Friday, June 5, 2009

Phenopropylparabenzolide-free Part Two

This is part two of my thoughts on organic body care products. It’s possible I’m ignoring some products that might be crucial to your well-being. I’m just trying to hit the high spots. If I skip a product near and dear to your heart, please feel free to let me know. I offer guest post spots real cheap.

One product that I have become a believer in is mineral salt deodorant. I use the Thai stone and it works really well. I’ve tried lots of other “natural” deodorants and, although my friends and family are too polite to tell me, they didn’t work. The Thai stone is made completely of natural mineral salts and is probably the best bargain in town when it comes to natural products. I’ve had my stone for over a year and you wouldn’t know I’d ever used it if I hadn’t dropped it on the counter and chipped off an edge. I think I will still be using this stone when I get dressed in the nursing home, as long as I can still put on my own deodorant. If you’re not familiar with the stone, here’s how it works – You run it under water and wipe it under your arm. The package says it words great for foot odor too, but I haven’t tried that. My feet don’t stink - my opinion (I told you my friends and family are much too polite to tell me if they do).

Commercial deodorants have come under fire through internet viral gossip. I’m sure you received the e-mail that went around some time ago about anti-perspirants causing breast cancer. While I think the e-mail was a hoax, one can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some connection. Sweat is natural. Our bodies need to sweat to help cool our system. A product that prevents us from sweating could very possibly be messing up our system. Makes sense to me, but I’ve told you before I’m always open to a good conspiracy theory. So rather than take my chances, I choose to use a deodorant rather than an antiperspirant and an all natural one at that.

As far as body lotions and make up, here’s where my Mary Kay bias comes in to play. I have tried some of the natural products, but I always come back to Mary Kay because this is my face we’re talking about and I use what works. I have used Burt’s Bees Carrot Lotion and their Marshmallow eye gel. They worked pretty well and smelled great. As a Mary Kay Consultant, I can’t stop myself from saying the most important skin care product is a moisturizer. As we age our skin is drying out, like anything that’s been left out in the air a long time. We’re wrinkling in much the same way a grape becomes a raisin. So adding moisture back in is critical and as you age you need to do it more often and with more effective products. Find a moisturizer that works for you and use it twice a day if you don’t want to end up looking like a raisin in the sun.

When it comes to makeup, I’m not sure I can give impartial advice except to say, it’s OK to wear make up. I don’t think there’s any real danger here. I have noticed that many people who live the “natural and organic” life tend to shy away from make up. And that’s fine if it works for them. No one needs to wear makeup. But needs are relative. Just ask my kids. They feel they need to eat Cheezits and stop at Dairy Queen every time we drive by. I guess what I’m saying is that just because you’re in to the natural and organic thing does not mean you have to give up make up. If it makes you feel better about how you look, it will make you more confidant and happy and that’s what matters.

Whether you wear make up or not is a personal choice and what kind you wear is also a personal choice. But since most makeup really just sits on your skin and doesn’t necessarily get in to your body in large amounts, whether or not you go in for “natural” make up or not is personal choice. There are several brands out there that claim to be all natural, but none are truly “organic”. I believe in the Mary Kay brand because I know first hand how much research and development goes in to their product. They are not quick to jump on the latest and greatest trend. They take time to do the homework and be sure that their products are safe and effective. Cue the MK theme song. Sorry about the commercial, I told you I couldn’t be impartial on this one.

Many make up companies, including MK, are moving towards mineral based make up and this is good thing. Minerals are better for your skin and provide a minimal level of sun protection. No mineral make up provides true sun protection, so don’t buy that claim. You need a product with an SPF of at least 15 to get true sun protection.

Speaking of sun protection, here’s another fuzzy natural product area. I splurged last year and bought Aveeno sun block for my kids. It didn’t work. Everyone got burned. It smells great, costs a fortune, and doesn’t offer any protection after about 30 minutes and none in water. At least that was our experience. I don’t really trust Coppertone to be good for me or good for the planet, but it’s just about all I can afford considering how much I use on a daily basis for my three kids who are outside or at the pool all summer. My son who has alopecia has a bald head, so I need serious sun protection for him. I do use a Mary Kay sunscreen on Ian’s head because I know it works and I trust Mary Kay to use better, safer ingredients.

So I’m not really helping you at all, am I? But maybe I’m making a Mary Kay customer out of you. (kidding)

I had a naturalist doctor once tell me that coconut oil will make you look 10 years younger. He was big on coconut oil and I am too, for other reasons (I’ll have to post about that sometime). He told me if I used it on my skin all over every day, I’d see a real difference. Hmm…think about it. Coconut oil all over. It’s not any cheaper than face or body lotion (coconut oil is pricey). But the cost of replacing all the sheets, pillows, and clothing you ruin could make you go broke. Of course you could stand around naked for 30 minutes or so until the oil is completely absorbed, but who has time for this? And how would you explain it to your kids? Maybe someday I’ll try this, but not while the kids are still living at home. You try it though and let me know.

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