Getting Healthy

Twenty-Two Tweaks and Twists

We just covered how to make your own healthy deodorant with healthy natural ingredients…

…specifically the baking soda that we actually just bought as we get ready to learn how to deep-fry and make such unhealthy foods as French fries and fried onion rings.

But before we continue on our detour off the Raw Foods Pyramid into the forbidden world of deep-frying, I thought that this might be a good time to talk about a few of the worst and most commonly used unhealthy ingredients that the health and beauty and home products that most of us have simply been buying because “that’s what our mom always used to use” actually contain…

1. Artificial Colors…

  • What is it…The letters “F” (food) and “D”(drugs) and “C” (cosmetics) followed by a color and number, such as D&C Red 27 or FD&C Blue 1, represent artificial or synthetic colors that are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources.
  • Why to avoid…suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant, and contributing factor to ADHD in children

2. Artificial Fragrances…

  • What is it…”fragrance” is a catchall term for the thousands of hidden chemicals used to make fragrances smell good. Federal law doesn’t require companies to list the actual ingredients in a product’s “secret formula,” meaning you as the consumer could actually be putting tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health without realizing it
  • Where it’s found…found in many cosmetics and skin care products including perfume, cologne, conditioner, face creams, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, body wash and moisturizers
  • Why to avoid…allergic reactions, headache, aggravated asthma, dizziness, dermatitis, respiratory distress, and potential effects on the reproductive system

3. Benzophenone…

  • What is it…preservative commonly used to keep cosmetics and nail polishes from breaking down when they are exposed to ultraviolet light
  • Where it’s found…lip balms and nail enamels
  • Why to avoid…carcinogen

4. Diethyl Phthalate (DEP)…

  • What is it…a masking agent
  • Where it’s found..in many cosmetics
  • Why to avoid…believed to alter the function of hormones

5. Formaldehyde…

  • What is it…a potent preservative considered a known human carcinogen by the International Agency on Research on Carcinogens (IARC)
  • Where it’s found…nail products, body washes, conditioners, cleansers, eye shadows, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos
  • Why to avoid…has been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancer, known to cause allergic skin reactions, may also be harmful to the immune system

6. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRP) …

  • What is it…preservatives used to help prevent bacteria growth-including sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, methenamine, Bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidzaolidinyl urea and Quaternium-15
  • Where it’s found…widely used in US products
  • Why to avoid..known human carcinogen, can trigger allergic skin reactions

7. Homosalate…

  • Where it’s found…sunscreens, liquid and powder foundations with SPF
  • Why to avoid…may negatively impact the function of hormones, makes it simpler for your body to absorb pesticides

8. Hydroquinone…

  • What is it…a skin bleaching chemical
  • Where it’s found…found in a lot of cosmetics, such as foundations, that have skin lightening properties
  • Why to avoid… can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, with blue-black lesions that in the worst cases become permanent black caviar-size bumps…may also trigger the development of cancer or irritation of the respiratory tract, as well as the toxicity of organ systems.

9. Lead…

  • What is it…a neurotoxin
  • Where it’s found…hair dye and lipstick
  • Why to avoid…known carcinogen

10. Mercury…

  • What is it…known allergen
  • Where it’s found…mascara and some eyedrops
  • Why to avoid…impairs brain development

11. Mineral Oil…

  • What is it…by-product of petroleum
  • Where it’s found…baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels
  • Why to avoid…creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

12. Oxybenzone…

  • What is it…active ingredient found in chemical sunscreens
  • Where it’s found…sunscreens
  • Why to avoid…: linked to irritation, sensitization, allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight

13. Parabens…

  • What is it…estrogen-mimicking preservative used widely in cosmetics used to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products
  • Where it’s found…makeup, moisturizer, shaving gel, shampoo, personal lubricant, body washes, deodorants,cperfumes and other scented products, facial cleansers, and spray tan products
  • Why to avoid…linked to breast cancer, skin cancer and decreased sperm count…may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorder

14. PEGs…

  • What is it…polyethylene glycol, synthetic petroleum-based chemicals
  • Where it’s found…often used as a creamy base in moisturing cosmetics such as scrubs, body wash, makeup, toothpaste …recognizable as the tiny plastic beads seen in face scrubs, lip scrubs, and exfoliating washes
  • Why to avoid…skin-irritating carcinogen

15. Petrochemicals…

  • What is it…ingredients like mineral oil, paraffin, or petrolatum jelly that are produced in oil refineries at the same time as automobile fuel, heating oil and chemical feedstocks
  • Where it’s found…mascara
  • Why to avoid…may cause contact dermatitis and are often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities

16. Pthalates…

  • What is it…a group of chemicals used to improve the performance of some skincare and cosmetic products
  • Where it’s found…used in hundreds of products, including nail polish, perfumes, lotions, moisturizers, fragrances, deodorants, and hair spray
  • Why to avoid…have been linked to increased risk of cancer–including breast, liver, kidney, and lung,—early breast development in girls, reproductive birth defects , endocrine disruption, damage, cancer

.

