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
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
Apple Cider VinegarVinegar is one of the oldest and most useful remedies in the world, and of the many forms of vinegar available today, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is widely recognized as the most potent and beneficial. Unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar is loaded with raw enzymes and beneficial bacteria which promote healthy digestion, blood-glucose levels, hormones, and a number of other bodily functions. Apple cider vinegar can also be used to boost hair health, relieve sinus pressure and even acts as an effective insect repellent.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch HazelWitch hazel – a topical astringent derived from the bark and leaves of the North American witch-hazel shrub – has long been recognized by Native Americans for its medicinal properties. This popular herbal remedy is recognized world-wide as a natural cleanser and toner, but witch hazel has many more uses than simply to clarify skin and shrink pores. Use witch hazel to fade bruises, stop bleeding, neutralize bug bites, and much more.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil of all of the ‘super foods’ on the market, coconut oil may just be the reigning champion of them all. Boasting a seemingly endless list of health benefits, organic virgin coconut oil has at least one positive effect on every system in the human body. From skin care, hair care and weight loss to hormone balance and mental acuity, this is one ingredient you definitely need in your home!
4. Epsom Salt
Epsom saltEpsom salt – chemically known as magnesium sulfate – was first discovered in the waters of the like-named spring in Surrey, England. A must-have natural remedy for every home, Epsom salt may be used for everything from washing hair and relaxing cramped muscles to scrubbing dishes and deterring slugs from your garden.
5. Baking Soda
Baking sodaSodium bicarbonate – commonly known as baking soda – is one natural remedy with a long list of health benefits and uses. It can be taken internally by mixing with water, applied topically, and used orally as a mouth rinse. Use baking soda to promote digestive health, reduce acidity in the body, kill parasites, prevent gout, and much, much more! We have baking soda in our natural deodorant Undercover agent.
6. Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink SaltThe Himalayas are now the tallest mountains in the world, spanning 2400 kilometers across Asia at the joining of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates. However, 250 million years ago, these proud peaks lay at the bottom of a primordial sea. Within that ancient body of water existed a perfect, pristine ecosystem that was slowly pushed skyward as the plates of the earth shifted. The ancient waters evaporated, exposing all of its life-sustaining minerals to the heat of the sun which crystallized them into what we now know as Himalayan pink salt.
Because of the conditions by which it was formed, this purest of sea salts is one of the best sources of natural minerals on the planet. From lowering blood pressure to clearing sinuses, this is one salt you’ll be happy to put on your food!
7. Lavender Oil
Lavender oilLavender oil is one of the world’s most popular and versatile herbal essential oils. Its health benefits range from pain relief and mental clarity to use as an anti-bacterial cleanser and a natural deodorant. Lavender oil may also be used as the “hero ingredient”in a number of DIY health, home and beauty products – such as a cooling spray, hair spray, sleep balm and so much more
8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oilTea tree oil is distilled from the leaves of the Australian tea tree, Melalenca alternifolia (not to be confused with extract of the edible tea plant (Camellia sinensus.) Although tea tree oil is highly toxic when ingested, it has a surprising number of topical uses to cure or prevent a whole host of everyday maladies – including acne, nail fungus, insect bites and more. Plus it can be used in a number of cleaning recipes due to its powerful antimicrobial abilities.
9. Aloe Vera
aloe veraAloe Vera has been popular throughout history, used to treat both internal and external maladies. Widely recognized for its ability to soothe pain and inflammation caused by burns – specifically those from sunburn – Aloe Vera is a highly underrated herbal remedy with many other awesome applications. Use Aloe Vera for better skin and hair, to detoxify your body, or as a digestive aid.
10. Castile Soap
Castile soapTraditionally made from olive oil, “Castile” is the name given to any soap made from purely vegetable-based lipids instead of animal-based tallow. Castile soap is both gentle on skin and bio-degradable. It is a “true soap” and not simply a chemical detergent. This wonderful product is incredibly versatile and can be used as the main ingredient in everything from all-natural dish detergent to Eco-friendly dog shampoo
By Janice Taylor
Here at True Organic of Sweden we look at the full picture when developing skin care products. For example All You Need Is Me has a tube made out of sugar cane. Here comes words from MJ Deschamps on why it is important!
By Mj Deschamps
Green packaging developments and demand are on the increase in the beauty industry MJ Deschamps discovers
With waste regulations becoming increasingly tight worldwide, and consumers’ environmental consciousness growing, the global personal care products industry has taken note of the lean towards ‘green’, and is starting to reduce packaging complexity.
