By Lisa Petty

life preserver thecclub.orgSo far in this series, we’ve focused on some of the dangerous chemicals in beauty and body care products. Let’s shift gears now and shed the light on healthy, beautiful choices!

Any chemist will tell you the importance of a having a good preservative in a body care product. Otherwise, mould and bacteria can start to spoil your purchase as soon as you take off the lid. Unfortunately, some chemical preservatives bring a whole new set of problems to the potion. Parabens, for example, are ubiquitous in body care products because they are cheap, plentiful and don’t seem to trigger skin reactions – but as I’ve written about previously, parabens can create ugly health consequences.

Better safe than sorry.  Non-toxic, natural choices will preserve your purchase and your health. Opt for body care products made without water, as H2O is essential for the growth of bacteria and mould. A combination of natural oils including ingredients like lavender, tea tree, lemon, vitamin E, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary, neem, oregano, cinnamon and vanillin  provide broad-spectrum preservative protection for beauty and body care products.

Strike oil

Who didn’t grow up with a tub of petroleum jelly in the bathroom? While no one can argue petroleum jelly’s ability to trap moisture, it also prevents the elimination of toxins and waste products from skin, and prevents the absorption of oxygen and moisture from the air. That means that if you keep using it, eventually your skin will be drier than when you first rubbed it on. Petroleum jelly, along with paraffin and propylene glycol, are derivatives of mineral oil, which is known to cause cancer. So why use it?

Opt for similar texture in products made with cold pressed oils, vegetable butters, beeswax and jojoba wax. Castor oil and coconut oil also remain on the skin longer than other oils, helping to trap precious moisture while still allowing your skin to breathe. Not surprisingly, these are the same ingredients you’ll find in a pucker-saving lip balm. Sweet almond oil is a beautiful skin moisturizer, and jojoba oil has many of the same properties as human sebum (oil), making it the perfect non-clogging facial moisturizer.

Stay tuned for the next edition in the series If Looks Could Kill 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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