Halloween Hobgoblins: Toxins in Your Personal Care Products

October has always been a time to look forward to falling leaves, crisp air, and the fun of Halloween. Yet this month, I have other scary things on my mind beyond witches and ghosts.

Extreme weather has brought Hurricane Matthew, which has battered and devastated people from Haiti to the United States. Closer to home, I continue to be concerned about the multitude of toxins in our environment, homes, and products. I am encouraged though by the initiatives that grassroots activism has pushed through.

A recent example is the new Chemical Safety law signed by President Obama in June of this year. In addition to correcting shortcomings in the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), one of its key goals is to foster greater “public transparency for chemical information.”

Ingredients to Avoid CardOn the Herbaliz website, we have a page devoted to Toxins to Avoid, a topic I feel strongly about. (We also offer a wallet card listing chemicals to steer clear of.) Some of these substances are better known culprits than others. Yet, too many still show up in allegedly “natural products.” Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, is most frequently used in soaps and shampoos. Ethanolamine compounds (DEA, MEA, TEA), when absorbed through the skin, accumulate in body organs and have been linked with an increased incidence of kidney and liver cancers.

That’s more frightening than a witch’s curse! When you see ghouls, vampires and Darth Vaders walking around on Halloween, you know they are the bad guys.

Unfortunately, there are individuals in the beauty and cosmetic industries – lurking in the shadows – who still implement the use of cruel experiments on animals to test their products. To fight this, three members of Congress (not wearing costumes!), Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joe Heck (R-NV) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), are backing The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858) which “prohibits testing cosmetics on animals.”

Puppy with pumpkinsHerbaliz is sharing the Humane Society petition to encourage action in contacting local law makers on this bill. It’s easy: a phone call, an e-mail, and a shout out on Social Media will do the trick.

Happy Halloween!

Men Deserve Non-Toxic Skin Care

On a regular basis, I receive inquires from female customers about buying products for the men in their lives. Many of these requests have led to the formulation of new items, including our Face Wash for Men.

When a male client, looking for a product without alcohol and chemicals, asked if I could come up with a solution, our Aftershave was born.

Why is safe skin and scalp care as important for men as for women?

Simply because men are as susceptible to toxins as women are.

Just recently, Megan Boyle of Healthy Child, Healthy World, wrote an article explaining that men’s exposure to chemicals was shown to be linked to issues around couples trying to conceive. (Also check out the the Environmental Work Group’s endocrine disruptors page.)

Soap Saver GiftSo what’s the best way to get started? Here’s my list of the top five products suggestions:

Aftershave: Available in four sizes.

Moisturizing Lotion: Available in four sizes and six blends.

Gardner’s Hand Soap: Perfect for cleaning hands without being harsh.

Ayate Wash Cloth: A facial wash cloth that also exfoliates.

Soap Set: A starter gift that he will love. A bar of Herbal Glycerin Soap of your choice with a slotted, pine wood holder.