This is despite leading organic products marketing research firm Organic Monitor recently releasing a not-so-optimistic report on sustainable packaging in the beauty sector – saying that although packaging has the highest environmental footprint within the realm of cosmetics products, it appears to be largely ignored when beauty companies look at sustainability. Indeed many cosmetics companies, both large and small, seem determined to disprove that claim.
Greater consumer awareness about waste disposal and more stringent government regulations will, according to market research group Global Industry Analysts (GIA), drive the global market for sustainable packaging to US$142.42bn in size by 2015. The GIA’s 2010 report, Sustainable (Green) Packaging: A Global Strategic Business Report, identifies the cosmetics and personal care industry as being a key driving force in growing sustainable packaging.
The report says that together Europe and the US account for more than 70% of the global sustainable packaging market and in the US alone recycled material accounts for the largest packaging category, contributing nearly 90% to the total demand.
Meanwhile another recent report from Colorado-based Pike Research goes further by suggesting that the sustainable packaging market is growing much faster than the general packaging industry. Its size is expected to double from $88bn last year to $170bn in 2014, says Pike. Market research firm Mintel has also identified that recycling and eco-friendly materials will play a major role within the beauty industry in 2011, having seen new skin care products with environmentally friendly packaging increase 5% last year, compared to 2009.
“In general terms, all cosmetics manufacturers are looking at packaging which is sustainable and has fewer environmental effects,” says Paul Crawford, head of regulatory and environmental services at the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association (CTPA) in the UK.
One popular sustainable material being used in the green packaging sector today is recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET). PET has been a favourite choice for personal care product packaging due to its similarities with glass, and because it is a 100% recyclable material.
Natural ranges need packaging sympatheic to the product message – Luxsit Organic Care chose M&H Plastics for its Naturligt Vis line
With a predicted CAGR of 6.5%, the PET packaging industry is tipped to be worth $42bn by 2015, according to Pira International, the worldwide authority on the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains.
The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) came out with a study in 2010 that provides lifecycle inventory (LCI) data for recycled PET and high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic resins. The study’s LCI report indicates that incorporating recycled PET resin in the manufacture of a package significantly reduces the environmental footprint of that package in terms of production energy required and greenhouse gas emissions.
The study also found that recycled PET actually requires less energy to produce than the equivalent tonnage of virgin PET resin. The corresponding saving in greenhouse gas emissions amounts to about 1.1 million tonnes of CO² equivalents, according to the study.
Although there is growing research in bioplastics packaging, there is still a challenge to creating these materials for the cosmetics industry, since high heat sensitivity and water permeability prevent such packaging being used for products such as creams, lotions and shampoos, according to Organic Monitor.
Several companies are paving the way though, including US-based Mirel, which is currently developing bioplastic materials to replace petroleum polymers such as polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC). Another is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of packaging containers, Johnsen & Jorgensen, which recently entered into a distribution deal with Artenius PET Packaging UK to release an environmentally friendly range of recycled PET bottles for the cosmetics industry, which use 25% post-consumer recycled PET material. UK-based Neal’s Yard Remedies is also currently using ‘post-consumer regrind polyethylene’ (PCR) terephthalate bottles for a number of its natural and organic personal care products.
Also, US-based Banana Packaging, another worldwide supplier specialising in biodegradable cosmetics packaging, has recently introduced a new biodegradable product line called EcoBlendz, where packaging products are made from a special additive that when blended with many plastic-based resins such as PE, PET, PS, PP, PVC and PETG, renders them 100% biodegradable.
Brazil-based Braskem has also recently developed a sugarcane polyethylene packaging material that is garnering an increasingly high profile in the beauty industry on account of the fact that it is compatible with a variety of liquid formulations.The material is already being used by key Brazil cosmetics player Natura for a cream hand soap product, while Procter & Gamble (P&G) has included it as part of the packaging for products in its Pantene Pro V hair care range as well as its CoverGirl and Max Factor colour cosmetic ranges. True organic of Sweden uses this for their products.
DuPont sustainability study identifies packaging challenges
The need to package food, consumer and industrial products in a more sustainable and affordable way dominates the worldwide packaging industry, according to DuPont’s global survey of consumer packaged goods companies and packaging converters.
