News / sustainable skincare

Great things happening 2019

Great things happening 2019. It’s not only gloom and doom. Even if we have a long way to go. Here are some small steps in the right direction.
Many countries and states are banning elephants and other animals from performing at the circus.
A ban on microbeads in personal care products such as shower gels, toothpaste, cleaning products, etc takes effect 2019. These microbeads are so small, they pass through the filters in the water treatment plants and end up in our waters where they absorb toxins and are eaten by marine life and eventually ending up on our plates. Microbeads are not biodegradable so they stay around forever.
There has been a nonsmoking policy in enclosed areas in the EU for several years and from 2019 in Sweden you can no longer smoke in outside cafés, train platforms and outside public buildings. Yay!
Next year 2020 EU is restricting the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Now all farm animals routinely get antibiotics even if they are not sick with the exception on organic farms . Next year only sick animals will get antibiotics. Doesn’t sound very appetizing to me. Livestock farming contributes 18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is more than all emissions from ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transport put together.
We can all contribute by eating less or no meat at all.
Feel good result from a study made 2018 by fishing trawlers in the North Sea, previously they picked up 40% plastic bags, now it’s 16%
It shows that the little things you and me are doing makes a difference.

Beautiful photo by www.veronicacampbell.se

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Natural Perfumes

By Maggie Mahboubian

First printed at Mindbodygreen.com

 

Perfumery is undergoing a quiet revolution. The emergence of natural perfumery has ignited a strong interest in the genre, but many still don't understand the difference between a natural perfume and its synthetic counterpart—until they smell it on their wrist.

So what differentiates a natural perfume? For one, they are made entirely of materials derived from botanical (or natural) sources as opposed to molecules that are synthesized in a laboratory. Most commercially available perfumes are made with a high percentage of synthetically derived ingredients (around 95 percent). Many niche and indie brands also use synthetics but tend to include higher percentages of naturals to add complexity to their blends. These perfumes are usually referred to as "mixed media."

Before the invention of synthetically derived aroma molecules in the mid-1800s, vanillin being the first, perfumes were made with traditional extractions such as steam-distilled essential oils, tinctures, and enfleurages. The sources for these extractions were either botanical—flowers, leaves, twigs, buds, bark, resins, seeds, and roots—or animal such as ambergris (sperm whale sputum), castoreum (beaver gland), deer musk, civet (paste from anal gland), and hyraceum (fossilized urine).

Natural extractions are highly complex combinations of naturally occurring chemical constituents. A chemical analysis of a rose otto (steam distillation of rose petals) will reveal upward of 400 different and distinct naturally occurring chemicals that are present in various concentrations. Certain molecules such as geraniol, citronellol, or phenyl ethyl alcohol are present in higher concentrations and are responsible for the smell we recognize as "rose." But there are other components that help round out the scent. These ratios vary from flower to flower, season to season, and terroir, the location where the plant is cultivated. Soil conditions, water, sunlight, and climate conditions all contribute to the makeup of these chemicals and to their yield. Nature is a brilliant perfumer!

The rise of synthetically derived materials expanded the perfumer's palette. It also allowed perfumers to add constituents that would enhance or increase the concentration of a particular odor, rose, for example. Synthetic perfumery ingredients are individual molecules that are either found in nature (linalool, for example) and replicated from a non-botanical source or designed and created by a chemist (iso E super). A perfume made with synthetic ingredients often includes many notes blended into accords that build up a complex composition (some perfumes can have over 200 ingredients). By comparison, a natural perfume combines fewer ingredients that must be blended judiciously so as to maintain a clear structure that holds together during dry-down.

Nature is a brilliant perfumer!


All perfume compositions have a structure made up of top, heart, and base notes. Top notes are ingredients that have small molecular masses, which are more volatile. These include citruses, herbal, and high vibration notes that the nose experiences first. They are the introduction to a perfume. Heart notes include florals and spices, which have greater longevity and create the main plot of a perfume. Base notes like musks and woods are large molecules that have low volatility, which the nose does not pick up immediately. These have the greatest longevity and serve as the conclusion of a perfume.

Natural perfumes have less longevity and do not contain fixatives, which can help top notes last longer and remain linear. This allows the wearer to layer or change their perfume wardrobe throughout the day. The morning nose tends to favor lighter, brighter notes, but by evening the nose is fatigued and needs heavier notes, which is probably why perfumes like Opium or Shalimar are best worn at night.

Natural perfumes also have less sillage or throw. They go on strong but quickly conform to the body. Synthetic perfumes, however, have greater longevity and sillage. They go on strong and can remain strong for hours. This is because synthetic aroma molecules break down more slowly than natural compounds and persist in the environment for longer periods. Some musks can remain on clothing for years.



This is an exciting time for perfumers because there are more creative options to explore. Gone are the days when commercial perfumery dominated the market. The rise of niche (independent perfume houses) in the 1990s opened the doors to artisan perfumery, individual perfumers who conceive, compound, bottle, and market their work themselves. Most natural perfumers are artisans who also make some of the ingredients in their perfume compositions. These can include tinctures, enfleurages, and essential oils that revive traditional methods lost to the commercial world. This sets natural perfumes apart from commercial fragrances, which lack variety and smell the same from batch to batch. Artisan perfumers, like winemakers, work with variable ingredients that make their perfumes unique and one-of-a-kind.


