I have immense appreciation for Amy Galper, a pioneer in natural beauty, who hosted an amazing yoga beauty bar pop-up shop Sunday, March 19 at the Yoga Beauty Bar at Pure Yoga East, NYC. Amy’s Beauty Bars help spread awareness of how important it is to actually look at products you’re buying and be conscious of what they contain. It is so common to pick up a bottle that says that it will erase are wrinkles, smooth skin, or make you look ten years younger without an afterthought of the ingredients and how they can actually harm you more than help you.
After an invigorating complimentary yoga class at Pure Yoga, I attended a tremendously insightful workshop led by another incredible pioneer, Karim Orange, a nationally known natural cosmetics expert, celebrity make-up artist and two-time Emmy Award nominee whose work graces the faces of countless stars in television, music, movies and the theater! Karim is leading the charge for more transparency in make-up ingredients and more choices for clients who want to look fantastic without the fear of putting harmful chemicals and additives on their bodies. Some of her celebrity clients include Jay Z, Matt Damon, Rosario Dawson, and Tom Hanks, just to name a few.
Amy, the founder of Buddha Nose, is on a mission to teach the yoga community about more eco-friendly beauty products that will keep you glowing on the inside and out. The Beauty Bars highlight a selection of lotions, aromatherapy, and cosmetics completely free of potentially toxic chemicals and made my companies committed to sustainability. Just like everything you consume, everything you put on your body either gets assimilated or eliminated. Chemical creams and perfumes tax your body big time.
Your skin absorbs 60% of the products you put on it! The skin is our largest organ, and by using only organic ingredients, we not only respect the health and well-being of our bodies but we also respect the health and well-being of our environment. We’re working out hard, we’re eating clean healthy diets, we cleanse and we detox, but what about our skin, are we neglecting that? When I moved to my new apartment this past August, I took advantage of the opportunity to trash all my remaining half-used cosmetics and body products containing a slew of potentially toxic ingredients. I stocked my new apartment with beauty care and skincare that contains natural essential oils instead of chemically created parfums and dyes, paraben-free and eco-sustainable. The result? My skin has a dewy glow, I feel radiant and happy.
Q: Why you should care about using non-toxic skin care products?
Q: How can I tell if my products contain nasty ingredients?
A: Search for your products via the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to determine the toxicity.
Q: Did you know that Antibacterial hand soap poses environmental health risks, and doesn’t clean any better than regular soap?
A: Antibacterial soap (not to be confused with antibacterial gel such as Purell) contains triclosan, which is an endocrine disruptor in the human body and discharges the environment when you wash your hands with it. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with hormone functions, and can result in adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological or immune effects. When triclosan breaks down, it turns into dioxins, which are known carcinogens.
Read: “Scientists Warn of Low-Dose Risks of Chemical Exposure – Yale University”
The Santa Clara Basin Watershed Management Initiative advises that “triclosan is acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic organisms,” that it “may degrade into other toxic compounds,” and - speaking of super-smart microbes - “may encourage antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.”
Triclosan and triclocarban accumulates in crops, such as soybeans, grown in sewage sludge amended soils. Triclosan is absorbed in the skin of farmers who use sewage sludge as fertilizer, or others who come in contact with the sludge. Gross, and sad. Products we use not only have an effect on what we eat and what water we drink, but also on other people. Don’t be selfish! My personal mantra: If you care about clean drinking water, endangered species, anything at all concerning the environment you live in, please don’t use this nasty stuff. Thank you!
The antibacterial ingredient triclosan is found in hundreds of antibacterial soaps and other personal products from toothpaste to cosmetics to deodorant. Carefully look at the ingredients in your products (even those ‘green’ ones, and if it contains tricolsan, you may want to rethink restocking it when you run low.
“We have a lot of bacteria on our hands” said Dr. Allison Aiello, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and they fall into two groups: transient bacteria- which include human pathogens- and resident bacteria that stay with us all of our lives and keep our skin healthy. The purpose of hand soap is to remove potentially harmful transient bacteria, while not completely wiping out beneficial resident bacteria. Aiello noted that “handwashing is rarely practiced at recommended levels in the community,” which in practical terms means that handwashing for one or two seconds with antibacterial soap is just as ineffective as handwashing with plain soap.
“Hygiene is not a technology problem; it’s a human behavior problem” said Weiss. To improve hand hygiene, CDC recommends washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, regardless of the type of soap.