The more I learn about environmental toxins and it's impact on reproduction, the more I search for better beauty products. Our skin is our largest organ. It absorbs everything we put on it and we have to pay attention to what we're using because no one else is doing it for us. In the United States, it is legal to put known carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) and endocrine disruptors in beauty products as long as they are in small amounts. In Europe, our 1,300 chemical are banned from personal care products. In the US, 11 chemicals are banned and the last year a federal regulation on beauty products passed was in 1938. Even if the amounts are small when you think of all the shampoos, lotions, laundry detergent, make up and more we use - these chemicals add up. Labels can be misleading and good marketing - words like 'natural' and 'pure' can be meaningless. Pay attention to the products you use and educate yourself. Everything in moderation - start with one beauty product like your shampoo and move through your products one at a time. Too much at once can be overwhelming but one step at a time - you can take steps to decrease the toxins you are exposed to everyday. I write about limiting exposures in both of my books: Planting the Seeds of Pregnancy, An Integrative Guide to Infertility and Not Broken: An Approachable Guide to Miscarriage and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. An excellent resource for reviewing your own products is from the Environmental Working Group. This website allows you to search your products and see how they rate on a toxicity scale - check it out here EWG.org
Here are some products that I love and to the best of my humble research ability seem low in toxicity.
This product has replaced my other lip balms and go to ointments for all my dry lip, dry skin, skin irritation needs. It has no petroleum and I can read and understand the ingredients: glycerin, castor seed oil, and castor wax . I keep a small one in my bag for daily use as lip balm and I keep the larger size at home. It seems pricey but a little goes a long way and I use these for months until I need to purchase another.
This is the coolest face cleaning product I've found. It moisturizes as it cleans. It's a balm so it's not liquid (great for travel!) and I scrape out a little each night with a tiny spatula that comes with the product. I rub it between my hands to warm up a little, smooth over my face, then wipe off with a warm wash cloth. I feel like I'm wiping the day away along with my make up and rest of the grime from work, kids, life! My skin feels silky smooth and moisturized - not squeaky clean and stripped of moisture like with other harsh face cleaning products. I do not usually use a separate make up remover (cost savings). It's pricey but lasts for months. Beautycounter has many more products. They not only make less toxic beauty products but they are advocates for safe beauty in Washington DC - learn more about them here.