I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to natural lotions, face wash, body oil, shampoos, etc. I say "snob" because it is a privilege to have access to naturally derived products, not to mention to be able to pay for it. I don't have a surgeons salary by all means, but everyone has their fetish they can't really afford. I'll walk right by the shoes section or the accessory isle, and head straight for the potions. Unfortunately, once you go "plants", it's hard to go back. And when you steer clear of products with chemicals, you become even more sensitive to their artificial texture and smell.
In last months Yoga Journal Magazine, Amy Galper writes that, "what you put on your body has an effect on your health and environment."
As I write this I can't help but cringe, as I'm sounding like a yuppie, Whole Foods addict. Luckily, I was born in a country that has freedom to explore alternatives, and I happen to live in a city, amongst a community, that is environment conscious and respectful. Wouldn't it be beautiful if the planet got to a place where these products, that are authentically made to nourish all parties involved, were easily accessible?
For now, here are some tips on what to look for when picking out your beauty products, from the magazine's "Organic & Artisanal" article. I found them very informative and helpful.
1) Avoid products with ingredients you can't pronounce. Parabens and phthalates (hormone disrupters), and diazolidinyl urea (releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen) are good ones to avoid.
2) Avoid the word "fragrance". This is code word for synthetics and harmful chemicals. Look instead for products scented with essential oils, or chose products that are fragrance free, and add your own oils.
3) INTERESTING!! If water is one of the first few words on the label, keep in mind that water attracts mold and bacteria, which calls for extra preservatives.
4) Natural preservatives are better. Look for jojoba, coconut or shea to help extend shelf life. Also vegetable-derived Vitamins E and C will do the trick.