THE 9 WAYS TO GREEN YOUR COSMETICS New Zealand Herald 5:00AM Monday July 21, 2008 1: Chemical chaos – look at the label The biggest and most complicated issue regarding the cosmetics we use are the unregulated chemicals that are used to make them. The best advice is to learn the main ones to avoid and then check the product ingredient label. 2: No sweat – aluminium-free deodorant Aluminium has been found to cause skin irritation. Anti-perspirants prevent the body from eliminating toxins through perspiration. Try brands without aluminium, or the crystal stick which uses natural salts. 3: A natural smile? – toothpaste Many popular brands contain chemicals such as parabens, titanium dioxide for whitening, and high levels of fluoride. But natural toothpastes are available, and many people find that using a bit of baking soda will do the trick as well. 4: Taming the mane – hair care Watch out for shampoos and conditioners containing petroleum products, hair dyes with carcinogenic coal tar hairsprays and gels containing petroleum derivatives, formaldehyde and phthalates. 5: Oh so slick – petroleum-free products Mineral oil, paraffin, and propylene glycol can be found as basic ingredients in the majority of cosmetic products. Once again, is it essential to look for certified labels. Lip balm and gloss use petroleum – use beeswax instead. 6: How did you get your tan? The Ecologist says: “Because sun creams encourage a false sense of security, we stay out in the sun far longer than is smart or safe.” Look for natural sun creams and/or cover up in the sun and stay out of the midday heat. 7: Cruelty free – no animal testing Look for the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) label on products to check that they are cruelty free. It is the world’s only international standard for cosmetic or toiletry products that are not animal tested. The HCS was introduced in 1998. 8: Organic products Don’t be taken in by words such as natural, organic, or hypoallergenic on the labels; make sure the product has a certified label. Using organically produced ingredients means your cosmetics help the environment and you avoid absorbing chemical residues. 9: Toxic shock? – organic tampons and sanitary pads TSS is not the only health danger in these products. The chlorine bleaching is another to watch for. We recommend looking for 100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads, organic if possible.