17. Propylene Glycol…

  • What is it…a small organic alcohol
  • Where it’s found…commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.
  • Why to avoid…has been associated with causing both dermatitis and hives

18. Retinol…

  • What is it…Vitamin A compounds
  • Where it’s found…widely used in sunscreens, skin lotions, lip products, and makeup
  • Why to avoid…when applied to sun-exposed skin these compounds can increase risk skin sensitivity, skin lesions, and tumors

19. Siloxanes…

  • What is it…non-biodegradeable silicone-derived compounds
  • Where it’s found…common emollient used in makeup products to make the skin feel softer and smoother and to add moisture to the skin
  • Why to avoid…linked to tumour growth and skin irritation…also believed to disrupt the function of the endocrine system, interfere in hormone activity, and negatively impact fertility

20. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate…

  • What is it…an industrial-strength degreaser that can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products, especially foamy soaps
  • Where it’s found…shampoo, body wash, foundation, face wash, mascara, acne treatment products, mouthwash, and toothpaste
  • Why to avoid…known skin, lung, and eye irritant…also has the potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen that can also lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage…has also been shown to cause or contribute to canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage,and cystic acne around the mouth and chin


21. Toluene…

  • What is it…petrochemical solvent, paint thinner, and neurotoxicant that is able to dissolve paint and paint thinner…often listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene
  • Where it’s found…found in nail and hair products
  • Why to avoid…affects the immune, endocrine, and respiratory systems…may also impair fetal development, linked to malignant lymphoma

22. Triclosan…

  • What is it…widely-used antimicrobial chemical…(found in liquid soaps as triclosan…and bar soaps as triclocarban)that are very toxic to the aquatic environment
  • Where it’s found…often added to cosmetics and other personal care items cease of its germ-resisting properties…especially in toothpaste, deodorant, antibacterial soap, and hand sanitizers
  • Why to avoid…known thyroid and reproductive hormonal disruptor…could possibly impair both muscle function and the immune system…considered to be potentially irritating to the lungs, eyes, and skin
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Pumpkin, Pumpkin…Good for Your Skin

I’m sure that I’m not the only one disappointed that Pumpkin Season has alreadty come and gone…

Soon to be replaced with Turkey Season and Peppermint Season…

Not to mention deer season, right?!…or make that Deer Season Widow season for many of us…

But anyway, what’s a woman to do while her husband is out shooting Bambi…yeah, I know that if I have any vegan or vegetarian readers out there, even the very thought of shooting Bambi has probably made you hurt…but I AM from Mississiippi and am being read.

Anyway, one thing that I do while he is out hunting or fishing or whatever it may be at this time of year is start to think of and make homemade Christmas gifts to give to neighbors, teachers, and whoever gives me an unexpected gift.

This year I have embraced the pumpkin season totally and completely, as you can probably tell by recent posts.

So to kill at least two birds with one stone I have decided to make jars of body scrub to give away as gifts this year.

I wrote a blog a while back about making your own body scrub…called   Rub-a-Dub-Dub…Why Use a Sugar Scrub?! with several different ideas as far as scents to use.

But this time, I wanted to focus only on pumpkins so that those of us who are watching our Most Wonderful Time of the Year—PSL season—walk away  could continue to enjoy the sweet aroma of pumpkin all year long…

And in a much more intimate way…

 

Homemade sugar scrubs are very inexpensive.

And not only that…

Homemade sugar scrubs contain ingredients that you actually know what are…and ingredients that offer benefits for your skin.

 

 

Ingredients such as…

Pumpkin Puree…Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C, E and beta-carotene. When used topically, it promotes healthy skin and hair.

Coconut or Olive Oil…Coconut oil and olive oil moisturize the skin, act as an antioxidant properties, and keep your skin looking younger.

Spices…The aromatherapy of the spices are rejuvenating, awakening, warm, and comforting. Not only that, cinnamon stimulates blood vessels, brings blood to the surface of the skin, results in plumper skin with a healthy glow, and is an excellent natural treatment for eczema, and acne.

