Friday, October 12, 2007

Lead in Your Lipstick

A new independent study has found lead in lipstick at unsafe amounts and it isn't listed on the label. The worst part of this is that there is no way of knowing whether a brand will contain lead without having it tested in a laboratory.

Some of the sources of lead in lipstick can be from ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, sunscreen ingredients used in commercial brands as well as some of the more natural brands. Other sources of lead include ozokerite (mineral wax or paraffin) and petroleum-based ingredients (petrolatum, mineral oil).

Although the study listed name brands with varying amounts of lead, only one natural brand was tested, Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer.

See the list of brands tested.

Just because a brand of lipstick rated low for lead in this study, it doesn't mean that that product is a healthy lipstick to use. There are other harmful ingredients that may be in these lipstick cosmetics. To determine if a lipstick is really healthy to use, you need to look at the complete list of ingredients.

Check out healthy cosmetics here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Are Your Personal Care Products Releasing Toxic Gases?

I opened the cabinet door and there was a strong odor of ammonia gas. I couldn't figure out what could be causing it. I'd been looking in there over and over again for weeks trying to figure out what was causing this toxic smell.

I had some old containers from vitamin samples which had been thrown out long ago. I was saving the containers. Some day I'd wash them and reuse them. Were they the problem? I threw them all out.

It didn't change a thing.

I had some really neat-looking empty plastic bottles from healthy, natural soap and lotion I was saving to reuse later. Were they the problem? I threw them all out.

Nothing changed.

I had an old homeopathic kit that I bought 15 or 20 years ago and never used. I couldn't imagine that this could be the problem, but I was running out of things that might cause this terrible toxic odor. So I threw it out.

I was right. It was not the problem.

I had some soap, lotion and shampoo that I used when I explained about the toxic ingredients on product labels. I didn't have them that long, maybe a year or so. They did have a perfumy scent that was common in most of the personal care products on the market with synthetic chemical ingredients. But I never figured that the ammonia odor would be coming from them. But they were the last things in that cabinet that could be possibly giving off an odor. So I threw them out.

The next day I opened the cabinet door, and by George, the odor was gone!

Now, I'm sure that the only reason I detected the odor is because the products were stored in a closed cabinet and the odors were trapped in a small space and were allowed to mix. Only one of the products contained ingredients from ammonia compunds, one of which was ammonium lauryl sulfate.

Ammonia is toxic if inhaled. It's classified as hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It can cause permanent damage.

How many products are you using with harmful chemicals that are giving off toxic odors and you're breathing in these vapors day in and day out - including perfumes? Worse yet, you're using these chemicals directly on your skin. They're getting absorbed into your bloodstream and they ARE adversely affecting your health.

Find out how to protect yourself from the harmful chemicals in your cosmetics and personal care products.

Choose some healthy products here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Healthy Sunscreen and Bug Sprays

This may be nearing the end of summer, but if you use sunscreen, there is a new product on the market from a company that is committed to producing only healthy products. With Reflect Outdoor Balm from Miessence, you can feel confident that this product does not contain any harmful chemicals that are abundant in most of the commercial sunscreens.

Most bug sprays contain harmful chemicals. If you need something to keep the bugs away, why not get a chemical-free and safe product. Buzz Free Zone will protect you without any nasty chemical ingredients.

Find more healthy skin care and personal care products here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #59

Cosmetic and Personal Care Product Ingredients

S       Abies alba – see fir oil.
S       Abies sibirica – see fir oil.
X       4-ABP – synthetic; carcinogenic contaminant in some hair dyes; IARC Group 1.
C       Acetic ether – synthetic solvent; see ethyl acetate.
XA       Acetone – synthetic solvent; petroleum derivative; eye, nose, throat and skin irritant; may cause light headedness, nausea, coma, nail splitting, peeling and brittleness; lung irritant if inhaled; narcotic in large amounts; neurotoxin; has caused liver, kidney, and nerve damage in lab animals; extremely toxic.

