Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So Soy

Studies have shown that paraffin-based candles, when lit, release toxic chemicals into the air, endangering everyone around it. So what's the alternative? Soy-based candles. You've probably heard of them as they've become very popular as of late. Soy-based candles are of course healthier than parrifin-based, but they also burn a little longer which is always a plus.

A lot of people use Glade candles (you've probably seen the commercials) which contain paraffins and cheap dyes. Here are a few candles below that are safe for everyone:

1. Kandle Indulgence candles burn up to 100+ hours due to their all natural ingredients and organic soy-based wax.

2. Indigo Wild's Zum Glow candles, $15-$22, come in ten scents and are made with just soy wax and a delightful blend of essential oils.

3. Wayfarer Candles is a company that makes beautiful all natural soy-based candles and packages them in either their 100% recycled paper/85% post-consumer waste with soy ink or their dreamy mesh tin container that can be re-used multiple times.

4. BsaB Candles offers a little luxury with exquisite scents and exotic packaging all centered around a safe, all natural candle.

5. The Soi Company's candles burn up to 140 hours, and come in many different scents.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Body Friendly

Using a liquid preparation, such as lotion, is pretty much mandatory for us humans. It is typically used to soften and moisturize our skin, or it may be used for purposes intended to help soothe an annoying itch from a possible skin condition or allergy. Unfortunately, like many other products we use on a daily basis, lotion has its flaws:

- Aluminum starch (which contains contaminants such as: arsenic, lead and heavy metals)

- Methylparaben (which has been linked as a cause of cancer)

These are just a couple of the most dangerous ingredients found in common lotions.

So how do you avoid purchasing a lotion that doesn't have a toxic ingredients list? Well, there are many natural lotions that don't contain those pesky parabens or other hazardous ingredients.

Here are 5 natural lotions that are free of chemicals known to do damage to our bodies. They may be a little bit more expensive than say, the average drugstore lotion, but what would you rather do? Shell out a couple more dollars for a safe body lotion or damage your health by slathering on a cheap lotion with equally cheap (and deadly) ingredients?

1. Anti-Body's Fairtrade Certified Lavender Moisturizer, $9.95, is an all natural fairtrade moisturizer that supports a good cause and keeps your skin soft and nourished with West-African shea butter and a lavender scent.

2. Kiss My Face Organic Moisturizer - Filthy Rich, $10.95, great for dry skin and is rich in Marshmallow, Organic Cocoa Butter, and Sunflower Oil which aids in soothing and normalizing dry skin.

3. Canus Goat's Milk Moisturizing Lotion (above), $15, for 33 oz of this super moisturizing lotion that uses fresh goat's milk to calm all skin types $15 is quite a steal.

4. Dani Organic Lotion, $14, created using a custom blend of five pure vegetable oils it hydrates like no other and comes in 6 delicious scents.

5. Burt's Bees Body Moisturizers, $10 each, Burt's Bees might be known for their lip balm but their lotions are equally as good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Change Of Paste

A common ingredient in toothpastes, shampoos, facial cleansers, etc. is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a surfactant that is known for it's effective cleaning and more recently it's drying effects on human skin and hair and it's rumored dangers.

Aquafresh Extreme Clean Toothpaste in Empowermint (below, left) contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Sodium Flouride among other things. It gets a rating of 6 out of 10 on the Cosmetic Safety Database (1 is the safest, 10 is the least safe). The majority of toothpaste brands that can be found in most households score in the mid-range on the database. So why should you buy something that contains known irritants and chemicals when there are various natural toothpaste choices at your local drug or grocery store (yes, there are. You just have to look for them)?

We all know how expensive "natural" and "organic" products can be, but there are some that are around the same price or cheaper than what's on the drugstores' shelves. So below is a list I've put together of affordable natural toothpastes that score a pretty reasonable 3 or less on the Cosmetic Safety Database:

1. Miessence Mint Toothpaste, $8.95, gets a CSD score of 0. It comes in three different flavors, and contains no chemicals whatsoever.

2. Weleda Calendula Toothpaste, $6, gets a 2, and contains no peppermint oil.

3. Peelu Mint-Free Toothpaste, $5, scores a 1 and uses special cleansing fibers of the Peelu tree to effectively clean teeth.

4. Jason Natural NutriSmile Toothpaste, about $6, gets a 2, prevents decay and tartar and naturally helps whiten teeth.