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Why Women of Color Should Opt for Non-Toxic Cosmetics

Body, Health, Info & Tips, Lifestyle, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

When I refer to women of color I don’t just mean those of Black or African decent. The term includes women from a wide variety of backgrounds including Latina, Native American, Asian, and Indian. As a fellow brown girl my passion and drive for creating this blog is to serve as a resource and motivation to chose organic and all natural options when it comes to cosmetics. My goal with this blog is to at least get women to consider their health when purchasing beauty products and to show that there are safer alternatives.

 

Cosmetics are a $71 billion industry. Of that number women of color spend close to three times as much than any other group. Cosmetic products marketed to women of color have improved in providing safer ingredients. The natural hair care industry has grown from only a select few companies to several; most of which are now offered in local beauty supply stores and big box retailers. I remember a time when there were only a select few available exclusively online.

 

According to the Environmental Working Group many ingredients used in traditional personal care products are known carcinogens, which have been linked to breast cancer. Unfortunately in the United States there is no system in place to regulate potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics. Cosmetic companies are not required to have their products tested for safety by the FDA or any other agency. This means we as consumers have to be careful to read our labels and understand the ingredients in the products we use in and on our bodies daily.

 

The average US woman uses beauty products that contain nearly 200 different chemicals. Of these chemicals many include parabens, mercury, artificial dye, phthalates, formaldehyde, and toluene. All of these substances have been proven to cause many adverse health risks with prolonged use. Some of these health concerns are fibroid tumors, infertility, birth defects, hair loss, cancer, and this is just to name a few! Women of color are at a greater risk for these fibroids, breast cancer, and other diseases.

 

I often hear women of color especially in the black community stay away from certain ingredients in their hair care products but why not extend that to your makeup, skincare, and other beauty products. While it may sound overwhelming at first you can make small changes one product at a time. As a woman of color I understand where the challenge comes to finding cosmetics that are a perfect match. Hopefully this blog will introduce you to some natural alternatives that won’t compromise your health in the name of beauty.

 

Here are some resources if you want to do more research:

Story of cosmetics

Safe Cosmetics.org

Environmental Working Group

 

 

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How to Go Green with your Beauty Routine

Body, Make-Up, Natural Hair, Skincare

If you’re new to the green beauty community and not sure where to start then this post is for you. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned along the way in transforming my beauty routine to toxic free.

First things first…….Don’t throw everything out going on a rampage tossing everything in sight!

 

You don’t have to go cold turkey. If you’re new to the all-natural game take baby steps. When I first started I was so excited and ready to just throw all my toxic beauty products in the trash. Wean yourself off chemical dependency slowly. For example if your normal facial has not so safe ingredients only use it once a day instead of twice. On the alternate days try using a natural alternative instead.

 

Replace products as you run out– One at a time with healthier choices each time. Go for the biggest impact. Body wash , lotion, shampoo, and hair products are the easiest to swap out. If you are a woman with natural hair then you probably already use natural hair products. Although some toxic ingredients are starting to show up in those too as manufactures are getting smarter about using the word “natural” on labels. So be cautious and read the ingredient list before you buy.

 

Learn to read labels. Know your ingredients. If you’re not sure what something means do your research to understand before you apply it to your skin. There are tons of resources like this blog for instance J Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and EWG Skin Deep are also good resources for information. I like using the Thinkdirty app, which allows you to scan the barcode of products while you are in the store. It scans for toxic chemicals and ingredients in beauty products then rates their safety so you can know before you buy. You can find this in the Apple App store or Google Play.

 

Makeup will probably be the hardest and take the longest to replace honestly. Especially if you are a makeup girl whose put in time and money to build up your makeup stash. With makeup start replacing your foundations first. Ask for samples or try smaller sizes. Especially us brown girls who have a hard enough time already finding our perfect shade. Nowadays many companies have a 30 day return policy so even if you buy a full size and it doesn’t work for you, you can get your money back.

 

Sign up for some organic beauty subscription boxes. Here are a few that I personally have tried.

Sometimes you even get full size products to try. The great thing about subscription boxes is they allow you test out multiple products at a fraction of the cost to purchase them individually.

 

Important points to remember: It can be scary and overwhelming especially when you start learning about the dangers in many beauty products. Remember why you are doing this in the first place. Don’t sacrifice your health for beauty. Yes you can still be glamorous and healthy at the same time.

 

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DIY Cocoa Body Butter Recipe

Body, Skincare

Since we are right in the heart of winter our skin can get a little on the dry side. I know this cold wind and snow here in NYC has kept my skin thirsty for extra moisture. I decided to whip up some homemade body butter. I’m a simple girl so I need something without a long list of ingredients that I would need to order from offline. If you’re like me then this recipe is for you!

 

All I used were 2 simple ingredients cocoa butter and coconut oil. Growing up my Granny (RIP, Love you!) always used those cocoa butter sticks on our skin and it always stayed moisturized. So I thought why not stick to what worked. If it’s not broke don’t fix it right.

DIY Body Butter Collage

Cocoa butter has some amazing health benefits and properties known for it’s maximum hydration and gentleness on the skin. Coconut Oil has the amazing ability to deep penetrate the skin so the moisture gets locked in.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Raw Unprocessed Cocoa Butter

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Optional: essential oils like Tea Tree and Lavender.

 

Directions:

Using a double boiler method melt the cocoa butter until it becomes a liquid.

Add coconut oil and mix until it is well combined with the cocoa butter

Place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes

Using an electric mixer, whip mixture until it turned into a fluffy almost whipped cream texture.

Place in a mason jar or air tight container

Rub into skin and enjoy soft supple goodness!