Sugar…Sugar helps the skin retain moisture and gently exfoliates dead skin away.

Vitamin E…Vitamin E not only benefits your skin, but also extends the shelf life of your ingredients.

 

Ingredients

  • 1C brown sugar
  • 1/2C coconut oil
    1Tbsp cinnamon
    1 vitamin E capsule
  • ½C pumpkin puree

 

Combine ingredients. Note that the coconut oil will be easier to mix if it is at room temperature. Scoop body scrub into an airtight container with a lid to store.

Storage…This scrub is best when used immediately because the longer it sits, the more the sugar will dissolve and the less exfoliating the body scrub will become.

The scrub will last for about two months as long as the airtight container hasn’t been opened. Store in the fridge and use within four days after opening.,

Before using, let the mixture come back it warm up to room temp and stir if needed.

Getting Healthy

A Baker’s Dozen of Recipes for Homemade Soap Just in Time to Give for Christmas This Year 

  
The best way to know what’s exactly in a given product is obviously to make that product from scratch…and here are a baker’s dozen of homemade natural soap recipes for those willing to take the dare…

Perfectly in time for Christmas gift-giving!!!

   
1.  Bacon Soap-This natural homemade bacon soap recipe is made using real bacon fat. Bacon fat gives this soap extra conditioning properties.

  

   
2.  Banana and Oatmeal Soap-This natural homemade oatmeal banana soap recipe is made using real bananas. Bananas are great for conditioning the skin.

  
3.  Blueberry and Carrot Soap-This natural homemade blueberry and carrot soap recipe is made using real carrot puree and blueberries. Both carrots and blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants and highly prized for their anti-aging properties.

   
4.  Chamomile and Neroli Beer Soap-This natural homemade beer soap recipe is made using beer…go figure?!

   
5.  Coffee Soap-This natural homemade coffee soap recipe is made using real brewed coffee. Coffee naturally helps neutralize tough odors and is believed to help with rosacea, skin redness, and other skin ailments.

   
6.  Egg Soap-This natural homemade egg soap recipe is made using egg yolks. Eggs have many skincare benefits…such as tightening skin, shrinking pores, and calming redness and breakouts. 

  

    7. Green Tea and Agave Soa-This natural homemade green tea and agave soap recipe is made using green tea and agave extract. Green tea and agave extract offer skin conditioning oils and anti-oxidant power.

      
    8.  Mango and Coconut Milk Soap-This natural homemade mango and coconut soap recipe is made using ripe mango and coconut milk.

        

      9.  Pear Soap-This natural homemade pear soap recipe is made using overripe pears.

          
      10.  Pumpkin Soap-This natural homemade pumpkin soap recipe is made using real organic pumpkin. Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids which are shown to help smooth and brighten skin. Pumpkin also contains vitamins A and C which have been shown to help soften and soothe skin as well as boost collagen production which helps to prevent signs of aging.

             
      11.  Tomato Soap-This natural homemade tomato soap recipe is made using overripe tomatoes and basil essential oil. 

         

        12.  Wine Soap– This natural wine soap recipe is made using leftover wine.

          

          13.  Yogurt and Avocado Soap-This natural homemade yogurt and avocado soap recipe is made using a small, ripe avocado and real Greek yogurt. Ripe fruit and yogurt give homemade soaps extra skin conditioning properties.

            Getting Healthy

            Actually I Changed My Mind…You Stink!!!

            Thankfully there are many alternatives to such traditional bar soaps available… alternatives that are actually safe and natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. These include…
              
            1.  100% Pure Butter Soap 

            • Ingredients…pure vegetable soap enhanced with shea butter and coconut oil…scented with steam distilled essential oils
            • Kudos…all natural, 100% vegan, and gluten-free… 
            • Price…$10
            • Scents…Eucalyptus, Apple, Peach, Lavender, Seaweed, Coconut, Meyer Lemon, Mango, Caffeine Olive Oil, Mandarin, Green Tea Olive Oil

