Going natural: how I mom-stocked my beauty shelf

November 22, 2010 at 3:47 am Leave a comment

In all my 28 years, I never thought organically. Not in the kitchen, not in the bathroom. I never saw the point of paying more for organic foods unless there was nothing else around, and thought Clinique and Estee Lauder were great because of their free gifts. My life was so simple.

But then I got pregnant. And the moment that happened, I went into mad hormonal research mode. I found Skin Deep, a site that shows the risks of various ingredients – and then, much to my amazement, discovered that my bathroom was filled with garbage!

My cosmetologist had been going on and on about awful parabens for months – but it had never crossed my mind to look into it as I honestly just figured it was part of the usual cosmetologist “buy my line” marketing ploy. But alas, it appears that parabens have estrogenic effects (my interpretation: what you put on your face messes with your hormones, freaky) that could have something to do with cancer. I put that info together with the constant newsfeed about increasing cancer rates, and figured I might as well go natural.

And “natural” is key here. Not “organic.” Because as far as I can tell, organic products can still have loads of garbage in them (as in 92% organic ingredients, 8% nightmare). Anyway, whatever the label, the trick is to learn about the biggest culprits and make sure they’re not on the label.

Come to think of it, one of my reasons for avoiding the natural cosmetics isle at Whole Foods is I was wholeheartedly convinced that stuff didn’t work. But then I bought some Zoya nailpolish on Amazon (awesome stuff, stays on and comes in a dizzying range of colors). And after over two years of inexplicable face horrors exacerbated by the pregnancy hormones, I found a German line called Lavera Faces that has been doing no less than wonders for my destroyed skin in just a matter of days. “It’s not the product,” my cosmetologist friend asserted, “it’s just your hormones changing.” So I went back to Clinique for 3 days – and with it right back to what my Dad affectionately called my “Pepperoni Pizza Face” back in the chicken pox days.

So I’m convinced. No parabens. No salicylic acid. And a whole bunch of stuff that they say you shouldn’t use when pregnant that I’m quite sure you shouldn’t use when you’re not pregnant.

Note of warning: the ladies at Macy’s and Nordstrom’s cosmetics counters won’t tell you a darn thing about ingredients. Before I knew what was good for me, I let one of their smiling faces convince me to get this wildly expensive brown Estee Lauder glass bottle with a pipette that’s supposed to restore your skin to baby butt quality (“and is used by burn victims!”) I came home and discovered that just about every ingredient was in the danger zone. With the $70 or so I got back, I could buy about 3 months’ worth of my Lavera calendula stuff.

Just don’t ask me for before/after photos just yet. While my skin might be improving, my expanding “baby fat” face is not the stuff of web posts.

Entry filed under: Health & beauty. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

The boat has landed in Copenhagen again. Let Your Baby Sleep Outside? Surprising parenting wisdom from Scandinavia.

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