Monday, August 23, 2010

My Mean, Green, New Beauty Regime

I’m not a germa-phobe, a neat-freak, or OCD. I just came back from camping for 3 days (almost died!) and my friends thought it was completely fine to NOT wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer that I was carrying around with me all day long, constantly asking if anyone wanted to squirt, after using the yucky outhouse. Then, they would go prepare unwashed food with their poo-infested hands. “This is what you do when you’re camping!” they would say. “What are you afraid of, it’s not like you’re gonna die!”

I’ve always had a strict regime about what I put into my body. I make sure that I wash all my fruits and vegetables thoroughly (and try to eat organic when possible). I abide by expiry dates. I always double check everything to make sure it’s fully cooked. And, believe this, I clean my hands before I eat. Shocking, eh?

But what about the crap I put on my skin, my face, my hair, my elbows, my nostrils? How in the hell am I going to get rid of 3 overflowing baskets of body products piled in my bathroom cabinet within my lifetime? And what exactly is in the stuff that I slather all over my innocent body everyday? So, I did a little research.

Here’s what you should know about body products:
-They are often loaded with chemicals, preservatives & synthetic ingredients, which can harm your body & the environment
-Companies often mass produce them with cheap ingredients & keep them stored in their warehouses for long periods of time before they make their way to you
-A lot of them are made using palm oil, which destroys the rainforest
-Although a product may be labeled “not tested on animals” it doesn’t mean that the ingredients themselves weren’t tested on animals
-When you apply product to your skin, it gets absorbed and goes directly to your bloodstream. And our bodies are covered with it!
-Most companies use tons of non-recycled packaging. A lot of people throw their empty shampoo bottles directly into the garbage, which in turn takes up tons of room in landfills
-Most products don't have expiry dates -- yuck! How long can you use them for?

This is a popular shower wash from Bath & Body Works. I can't pronounce half of these ingredients. And of course the "finished product" is not tested on animals -- but what about the pre-finished product?

So I invited my friends over. They graciously took all my half-used bottles of toxins. Then I started fresh.
Enter Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. 

Turkish Delight Body Polish. You apply it in the shower & it polishes, moisturizes, and leaves your skin smelling like you bathed in rose petals. I know what most of these ingredients are -- and I can pronounce them too!

Most of their products come with a sticker of who made it, when it was made, and when it expires. Plus, who doesn't want a cute cowboy mixing up their shower jelly goodness?
 Fresh facemasks. Oatfix smells like yummy cookie dough. BB Seaweed is loaded with moisturizing seaweed chunks. Plus, if you bring any 5 clean black pots to a Lush store for recycling, they give you a free facemask like these. Saweet.
Some of my fave Lush products

Why you should shop at Lush:
-They do zero animal testing. This means that they do not buy their ingredients from companies that do animal testing either
-70% of their products have no packaging (they are called naked products: solid shampoo bars, solid conditioner bars, massage bars, soap bars, bath bombs, bath melts, body butters, sugar scrubs, emotibombs, bubble bars, etc.)
-All of their products are vegetarian, and the majority are vegan too
-They use natural, organic ingredients in their products, which they hand make in small batches. These are sent out to stores following store demand (this means that products don't sit in their warehouses for years)
-The packaging they do use is recyclable and made from 100% recycled materials. They can also gift wrap items in scarves made from recycled plastic bottles.
-They buy fair trade ingredients from small farmers & use no palm oil (yay, save the rainforest!)
-They support charities with their Charity Pot hand & body lotion & raise awareness about important environmental issues
-Their products smell great, last a long time, and make you feel like a princess :)

Seriously, after I'm done school, I may go and work at a Lush store for life.

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