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Saturday June 20th was the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) in Pasadena CA. I was an educator or guest speaker for a workshop titled “Glowing Green on the Red Carpet.”

The workshop was about how I discovered organic, mineral, homeopathic and natural based cosmetics to use on my clients and how the finished look was equal to the look of any traditional makeup brand. Now by no means am I a zealot about natural products that would be hypocritical of me, but I am gradually moving towards the use of more products that give a great finished product and the plus side is that they are actually good for you.

The problem with some products is that point black they are just chemical and toxic to your overall well being. Through my years of doing makeup for celebrities I wanted to use things that were less harsh and did not affect the skin negatively. I will share with you some of my findings on parabens and phthalates which are in a lot of products both for the face and body.

Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. (Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.) Chemically, parabens are esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid. The most common parabens used in cosmetic products are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. Typically, more than one paraben is used in a product, and they are often used in combination with other types of preservatives to provide preservation against a broad range of microorganisms. The use of mixtures of parabens allows the use of lower levels while increasing preservative activity.

Why are preservatives used in cosmetics?

Preservatives may be used in cosmetics to protect them against microbial growth, both to protect consumers and to maintain product integrity.

What kinds of products contain parabens?

They are used in a wide variety of cosmetics, as well as foods and drugs. Cosmetics that may contain parabens include makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products, among others. Most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants do not currently contain parabens.

Cosmetics sold on a retail basis to consumers are required by law to declare ingredients on the label. This is important information for consumers who want to determine whether a product contains an ingredient they wish to avoid. Parabens are usually easy to identify by name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben.

Phthalates are known to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments in laboratory animals that are exposed to these chemicals during pregnancy and after birth. Phthalates are also known to be hormone-mimicking chemicals, many of which disrupt normal hormonal processes, raising concern about their implications for increased breast cancer risk.

“There are numerous other chemicals of concern in personal care products. BCA is particularly concerned about progesterone, formaldehyde and coal tar due to their links to cancer. The Environmental Working Group recently released Skin Deep, a report on the safety of cosmetics and personal care products. Astonishingly, 1/3 of products tested contain on or more ingredients that are known, probable or possible human carcinogens. (thinkbeforeyoupink.com).”

It has been argued by many cosmetic companies that harmful chemicals in makeup or skincare products are not enough to cause major problems for men or women who use them. However, children have shown serious consequences with the overexposure to products with parabens being linked to asthma, nervous system disorders and numerous other consequences.

Diseases like cancer, asthma, birth defects and learning disabilities are growing tremendously with each year affecting younger and younger people. There is a more evidence that these health problems are linked to the chemicals we are exposed to in our air, water, food, and everyday products. It’s time we start acting to protect human health. So why not take the precautionary measure of using paraben free products.

More and more companies are getting hip to the idea of creating whole brands separate from their main brands that are solely dedicated to making organic products that use natural ingredients, essential oils (not fragrances) and so on. In many cases, we know safe alternatives do exist and are already being used by some cosmetic companies. The notion of “safe” or “acceptable” levels of hazardous chemicals in our products should only be introduced when we cannot find alternatives. If the alternative is readily available why not switch brands.

I know I have begun to change especially my children’s products as they are affected much quicker then adults because their immune systems are not fully developed. Earth’s best has been my family’s best friend making lotions, wipes, organic milk and cookies for my youngest son. My daughter I have started her on Tom’s deodorant, tooth paste and pure 100% virgin Coconut oil from Spectrum. I use Castor oil for stomach aches and for constipation. I am learning as I am going because being natural even though I have locks everyone assumes that I am the queen on natural LOL. However, everyone I am not and far from it. I grew up in East Harlem and drinking quarter water, or chowing down on chicken wings with hot sauce was status quote for my friends and I. My parents Mississippi roots were just that roots that I am still learning to be connected to as an adult. De-chemicalizing myself and my family is a step by step process. However, my husband and I are up for the challenge to make more conscious choices for our family.

