By Lisa Petty

Woman Soaking Her FeetWe all want to look our best. But what if your cosmetics and beauty care products are making you sick?

Nail tips

If you like to extend color to your toes and fingers, you’re likely quite practiced at holding your breath. Otherwise, you’d subject yourself to inhalant toxicants like toluene, linked to central nervous system damage, dizziness, drowsiness, unconsciousness and liver damage. A 2009 animal study also links inhaled toluene to poisoning of embryos. Acetate is another inhaled poison in that little bottle, which is known to trigger eye, nose and throat irritation as well as nausea and vomiting.

Give your nails – and lungs! – the occasional break, and opt for a natural pedicure on occasion. Healthy, buffed nails are a shiny extension of your good looks. When you feel the need to paint on a touch of color, look for water-based polishes. With each stroke of that brush, the only thing that will evaporate in the air is water. Good for you and the environment!

The best way to keep a healthy glow is to be healthy. Choose safe and natural personal care products that will help you look good today – and every day after that.

Bonus: Try An All-Natural Pedicure

Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes; for an invigorating soak, add peppermint or rosemary essential oil to the water. If you want a relaxing end to your day, opt instead for lavender or rose oil.

Use a nailbrush to clean under and around your nails and to scrub the bottoms of your feet. Gently exfoliate with a pumice stone or foot scrub, taking care not to remove too much of the protective outer layer. Regular exfoliation should help remove painful corns and calluses.

When you’ve had your soak, thoroughly dry your feet. Then carefully push back your cuticles with an orange stick. Never cut your cuticles, as doing so can lead to infection. Using straight-edge clippers, trim your toenails to a length near the end of your toes to prevent the nail from growing painfully into the skin around it.

Give yourself a well-deserved foot massage with coconut, olive, or avocado oil, and slip on a pair of cotton socks.


Stay tuned for the next edition in the series for practical tips to help you boost your healthy, natural beauty.

About This Guest Blogger

Lisa PettyExcerpted from Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well (©2006 Fitzhenry & Whiteside) by Lisa Petty.

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