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Everything you need to know about natural skin care

by Manon Verchot  

First published on Treehugger.com


It turns out beauty is more than skin deep:

The average person slathers, lathers, rubs and sprays, 10 different skin care products on his or her body every day--and since our skin acts more like a sponge than a barrier, we absorb the nearly 130 chemicals we regularly expose ourselves to. Cosmetics companies and the FDA maintain that these chemicals are safe, and many of them are--in small doses at least. But consider that the average woman wears makeup every day, and you begin to understand how a little dab here a quick spray there begins to add up. The fact is, no one really knows how certain chemicals affect us over time, or how they react in our bodies in combination. Other chemicals have known dangers: Phthalates, for example, which are often found in artificial fragrances, are a class of hormone disruptor which can be linked to birth defects, sperm damage, infertility, and the feminization of baby boys, for instance.

Almost 90 percent of the 10,500 cosmetics and skin care ingredients known to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the FDA, or any other publicly accountable institution, according to the Environmental Working Group. To be fair, no one's dropping dead after a using a mascara wand or a body wash, and manufacturers have an interest in creating products that don't harm their customers. But complex chemicals with potential unknown side effects lead us to follow the Precautionary Principle. That is to say, if we'd prefer to err on the side of safety until we know. We're not the only ones who feel this way: More than 1,110 personal-product ingredients have been banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union because of concerns that they may cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive ills. By contrast only 10 are banned in the U.S.

How to green your beauty routine


Simplify
Don't be fooled by cosmetic advertising: Myriad creams, lotions, and potions at the drugstore and cosmetics counter make promises they could never deliver on. (Trust us, all the fancy products in the world will never turn the tide of aging.) Eye creams, for instance, rarely vary in formulation from your basic facial moisturizer. Our recommendation is to keep it simple: All you need is a basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Everything else is just dressing.
Make Sure "Natural" Is Really Natural
Toxic synthetic chemicals are the biggest issue in the beauty industry today, so it pays to hone a keen eye when it comes to examining product labels. For example, it's counterintuitive, but unfortunately, the words "natural" and "all-natural" are not regulated labeling terms. A great resource is the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site, which rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity.

Say No to Fragrance
A loophole in federal law doesn't require companies to declare any of the dozens of toxic chemicals that a single product's fragrance mixture could contain. Artificial fragrances, which frequently contain phthalates, can also trigger allergic reactions and other health problems. Be mindful of the hidden dangers that "fragrance" or "parfum" listed on ingredients labels can pose, and always choose fragrance-free products.

Choose Nontoxic, Recyclable Packaging
You can never go wrong with glass because it's recyclable and has no danger of leaching toxins into the product contained within. As far as plastics go, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also known by the recycling code #1, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), #2, are most frequently accepted by municipal curbside recycling programs and are considered safe; polycarbonate (#7), may leach the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A, or BPA. Polypropylene (#5), another food-safe plastic, is also a good alternative, though less easily recycled. (To find a polypropylene recycler in your neighborhood, visit Earth911.org.)
Avoid containers that bear recycling code #3 and the letter "V", which refers to polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Dubbed "the poison plastic," PVC poses great environmental and health hazards from manufacture to disposal. In addition to releasing hydrochloric acid, cancer-causing dioxins, and other persistent pollutants into the air, water, and land during its production, PVC also contains additives and chemical stabilizers--such as lead, cadmium, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (a suspected carcinogen that is known to cause a host of reproductive and developmental defects)--that can leach, flake, or off-gas from the plastic throughout its life

Choose Organic Beauty and Grooming Products
Organic ingredients are those grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which is healthier for the planet and healthier for our bodies. Better yet are botanicals grown using biodynamic farming methods, which go beyond organic by emphasizing an even more holistic relationship between the soil, plants, and animals. 

Sidestep the Petrochemicals
Used to make emollients for face cream or found in the form of coal tar for scalp-treatment shampoos, petroleum byproducts can be contaminated by cancer-containing impurities. A nonrenewable and environmentally unfriendly resource, petroleum barely belong in your car, let alone on your skin. Identify it on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin.

Make Your Own Green Skin Care Treatments
The best way to know exactly what goes into your skincare products? Make your own. Not only will you save money and packaging, but you'll also get the satisfaction that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used in the process. You can whip up a simple, effective face mask using little more than honey and coconut oil, make a vegetable toner, or create a acne-fighting toner with green tea. And that's just for starters. 

Stay Beautiful Inside and Out by Being Healthy
You don't have to resort to a flurry of potions and lotions, chemical peels, or surgical face-lifts to get fresh, glowing skin. Diet and exercise should play vital roles in your skincare regimen, as well. Besides working up a good sweat to keep nutrient-carrying blood circulating throughout your body, be sure to feed yourself plenty of protein, healthy fats (such as omega-3 fish oils or flaxseed oils), complex carbohydrates, and fruit. Drinking six to eight glasses of water is also a boon for flushing out toxins that might otherwise show up on your skin.

Don't fall for exotic trends
Every now and then, a bizarre new trend promises to be the magic bullet for all your skin care woes but ends up being downright cruel, whether to you or the planet. The use of human and cow placenta extracts is at the top of our list for being kooky and just plain crazy, especially since they contain a raft of hormones. Another weird practice du jour is the fish pedicure, which involves having dozens of tiny nibbling carp exfoliate your feet in 94-degree Fahrenheit water, a procedure we're sure is not PETA-approved.



Natural Skin Care: By the Numbers

4 pounds: Average amount of lipstick a woman will ingest over her lifetime.

11: Percentage of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal-care products that the U.S. government has documented and publicly assessed for safety.
1,110+: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the European Union.
10: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the United States.
600: The number of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
20: Percentage of personal-care products that contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
22: Percentage of cosmetics contaminated with possible cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane.
$160 billion: Amount spent annually on skin- and hair-care, makeup, cosmetic surgery, fragrances, health clubs, and diet products.

Sources: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, The Environmental Working Group, The Economist

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