Toxin-Free Skincare Good Enough to Eat!

December 5, 2010
 I made a rare trip to the drugstore yesterday and was struck by the hundreds (maybe thousands) of skin care products. I would venture to say that 99% of them contain a plethora of toxic ingredients. You’ve probably heard the saying “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin”. Well, this is no joke. The skin is our largest organ and putting toxic lotions, shampoos, cosmetics, etc. on our body is akin to putting them in our mouth.  While we wait to see if the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 passes to help keep carcinogens out of skin care products and require companies to fully disclose their ingredients, there are plenty of clean products available.
I am fortunate to have two amazing companies here in NYC who offer incredibly pure products safe enough to eat (I’m just making a point here – I don’t think they would taste so good!) Khushi (means happiness in Hindu!) is owned and operated by Nicki Francis who lives in my neighborhood and is pure sunshine. Pure and Simple is how Nicki describes her products and I concur. They are pure, simple and they are wonderful! Don’t fret if you don’t live in NYC, you can order from Nicki online and I guarantee you will be happy you did!
Just up the road is another gem that I discovered a few years ago called Pratima Skincare Spa. Like a little oasis in bustling SOHO, Pratima is both a spa and skin care clinic owned by Dr. Pratima Raichur. Dr. Raichur is a chemist, botanist, doctor of naturopathy, Ayurvedic physician and author of the book Absolute Beauty – Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda. You can treat yourself to an Ayurvedic facial, massage or any number of other wonderful services as well as book a consultation with Pratima herself. A wide variety of products that are “lovingly handmade and concocted using pure herbs, roots, flower extracts and oils” are available both at the spa location at 110 Greene Street or online. An added bonus is the friendly staff and welcoming environment!
I recently began a quest to find equally clean cosmetics.  One benefit of using Pratima and Khushi products is that my skin has improved so much I find myself wearing less makeup. Still, every now and then it’s nice to put a little on, but not when it contains talc, lead, parabens and a host of other toxic ingredients that are known carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disruptors, etc. If there’s one thing you take away from this article I hope it’s the seriousness of this issue. You may think that there’s little harm in putting a negligible amount of lead on your lips every day but it’s a matter of a cumulative load of toxins assaulting your body from the outside-in.
Go to the Environmental Working Group’s SKIN DEEP Cosmetic Safety Database to check the safety of your cosmetics. One note: there are some very pure products that get a high (bad) rating due to fragrance, even though it’s natural.
My latest find is 100% Pure which is great – especially the mascara. I would love to hear from you if you have any clean cosmetics that you’ve discovered. Be good to your skin!

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