              
            2.  Christina Maser Handmade Goats Milk Soaps

            • Ingredients…food grade olive, palm, coconut, sweet almond and castor oils, natural clays, goat’s milk, honey, herbs, grains and natural pigments…scented with only pure essential oils
            • Kudos…no synthetic ingredients, no phthalates, no chemicals of any kind
            • Price…average of $10 a bar
            • Scents…Almond, Citrus Eucalyptus, Citrus, Espresso, Geranium, Grapefruit, Green Clay Lavender, Honey Milk & Oats, Lavender Citrus, Lavender, Lavender Milk, Lavender Oats, Lavender Patchouli, Lemon Wasabi, Patchouli, Peppermint Poppy, Rosemary Clay, Rosemary Mint, Signature, Spa, and Tea Tree Citrus

              

            3. Dr. Bronner’s

            • Availability…almost anywhere
            • Best for…
            • Ingredients…extra virgin coconut, jojoba, and hemp oils, and pure essential oils
            • Kudos…certified organic and fair trade, completely biodegradable and vegetable-based
            • Price…average of $5 a bar
            • Scents…Peppermint, Almond, Lavender, Tea Tree, Unscented, Rose, Citrus Orange, Eucalyptus

               

            4.  Farmaesthetics Organic Bath & Beauty Bars

            • Availability…Nordstrom
            • Ingredients…organically grown herbs, flowers & grains 
            • Kudos…organic and handmade, hypo-allergenic, non-irritating & dermatological tested
            • Price…an average of $12.99
            • Scents…Saltwater Rain, Cinnamon & Rose, Blood Orange & Calendula Petals, Chamomile Flowers, Field Lavender, Aloe & Lemongrass, and Beach Rose & Vetivert

              

             

              5.  Hugo Naturals Bar Soaps 

              • Availability…Natural Wellness, Whole Foods
              • Ingredients…pure and natural ingredients such as all-natural vegetable glycerin, nutrition-quality Vitamin E, natural botanical extracts, and a mixture of moisturizing coconut, castor, and safflower oils
              • Kudos…gluten free, vegan, cruelty free, and free of harsh chemicals like propylene glycol, parabens, and petroleum products
              • Price…$4
              • Scents…Mexican Lime & Bergamot, Spearmint, Geranium & Indonesian Patchouli, Creamy Coconut, French Lavender, Geranium and Indonesian Patchouli, Grapefruit, Indonesian Patchouli and Sandalwood, Oatmeal Mint, Shea Butter and Oatmeal, Unscented, Vanilla & Sweet Orange, Clove

                6.  LATHER Natural Soap

              • Ingredients
              • Kudos…For every olive oil soap sold, LATHER will donate the equivalent of five bars of soap to Clean The World, a non-profit organization that recycles and distributes soap around the world to people in need. 
              • Price…$8
              • Scents…Patchouli Olive, Orange Peel, Vanilla Bean & Shea, Eucalyptus & Clay, Honey Almond, Oatmeal Lavender, Rose Tangerine, Lemongrass, Rosemary Peppermint, Lavender Lime, Mint, Wild Mint, Vanilla Bean & Shea, and Barbao & Shea

                
              7.  Plantlife

              • Ingredients…pure essential oils and organic botanicals
              • Kudos…free of artificial fragrances, dyes, and harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and phthalates…vegan, gluten free, and never tasted on animals. 
              • Price…$6
              • Scents…Coconut Vanilla, Sandalwood, Rosemary Tea Tree, Ambrosia, Carrot & Vitamin E, Cassia Clove, Coconut Lime, Comfrey Root with Aloe, Double Mint. Eucalyptus, Green Tea, Lemongrass, Lavender, Oatmeal Almond, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orange, Rosemary Tea Tree, Cocoa Mint, Frankincense Myrhh, and Pumpkin Spice

                
              8.  Poofy Organics

              • Founded…in 2006 after a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer
              • Ingredients…no toxic ingredients such as synthetic fragrance, parabens, triclosan, PEGs, Triethanolamine, Oxybenzone, and GMOs …fragranced only with essential oils and extracts 
              • Kudos…partnered with and support BREAST CANCER ACTION which educates and empowers women by demanding transparency and accountability in pink ribbon marketing.
              • Price…average of $6 per bar
              • Scents…Leaf and Cloves, Almond Clove, Lemony Lavender, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Enchanted Vanilla, Orange Ginger Patchouli, Sweet Lemongrass

                
              9. Soap for Goodness Sake

              • Ingredients…certified organic base oils, pure grade essential oils, Hot Springs Thermal Water-known as some of the cleanest and purest water on earth
              • Kudos…no unsafe synthetics, preservatives, artificial dyes, parabens, or synthetic fragrances
              • Price…average of $6 per bar
              • Scents…Shea and Oats, Balancing Act, Extra Gentle, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil

                 