To identify the top issues facing the packaging industry, DuPont conducted an online survey of packaging professionals in March 2011. More than 500 packaging professionals were surveyed and over 40% cited sustainability as the toughest challenge while 33% named cost as a major factor.
“Sustainable, cost effective solutions that reduce packaging’s environmental footprint are a top goal across geographies,” said Bill Harvey, president, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.
Meeting sustainability challenges requires multiple strategies. Of those respondents working on sustainable packaging:
65% say their efforts are focused on design for recyclability or use of recycled content
57% are focused on weight reduction
41% rely on renewable or biobased materials
25% say they are focused on compostable materials.
“These survey results confirm that there are many pathways to improving packaging sustainability,” said Harvey. “It starts with close collaboration throughout the value chain to spark innovation.”
In a bid to respond to requirements, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers says it offers customers a number of ways to enhance the sustainability of their products. For example, DuPont Fusabond resins are modified polymers that help bond dissimilar polymers to help facilitate recycling. The high-performance characteristics of the company’s Surlyn ionomer help reduce the total amount of material in packaging structures. And DuPont’s Biomax Strong modifier is designed to helps bio-based PLA (polylactic acid) products gain more widespread use by enhancing performance attributes that limit its acceptance. Meanwhile Biomax PTT resin, with up to 35% renewably sourced content, can replace petroleum-derived polyesters to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and net emissions of greenhouse gases without compromising performance, according to the company.
Robert Richman is the chairman and manufacturing head at US company Be Green Packaging, whose packaging products are made up of blends of plant fibres and 100% compostable and recyclable materials. He says Be Green recently produced new packaging in the UK and Europe for Procter & Gamble’s Gillette Fusion ProGlide razors, and that the main green packaging innovations his company and others are currently moving towards incorporate plant fibres and eco-friendly coatings. “These [ProGlide] packages have a major reduction of PET and plastic resins,” said Richman. Be Green’s products are blends of plant fibres and are 100% compostable and recyclable.
EcoBlendz by Banana Packaging has an additive that renders materials 100% biodegradable
In the same vein, US-based cosmetics company Urban Decay partnered with HCT Packaging to create the brand’s Sustainable Shadow Box, a compact made from bamboo. And America’s Tarte Cosmetics developed a reusable Spring Greening palette made from recyclable, sustainable straw. It also uses soy ink on its labels, which contains non-toxic soybean oil that can be easily stripped from paper during the de-inking and recycling process. Tarte has also created a system where consumers can even send their empty containers back to the company and get a discount off their next purchase.
In Italy, Leoplast, the country’s specialist in botanical-derived packaging for decorative cosmetics, recently decided to put together cardboard and bioplastics, two renewable raw materials, to design a line called Compostable Make Up. Cardboard is used for the base and cover while plant-derived plastic forms the internal mechanism and the cups containing the powders, resulting in a 100% plant-derived and biodegradable packaging.
“It is a unique combining solution for a sustainable pack from raw material made from vegetal and renewable origins,” says Marie-Laure Viellard, PR and communication manager at the Leoplast Group.
Twistub – let’s twist again
Twistub – created as a refillable environmentally friendly alternative to pump dispensers – has evolved, according to its makers. The original Twistub’s USP lay in its combining the financial and environmental benefits of a refill with the glamorous look and feel of traditional high-end packaging. Featuring a dispenser plus a refill pack, the system is operated by twisting the base to dispense a precise amount of cream or lotion. Once the product has been used, the consumer can buy a new refill and reuse the dispenser again and again.
Now, the team behind Twistub says it has improved the handling of the packaging by introducing a nozzle, meaning that the dispenser can be used for different types of cosmetic creams and lotions. The basics, however, remain the same, as do the main benefits, which include savings in both manufacturing costs and material usage when compared to traditional pump dispensers and airless systems.
“Eco-friendly retail is becoming increasingly cool, with consumers looking for different ways to play their part, while manufacturers are all facing unprecedented pressure to reduce plastic waste from their processes,” said Stephen Eldred, a founder of Twistub. “The latest developments for Twistub make it even more attractive to both customers and cosmetic companies. We are still keen to engage with as many cosmetic companies as possible now to give us the best chance of getting Twistub to where it belongs – on the shelf and in people’s homes.”
