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Organic Personal Care Products – Are They Really Safe?

24 Jun

In a recent press release the Center for Environmental Health identified 26 companies that are engaged in the business of selling personal care products that are mislabeled as “Organic”. Sadly, this is not the first time that the personal care industry has been called out on ingredients contained in their products and labeling on their packaging.  At the center of the lawsuit is The California Organic Products Act of 2003, specifically section 110838.(a) of the Health and Safety codes that quote “Cosmetic products sold, labeled, or represented as organic or made with organic ingredients shall contain, at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients.” (Organic Products Act of 2003).

As I researched the 2003 act I found that the California Organic Program is the agency that is responsible for upholding the enforcement of the California Organic Products Act of 2003 as well as the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. This agency works in conjunction with many other agencies and organizations that help coordinate and facilitate enforcement actions necessary for regulation of organic foods and product. One very notable agency is our very own USDA!  So you may be getting the idea right about now that this is not just a California issue, this is a big deal and it could have a significant impact on the labeling of skin care and cosmetics industry wide, in my opinion this is not necessarily a bad thing. Considering the far reaching impact of this lawsuit, many major retailers are carrying these alleged mislabeled products and that are being distributed in mass quantities to consumers who may not be ingredient savvy. If there are truly toxic ingredients contained in the product being distributed by the companies mentioned in the lawsuit, the labels should provide clear warning to the consumer for the purpose of making an educated choice about what they are putting on themselves or their children. While reading the press release, the example of toxic ingredients reported on was a children’s hair care product that reportedly contains ingredients that are known to cause cancer. The article went on to provide examples of the warning labels stating blindness and serious injury if the product(s) was not properly used.

What do you think? Is this all hype? Or do you feel this is a serious matter? Should consumers be concerned about companies that are intentionally or otherwise mislabeling their goods?  Please post a comment and share your thoughts.

Sources/Information: Center for Environmental Health (CEH), View the full list of personal care products companies at CEH, The California Organic Program, Organic Products Act of 2003, News Coverage

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5 Benefits of Antioxidants

2 Sep
beautytrixWe’ve all heard that to get healthy skin we should consume foods rich in antioxidants. Berries, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grain are all said to contain healthy antioxidants. But what are the real benefits?

1.) Antioxidants help to combat cellular damage caused by free radicals. They do this by neutralizing the free radicals. Free radicals are unstable cells that attempt to attach to healthy cells for stabilization, in doing so, they cause damage.

2.) Because antioxidants combat cellular damage, they also help provide better looking and healthier skin. Cellular breakdown slows and this facilitates firmer and more youthful skin.

3.) Sustained eye health is also among the reported benefits of antioxidants.

4.) Antioxidants help to keep your heart healthy. Free radical damage is thought to contribute to heart disease. By neutralizing the free radicals, you also increase your ability to fight heart disease.

5.) Finally, antioxidants are believed to help combat cancer. Thought not a cure, by incorporating healthy foods rich in antioxidants and reducing your intake of unhealthy or processed foods, you increase your ability to fight cancer.

As with anything that you put into your body, moderation is key. Too many antioxidants can actually be harmful according to some resource.  Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own health and well being, thus I encourage anyone to increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, and less processed foods. As a general rule of thumb, your food selections should incorporate color. If everything on your plate is brown, you may want to grab a serving or two (1-2 coups) of some veggies or fruit! Add some color.

Be healthy!

~BeautyTrix XOXO

A New Leaf

25 Jun

Here we are again, its mid-year and that passion for diet and exercise has all but gone out the window! Maybe I am speaking only for myself. At any rate, last week I once again said “enough is enough” and decided that it was time to get back into a regular routine. I’ve started eating more vegetarian meals, incorporated a nice circuit training routine and I’m feeling pretty darn great! The trick will be keeping up the momentum as I work through my last few weeks of school.

Reflection On 2009

22 Dec

Here we are at the end of another year. As tradition dictates, many of us reflect on the past year and ponder what the New Year will bring.

The local and world events of 2009 will not soon be forgotten as so many dear friends, family members, and acquaintances were affected by some of the worst economic conditions in history. As we close this holiday season, with a little less than a bang, many of us are reflecting on the simple things in life, like family, a roof over our heads and even a steady paycheck.

Some close friends and I spent an afternoon over tea discussing what we truly appreciated about this past year. In doing so, we recognized that much of what we were thankful for was not the material possessions and a big fat 401K (which dropped to nothing and is now slowly recovering). Rather, the things we were most thankful for were healthy changes that we all made during this economic down turn.    

The first hot topic, home cooked meals. Fresh cooked, healthy, homemade meals were at the top of the “thankful” list. With less disposable income, many of us choose to make home cooked meals rather than eat out on a regular basis. Though this took some additional effort and personal planning, the end result was healthier choices and happier families. The overwhelming consensus was that more time was spent at the dinner table engaged in quality discussions that reinforced positive family interactions. Tip; learn to love your crock pot!

Next on the “thankful” list was creative fitness time. While many of us dropped our gym membership to save some dough during times of uncertainty, we all found new ways to get our fitness on. Power walking around the neighborhood, walking our pets, and intense cardio work outs in our living rooms did the trick…the result, we all realized that tough we love the gym; we can actually live without it. A creative solution for some of us was to purchase pedometers and heart monitors. These fantastic tools can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a month’s gym membership. This was a learning experience that I am glad I had to opportunity to live through, though I must admit that I am back at the gym 4 times a week now and loving every moment of it.

Last but not least on our “thankful” list was a realization of how important it is to prioritize the important things in life. Having the latest fashion, gadget, home good, or the newest pair of Christian Louboutin shoes just does not seem as important as it did two years ago. Rather, most of us have learned the ways of being the epitome of frugal fashionista, money wise house wife or money savvy career gal. Regardless of who we are, we all put our own spin on not only saving money and reprioritizing our lives, but also adding a greater level of personal satisfaction and fulfillment in all that we do on a daily basis.

What changes did you make during 2009? Are these changes sustainable? Share your thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

The New Years Resolution

21 Dec

Tis’ the season!…to make our resolutions for the New Year. So how about that commitment that we all have made at one point or another to take better care of ourselves? Quit smoking, stop drinking, eat better, exercise, read more books, the list goes on and on and every year we dutifully break our promises (some of us anyway!).

This year, I started on my new years resolution early…as in September early. My goals are simple

1.) Eat healthful most of the time

2.) Exercise 3-5 days per week and

3.) Gain a greater awareness of what my body needs to be healthy and happy from the inside out.

Seems simple enough, and so far I have been reasonably strong, but flexible in my commitment. The result? I’ve lost 21 lbs. I feel 100% better and it has become easier to make good choices. The process has been long, but to be honest, making the changes over time has proven to be a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps that is the key to keeping a New Years resolution, keep it simple, achievable and don’t beat yourself up if you have to take it slow?

Share your thoughts and comments.

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