Monday, May 30, 2011

Better than a day at Caudalie...and In Season

Silly, silly me! I once believed homemade facials were only for old hippies. Now that I know how wonderful, safe and affordable these concoctions can be I'm on the lookout for recipes all the time.

What follows are simple recipes with easily acquired ingredients. Many include in-season fruits like blueberries and strawberries. You probably already have most of what you need in your refrigerator or cupboard.

So scramble up your concoction, put a Do-Not-Disturb sign on the door and treat yourself to a facial.

Hydrating Exfoliating Mask - I didn't bother with the brush for this and the results were still glorious. Thanks to Kate Somerville

Blueberry Facial Mask - this one will hydrate and nourish your skin. I was inspired to try a blueberry mask by my friend, Keshyra aka Enviromommy. Thanks to Charmaine Leah at Glamology for the recipe.

Mash together well with a fork or puree in a blender:

1/4 cup blueberries (organic is preferable) 
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Slather over face or gently work into face with fingertips
Leave on a total of 15 minutes, then rinse well with warm water.
My skin felt very soft and hydrated when I was done

Avocado Mask - definitely hydrated and soothed my skin. Thanks to Nili Nathan at Nili Nathan Avocado Facial Mask 

Mash together well with a fork:
1/4 ripe Avocado
1/2 to 1 TBSP Plain Yogurt
1 to  1 1/2  TBSP Honey
Apply to your face. Leave on for 20-25 minutes. Wash off with warm water
You may store any left overs in the refrigerator for a day or two.

A Mask For Your Skin Type- thanks to Jeanne Mai

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Non-Toxic Beauty Substitutions from Glamology

During my morning's archeological excavation into the ever incredible internet I unearthed Charmaine Leah and her site, Glamology. What the heck took me so long?!

Here's where to go to find more:
Glamology on YouTube
Glamology on Twitter
Glamology on Facebook
Glamology blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jessica Alba Lobbies on Capitol Hill for Safer Chemicals

I'm staying up late, late, late tonight. The news is good and I want to make that happy feeling last a little longer by sharing.

Many of you may already know that Jessica Alba has stepped up to advocate for safer chemicals in consumer products. She was on Capitol Hill yesterday to support a bill that will secure tighter safety standards for chemical manufacturers.

ABC caught her in the halls of power. You can watch the interview below, then read Rick Klein's report here.

Here are links to more information: 

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families
Environmental Working Group
The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics

New Safe Sunscreen Guide 2011... Thank you Environmental Working Group

Some of you may have noticed I took down my Skin Deep 2010 Sunscreen Guide. That's because more current information is now available. Go to the links below to get the most up to date information on the good, the bad and the ugly...

                            Thanks to EWG for the picture
The Best Sunscreens
Sunscreens Exposed
Hall of Shame
EWG's Skin Deep: Sunscreen 2011 | EWG's 2011 Sunscreen Report EWG's Skin Deep | Sunscreen 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunscreen and Gardens

Not much time for browsing the internet right now. Everything important is happening outside. It's one of the nicest Mid-Atlantic springs I've ever experienced.

Yesterday was wonderful! The entire day filled helping my friend Caitie get her vegetable bed ready for the incredible bounty she conjures up every summer.
It just doesn't feel like work when I'm with a friend, the air is clear, the sun shining, a good breeze is blowing and the soil is filled with earthworms and promise.

So much fun and topped off with a challenging surprise! An welcome and exhilarating dip in the roiling, rolling and uncharacteristically white- capped Choptank River! What a fun, bumpy ride.


Just in case a lovely day in the sun might be in the future for you and your family and friends you can be protected from the sun, have fun and avoid toxic chemicals.
Here's a link to the updated Environmental Working Groups' (EWG) Skin Deep  search engine. Thanks to them for all the important work they do on our behalf, and the great picture as well!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Boscia Clear Complexion Tonic... Something Good!

"Tell me something good.... mmmhhhmmm..."

Although it may not be as deeply stirring as listening to that goddess of funk, the one and only Chaka Chan deliver a Stevie Wonder tune, finding a wonderful product in Skin Deep's database that rates as a low hazard (0 - 2) feels like something good to me.

Please enjoy a little Chaka Chan & Rufus while I elaborate...
Boscia Clear Complexion Tonic with Botanical Blast

Data: Limited
Health ConcernLOW
Product Typefacial moisturizer / treatment
Made byBoscia by Fancl International, Inc.
Data last updatedOctober 2009
how to read the score

Is it possible for a product to make one feel light hearted? Only in a CEO's dreams, right?  Yet I always feel good spritzing cool Clear Complexion Tonic with Botanical Blast on my face.

Two or three light sprays of this toner after cleansing is all it takes- my face feels refreshed and soft and looks positively dewy. That's quite a trick with my dry skin... Am I laying it on too thick? I think not. This is a product I've been using for years, not a sample provided by Boscia.

