My Favorite Things: June 2018

 non-toxic beauty products, Beauty Counter, Jason toothpaste, Honest company mascara, charcoal cleansing bar, Stinkbug naturals deodorant, organic, all-natural

Did you know that the average woman uses more than 12 personal care products and is exposed to more than 160 different chemicals ... each day?! In the United States, around 13,000 chemicals are used in cosmetics, but only 10% have been evaluated for safety by the FDA. In my book 360 Health, a number of those chemicals are listed as possible carcinogens. Because our government doesn't really "have our backs" when it comes to regulating these products, it really is up to us to do our homework.

Finding products with the most natural and safest ingredients has become a priority for me. I'll be the first to admit I'm not 100% "green", and I don't always use non-toxic make-up, but I certainly am leaning more and more that way as I learn more and more about the potential side effects from literal poisons in our beauty products. So, this month's list is devoted to products using more natural, less toxic ingredients. 

1) Charcoal Cleansing Bar

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This little gem from Beautycounter has transformed my face cleansing regimen. At first, I was a little put off by the bar's black color. How could something that looked like coal actually clean my skin? But when I read about its benefits, I decided to give it a try. What are those benefits, you ask? Beautycounter's website describes this product as "detoxifying" and able to "absorb impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a clearer, smoother, and brighter-looking complexion." This actually lathers just like soap, so it spreads nicely. I love the way my skin feels after cleansing with the charcoal bar, and my skin tone feels less uneven and dull, too. You can buy the product for $25 here if you're interested. 

2) Acure Brilliantly Brightening Day Cream

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In a previous post, I wrote about my affinity for Acure shampoo and conditioner. The company, Acure Organics, prides itself on being vegan and free of harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and mineral oils to name a few. I love this day cream for several reasons. The natural fragrance is absolutely delightful ... a hint of citrus. It just smells and feels clean. The cream also contains some beneficial anti-aging compounds. CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and one in which we become depleted in as we age. It also contains the herb gotu kola which has been shown to tone and tighten the skin. Gotu kola also promotes collagen production in the human body which, in turn, helps to improve the condition of an aging skin and diminishes wrinkles and fine lines. One caveat to remember for the summertime, this cream does not contain SPF, so if you're planning to be outdoors, you might want to apply sunscreen atop the lotion. The Acure line of products is quite affordable. You may be able to find this product at your local Target store, but I've found it's actually cheaper through Amazon. It runs around $13. 

3) Honest Beauty Truly Lush Mascara

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The Honest Company, founded by actress Jessica Alba, was created to provide safe products that perform well. What began as a company geared towards infants and children, it now encompasses cleaning and beauty supplies. I was recently introduced to this mascara and was happy to find something that was both non-toxic and actually worked well. This is a 2-in-1 primer and mascara. The primer helps to gently coat the lashes, creating a base. The mascara then applies smoothly on top and truly gives the appearance of thick, full lashes. You can find many Honest products at Target, but this hot item isn't always in stock. I had to order mine online. For a non-toxic beauty product, this is relatively inexpensive. It is just shy of $20. 

4) Stinkbug Naturals Deodorant

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I'll be completely honest ... I generally do not really love natural deodorants. I love their concept, but sometimes their effectiveness isn't the best. So why am I including this on my list? For starters, traditional, main-stream, drug store brand deodorants are mostly a bunch of potentially harmful chemicals and fragrances bottled up in one shiny container. Our skin is our largest organ and can easily absorb some of these chemicals. Our underarm tissue is especially susceptible as it contains hormone receptors which could react to some of those deodorant ingredients. Researchers worry that certain compounds in antiperspirant and deodorant could cause or contribute to developmental or reproductive issues, as well as cancer. To top it off, we women shave our armpits frequently, creating miniature cuts and scrapes that allow these compounds to more readily enter our bloodstream. 

Stinkbug Naturals is one brand of natural deodorant that I tend to buy. The company's products are organic, aluminum-free, paraben-free and non-GMO. The deodorants come in different natural fragrances like Atomic, Floral Lime, Lavender, Patchouli, Pine Cone, Tangerine Spice, Tea Tree & Unscented. I personally use the lavender. I do like the scent, and this does help to ward off any underarm odor. The one caveat is that this does not perform well (for me) as an antiperspirant. So, if I'm going to be working out or outside on a really hot day, I'll usually turn to my old Degree deodorant and antiperspirant. On other days, and especially after I shave, I use natural deodorant. This product is available in some stores as well as online, and it's fairly cheap ... around $8. 

5) Jason Powersmile Whitening Fluoride-free Toothpaste

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What? No fluoride in a toothpaste? Won't you get cavities? The short answer is no! If you've read my book 360 Health, you know that I go into great detail about the potentially carcinogenic effects of fluoride. Fluoride is actually a neurotoxin when consumed in large amounts. It's actually less problematic in toothpaste than it is in drinking water, but that's another story for another day. Fluoride can discolor teeth, suppress the immune system, contribute to certain cancers, cause gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea, and lead to birth defects. Have you ever noticed the warning label on fluoridated toothpaste? It says to keep out of reach of children under 6, and if you accidentally swallow more than needed for brushing to contact the Poison Control Center immediately. 

The truth is, fluoride may help prevent cavities, but because it's also possibly dangerous, alternative teeth cleansing methods are probably more beneficial and just as effective. Dental caries occur for two reasons ... 1) lack of proper hygiene and 2) lack of minerals needed for tooth remineralization. Making sure you floss and brush your teeth is important as this removes potentially harmful plaque. And making sure you have adequate vitamins and minerals in your diet makes all the difference. Teeth require calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin D3, potassium, phosphorous, vitamin K2, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Taking a quality multivitamin/multi-mineral complex is a good idea as is increasing the amount of vegetables and some low-sugar fruits in your diet. Ditching the sugar and packaged, processed foods is just as important. You can read more about natural ways to reverse dental cavities and remineralize your teeth here

Ok, back to JASON toothpaste. I truly love this particular brand and this flavor. Not only does it not contain fluoride, but it also does not contain sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (SLS). SLS is the stuff that typically makes toothpaste and things like shampoo froth and foam. The problem is SLS has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption. The Environmental Working Group regards it as a "moderate hazard."

JASON's whitening toothpaste has all-natural ingredients. It contains peppermint oil which is very refreshing, and its sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate work together to whiten and strengthen teeth. The Amazon link above contains two flavors ... this whitening formula as well as the "Sea Fresh" Strengthening toothpaste. Both are minty fresh and free of any harmful ingredients. And, did I mention they are super cheap? This combo sells for less than $6!

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