Note 1: The codes to the left of each additives indicate the safety of the additive when used for intended purposed in cosmetics and toiletries.

*       GRAS - Generally Recognized As Safe by the FDA.

o       FDA approved colorant

†       CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) Expert Panel considers this ingredient safe

S       There is no known toxicity. The additive appears to be safe.

A       The additive may cause allergic reactions.

C       Caution is advised. The additive may be unsafe, poorly tested, or used in too many products we use on a regular basis.

C1       Caution is advised for certain groups in the population, such as pregnant women, infants, persons with high blood pressure, kidney problems, etc.

X       The additive is unsafe or very poorly tested.

Note 2: IARC Groups are the International Agency for Research on Cancer ratings for the cancer-causing ability of different chemicals. Group 1 chemicals are known to cause cancer in humans. IARC Groups 1-4 are defined on page 44 in Dying To Look Good.

Make sure you choose safe cosmetics and personal care products for yourself and your family. You can have the safety ratings of all 1300 ingredients listed in Dying To Look Good right at your fingetips, while you shop, when you get your personal copy of Dying To Look Good. Don't risk your health for one more day. Get your copy now, print edition or e-book.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #58

Natural vs. Synthetic

There are no standard definitions within the cosmetic and personal care product industry for natural or synthetic. However, the National Organic Program (NOP) does have definitions that are accepted within the organic food industry.

Since many people are interested in knowing if the ingredients in their products are natural or synthetic, the NOP definitions were used to define the ingredients in the Cosmetic Ingredient List as natural or synthetic:

Nonsynthetic (natural)
"A substance that is derived from mineral, plant, or animal matter and does not undergo a synthetic process as defined in section 6502(21) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 6502(21)). For the purposes of this part, nonsynthetic is used as a synonym for natural as the term is used in the Act."

"A substance that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources, except that such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes."

You can find out if the ingredients in your skin care products contain natural or synthetic ingredients in the book Dying To Look Good.

Find cosmetics and personal care products with natural ingredients in Dying To Look Good and on

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #57

Cosmetic complaints

The FDA maintains the Cosmetic Adverse Reaction Monitoring Database to keep track of adverse reactions to cosmetics. The FDA estimates, however, that it receives only a small percentage of complaints about cosmetics filed by consumers. Poison control centers, manufacturers and distributors, and state and local agencies are more likely to receive complaints of adverse reactions to cosmetics.

The most common complaints reported to the FDA in 1999 were related to dermatitis, fragrance sensitivity, nervous system reactions, pain, respiratory system reactions, and tissue damage.

If you experience adverse reactions to cosmetics, you can contact the FDA:

• by phone: 301-436-2405
• by e-mail:
• call the nearest FDA district office found in the blue pages of your phone book

Note: It is very unlikely that you'll need to file a complaint if you use the information in Dying To Look Good to choose healthy products.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Healthy Skin Care

Your skin is like a sponge. It absorbs a great deal of what you put on it, directly into your bloodstream.

When you eat, the food you put into your body is filtered through your liver and some of the toxic effect is reduced.

That's not the case with skin care products. There is no filter to reduce the toxic effects as there is when you eat. Many skin care products contain harmful chemicals that go directly into your bloodstream. Some cause cancer.

How do you determine which skin care products are healthy to use and which are not?

You have several choices.

You could learn to read and interpret labels so you know exactly what each ingredient is that's listed on the label.

You could shop for products that have been screened by an expert and determined to be healthy.

Or you can learn how to make your own.

Finding healthy skin care products isn't hard if you have the right resources. It just takes a little conscious effort and a commitment to your good health.

Check out our healthy Product of the Month. Come back every month to discover a new healthy product.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #56

Most companies using parabens, maintain that they are nontoxic and safe. But while they may be relatively nontoxic, according to Peter Eckhart, M.D., "The new theory that has been espoused since 1991 is that these xenoestrogens are causing many female problems such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibrocystic breast disease, premenstrual syndrome, and most recently menstrual cramps."

