Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Green your skincare regime: Healthy for you and baby!

When I got pregnant with Pooka I began looking for ways to reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals in our daily life. First we changed the products we used to clean the house, then the products we used to clean ourselves. Obviously this was very important when Pooka was still in the womb and anything I added to my system was also added to hers. Once she was on the outside I sought the highest quality baby care products and religiously read labels to make sure they are free of nasties like PEGs, parabens, and sulfates. But what about the beauty products I was using? Everyday Pooka has her hands all over my hands, face, and hair (usually yanking it out with her vice-like pinchers!), and then she joyfully stuffs her hands into her mouth. In an effort to reduce her exposure to chemicals and toxins I cleaned all the products out of my vanity and replaced them safer, chemical free, and often eco-friendly products.

When it comes to skincare, women have their products they can't live without and are loath to give up. Switching skincare products was easier for me, as my dermatologist-prescribed products contained salicylic acid which is a no-no during pregnancy and I was forced to find new products. I found two great lines that worked wonderfully. I am currently using the Nude Skincare line which is free of just about every nasty you can think of, smells fantastic, and has minimal packaging made of recyclable materials. I use the Facial Cleansing Oil, Hydrating Water, Age Defense Moisturizer, Replenishing Night Oil, and Nude Lips. While the line is not inexpensive I was able to get a travel sized kit to test the products first, and the moisturizer and night oil lasted over six months. For a less expensive but similar line try Evan Healy, which is available at Whole Foods stores. Similarly, they have a cleansing milks, hydrating tonics, treatment oils, and mosturizers. Evan Healy's products also smell marvelous, are packed with ingredients like rose, lavender, and tea tree, come in glass bottles, and are free of any nasties.

I also chose to detox my makeup bag, although these days I hardly find time to put any on aside from under eye concealer! My favorite is Josie Maran. Her products contain natural, organic ingredients with no fragrances and parabens, and are packaged in biodegradable compacts. I'm a huge fan of the concealer (which I use judiciously after late nights with Pooka) and the simple ease of the Finger Paints compacts. They combine four creme shade that can be used for eyes, cheeks, and lips. I throw one in the diaper bag and can go all day. I also use the mascara which is nice and light, perfect for a day out on the town. And to keep my baby-kissing lips safe I use the Plumping Lip Gloss which uses marine collagen to do the plumping rather than irritants or stimulants that cause your lips to swell. I also plan on picking up the Bronzing Argan Oil to give me an artificial and healthy summer glow.

And don't forgot what's in the tub! Although it is difficult to find shampoos, conditioners, and body washes devoid of nasties, they are out there. I was always a designer shampoo kind of girl, so making this switch was a bit painful at first, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised. In our shower we use shampoos and conditioners from Burt's Bees (I use the volumizing set) and have had fantastic results. At $8.00 a bottle it is a great savings compared to the $20-30 I used to pay before, and I haven't been disappointed with the results. For bodywash my husband and I both use Pangea Organics. The formula is concentrated, so you only need a drop to get clean and the small bottle lasts for months. The are six different scents, and we love the Indian Lemongrass and Rosemary. The line also has lotions, oils, bar soaps and facial products. We also really enjoy the scent of Ren's Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash, but at $27.00 a bottle it's a splurge! Ren has a full skincare line and is free from synthetic ingredients.

There are tons of choices out there for you to detox and green your personal skincare regimen and safeguard you baby. These are just a sample of what's available, and they are the ones that have worked for us. If you are curious about the products already in your cabinet you can check the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database run by the Environmental Working Group, which independently tests thousands of products and rates their safety on a scale of one to ten.

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