Farm Fresh Beauty

If you have never looked to the farm for a part of your beauty routine, you may want to look again. At first glance, goats milk seems like an unusual beauty product, but it’s extremely skin friendly and emollient.

Goat’s milk has more calcium, vitamins, and triglycerides (fats) than cow’s milk, and its short-strand protein structure means it’s particularly suited to skin absorption. The milk’s lactic acid makes it a spa favorite for buttery-soft skin. Try: Dr. Alkaitis Organic Universal Mask;; Canus Goat’s Milk Moisturizing Lotion;

Baby (and Mama) Stuff You’ll Love!

Being a mother of two lil ones, and a green enthusiast,  I have tried a lot of different products. I just love this stuff. It’s natural, organic, and some are even made locally. You can’t get any greener! –Arwen Rassmusen

LüSa Organics Booty Balm does wonders on a sore bottom. Organic, natural and locally made in Baraboo, WI.

Motherlove Nipple Cream is organic and safe for baby to ingest  You’ll love it, I guarantee it.

Kids overtired and wild? Swipe LüSa Organics Sleep Potion behind their ears and watch the transformation. It’s amazing! I’ve witnessed it! And I use it, so it’s not just for kids, either.

Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash is organic, natural, and made with love. It makes bath time awesome.

Clean Aura Baby’s Bottom Soap is mild and gentle on baby’s skin. You’ll love it because it’s organic, natural, and locally made in Fond Du Lac, WI.

Looking for a family safe bug spray that includes the baby, look no further than Happy Camper Bug Spray by Clean Aura.

Spring-Clean Your Makeup

Spring cleaning means more than just your windows and your fridge. When you dig those summer shorts out of the basement this May, you should really take a look into your makeup bag too. How long have you had that mascara? That blush that’s almost gone, how old is that?

The truth is that cosmetics have expiration dates too and if you can’t remember when you last bought foundation, it is time to replace it.

Like groceries, fragrances, moisturizers, and makeup only last so long—and what you put on your skin is almost as important as what you eat.

“The moment you open a new tube of mascara or bottle of lotion, the clock starts ticking,” says Anne Marie Fine, an Arizona-based naturopathic physician and skin specialist.

High end, conventional, or organic products all start to harbor germs the minute they make contact with your skin. Although it may sound like good savings to use them for as long as they last, it isn’t good for you. Remember that what you put on your skin is as important as what you eat. It’s all absorbed and used by our bodies and if they are expired they can irritate or cause infection.

“An expired moisturizer, for example, might irritate your skin,” says Fine. “But it could further harm you, especially if it contains certain ingredients that eventually break down into carcinogens.”

Because we don’t know how badly expired products can harm us, it’s best not to take the chance. Each time you open a new product, mark it with a Sharpie. Then you’ll always know when it’s time to toss it.

POA. What?

If you haven’t noticed this on your product, look for it. It’s the Period After Opening icon and it’s there to keep tabs on the product’s freshness. The number will tell you how many months the product should be used after breaking the seal.

Mascara, liquid liner

Lasts: Three to four months
Toss it sooner if: You get an infection, such as pink eye, or it dries out.
Insider info: Replace often. “Bacteria gets transferred easily from your eyes into the container via the brush,” says Fine. If you do contract an eye infection, toss all eye makeup and start fresh after it has cleared up.

Powders: eye shadow, blush, face powder

Lasts: Up to two years
Toss it sooner if: It gets suspiciously crumbly or shiny.
Insider info: “You can literally see powder going bad,” says Fine. “When it glistens or disintegrates, that’s a sign the moisture has evaporated from the cakes.”

Lipstick, lip gloss, balm

Lasts: A year with wand, two years with direct or brush application
Toss it sooner if: You get a cold sore or other lip infection.
Insider info: Like mascara, you transfer germs and bacteria back into the tube with every application. Swap the wand that comes with the gloss with a washable wand. If you get an infection, toss all lip stuff and start over.


Lasts: Up to three years, with sharpening
Toss it sooner if: It becomes either unusually dry or melty.
Insider info: Sharpen often. “Every time you sharpen a liner or lip pencil, you get rid of the part that touched your face where bacteria lives,” says Fine. Cap pencils firmly when not in use to avoid other contaminants.

Liquid foundation

Lasts: Up to two years
Toss it sooner if: The color changes or separation occurs.
Insider info: Did you know that the oxygen that gets into the bottle when you open and close it can help it break down faster? Close caps right after use or get one with a pump dispenser.

Moisturizer: face or body

Lasts: About two years in a pot; up to three years in a pump
Toss it sooner if: You notice a change in the smell or consistency.
Insider info: Pump dispensers minimize bacteria. If you use moisturizer in a pot or jar, use a spatula to get it out to minimize bacteria transfer from your fingers. Organic and natural creams and lotions may last longer when kept cold in the fridge.

Sunscreen, sunblock

Lasts: Up to a year
Toss sooner if: The expiration date on the tube or package has passed.
Insider info: Active ingredients in sunscreens and sunblocks occur when they are opened and sit in the hot sun. Fine suggests being conservative. “Always toss them within a year of opening.”


