Ease Holiday Stress with Essential Oils

Is the issue lack of information, lack of motivation, or just not sure where to start? We know education is power. Not just in flexing yourbrain but also in the knowledge of the basics to care for yourself and your family. How do we deal with the emotions of the holidays? Too many health issues that were reserved for the “older” citizens are now trickling down to our children and grandchildren. Arthritis, diabetes, obesity, increases in allergies to everyday foods like peanut butter, nuts, breads, and so much more. What were once considered rare diseases are now becoming common place like autism, ADD/ADHD, or even juvenile auto-immune diseases. There is so much information available, but you have a difficulttime in deciphering what is true and what is in error, what is pertinent and what is hype. Does anyone have any reasonable answers? All you would like is to feel better and take care of your family. Not too much to ask…right? What if I told you that there are answers, and you can take back your control and responsibility for you and your family’s health in a logical, science-based manner without breaking the bank and without needing  a doctorate?

Please join us on Tuesday evenings at Unity Christ Center for FREE educational classes. Please  contact me if you would like further information. Drlynnthompson1@gmail.com

5 Tips for Stressed-Out Moms

1. Sleep  “Sleep is not a luxury,” says Dr. James O’Brien, medical director of the Boston SleepCare Center in Waltham, Mass. “It’s a necessity for optimal functioning.” As a busy mom, it can be tempting to burn the midnight oil in an attempt to get things done, but cutting into your valuable sleep time will make it even more difficult for you to deal with all of the responsibilities that come with being a modern day mom.

2. Exercise  Unfortunately, for many moms, exercise is often one of the first things to go. Its often viewed as something you do for vanity purposes and when time is spent exercising, moms feel selfish and guilt. But, I’d argue just the opposite. Regular exercise is vital for good health. Exercise isn’t just for weight loss – it helps your mind, body and soul. Experiment with different activities (take a PiYo, Yoga, TRX class, put the baby in a stroller and jog around the neighborhood, swim some laps) to figure out what you enjoy.

3. Clean Up Your Eating  Packaged, processed food might be saving you a little bit of time, but that’s it. Your diet plays a huge role in how you think, act, feel, and respond to situations in your daily life. Give your body the fuel it needs to perform at the optimal level. Eat whole, unprocessed food – closer to its natural state the better. Choose an orange over orange juice, grilled tuna over tuna salad, baked potato over French fries. Think you don’t have time to make healthy food for your family? Make a meal plan for the coming week over the weekend and spend a few hours prepping the meals. And involve your kids in the process – it’s a great way to teach them the importance of healthy eating.

4. Ask for Help  Celebrity moms look rested and calm. Why? Because they have help. Lots of it – nannies, housekeepers, trainers, chefs, personal assistants. This isn’t realistic for most of us, but we can learn from this – having help makes life a lot easier. If you can’t pay for it, ask for it. Are there things your partner can take on? Can you budget for someone to clean your house once a month? Can you call on friends and relatives to help out?

5. Focus on the Things That are Actually in Your Control When you’re overwhelmed and stretched thin, it’s easy to take on every little problem as your own. You can’t clear up the traffic jam, change your bossestendency to give you projects at the last minute, or make a friend arrive on time for lunch. Instead, focus only on things that you have control over.

Naturalize Your Hair

by Amber Erickson Gabbey

Just like with cosmetics, household cleaners, and every other product you come in contact with on a regular basis, hair care products may be doing more damage to your health than you think.

On a short-term basis, some hair care products cause contact dermatitis or rashes on the skin due to the chemicals or other ingredients irritating the skin. While this is annoying, it’s not enough to make many people rethink their product use.

On a more long-term basis, the effects of beauty products are largely unknown. Many shampoos, styling products and dyes are known to contain unhealthy ingredients. Some of these ingredients cause cancer, endocrine disruption, or development issues, but how they interact with other products, the body, and your health is largely up for debate. With so many other environmental and occupational toxins, it’s hard to say for sure that your beauty regime is causing your health issues. What is known is that some products contain scary ingredients, and these products are applied directly to the body. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and just like it allows toxins and sweat to leave the body through the pores, it’s also capable of absorbing stuff. When you wash your hair or apply a product, those chemicals may be able to enter your body through the skin.
If you’re wondering how your hair care products rank, look them up on The Environmental Working Groups’ Skin Deep Database. Some of the well-known salon brands scoring high on the toxicity list include Bed Head, Redken, Biolage, and American Crew.

The good news is there are options. Just like with cosmetics and cleaners, companies are starting to listen to concerned consumers and offer alternatives. Even in beauty salons, where usually a select few brands are offered, natural options are out there, and this list is growing rapidly. Some of the more natural salon-level hair care brands to look for include Kevin Murphy, John Masters Organics, Surface, Deva, Davines Essential Hair Care, Verb Hair Care, All-Nutrient, OnestA, Neuma, Framesi (out of Milan, Italy), and DermOrganic. These brands include not only shampoos and conditioners, but styling products and chemical-free dyes.

The key to taking a more natural approach with your hair care is finding a salon and stylist who understands your hair care goals.