100 Percent Pure Skincare Review

Make-Up, Skincare

I’m always on the hunt for all natural organic body care products. Fortunately 100 Percent Pure scent me some products from their fragrance and ingredient of the month. For the month of March the fragrance is French Lavender and the ingredient is Seaweed. I was sent all the products from this line. I tried and tested them out these last few weeks and thought I would share with you all my favorites from the collection.

 

French Lavender Whipped Body Butter

french-lavender-whipped-body-butter

 

 This one is hands down my favorite not only because it smells amazing but the consistency is thick and creamy. Because I’m a compulsive hand washer my hands tend to get on the dry side. This whipped butter goes on smooth and gives me the moisture I need without leaving me with that greasy oily feeling. I would definitely purchase this again.

 

French Lavender Nourishing Body Cream 

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This is actually my second choice next to the whipped body butter. It has that amazing lavender scent just like the butter. Every time I put it on people always ask me what I’m wearing. The smell is intoxicating. This lotion is a lot lighter than the whipped body butter since it doesn’t contain any heavy butters mostly oils. It still leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized. I would say this lotion is better for the warm summer months because it is so light.

 

Organic Olive Oil Soap

100-percent-pure-organic-olive-oil-soap-lavender

I was looking for a good hand made soap so this came right on time. Since it’s olive oil based (organic), it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry afterward. Most conventional soaps on the market contain harsh detergents and other chemical additives. This lathered up really well and when I rinsed my skin felt hydrated, prepped to apply moisturizer. I received the lavender scented olive oil soap and the seaweed olive soap. Both worked pretty much the same except the seaweed bar gives you those extra skin loving antioxidant benefits.

 

Mattifying Primer with Seaweed Collagen

100PP-Mattifying-Primer-2

Since I’m an oily girl I must use a primer prior to applying makeup or else I’ll look like an oil slick. I’ve tried a few primers but still have yet to find one that works well with my skin and smooth’s out my pores. What I like about this primer is that it has seaweed collagen in it so you’re getting two products in one. The seaweed collagen plumps up my skin. This is important because as we get older we start to loose the elasticity in our skin.

 

Have you tried 100% body care products? If so let me know what you thought in the comments below.

 

If you haven’t tried these yet you can check out the entire collection here.

20% off the scent of the month

 

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The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Blog, Featured, Health, Natural Hair, Skincare

 

Those who know me personally know that I LOVE coconut oil. The coconut has become one of my favorite food because the meat and the oil extracted from it has so many health benefits that it can be labeled a super food. If i was stranded on a deserted island I would be okay with plenty of coconut. 🙂 Seriously, I use it on my hair, skin, and to cook with. Let me share with you some of my favorite coconut oil uses and benefits.

FYI: I always use Organic Raw Unrefined Coconut Oil to get the most beneficial nutrients.

 

HAIR

This is probably the most common way I use coconut oil as it is a great conditioner for the hair. I love adding coconut oil to my deep conditioners or use it for a hot oil treatment as it is the only oil that can penetrate into the hair shaft. That means super moisturized strong bouncy hair.

 

SKIN

Being that coconut oil is a great overall moisturizer you can also apply it directly to your skin in place of your regular lotion. Coconut oil gets deep into the skin tissues providing excellent hydration to the skin. This is an added benefit during the cold winter months when skin typically gets dry. I also like to add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to my DIY body scrubs.

 

MOUTH WASH

Yes you read right my friends! Coconut oil can be used as a mouth wash also known as oil pulling. Take about 1-2 tablespoons  of melted coconut oil and swish around your mouth. This helps pull the toxins from out of your mouth. Just be sure to spit it out and not to swallow after swishing! After repeated use of this method you will notice your teeth getting whiter and your breath fresher.

 

COOKING OIL

I stopped using butter several years ago for health reasons. I found that coconut oil makes a great substitute for butter. You can use it anywhere you would normally use butter even for baking. In fact it adds a little extra flavor to your dishes. As a cooking oil you can use it in any recipe that calls for some sort of vegetable oil. If you don’t want the coconut flavor in your food just use the refined version.

 

Do you use coconut oil? If so leave me a comment and let me know how you’ve incorporated coconut oil into your healthy lifestyle.

 

 

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6 Antioxidant foods for Glowing Skin

Health, Skincare

 

 

Who doesn’t want beautiful glowing skin? There are tons of products on the market that claim to promote a healthy complexion but the old saying reigns true; “Beauty is only skin deep”.  A healthy glowing skin starts from the inside out. What you put inside your body is just as important as what you put on the surface. In fact even more so! Here are 6 antioxidant rich food which you can start adding to your diet now:

 

Blueberries- Eating this sweet treat increases circulation, resulting in glowing skin

 

 

Walnuts- The oils in walnuts protect the skin from environmental hazards and boost skin’s elasticity.

 

Spinach- This water-rich leafy green veggie attacks blemishes and hydrates skin from the inside out.

 

Oranges- Citrus rich fruits speed up cell turnover enhancing radiance.

 

 

Strawberries- The bold berry is rich in collagen firming vitamin C and lightens skin spots

 

Kiwi- This fuzzy fruit contains skin smoothing Vitamin E and helps banish blemishes

 

 

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Lemon-Honey Sugar Scrub

Blog, Skincare

This is a great all natural sugar scrub featuring my favorite type of sugar to eat and use in my natural beauty treatments….Coconut Sugar! Coconut Sugar is gentle enough for a facial scrub and also contains great antioxidants. The raw honey contained in this recipe is great for those who suffer from acne as it is antibacterial. I also add in a few drops of Lemon Essential Oil because it helps fade dark spots and even the skin complexion.