So why not Glow Green? If each one of us can do our part to de-chemicalize, use recycled paper goods, recycle plastics, give clothing to charity we will one by one change the spiritual consciousness of humanity to be more giving, loving and open to all the amazing possibilities of our true greatness. Of course I am a dreamer and an idealist, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try…..

Here are some companies who are green and paraben free check them out:

Don’t see your cosmetics company here? Want to know if your product contains parabens? Here are some steps to take:

Look on the label for the following ingredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben, or butylparaben.

Find out which company makes the product you use. See if they have an ingredient list available on the product itself or on the company’s web site. Try emailing or calling the company and asking them if the product you love contains parabens or not. Keep in mind that if a company is not forthcoming with the information you seek, you may want to purchase your products from another.

Affusion Skin Care

Afterglow Cosmetics

Agoo Agii

Alba

Alexandra Avery

Amúrie Toxic-Free Products

Aubrey Organics Skin, Body & Hair Care Products

Baan Bodycare

Barefoot Botanicals

Bare Escentuals

Beauty Cosmedics

Beauty Society

Bésso de Natúra

BienElla, LLC

Blue Moon Herbals & Aromatics

Botanical Skin Works

Burt’s Bees

Cargo Plant Love

Coastal Classic Creations

Colby Organic

Crystalux Personal Care Products

Daisy Blue Naturals

derma e Natural Bodycare

Devita Natural Skin Care Systems

Doc Hills Natural Skin Care

Dr. Hauschka

Earths Beauty Cosmetics

Earth Garden Ltd.

Earth Mama Angel Baby

Earth Science

EclipseSpa

Eco-Beauty Organics

Eminence Organic Skin Care

Evan Healy

Ferlow Botanicals

Garden Girl Skin Care

geoskincare

Grateful Body

Green Ridge Herbals

Healing Anthropology

Hylunia

Illustre Essenza

Image Skin Care

InerQi (inner chi) Toxic Free Body Care

Inspa Body Essentials

Integral Sense

Iredale Mineral Cosmetics

Jason Body Care Products

Josie Maran Cosmetics

Juice Beauty

Julisis

Kettle Care Herbal Body Products

Kore Intact Pty Ltd.

Korres Cosmetics

Kuumba Made

Lafe’s Natural BodyCare

LaLicious

Larénim

Lily Loves Pearl

Living Nature Products

Logona Cosmetics

Mad Gabs

Makeup Junky

Mama Rose’s Naturals

Mango Madness Skin Care

Martina Gebhardt Naturkosmetiks

Max Green Alchemy

Mineralogie

Monet Cosmetics

MyChelle Dermaceuticals

Natural Solutions-Holistic Beauty & Health

Naturopathica

Norabloom Botanicals

Novaurora Organic Skin Care

One Group

Organic Complexion

Organic Essentials Skincare (and Nutritional Product)

Organic Excellence Hair Care Products

Osea Skin Care

Pristine Recovery

Prophet Skincare

Rainforest Organics Natural Soap Co.

Real Purity Cosmetics

Restored Balance Herbal Products

Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Saje Natural Wellness

Santé Kosmetics

Sephora (PURE Brand Cosmetics)

Shady Day Inc.

Sidlab Haircouture

SMB Essentials

Soap for Goodness Sake

Solum & Herbe

Spell Cosmetics

Suki’s Naturals

Sumbody

Super Salve Company

Susan’s Soaps & More Natural Skin Care Products

Swissclinical Skin Solutions

Talulah Skin Care

Terra Firma Cosmetics

Terressentials

Tiny Pores

Tom’s of Maine

Trillium Organics

UV Natural

Valana Minerals

Val’s Body Essentials

Vernacular Skin Works

WELEDA

Wingsets Aromatherapy

Wood Sprite Natural Body

Worldwide Skin

XanGo Glimpse Skin Care

ybf (Your Best Friend)

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