|Cosmetics & Hygiene|
Paraben Free Green Cosmetics
By Amanda Quraishi, Austin, Texas
Parabens are a group of chemicals that are commonly used as a preservative in the manufacture of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They are rapidly absorbed in to the blood stream and eliminated through the body's waste system, but studies show that along the way they may be leaving traces of the chemical in the body.
One of the most interesting traits of parabens is that they actually mimic the naturally occurring hormone estrogen. However, excess estrogen has been directly linked to breast cancer and other health issues. In fact, a study done at the University of Reading in the UK ran tests in twenty different human breast tumors. The result of the study showed parabens present in every single one.
Furthermore, because they are absorbed through the skin, the dose of the chemical is ten times that which would affect the body if it were merely taken orally. Parabens are used in cosmetics, shampoos, hair dyes, hair styling products, and all types of lotions.
What is most disturbing is that parabens are not even necessary for a product to be effective. There are now thousands of companies which make paraben-free cosmetics and toiletries available everywhere, including online.
Some products which claim to be organic or natural may still not be paraben-free. It is important to look specifically at the list of ingredients. Some examples of parabens that may be listed on the package are:
The Breast Action Awareness website has a current list of cosmetics companies which offer paraben-free choices. If you're not sure whether or not a specific product contains unwanted chemicals you may also write or email the manufacturer and ask them directly.
Natural Personal Hygiene
By Pam Grundy, GoingGreenResources.com
Aside from the monetary savings that come from making your own personal hygiene products, other good reasons to do it include keeping fluorocarbons from pressurized spray bottles out of the atmosphere, and keeping formaldehyde (a common ingredient in shampoo) away from your skin.
A final consideration: When you make your own personal products, you know they are not being tested on animals in ways that humans would find unethical. What's more, by experimenting with recipes, essential oils, and herbs and flowers from your own garden, you can make holiday and birthday gifts that will be remembered and anticipated year after year.