Berkeley Researchers Test Toxic Beauty Detox

There’s so much gloom and doom in the story about beauty products. From the “Stink!” documentary’s exploration of the “fragrance loophole” to tests that found lead in 60% of lipsticks (yes, really) getting ready is like walking through a haunted house: fear at every turn. My thought process tends to go something like… This sample mascara is amazing, but is the company that makes it is hiding mercury in the formula? I love my new deodorant, but am I dousing my lymph nodes with cancer-causing chemicals?  I’ve swapped out hair dye for henna and greened my makeup routine, but the fear of hidden chemicals means sometimes I feel like hiding my (unwashed) head under a rock, rather than further subjecting it to another toxic product stew. Which is why a new study has me pretty excited… [Read more…]

Back 2 School? Don’t Send Toxic Chemicals 2 Class

Are your kids back to school? Mine are. (Finally!) And bringing home school supply requests from teachers that include some pretty toxic chemicals. Here are two that are easily avoided. [Read more…]

Is There Triclosan in Your Toothpaste?

green toothpaste from white tube squeezed onto white toothbrush against white backgroundOh, triclosan. According to the FDA, it’s no more effective than soap and water at killing bacteria; studies have shown that it may compromise our immune systems, make us more susceptible to allergies, and affect our hormones. And research proves that antibacterials like triclosan breed antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But one personal care conglomerate is still putting this toxic stuff in your…toothpaste?  [Read more…]

3 Steps to Avoid Antibacterials & Still Keep Clean

There's no research that shows antibacterials like triclosan are more effective than soap and water—but a lot that prove these pesticides can hurt kids.Bacteria get a bad rap these days, what with the focus on germ-fighting antibacterial hand washes, gels, wipes and sprays that promise to squeaky-clean our lives.

But what we might not realize is that these potent germ-fighters wipe out both good and bad bacteria, possibly contributing to an epidemic-worthy spike in childhood asthma and allergies as our kids’ fragile immune systems are no longer exposed to enough of the good bacteria that they need to develop normally. [Read more…]

Want a Natural Pregnancy? 12 Tips to Protect Your Baby for Life

little girl listening to her mom's natural pregnancy bellyGetting ready for baby—or pregnancy? Congratulations! Going green for your growing belly—or for when you bring that baby home—sounds good on paper, but is a natural pregnancy doable in reality? Yes! Here’s how:

1. Eat organic: The dangers of common pesticide exposure are equal to those of smoking during pregnancy: low birth weight and early labor. Studies have shown that eating organic for just five days can eliminate many of the pesticides—linked to cancer, among other health problems—in our bodies. Following the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen lists can reduce your family’s exposure by 80 percent. [Read more…]

Green Cleaning in 3 Easy Steps

vinegar and sponges next to a red bucketWhen I was a kid, I knew the house was clean because it smelled like fake lemons and pine. But it may not have been as clean as my family thought: The EPA estimates that the air inside our homes can be as more polluted than the air outside, in part because of chemical cleaning products.

Indoor air pollution can lead to serious health problems like allergies and asthma; childhood asthma rates are now at epidemic levels, with more than seven million children affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s one in 10 kids. So I’ve spent the last few years replacing those  familiar from childhood with green cleaning products that I know are safer. [Read more…]

Shortcut to Natural Beauty: 7 Ingredients to Avoid

woman putting on red lipstickI love natural beauty, but it’s not like I’m some crazy Birkenstock wearing woman with stinky underarms.

I wear lipstick as much as the next girl—I just like to know mine’s lead-free. Think I’m kidding? Studies have shown that two-thirds of lipsticks contain lead, which is a neurotoxin. And that we women eat about nine pounds of the stuff over our lifetimes.

All gag reflex aside, it’s super important to know what’s in our health and beauty products, because they’re designed to be put on our skin. And as we all know from high school health class, as much as 60% of what goes onto your skin goes into your body. [Read more…]