Economics & Innovation
Viellard admits that while companies are looking towards moving to green packaging it is not always easy, especially post-recession. “The interest is there and companies are trying to invest in R&D but it’s expensive,” she says. But Viellard adds that despite cost, Leoplast has been investigating green packaging solutions since 2004. “Global demand for [sustainable packaging] is driven by single use packaging building up in all of the world’s environments,” she says. “From plastic bags blowing in the wind to the huge garbage slicks in the oceans, package awareness is growing everywhere.”
From this summer, in western Europe, P&G will use sugar-based HDPE from Braskem to package its Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion hair care products
Be Green’s Richman agrees, adding that while recovery from the recession is now underway, rising prices in recycled materials are not of great concern to his company. “We are finding that business is better than ever as the world is now more aware of sustainable packaging,” he says. “[Be Green] is receiving many calls from new cosmetics companies all the time who want to move away from foam and plastics,” he says.
Viellard says that while prices for recycled materials are rising, the price of fossil plastics are rising as well. Because of this, companies are often actually getting more bang for their buck by developing bioplastics and recycled materials for their packaging, she explains.
UK company Curtis Packaging has recognised this and announced a boost to its R&D programme at the beginning of 2011 to concentrate on bringing the latest eco-friendly technology to beauty packaging while retaining consumer appeal.
“Last year, we installed a new system which reduced our waste collection – all for recycling – by 80%, as well as sophisticated systems through our sister company, 3D Creative – to create samples and trial runs which substantially cut the environmental impact, and indeed costs for many clients,” says Steve Mallet, sales director at Curtis.
A recent Curtis project was with UK designer Orla Kiely, who last year introduced a fragrance range. The product’s sustainable cartons were printed on the reverse of an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited material, using vegetable-based ink and a water-based coating.
Looking for sustainable solutions to packaging certainly opens up the door for a lot of innovative, eco-friendly solutions. The Twistub, for example, uses a revolutionary and environmentally aware packaging/refill concept for cosmetic creams. The package comes in two parts, a dispenser and a refill pack. Twisting the base of the pot dispenses a precise amount of the cream through a small aperture in the top of the refill, and when empty, the Twispak can then be replaced and the dispenser reused again and again.
Companies great & small
US-based Burt’s Bees has long made a firm commitment to only use packaging made from recycled materials and recently pioneered the use of TerraSkin Wraps, an alternative to paper packaging for soaps that is a treeless and bleach-free paper alternative. TerraSkin is mineral-based, with 80% of its calcium carbonate base being derived from post-industrial building material waste such as limestone scraps.
Meanwhile, UK-based Lush pushes the envelope by delivering more than half of its products (55%) without any packaging at all. Lush saves nearly 6 million plastic bottles globally from selling shampoo bars alone; 90% of all packaging material the company does use is recycled.
Compostable Make Up by Leoplast uses 100% plant-derived and biodegradable packaging, while Curtis provided cartons from FSC accredited material for Orla Kiely and used vegetable-based inks and a water-based coating
Although every little bit helps with smaller cosmetics companies moving towards sustainable packaging, it is nice to know that some of the biggest market players have jumped on the environmental bandwagon too. Estée Lauder’s Aveda has reduced its carbon footprint by recycling an estimated 37 million polypropylene caps to ensure that all its packaging is now made up of at least 80% recycled materials. According to Organic Monitor, Aveda is the largest user of PCR plastic in the industry, and its new environmental push is predicted to save an estimated 1 million tons in virgin plastic every year.
Meanwhile Procter & Gamble recently announced a major shift to plant-derived packaging for some of its leading global cosmetic brands, and is using sugarcane-derived plastic from Brazil’s Braskem.
L’Oréal also recently helped reduce the environmental impact of its packaging by introducing two new assessment tools to its package design process: its ‘sustainable packaging scorecard’ (SPS) and ‘packaging impact quick evaluation tool’ (PIQET).
SPS is a proprietary assessment tool that the company developed and piloted in 2010, the purpose being to evaluate the environmental sustainability of the company’s product packaging and to assess each new product under several criteria to determine how environmentally friendly its packaging is.
PIQET is an online tool that identifies and reviews actions to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, particularly at the design development stage.
P&G has announced the first year results of its Environmental Sustainability Supplier Scorecard programme, designed to track and encourage improvement on key environmental sustainability measures in the company’s supply chain. The first year focused on assessing whether P&G would receive clear data to measure future improvements and jump-start innovation, and the company found that most suppliers could not only track the requested sustainability measures, but that the process of innovation sharing had begun.
