I have not blogged in forever and a day. A lot of that is because I’ve been busy putting together our wedding invite zines, and because I finally caved and made a wedding website. I really wanted to avoid that level of Internet-ness, but we quickly realized that we had A LOT of information for our guests and things the required interaction. So I made a site, and it wasn’t too painful. I had a busy day throwing out lotion and chapsticks, so I thought I’d fire this baby up and write about it. Here we go!
There’s been a lot of talk online, and in my case, in person, about a study from Canada’s Environmental Defence group that came out last week. The study found large amounts of lead, arsenic, and other toxic and carcinogenic materials in commonly used cosmetic and beauty products. A few years ago I wouldn’t really have paid this much mind, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about health, and how best to do be healthy in every thing I do. Already that includes how I eat (most of the time), how I move, and how I treat myself when I’m ill or feeling down. I’d never thought much about how lipstick could be unhealthy, or if I did, I thought “whatever, something’s going to kill me eventually.”
But really, it started when Kathy died and has only gotten stronger since then: the desire to give myself the best possible chance of living for a long time, feeling good. I have plenty of good role models in this arena, including my aunt and my soon to be mother-in-law. Although it may be easier to just throw up my hands and dismiss it all, I’m finding that I enjoy taking the time to invest in myself in these ways: weighing pros and cons of eating more or less sugar or thinking seriously about taking a walk during lunch instead of eating a rushed lunch at my desk.
So this all led to me emptying out my shelf in the bathroom cabinet and looking up all of my beauty crap in the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. They rate products from 0-10 based on listed ingredients and their toxicity, allergens, and overall potential for badness. I thought that by using mostly fancy pants products (my only real drugstore staple was an Oil of Olay Regenerist cream) meant my collection would be pretty healthy. It wasn’t awful, it could have been worse, but most of my products were in the 4-6 rating (Moderate hazard). A lot of them were hazardous in the “Cancer” area which made my stomach flip flop.
So I evaluated all of my Moderate hazard suspects and considered how much they cost, how much was left, and how awesome I felt they were. All except for the Olay stuff because I realized from reading the Skin Deep description that they test on animals which I must have known in the deep dark recesses of my mind but had purposely forgotten. That shit went in the trash lickety split! The rest of it went to go live in the cupboard until I can decide what to do with it. Luckily I’d just bought the Kiehl’s eye cream so I can take it back.
I read up on Makeup Alley and other sites and then visited my co-op and natural remedy stores. They had some of the brands I was looking for, but nothing jumped out at me. Figuring I was done for the day, I went to a dentist’s appointment (ugh) and had to stop at Whole Foods on the way for some cornstarch. Because all of the beauty hunting meant I needed to make some rosemary & ginger shortbread cookies the minute I got home. At Whole Foods I found a nice lady demonstrating some delicious smelling whatsits, so I talked to her for a bit. The smelling stuff turned out to be BEAUTY PRODUCTS and they were kind of amazing. I tried a bunch of stuff and settled on some serum and a misty thing to mix with the serum. Then I bought another night cream because I like night creams and I felt like I needed a safety blanket after throwing away that Olay.
Now I’ve just given myself a little rose mud mask (nice lady gave me lots of samples) and I’m looking at my pared down medicine cabinet with a smile. I’m excited to be giving money to small(er) businesses and now I won’t be imagining all sorts of horrid things creeping in through my pores as I snooze. Win, win!
From R-L: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer, Alaffia Rooibos & Shea Butter Antioxidant Face Cream (still use this, just forgot to put it in the After photo), Kiehl’s Abyssine Eye Cream, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra-Light Fluid for Face, Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer, Philosophy Purity Made Simple, Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream, Philosophy Microdelivery Peel, Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant & Toning Mist
From R-L: Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra-Light Fluid for Face, Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, Acure Organics Night Cream, Evan Healy Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum – Rose, Evan Healy Rose Geranium Facial Tonic Hydrosol, and Smith’s Rosebud Salve which is always good for you (especially since I chucked the Aveda Lip Saver, a 5!)
The Stila Sheer is a 4 and probably I should find something new, but I really love it. My other foundation option would be the Chanel Teint Innocence I use occasionally, but looking at Chanel’s other products I’m guessing that’s not too safe, either. Same story with my sunscreen (a 4), but it’s taken me so many years to find a sunscreen I will actually wear regularly that I can’t give it up just yet. We’ll see. Baby steps.
UP NEXT: My not-so-daily products like face masks & treatments (Aveda, Fresh) and body products like lotion and bath goodies. I tend to stick to more natural/organic products in this realm so I think it will be easy. I’m already hippie-d up in the medicinal department (tinctures, homeopathy, very little in the way of name brand remedies).