While it's true that xenoestrogens build up in the fatty tissues of the body and may remain there for decades, the first step in eliminating them from your body is through avoidance of the chemicals, not only in personal care products, but also in food and in your environment. The chemicals listed above are only a partial list of endocrine disrupters. The complete list and additional information can be obtained from

Find out about all the other harmful chemicals that you may be putting on your skin every day that are being absorbed into your bloodstream and affecting your health.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #55

Xenoestrogens in Your Personal Care Products Continued...

The xenoestrogens most commonly found in personal care products are the parabens:

  • butylparaben
  • ethylparaben
  • methylparaben
  • proplyparaben

Other xenoestrogens, used mostly in sunscreens, facial cosmetics and lipsticks include:

  • octyl-methoxycinnamate
  • octyl-dimethyl-PABA
  • benzophenone-3
  • homosalate
  • 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)

These five chemicals not only demonstrated strong estrogenic effects, but also caused increased growth of cancer cells in a Swiss study.

More next time...

Xenoestrogens are not the only harmful ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products. Make sure your personal care products are safe.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #54

Xenoestrogens in Your Personal Care Products

Xenoestrogens are endocrine disrupters. They are chemicals that mimic estrogen in your body and interfere with the normal functioning of your hormones.

Endocrine disrupters are found in a great many personal care products on the market, including shampoos, conditioners, lotions, sunscreens, and cosmetics as well as baby products.

Estrogen mimicking chemicals have been implicated in early puberty in girls, development of breast cancer, some association with vaginal and cervical cancer, and endometriosis. In males, they have been associated with reproductive disorders, including decreased sperm count, increase in testicular cancer, hypospadias and cryptorchidism, and possibly benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer.

Women exposed to xenoestrogens during pregnancy may have children with reproductive disorders, sometimes not apparent till puberty. This exposure may also adversely affect the children’s intelligence and behavior, as well as their immune system.

More next time...

Get your own copy of this extrememly valuable reference. Your health depends upon it!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #53

Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide Safety

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are typically used in sunscreen products and cosmetics and have been generally considered safe.

However, studies show that cellular damage from titanium dioxide, occurs with exposure to sunlight, and depends upon the type of titanium dioxide and the size of the particles. Cellular damage has been shown to occur when the particle size is smaller than the size of the cell. The smallest particles, the micronized or nanoparticles, are the most injurious. Some say that the large particles are less harmful, yet others say they’re safe.

According to Lori Stryker of the Organic Makeup Company, who has done considerable research into the safety of titanium dioxide in its various forms, “if the particle size is too large for the cell membrane to allow it passage internally, then the danger of intracellular mutation is not there.” Still, there are those who say that even the larger particles can pass through the skin to some degree, and are just less absorbable than the small particles. They suggest that even the larger particles may contribute some harm.

Obviously, the safety of the larger particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is not well established and agreed upon within the scientific community. There is clearly a need for more research into the mechanism of how the larger sized particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide affect the skin and the cells beneath the skin when exposed to the sun.

Cautions regarding micronized titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are discussed on page 31.

Next time... Xenoestrogens in Your Personal Care Products

Get your own copy of this handy reference and make sure you protect yourself from harmful chemicals in the skin care products you use.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #52

Sunscreens Continued...

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the sun safely without the hazards of sunscreen:
  • Start out with 10 minutes of exposure a day and gradually increase your sun time.
  • Limit time in the sun to morning before 10 a.m. or afternoon after 2 p.m. when the sun is not at its hottest.
  • Cover up when outdoors during the sun’s hottest times and when you’ve already had your quota of sun for the day.
  • Avoid getting sunburned.

Eat a healthy balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Most people eat far too much omega 6’s and not enough omega 3’s. Research has shown omega 3's to be preventive against melanoma if eaten in the proper one-to-one balance with omega 6's. Omega 3 fats can be found in fish oils and flaxseed. You also need healthy saturated fats, like real butter or coconut oil, to utilize omega 3's.