Deployed last year to nearly 400 strategic suppliers, P&G’s scorecard is designed to measure performance in three areas: enhancing supply chain collaboration; improving key environmental indicators; and encouraging the sharing of ideas and capabilities to deliver more sustainable products and services to consumers.
“Working with our external partners is clearly critical to realising our long-term environmental vision as a company and this scorecard is a helpful tool to facilitate that collaboration,” commented Len Sauers, P&G’s vp for global sustainability.
Under the scheme, suppliers are evaluated and scored from 1-5. Those that show exceptional performance are rewarded, while for partners that score poorly, the scorecard forms the basis for joint sustainability improvement plans. The list of participating suppliers has been expanded to approximately 600 and an upgraded version of the scorecard has been introduced for 2011 (www.pgsupplier.com), with changes including a more transparent and consistent rating methodology.
Looking to the future, nanotechnology might bring significant advances, so long as concerns about the migration of nanoparticles can be dealt with. While the European Cosmetics Association Colipa lists nanomaterials as being present in much ‘intelligent’ food packaging, the technology has only really made its way thus far into the actual beauty products themselves and can be found in sunscreens, skin care and toothpaste.
This slow uptake in nanotech packaging might be due to the cost of developing the new technology, according to Viellard, who says that while companies are trying to invest in R&D, such research is “very expensive”.
Crawford says he is optimistic, however, that the technology will soon make its way into cosmetics packaging as further research into the arena is conducted.
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“Nanotechnology is regarded as having the potential for enormous innovation across many industrial and scientific sectors,” says Crawford. “It should not automatically be regarded with suspicion or as not being green. New sustainable technologies depend on scientific innovation and nanotechnology may be able to play a role.”
Eco tube – a vision in green
A US-based biodegradable packaging specialist is currently seeking licensees across the globe for its eco friendly packaging solution for lip balms and other cosmetics formulated for packaging in a tube. Eco Vision’s Eco Tube is made from 100% certified post-consumer waste paper, biodegradable adhesives and coating, and may be printed with soy inks.
Eco Vision was recently issued a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the Eco Tube – formally named ‘Paper Tube Packaging with Open End and Coated Cap’ – and received a Green Packy Award at 2010’s Natural Foods Expo for the product.
All You Need Is Me has a tube made out of sugar cane, have you tried it?
At true organic of Sweden we are committed to sustainable, green packaging.
Love your skin, love our planet
True Organic of Sweden we only make pure products from organic ingredients with many benefits. If you are interested in reading more about the ingredients we use go to the ingredients page.
Why Organic Skincare? The benefits of natural beauty products.
Why Organic Skincare? I get asked this question quite often. Simply put, there are 2 reasons: the good Organic skincare products work better, and they are better for you. People are subject to tons of advertising from the industry giants trying to convince them that their synthetic formulas will work wonders on their skin.
Although small companies making pure, natural beauty products don’t have the advertising dollars needed to gain household recognition, the quality and performance of their products makes them worth searching out. If you are in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, choosing Organic skincare is a priority. The topic is enormous. It is impossible to cover all the points in one discussion. In this article I will go through the basic benefits of choosing natural beauty products. We will continue in greater detail in articles to come.
When you choose organic skincare, you are choosing products whose ingredients work with the sophisticated natural systems of your skin. Given the right nutrients, our skin has the ability to care for and mend itself. Our bodies use nutrients absorbed not only through food, but also through the skin. It is medically understood that what goes on your skin absorbs into your bloodstream and is carried through your body. Why is it that we are far more scrutinizing about what we put in our body than what we put on it? You have probably thought about the benefits of eating a healthy diet. It makes you wonder about the effects of all the chemicals in the skin products that you are slathering on and rubbing in.
The benefits of natural skincare and cosmetics
Why Organic Skincare? Avoiding chemicals and synthetics.
Why Organic Skincare? Rates of illness and disease continue to rise. There are increasing studies showing the connection between illness and chemicals. We need to eliminate or reduce exposure to synthetics. Synthetics are simply not necessary in skincare and in many cases synthetics are downright scary. These ingredients are often fast acting and invasive. Sometimes (and if you want my honest opinion; ALWAYS) they are causing harm we cannot see. Often this exposure rears its ugly head as skin irritation, chronic headaches, cancers, breathing disabilities, hormone disruption, etc, etc, etc. The range of symptoms is too vast to list everything, but you can see how it covers minor symptoms right up to life threatening consequences.