                 10.  Tom’s of Maine

                • Ingredients…only naturally-sourced, plant-derived ingredients like coconut, olive, and jojoba oils
                • Price…$4
                • Scents…Creamy Coconut, Lavender Tea Tree, Orange Blossom, Morning Mint, Fragrance Free Sensitive, Deodorant, and Daily Moisture
                Getting Healthy

                10 More OTC Cruelty-Free Body Washes 

                 

                 

                1.  Kiss My Face

                • Availability…Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Bed, Bath & Beyond
                • Ingredients…extracts of elder flower, lavender, cornflower, lemongrass, and eucalyptus
                • Price…$9
                • Scents…Sensitive, Cold and Flu, Early to Bed,.Early to Rise, Anti-Stress, Silky Soft, and Peaceful Patchouli

                2. LUSH Bath Products

                • Ingredients…olive oil, sea salt, and mandarin juice
                • Price…$32.95
                • Scents
                • Shower Gel…Dirty Springwash, Plum Rain, Happy Hippy, The Comforter, Yuzu and Cocoa, Don’t Rain on My Parade, Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair, Beautiful), It’s Raining Men
                • Shower Jellies...Needles and Pines, 93,000 Miles, Refresher, Whoosh
                • Shower Smoothies..lRo’s Argan, Dreamwash, African Paradise, Turkish Delight

                3. Method

                • Ingredients…naturally derived hydrating ingredients like nourishing aloe
                •  Price…$5.99
                • Scents…
                • Foaming…Water Flower, Sea Mist, Ruby Orange, and Cucumber Mint
                • Moisturizing…Coconut Milk, Magnolia, Olive Leaf, Surfside, and White Tea
                • Refreshing…Lilac Blossom, Mandarin Orange, Green Tea and Aloe, and Waterfall

                4. Nature’s Gate

                • Availability…Whole Foods
                • Founded…in 1972 by two brothers who were so inspired by the purity of rainwater that it became a main ingredient in their products
                • Ingredients…100-percent coconut water, lavender, lupine seed, frangipani, and fig
                • Kudos…free of paraben, GMOs, gluten, sulfate, phthalate, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid
                • Scents…Aloe Vera, Papaya, Pomegranate Sunflower, Hemp, Lavender, and Coconut


                5.  Nourish Organic Body Wash

                • Ingredients…organic hydrating blend of aloe, coconut milk, Vitamin E, and a blend of moisturizing essential oils
                • Kudos…cruelty free, vegan, Leaping Bunny certified brand, gluten free, and certified USDA organic
                • Price…$11.99
                • Scents…Unscented, Almond Vanilla, Fresh Fig, Lavender Mint, Wild Berries, Tropical Coconut, and Lemon Thyme 

                6.  Nubian Heritage Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed Body Wash

                • Ingredients….Abyssinian oil, chia seeds, amaranth extract, ginseng
                •  Price…$12.99

                7. PROXI Body Wash

                • Ingredients…hydrogen peroxide, plant-derived surfactants, aloe, naturally-derived moisturizers
                • Kudos…98% naturally-derived, paraben-free, soap-free and pH balanced ingredients
                • Scents…Cucumber & Green Tea,  “Men’s”

                8.  Puracy Body Wash

                •  Ingredients…a rich blend of carefully chosen food-grade, plant and mineral-based ingredients, featuring Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
                • Kudos…all natural, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, vegan, gluten-free, and biodegradable ingredients…NO sulfates, triclosan, formaldehyde, parabens, phosphates, SLS, SLES, MEA, DEA, TEA, petroleum-based ingredients, animal by-products, chlorine, dyes, or caustics
                • Price…$12.99

                 

                9.  SheaMoisture Body Wash

                • Availability…Walgreens, CVSp
                • Founded…more than 100 years ago when founder Sofi Tucker began selling shea nuts at the village market in Bonthe, Sierra Leone
                • Price…$10.99
                • Scents…Olive & Green Tea, Coconut & Hibiscus, Raw Shea Butter, ARGAN Oil & Raw Shea, SuperFruit, Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil, Zanzibar Marine Complex, Peace Rose Oil, African Water Mint & Ginger, Fruit Fusion Coconut, 100% Vegan Coconut, and Dragons Blood & Coffee Cherry

                10.  Yes To… Soothing Body Wash

                • Availability…CVS, Target, Walmart, and Kroger
                • Price… $8.99
                • Scents..Cucumbers, Carrots, Blueberries, Grapefruit, Coconut, Tomatoes