"The Truth About Sunscreens," on the Terressentials web site, states that "sunscreens give users a false sense of security in that while they effectively prevent sunburn, they do little or nothing to prevent skin cancer or the accelerated aging of the skin caused by sunlight."

It further states that "There is a substantial body of evidence that shows that there is an increase in cancer when sunscreen products are used. We've done a lot of research into sunscreens. The bottom line is this: we have found no sunscreen ingredients which we consider to be safe."

Next time, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide Safety

Have all this information and more at your fingertips, when you need it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MSG in Your Personal Care Products

Important! Read this before you buy any cosmetics or personal care products that contain protein or amino acids!

MSG may be hidden in your cosmetics and personal care products. If you know you’re sensitive to MSG, you may be avoiding it in your food but still noticing MSG-type reactions and not know where they’re coming from.


Sunscreens will be continued next time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #51

Sunscreens Continued...

  • Both chemical suncreens and physical sunblocks have been shown to cause the formation of free radicals with exposure to sunlight. Excess free radicals are known to cause cancer.
  • A Swiss study showed that five commonly used chemicals in sunscreens were xenoestrogens, endocrine disrupters, and they actually increased the growth of cancer cells. See “Xenoestrogens in Your Personal Care Products,” page 39.
  • Most, if not all, sunscreens include a hydrolyzed protein. All hydrolyzed proteins contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG).
  • Research has shown that excess omega-6 fats in the diet actually contribute to the occurrence of cancer, including melanoma.

More next time...

Get the rest of the information on Sunscreens RIGHT NOW... and even more information on how to protect yourself from harmful ingredients in all your cosmetics and personal care products.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #50


In our society, most people don’t question the need for sunscreens. It’s just accepted as the standard healthy practice when you plan to be out in the sun.

But beware! What’s generally accepted as true is not necessarily true!

Here are some facts to consider before lathering that sunscreen all over yourself and your children the next time you go out into the sun:

  • Sunscreens will not safeguard you from melanoma, a potentially deadly type of skin cancer. They don’t filter or block the harmful melanoma-causing UVA rays; they only reduce sunburn risk.
  • Sunscreens offer some protection against easily treatable basal cell carcinoma.
  • Your body needs the UVB rays from the sun to produce vitamin D. Sunscreens, as low as SPF 8, block the UVB rays responsible for vitamin D synthesis.
  • Sunscreens are regulated by the FDA as over-the-counter drugs because they contain active ingredients, many of which are toxic.

More next time...

Learn how to protect yourself from harmful ingredients.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #49

Risks Associated with Permanent Makeup Continued...

Adverse effects associated with permanent makeup include:
  • Peeling
  • Cracking
  • Blistering
  • Swelling
  • Granulomas
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement

And, what are the long-term effects on your body of the pigments injected under your skin?

According to chemist John Bailey, Ph.D., Director of FDA's Colors and Cosmetics Program, "we can’t vouch for the safety of permanent eyelining because the procedure hasn't undergone any formal safety testing."

You can report adverse reactions to permanent makeup and tattoos by contacting:

Cosmetics Adverse Reaction Monitoring (CARM) System
Office of Cosmetics and Colors
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740-3835
(202) 401-9725.

Permanent makeup presents just one of many risks associated with using the cosmetics and personal care products on the market today. Learn more about what you need to know to protect your health when using the cosmetics and personal care products you buy.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dying To Look Good Excerpt #48

Risks Associated with Permanent Makeup

  • Infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Keloids
  • Granulomas
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Removal problems

Allergic reactions may show up years later in the form of a rash or immune system reaction.

Dissatisfaction is a major problem with permanent makeup. If you don’t like the result, removing it can be difficult. If the person applying your permanent makeup makes a mistake, you can’t wash it off; you’re either stuck with it, or you have to go through a removal process. Removal often isn’t perfect and can leave scars. Over time, permanent makeup can fade or bleed. As your body changes, the appearance of your permanent makeup may change as well.

Continued next time...

Avoid the risks of permenent makeup. Shop for healthy cosmetics.

Learn more about ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products.