Know Your Options

We asked these awesome companies to send us samples of their green and eco salon products and I have to say we loved them all.  Thanks so much for the samples.  We will for sure be back for more! And if your salon doesn’t use the green option you prefer, take your own. You and your stylist should have that kind of relationship.

Verb is a family of smart, professional-grade hair care products priced within reach of every salon customer. Our salon-quality hair products are color-safe, free of harmful sulfates, parabens and gluten and are made in the U.S.A. without animal testing. Nothing bad, lots of good. More at verbproducts.com

ANTI.GRAVITY.SPRAY will now be produced as a non-aerosol product in a HDPE (high density polyethylene) bottle instead of the existing aluminum can. With a heritage based in an environmentally-friendly Australian philosophy, KEVIN.MURPHY is continuously looking for new ways to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint. KevinMurphy.com.au

DermOrganic® formulations are based around naturally-derived ingredients that replicate the elements hair and skin use inside to replenish, refresh and maintain their youthful vigor from the outside. The addition of Argan Oil in the Hair Care regimen (and Argan Extract in the Skin Care) provides additional benefits of Vitamin E and Linoleic acid to protect and moisturize. Dermorganic.com

John Master’s Organics Bare. This perfect, fragrance-free daily shampoo combines organic extracts of chamomile and white tea with jojoba oil to gently cleanse and keep hair in optimal condition. johnmasters.com

Healthy and Happy Nails

by Abbie Burgess

Living in a culture that embraces cleanliness and beauty, it’s no surprise that women (and some men) turn to nail polish to beautify their fingernails and toenails. Polishes come in every color imaginable, at a variety of price points and with brands geared toward everybody’s paint preferences. From gothic black to shimmery and pretty, many cannot imagine their nails without the color and sheen of a polish. Come sandal season, manicures, pedicures, and polish are the norm.

Sure, having beautiful nails is fun, but at what cost? The ingredients of nail polish are slowly being uncovered, and they pose a real danger.

The Dangers of Polish and the “Toxic Trio”

The three most dangerous chemicals in traditional nail polish are toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and formaldehyde. All three of these chemicals are considered dangerous toxins because they are known to cause health problems in humans. Exposure is possible through inhalation, but is also possible directly into the bloodstream through the nailbed.

Toluene is the same chemical used to make plastic soda bottles, paint products, and gasoline. According to the EPA, toluene toxicity from repeated exposure targets the central nervous system. Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, sleepiness, and nausea. Toluene is also linked to cancer, cardiac arrhythmia, and may cause reproductive problems like miscarriages. Death is possible with high levels of exposure.

DBP is what makes plastics flexible and nail polish strong and long-lasting. DBP may cause reproductive problems, such as birth defects and cancer. The European Union classifies DBP as an endocrine disruptor because they suspect it affects hormone functioning.

Formaldehyde, often used to preserve dead things, is used as hardener in nail polish. It is a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing chemical. It can also cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.

In 2006, as the “toxic trio” made headlines, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics began pressuring nail companies to remove thesechemicals. Several mainstream brands got on board and removed one or more of the “toxic trio.”  However, a 2012 report from the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, found that these three toxins are not only in many nail polishes, but trace elements of the toxins are found in many polishes labeled as toxin-free. The report concluded that just because it’s labeled toxin-free doesn’t mean it is.

While the “toxic trio” are the big, nasty chemicals to avoid in your nail polish, other ingredients, such as fragrance, dyes, and phthalates, can also cause harm. Fragrance is often made up of a chemical cocktail, but because it’s proprietary, companies don’t have to list the individual ingredients.  Fragrances and colors could be hiding a whole slew of toxic materials.

Beyond the clear dangers to health, nail products also pose a real environmental risk. Products that end up in landfills can leak their toxic materials, causing groundwater and soil contamination. Nail polishes are paint, similar to household paints, and must be disposed of properly. Check your local trash disposal centers for policies on disposing of household hazardous waste.

How to Go Toxic-Free

Luckily for consumers, in recent years nail polish compaines have responded to push-back and reformulated their products to contain little to no toxins. But, not all polishes are made equal.

If you’re concerned about the “toxic trio” in your nail products, start by checking the labels. None of the “toxic trio” are banned in the United States (although some are elsewhere), so they may be lurking even if the bottle says “toxin-free.” You can also check The Environmental Working Group’s online database, Skin Deep, to see how your favorite brand and hue stack up. Beware though, it’s often difficult to get all the details on ingredients, so the grade might not tell the whole story.

According to Skin Deep, some better options include Keeki, Layla, Sally Hanson, Acquarella, Zoya, Honeybee Gardens, Scotch Naturals, and Priti NYC. Of course, there are others. If you do your research, there are plenty of options out there. So don’t fret, you can have beautiful nails and be toxin-free.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says to further protect yourself from nasty nail products, make sure you buy less toxic brands, bring your own polish to nail salons, buff the nails rather than using polish or lacquer, limit how often you paint or just do your toes, limit polish exposure in children and pregnant women, and always use nail products in a well-ventilated space.

Another option is to forego the polish and embrace the beauty that is natural nails. If you do choose to continue adding color to your life, do your fingers and toes a favor and choose toxin-free.

