Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shopping ethically for lotions

Whenever the winter months eventually bring the colder weather and blustering winds I get those oh so lovely chapped lips, dry hands, and other skin ailments. I know I'm not alone in needing to add a bit more lotion or moisturizer to my hands and skin to avoid cracking and bleeding, but in being a more ethical consumer, how can you keep your skin hydrated without buying those chemically fragranced kinds and supporting questionable habits known to be found in the cosmetic industry?

There has been more awareness in that some of the ingredients in many beauty products can be harmful not only to the environment but to your own health too. Some of those are being exposed as potentially cancer causing and others are infused with fragrances that are nothing more than fancy smelling pollutants. And with that, the make-up industry has adopted a few slippery tactics of their own to sway customers into buying their items. With labels such as '100% Organic', 'Made with organic ingredients', and other variants of the same kind, finding a product that is truly green and safe is just as much of an investigation as seeking a long lost relative! The problem is there aren't very many strict labeling guidelines and sifting through the lies and misleading terms can be tricky if you aren't informed.

Different countries are starting to issue certifications and they vary across the globe, but a few things to look for is that your product does not have paraben, phthalates, or PCB in its list of ingredients. These are chemicals you want to avoid, and don't be fooled by a sticker that says, 'Made with organic ingredients' because this only means that it is made up of at least 70% organic. Other claims fall along the scale as well, and if you really want to know exactly what you're getting you can do well to make your own moisturizers. In fact, by doing this, you will not only be cutting down on the amount of waste from the packaging but you will be saving money as well, which I don't think many of us would argue with!

Many everyday items and foods can be used to get healthier skin, in fact with just 1/2 ounce organic apple cider vinegar, 3 ounces mineral water, and 5 uncoated aspirin, you can make your very own lotion. Simply crush the aspirin and add to the mixture of water and vinegar, and you're good to go. This will not only make your skin smoother, but aide in reducing any acne scars and it can be kept in the fridge. You can be reusing things you already have, saving a bundle of skin products, and most importantly being a more ethical consumer and not supporting businesses that supply us with potentially toxic and harmful products!

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