Beauty, Blog, Family, Health and Wellness, Parenting, Uncategorized

Oh, Baby!

Baby powder that is. I have had some in my girl’s bathroom up until this very morning. I just did not know. The product seemed so innocent…I mean, it goes on babies for crying out loud! What is more innocent than babies?! This product was literally found guilty- and Johnson & Johnson had to pay up. Check out this article from Time Magazine, Johnson & Johnson Is Just the Tip of the Toxic Iceberg, dated March 2, 2016 to learn more about the need for tougher safety standards and informed choice about safety of products in the cosmetics industry. To learn more about the $72 MILLION dollar lawsuit, check out this article from Time, Jury Awards $72 Million to Woman in Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cancer Suit, dated February 23, 2016.

If this information disturbs you, get curious! Learn more about product safety by visiting the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.

If you want to take action, join a movement in asking Congress to Hold a Hearing on the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It hasn’t been updated since 1938!!

Your voice matters!


Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness, Retail, Uncategorized

You know that feeling when you want to know the truth, but not really know…

I’ve been wrestling with that feeling ever since discovering the SkinDeep app I wrote about in How did I not know about this until recently? In sum, it’s a free App and provides information on the health & safety ratings of more than 80,000 products sold in the U.S. cosmetics industry. I’m in my late 30’s, college educated, and professionally employed. I like to consider myself “on top of things.” Yet, it was just six months ago when I learned that the beauty industry, an industry that receives a fair share of my discretionary income, is highly unregulated.

I am an avid label reader when it comes to what goes in my body. While I was pregnant with my first child I made a zealous effort to do everything by the book. After she was born, I continued the healthy habits and made the choice to breastfeed. Within a couple of days she started breaking out in little red bumps on her skin! The pediatrician recognized right away that my baby bundle of joy had a milk protein allergy. She recommended I forego dairy in order to avoid the allergic reaction, or switch to formula. I did what a sane thrifty person would do. Every bit of dairy was purged from my diet. The result?

  • clear skin for my baby (yay!)
  • increase in my grocery bill (maybe formula would have been cheaper?)
  • the realization that “milk” is in everything (including many “non-dairy” seeming items like breads, crackers, and cereals)
  • major weight loss for me (another yay!)
  • my sinuses cleared up completely (didn’t even know they were problematic)
  • a learning that reading ingredient labels is necessary

Even though I was (and still am) totally ept at reading labels for food items, I was oblivious to the importance of understanding and reading labels for products that go on my body, or countertops, tabletops, dishes, laundry, and the likes… I mean, we live in America right? Everything is regulated. Safe…

So, back to six months ago when my world was totally rocked when I discovered this was not the case. A friend of mine sells BeautyCounter and she provided me with a bit of education. If you’ve not heard of BeautyCounter, it is a newer (premium) cosmetics line dedicated to producing products that meet rigid standards. I’m talking well above and beyond what the FDA requires. It wouldn’t take much though… seriously. Take a guess. How many chemicals do you think are banned from cosmetics in the USA?

Here’s a cute picture of my cuddly kittens to look at while you make your guess…now scroll down and see how close you were to being right.

2.7.16 Cuddly2


The U.S. FDA has only banned or restricted 11 chemicals from cosmetics. In comparison, the EU law  bans 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects. Read more about that here.

Now I’m left to my own devices to educate myself and find out just what this means for me as a consumer. This is not just an issue for women’s health either. Men are using products with chemicals in them every day; face wash, body wash, shampoo, dish soap, laundry soap…well…some men use these products…right? Thankfully, I have a husband who actually does. Anyway-

I’ve been thinking a lot about how Valentine’s Day is coming up and a common gift is perfume. Now I’m like…how romantic…here’s your glass jar of sweet smelling toxin. I love you. Sorry if this gives you cancer someday. Ugh.

Here’s a couple of simple things I’ve allowed myself to learn. Like I said earlier, I want to know…but yet I don’t. I’m taking baby steps.

  • Fragrance free = nothing extra added to the product
  • Unscented = fragrance additive! (a scent used to mask unpleasant chemical smells)
  • Fragrances = chemical mysteries. Companies are not required by law to list all the chemicals in a product. They are protected by trade secret laws and only have to list one word: Fragrance.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is working hard to provide education on exactly what all this means for consumers. As I continue to learn information, or discover natural beauty alternatives, I plan to share. Right now I understand that fragrance-free is probably my best bet, but that I still have to read the whole label. Something I pride myself on is being very level-headed and intelligent. Not a reactionary or extremist. In college I took courses where I was asked to evaluate propaganda with a critical eye and I got A’s. I don’t want to be an alarmist. I just want to make informed choices and help others do the same! If you have any specific questions, or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. I’m not an expert, but I sure am I motivated learner.

To your health,


Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness

3 Ingredient Natural Lip Scrub

My quest to find all-natural beauty product alternatives has taken a turn for the crazy. I can now eat my own lip scrub. Here’s why: I made it myself with ingredients from the pantry. Yes! Three simple ingredients that will moisturize, exfoliate, and soften.

What you need:

  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Sugar

Instructions: Mix the olive oil and honey in equal parts. I just went with one tablespoon each to start. Next, add whatever amount of sugar strikes your fancy and fold gently into the honey and olive oil. The more sugar you add, the more exfoliant/gritty property you will feel.

Rub the product on your lips in a circular motion, resist licking, and finish with water or a mild facial cleanser of your choice. Your lips will be kissably soft and smooth. Chemical free, inexpensive, and delicious. I figure the total cost ended up being less than $1.00/ounce.

I found these adorable little containers at the Container Store to store my magical beauty potion. I must say that I am a little addicted to this scrub because it tastes good, smells good, and allows me to go without chapstick. I used to have to apply chapstick at night before bed, but the olive oil really conditions my lips well.

Let me know if you try this out and what you thought!

To your health,



Beauty, Blog, Health and Wellness

Coconut Oil as Eye Makeup Remover

I’m on a new kick since discovering the Skin Deep app I talked about in my last post. I am now on a quest to find products with excellent health ratings, and swap out my current products for those free from toxins.

I ran out of eye makeup remover this week, but didn’t have time to go to the store, or research very much. In a pinch I decided to try Coconut Oil to see if it produced the desired results. I am happy to report that my “in a pinch” solution can now be a permanent solution!

The mascara I currently use (yes, it has chemicals in it, but I can only be so good one product at a time) is a lash builder, lash thickener, lash 50x my lengthener. I love mascara. It’s also waterproof, which means that it takes some serious product to remove all the build up.

As a test, I put on at least 20 coats of mascara per eye, and then attempted to wash it off at the end of the night. Coconut oil has truly done the trick. I didn’t think it would, but it did. I applied it on the eyelid and around the eye as I would with the other product and then finished by washing with my normal face wash. The mascara came off just fine. No tugging, rubbing, or extra effort. I love that this option is significantly cheaper than official eye makeup remover, too. Trader Joe’s has a 16oz jar of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for $5.99. I used to spend triple that amount on my eye makeup remover!

I encourage you to give it a try.

To your health,