Amy Clark

Gorgeously Green: Green Your Personal Care

We are ready to tackle the second chapter in the Gorgeously Green book for discussion. In the first chapter, we discussed setting an intention towards doing the right thing and today we will discuss greening our personal care items.

I honestly wish that this was not the second chapter in the book and I hope that I won’t scare anyone off from this discussion. I think it would have been great to work our way up to personal care, but I know that this is an important topic that needs addressing.

Are all of my personal care items green? No. I am very interested in heading more towards this direction though so I want to share with you some of the tips from the book and from other bloggers on how to begin greening your personal care routine.

There are seven deadly sins and seven ingredients that consumers should be on high alert for, according to the Environmental Working Group. Here are the ingredients that you do not want in your personal care products.

1. Coal tar- used in dandruff shampoos and anti-itch creams
2. Fragrance- This word is used to mask hundreds of ingredients, including phthalates
3. Hydroquinone- Fund in skin lighteners and facial moisturizers
4. Aluminum- Often used in eye shadow as a color additive and used in deodorants
5. Triclosan- Used in antibacterial products including soap, toothpaste, and cosmetics
6. P-Phenylenediamine- Found in hair dye
7. Lead & Mercury- Lead can appear in toothpaste. Mercury is found in a cosmetic perservative called thimerosol.

To check the products that you already have, you can check the Cosmetic Safety Database and perform a search by product, ingredient, or even company.

The author suggests chucking out any products with those seven ingredients listed and just using up the rest of the stuff you have and making wiser choices the next time you buy products. You can download a handy cheat sheet to help you on your next trip to the drugstore. Print this out and keep it in your purse!

What are some alternatives and green choices you can make towards your beauty regime? The author lists some online resources for buying green cosmetics, but I prefer to take a more frugal approach towards this category.

1. DIY Beauty- I love to make my own beauty products because it saves me money and also happens to be more environmentally friendly. I have listed the recipes that I use here and would highly recommend trying some of these. Want to give an environmentally-friendly and fun gift? DIY Beauty can be shared with others too. I am planning to put together some sugar scrubs to give as gifts for birthdays this year.
2. Replace Facial Cleansers With Oil-I have been thinking of replacing my facial cleaners with the oil cleansing method. I have been reading other bloggers who are trying the same thing and it makes sense to me. I have extremely dry skin, fragrances and chemicals easily irritate me, and I would love to take a more natural approach towards caring for my skin.
3. Go Shampoo Free- This is something else I find quite fascinating and have read a lot about. I actually have wavy hair and read “Curly Girl,” (which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone with curly hair) and it had suggested only shampooing once a week. This blog entry will explain how to transition towards going shampoo-free, a very interesting idea indeed! That would certainly help save you some money and I have heard that it really helps with the greasy hair syndrome.
4. Epsom Salts- These are AMAZING and can be found at all of the dollar stores. I use Epsom Salts for everything and I also mix up my bath salts to give as gifts. You can mix these with a few drops of lavender essential oil and it makes the most soothing bath ever. I also use these to soak my feet in. What you might not know about these is that they stimulate serotonin which helps to elevate your moods. and that a soak in these can also lower your blood pressure, alleviate headaches, and flush toxins from your body. All that for a dollar a box- you can’t beat it!
5. Feminine Products- I switched to the Diva Cup (bought new in the box off of eBay) and it is fabulous and has replaced this category altogether. I would highly recommend this product or their Luna Pads to replace your feminine products.
6. Deodorant- I can’t picture getting rid of this. Sorry! The author recommends Dr. Hauschka’s Roll On as a great substitution ($19.95). She mentioned that she had tried the crystal and it did not work for her.
7. Shorter Showers- Well, if you aren’t shampooing your hair or washing your face, you might as well take a shorter shower. Crunchy Domestic Goddess is posing a five minute shower challenge to help conserve water. Check it out!
8. Green Your Baby- Make sure to check this Parent’s Buying Guide for information caring for your little ones and how to chose safe products for them. You can also check out our article on cloth diapering your little one to help green your routine a little more!

Sound Off: What are some green choice you have made towards your personal care items? Any products or recipes you could recommend?

Published June 01, 2008 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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