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Product Safety Management

How to detox your beauty cabinet

As Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vital Juice, Lisa Blau makes a living out of hunting down the latest in fitness, beauty, health, and nutrition. As a mom (who’s expecting her second baby in just a few weeks), Blau is especially thoughtful about the skin and hair products she uses. “I view what I put on my body the same way I view what I put in my mouth in terms of health, safety, and nutrients,” she says. Here, Blau shares her favorite products, plus tips on ingredients to avoid and suggestions for safe-but-effective alternatives.
 
“In general, if the ingredient list is long and contains complex, scientific-sounding words, it should raise a red flag. You want to scan a short list of straight-forward ingredients. That’s the sign of a healthy product. (Saffron Rouge is also a great resource for reviewing ingredients to avoid.)”
 
BODY AND FACE WASH “I became very sensitive to scents early in my pregnancy, so I looked for a clean, scent-free, mild soap. I fell in love with Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in Baby Mild Organic—it’s all I use now for face and body.”
 
TONER/MASK/MOISTURIZER “I generally believe that less is more, so I don’t really use toners or masks. But I tested everything from the Dr. Alkaitis line and was pleased: they have a cleanser, toner, great masks, and, my favorite, organic eye makeup remover. For a daytime moisturizer, I like Avalon Organics Vitamin C Moisture Plus SPF 15. At night, I like Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil, introduced to me by skin expert Mary Schook.”

BODY LOTION “In the winter, I use Weleda’s Pregnancy Body Oil (even when I’m not pregnant–I love the smell), and when my skin is viciously dry, I turn to Inesscents Magic Mango Butter (unscented). In the summer, I use Weleda’s Calendula Lotion. It’s intended for babies, and I figure that anything that is okay for a baby is okay for my skin while I’m carrying a baby.”

SUNBLOCK “I love Badger SPF 30; it’s very thick and moisturizing, which I like. But if you want something lighter, I also use California Baby (which I put on my son) and Vanicream.  In general, you should look for sunscreens that have Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (or a combination of both), and avoid the following ingredients: Parabens, Phthalates, PEG’s, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone, SLS, xybenzone. Also, new research suggests we should avoid sunscreens with Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) because they can actually thin the skin.”

SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER “Lately I alternate between Dr. Alkaitis Organic Herbal Shampoo, Kerastase, and anything from John Masters. And once a week I slather my hair in olive oil and stick it in a shower cap for a deep hydration.”
 
DEODORANT
I’ve tried several and LAVANILA Laboratories’ “The Healthy Deodorant” seems to actually work—even on a prego in July! Ingredients to avoid: Aluminum (some studies have found a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s) and propylene glycol (it’s found in antifreeze).”
 
TOOTHPASTE “I tend to mix it up depending on what strikes me at the store, but I’ve tried and liked Weleda, Kiss My Face, Tom’s of Maine, and Burt’s Bees. Ingredients to avoid: sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, artificial colors, and tricolosan.”
 
BUG REPELLENT “I recommend Bite Blocker Herbal Wipes, Buzz Away Insect Repellent Towelettes, and California Baby if you like a spray.  Ingredients to avoid: Deet, parabens, PEG’s, sulfates, dioxanes, propylene glycol, synthetic fragrance.”
 
HAND SANITIZERCleanwell—it’s the only one I use! Ingredients to avoid: alcohol, triclosan.”

COSMETICS “I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but think the following brands are worth considering: Dr.Hauschka, NVEY ECO, Suki, Revolution Organics, Juice Beauty. When it comes to nail care, the key is to avoid the “big three”—Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and toluene. This wallet card lists the brands that are free of all three, so you can have it handy next time you walk into the salon.”