There's a little hint of lovely, light scent. Just enough to evoke  happy memories of cool San Francisco mornings, but not enough to jump start my allergies into complaint mode.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Take Out Toxic Chemicals

Hope you're finding good, low hazard body care products! I'm still waiting to hear from the companies I've emailed. I hope they'll trade me samples for free advertising for their low-hazard (0-2) products.

Don't forget to tweet your congressperson and ask for their support in any upcoming legislation that will provide oversight and real regulations on the toxic chemicals in body care products.

While we wait -  here's an upbeat, informative video on the subject...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser Review

If you've visited this site before you know my main focus is to research what's available in body care products and ferret out formulations that not only work great but also DO NO HARM. I start with a complete list of the product ingredients then see if they meet the criteria for a low hazard rating ( 0-2 ) in Skin Deep 's database. Then I try them on myself. Shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, facial cleansers, make-up... I want to know about all of them.

Initially I needed to search no farther than the graveyard of opened and barely used products languishing in my own cupboard. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I'm a sucker for the next best thing. So there was plenty to explore in my cupboard. Those little excursions led to several epiphanies followed by severe weeding. There were things in there I should never have used in the first place. Filled with everything bad. Only the hype was good. Talk about buyer's remorse!

At first it was kind of fun discovering the facts hidden so well by myth, hype, the fact there are no real regulations on body care products and the teeny tiny print. But now it's just depressing. I'm annoyed that I'm researching and then writing post after post all with the same trajectory. Let's begin with high hopes, then there's the hard crash landing once reality sinks in... and ending with an almost clarion call of foul... All that negative energy... who wants that?

So I've been researching companies themselves. There seem to be a lot of products put out by smaller companies. The marketing I'm reading all focuses on the company's commitment to actually using safe, non-toxin ingredients, not just claiming they do. I've contacted several of these companies to ask for samples of products I can review. I haven't had any takers yet, but you'll be the first to know when I do. If any of you are part of a company that meets my criteria I'd love to hear from you. Free advertising, right?

Until then I've got this review of Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser. Here are Korres' claims taken directly from
the Korres page on Sephora:

With roots in the oldest homeopathic pharmacy in Athens, Greece, Korres is committed to developing natural skincare, color, and body products that provide maximum results. Their formulations are among the most environmentally friendly and skin compatible available today, utilizing active natural extracts with antioxidant and skin-transforming benefits for clinically proven results. Powerful yet pampering, Korres delivers fit-for-a-goddess beauty that's the ultimate in natural luxury.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to Tweet your Senator

Thank you so much to all my readers who asked for clarification on tweeting congress!   Here are better directions:

TweetCongress  is the link to find out who to tweet...
not all Senators use Twitter.

This is what the  header for the page looks like:

Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you come to the option to "Find Your Representative". There's a box where you enter your zip code or representative's name to see if they're on Twitter.

The next page will show you your representatives' pictures and @twitter address.

For example, here's what came up once I entered my zip code:


SenatorBarb  Barbara Mikulski @     

Then all I had to do was tweet her.  Hope this works better for you. Thanks for supporting the Safe Cosmetics Act and again, thanks for the feedback!

Solving Plastic Pollution in 4 minutes...and Jack Johnson, too

Searching for something positive to post while awaiting cosmetics samples. Then I stumbled on this little ditty.

Something good we can all do for our beautiful planet. It's so easy. Oh yeah...and Jack Johnson's in it too...

Toxic Chemicals Lobby: Exclusive Leaked Footage

I saw this strange little video after participating in a twitter party to increase awareness of the new Safe Cosmetics Act.
Not sure... is it just too creepy on too many levels? What do you think?

 Here's a link - tweet your senator and ask them to support the bill!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Caudalie Premier Cru Reviewed

Thinking of luxury and fine wines? Maybe a beautiful stately vineyard, villa and spa beauty just outside a small French town? How about fine french cuisine?

Caudalie embodies all of it. This is definitely a luxury brand. And at $150 for 1.7 oz... well you get the picture.

Or to say it more crudely....this stuff is the bomb! A member of Sephora's natural seal line it has earned this report from me-

It feels incredible! This is how my face felt after I finally indulged in a facial:
Smooth, soft, hydrated. And I looked airbrushed! NO pores in sight...sigh...

Everything they say about it's efficacy is right on ... if not somewhat modest. The little old woman in me ... the one with thin, dehydrated, wrinkled skin wanted this stuff. Lots and LOTS of this stuff...

But "Debby Downer" that I have become -only regarding cosmetic claims-  I had to put Premier Cru to the Skin Deep database test.

Since I was reviewing a sample and I hadn't just shelled out 150 bucks on this little bit of luxury I marched courageously into the fray.  How could I lose? If it's a safe product maybe I can justify eating dry dog food for six months to pay for it. If it's not safe I've just saved myself from some miserable meals. And saving my cash for better uses...