Resources:
www.organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/how-toxic-is-your-nail-polish-really.html
www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/toluene.html
www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/di-n-but.html
www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—dibutyl-phthalate/
www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_1450.cfm
www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/formaldehyde
www.ewg.org/skindeep/
www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=224
www.sfgate.com/health/article/Study-finds-hazardous-chemicals-in-some-nail-3472582.php#page-2

Love This Stuff

So we have gladly tried all of the samples sent to us by these eco-friendly and awesome companies.  And I found that product lines don’t seem to cross over well.  One remover works great for its own polish but takes a bit more work with other polishes.  Some water based lacquers don’t smoothly apply to a different company’s base coat.
Overall, try all of these products but stay with in the same family for the best results.

Pirti NYC
Our Soy Nail Polish Remover is safe and eco freindly and smells great.  Available in lavendar, lemongrass and white blossom, they provide natural aromathearpy while removing nail polish naturally and safely.   Our remover is 100% biodegradeable and just soy!  The bottle is even recycleable.  One can be healthy and treat the Earth well by using this safe and effictive nail polish system.

PRITI NYC polishes are ALSO 5 Free & Vegan, completely non-toxic, and are free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor – all known carcinogenic ingredients. These luxury polishes are fast drying, chip resistant, contain a UV inhibitor, and are extremely durable and glossy.  Bonus: PRITI Princess nail polish is perfect for the hands of your tiny fashionistas. pritinyc.com

Zoya
Zoya Nail Polish has been free of formaldehyde and toluene from the very first bottle. Zoya’s founder, Zoya Reyzis, was very concerned about the health effects on salon staff and clients and insisted that her products be formulated without them long before health regulations required others to do so. Zoya is now proud to be a long-wearing, BIG5FREE formula that is free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and camphor.

Zoya also offers a checmical free nail treatment and remover system that smells good and works great. Zoya.com

Chick Nail Polish
Big 3 free means that our lacquers are as natural as they can be they and do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor or resin. Chick is a nontoxic vegan-friendly nail polish line that comes in a super-cute color palette with names like  Hen House and Wild Rooster!  Chick’s formula is long lasting, chip resistant and a has a high gloss finish. You want your fingers to be fabulously flawless so we use a high end 398 strand flat brush for perfect coverage. chicknailpolish.com

Suncoat Nail Polish
Stylish shades that are long lasting, natural and non-toxic.  These colors are made with mineral pgiments instead of synthetics and are free of formaldehyde, toulene, phthalates, acetone, acetate, alcohol and FD&C colors.  This is the first water based, odorless, eco-friendly polish that is peel away.  That’s right, no remover needed.  Apply. Enjoy. Peel off!  Sweet!
If you want an eco-remover, try our non-toxic, vegan, gel remover that is made of soy and corn.  suncoatproducts.com

Scotch Natural Nail Lacquer
Making the change to non-toxic nail polish is one you won’t regret. Scotch Naturals is a safe and eco-friendly alternative to conventional polish. Our revolutionary water-based formula delivers long lasting, salon-quality results in a stunning array of sophisticated shades.

Our polishes contain none of the chemicals found in typical nail polish. We are “3 Free” as well free of ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone, and heavy metals. We are truly non-toxic.

Bonus: Looking for a great option for your little queen in training, check out the hopscotch line of kids products! scotchnaturals.com

HoneyBee Gardens
Watercolor Polish is our unique water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odors; no more nasty fumes! But perhaps best of all, there’s also no need for toxic smelly nail polish remover – this product removes with rubbing alcohol, vodka/grain alcohol or our Nail Polish Remover! Honeybeegardens.com

Is Your Lipstick a Hazard to Your Health?

Recent research has found alarming amounts of chromium, cadmium, and manganese in many lipsticks, with the concern that these ingredients could increase your chances of developing various diseases and suffering organ damage. With lipstick applied to your lips, you cannot help but take in some of it while eating, drinking, and other activities.

Researchers studied how much heavy metal was in over thirty-two best-selling lipsticks and glosses. Once that was determined, they predicted the degree of risk to consumers, considering what typical contact with those metals would be and comparing that to what standard guidelines list as safe amounts. The main culprits were manganese, aluminum, chromium, and cadmium. Unusually high amounts of cadmium (when adding the amounts found in lipstick and diet) can lead to kidney issues. This is of special concern to those who have existing kidney issues. And chromium, in large amounts, can lead to stomach tumors. Lead has also been found as a common lipstick ingredient in unhealthy amounts.

Some companies are making efforts to produce lipsticks with healthier ingredients, so it is important to do your research before you buy. But that may be difficult because these ingredients are considered “contaminants” and not “ingredients,” so they may not be listed on the label. Even contacting the manufacturer may not assure that you’ll get accurate information on what is in your favorite brand.

One suggestion is to cut back on how much lipstick you use. Consider wearing it only for those special occasions, or if you do use it every day, only apply it once each day. That will keep the degree of toxins you take in lower. Another idea is to contact the company that makes your favorite lipstick and let them know that safe lipstick is important to you. Check out the helpful website of Skin Deep Cosmetics where you can find more information on the safety of products you use: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/