book in my queue. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and I am now currently on the wait list to read it. But, I was able to get her first book, "Gorgeously Green" in which I started reading last night.

The first chapter touched on beauty products and the chemicals that they contain. Did you know that only *11% of the 10,500 ingredients in the beauty products have been tested for safety? Or that *the average woman's morning routine puts her in contact with a hundred chemicals (that are known or probable carcinogens) before breakfast! Absurd!

Sophie explains that there are 7 ingredients that are in beauty products that are of the "RED ALERT" category. If you have products with any of these ingredients in your bathroom cabinets or shower get rid of them ASAP! Low and behold, my bathroom was swimming with products that all contain these killer chemicals. Not to mention the ingredients from her "Orange Alert" wonder cancers, Alzheimer's, autism, allergies, etc, etc, etc are all on the rise.

My first reaction was to take every product in my home and dispose of it immediately. But, my "let's be completely realistic" voice yelled loudly in my ear to quickly get a grip of myself before I totally fall of the loony wagon. So I left all my products alone safely in my cabinets. But, I will tell you, that I will be slow to go out and buy any more products after the ones that I already have are used up. And will strongly be looking into alternative beauty products whether I choose to tackle the make-it-yourself category or buy from a health food store.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of this book and if indeed I do choose to make some products on my own I'll be sure to pass on a review of the recipes that I take a shot at. In the meantime, take a look at your products and stear clear of the "red alert" chemicals! You owe it to yourself to live Gorgeously!

*Confused if your products are safe? She also lists a webiste called Safe Cosmetics where you can actually type in the name of your product and it will give you a safety rating. Sophie stears clear of products with a 5 or higher.

*facts taken from Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano Copyright 2008


Lisa said...

Amazing what companies sell to the unsuspecting consumer! California Baby makes great kids products from lotion, sunscreen, shampoo/cond, etc. and most if not all score around a 1 on the cosmetics database. They're available online as well as Target and some other retailers.

chandy said...

I've tried using some of the more natural deodorants, but I find that they don't really cut it, especially for AZ summers and working out. Do you have a recommendation for one that you use that actually works?

Tracey said...

Chandy-I hear you loud and clear on the deodorants! The ones that I have tried aren't doin' it for me either.
In this section of the book, Sophie lists all of her favorite products in lists of hair care, soaps, lotions, etc, etc. Lucky for us she also listed her favorite deodorants!
She states that she has tried "every conceivable alternative to the normal drugstore deodorants" so I don't know if that is enough to trust her recommendations...but may be worth a try. She recommends Dr. Hauschka's roll on, Erbavia spray, Herbal Magic roll on, Aubrey Organics (not to be relied on for occations when you need to stay dry, or Tom's of Maine is her hubby's favorite (unscented).
She says, if you still need something stronger try and click on deodorants to find some commercial brands that may have a lower risk factor. *You can check them at
Hope this helps!

chandy said...

Thanks for the tips!

Tracey said...

Just an update on the deodorants....I ordered the Herbal Magic brand in the Jasmine scent from It's like $4.00 or so-and if you order a bunch of other stuff which we usually do then it's worth it with the shipping. I have been using it for about a week now and, I must say, it actually works really well. I haven't used it in a working out situation, so I can't attest to it keeping me dry or B.O. free when I am hot and sweaty but for everyday use (even in the heat here of AZ) it has been working well!