Lasts: About two years
Toss it sooner if: It doesn’t smell the way it used to.
Insider info: “Resist the urge to display your favorite scent on your vanity,” says Fine, “no matter how pretty the bottle.” Instead, store it in a cool, dry, dark space to keep air and light from degrading its quality.

Leading the Way with Lead-Free Lipstick

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

Think of the multitude of products we use each day. For women, these products probably include make up and other beauty products. Many women finish applying cosmetics by adding a splash of color  to their lips. But, did you every stop to wonder what might be inside that lipstick tube besides a beautiful color?

A group of concerned citizens has started a movement to curb the unhealthy ingredients utilized in today’s cosmetic products. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics began in 2004 as a way to influence legislators and to establish reforms to eliminate dangerous chemicals and other ingredients in cosmetic products. This is especially important for lipsticks, as most women inadvertently consume approximately four pounds of lipstick during their lifetime.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website (, during October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipsticks for lead content. The study found that 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead, with some of today’s most popular cosmetic lines having the highest levels. For example, certain lipsticks produced by Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Maybelline, and Revlon all contained lead. These products continue to be produced, even though science dictates that there is no safe level of lead exposure.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics stated that exposure to lead can cause a multitude of health issues including: fatigue, sleeplessness, headaches, mental impairment, irritability, hearing problems, and abdominal pain. “Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure,” according to Mark Mitchell, M.D., MPH, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.

Fortunately for lipstick lovers everywhere, there are products available that are free of lead and other questionable health ingredients. One Chippewa Valley resident represents a company that contains a full-line of lead-free lipsticks, along with other healthy, natural, and herbal products. Pam Jaffke has been a Sunrider independent business owner since 1998.

For Jaffke, the Sunrider products have been a welcome relief from her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1995. According to Jaffke, her multiple sclerosis was advancing rapidly; however, she feels that the Sunrider products have allowed her to stop taking medications and have caused the multiple sclerosis symptoms to occur much less frequently.

“I have found what a huge difference the skin products make for me,” explained Jaffke. Of course, Jaffke always stresses the natural ingredients of the Sunrider product line. When she is explaining the Sunrider cosmetic products to potentially interested customers, Jaffke is sure to explain the dangers of other lipsticks, which are petroleum-based. The Sunrider lipsticks use bee’s wax, instead of the candle wax that is found in petroleum-based products.

In fact, Jaffke does a demonstration to ensure people note the differences between a petroleum-based lipstick and a plant-based lipstick, such as that provided by Sunrider. “During demonstrations, we actually heat up the two lipsticks. Those that are petroleum-based have a foul smell and people have a better idea of what these types of products can do to their lips and bodies,” said Jaffke.

Jaffke is very pleased that consumers are becoming more health-conscious and aware of what they are using as cosmetics. “For the quality and safety of the products, I believe the products are a bargain,” Jaffke said. The Sunrider line of skin care, personal care, and cosmetics, known as Kandesn, is only advertised through satisfied customers, such as Pam Jaffke. “I really do believe the quality is superior and the products last longer because of the concentration amount in each one,” Jaffke stated.

Although women want to look their best, it is important to remember healthy choices when seeking new cosmetic products. Consumers should research lipsticks and other cosmetics prior to purchase to ensure they are obtaining lead-free products. For more information, please see and

Beet Red Lip Gloss


  • ¼ cup beeswax
  • ¼ cup castor oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • beet juice

Melt beeswax, remove from heat and add oils. Add as much beet juice as desired for color. Store in jar.

Lip Balm


  • 3 tablespoons grated unbleached beeswax
  • 5 teaspoons carrier oil (sunflower, castor or jojoba)
  • 6 or 7 drops essential oil (such as lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit or peppermint)
  • 1 teaspoon honey, for flavor

Melt the beeswax and carrier oil together in the top of a double boiler, stirring to combine. Remove from heat; add honey and essential oil. Mix thoroughly so the honey does not clump. To add a little color, stir in a tiny dab of lipstick with a coffee stirrer. Pour the mixture into containers; let sit 20 minutes before covering or moving. For glossier lip balm, use 2 teaspoons wax and 8 teaspoons carrier oil.

Here is a link to the site:

The Green Guide’s Tips to Nail Products

While nails seem hard and impermeable, they are actually porous and absorbent. Be aware that even water-based polishes and plant-based removers may contain potentially irritating ingredients that could be absorbed either by your nails or by the skin surrounding your nails. Use products with the following ingredients with care:

Acrylic, Styrene/acrylate polymer and acrylate copolymers: These polymers could cause dermatitis and nasal irritation, and repeated exposure to nail salon workers may lead to asthma. There’s also the potential for them to be contaminated with more problematic methacrylic resins.

Benzophenone-1: This compound is a suspected hormone disruptor.

Ethyl lactate: Ethyl lactate is a volatile solvent that is flammable and can irritate the skin and respiratory tract. The EPA has noted some possibility that prolonged, repeated exposure to ethyl lactate may cause neurological damage.

Polyurethane formers and binders: Toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a component of polyurethane, can cause airway sensitivity and chemically induced asthma.