And for what?! you ask. I’ll tell you for what– first and foremost: money, cheap ingredients are easy to manufacture and market. Also, many commercial products will give you instant gratification with skincare results. Most of these products are designed to do a simple job to help you with one aesthetic purpose; Smoother less visible wrinkles, sun spots disappear, blemishes be gone! Sound familiar? These are just a few of the promises that have been made, and believe me, they can deliver. But all too often there is a high price: asphyxiation of the skin, accelerated dehydration, photosensitivity. In Plain english: cutting oxygen exchange to the skin, premature aging, increased risk of sun spots. Yes, the very evils we were initially fighting catch up to us ten-fold.
Hmmm, rather irritating isn’t it? But it is a simple truth we all know: Rarely are there quick fixes in life. We can however have all that we desire. Fortunately for us our skincare is one thing that is within our control. It really boils down to choices. The good ones, the ones that will give us optimal health and the glow we desire, are within our reach. Keep reading my blog. Learn from my advice and I will lead you to every problem solver you could ever hope for.
Why Organic Skincare? What is Organic skincare again?
When we say Organic Skincare, what we mean using skin products made of plant derived ingredients along with some other naturally occurring ingredients. These ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, GMO and so on and often come with an Organic certification. The integrity of these unadulterated ingredients is maintained in the best way possible with little to no additives. From here the best ingredients for the specific goal are chosen and a natural preservative system is used for longevity.
I hope that this has been an enlightening introduction as to why organic skincare is important. There are many benefits to using natural beauty products, but most importantly, they are better for your health, and they work. And work in a way that lasts a lifetime.
By : Stephanie Brown was an educator at the Aveda Institute before joining our team at Goldgrass Home. She worked as our in-store skincare and cosmetics consultant before moving on to become the National Educator for Professional Organic Skincare Brands. She is currently sharing her knowledge and expertise while looking after her three children by writing, consulting, and has founded her own business: Innate Beauty Skincare Solutions, with the mission of providing manageable solutions for healthy skincare, exploring wellness through skin with a holistic approach, and celebrating everyones personal beauty.
Why You Should Use Aluminum-Free Deodorant
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on May 22, 2015
There are times in life when we need added protection against body odor. Whether at the gym or in an important meeting, it’s very likely that, without some type of deodorant, we’ll sweat and let out a little odor. Not a pleasant topic, but it can’t be ignored. Choosing the right deodorant is just as important as wearing it regularly. You need to find one that will not only provide lasting protection, but will also be free of toxins.
The Difference Between Antiperspirants and Deodorants
While most people use the terms antiperspirant and deodorant interchangeably, the two are not the same. Antiperspirants work by preventing perspiration from occurring. Deodorants allow perspiration but block odor. Deodorants accomplish this by killing the bacteria that cause odor. From a purely natural standpoint, it makes more sense for us to use deodorants, as it is a more natural process.
Of course none of us wants to emit an unpleasant, offensive odor, and some of us don’t particularly enjoy sweating. The fact is many personal care products that deal with these concerns contain aluminum as an active ingredient. Aluminum is also a known neurotoxin. Aluminum-free deodorants are perhaps the best alternative, and these products are growing considerably in both availability and number.
The Dangers of Using Products Containing Aluminum
Deodorants contain aluminum and synthetic fragrances, undesirable components many people are sensitive to.  If you find that your underarms are irritated, it may be an allergic reaction to the aluminum which is toxic to the body.
Aluminum has been associated with a variety of health issues,    including:
What to Look for in an Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Aluminum-free deodorants should consist of essential oils and all natural ingredients. Aluminum free alone may not be enough as some aluminum-free deodorants are still high risk, according to the Environmental Working Group, and can contain chemicals like triclosan and propylene glycol. Triclosan is perhaps a more fierce endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it. This article contains a recipe for making your own deodorant using natural ingredients like baking soda and coconut oil.
The Take Home
With new evidence and reports of adverse reactions staring us in the face, it is difficult to ignore the potential danger of so many health and beauty items on the market. What it boils down to, however, is that each of us has to take the initiative and actively seek out the products that are healthier for us.
Try our aluminum free Undercover agent deodorant. Finally a natural deodorant that actually works
Matthew J. Zirwas, MD and Jessica Moennich, MD. Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2008 Sep; 1(3): 38-43.
Darbre PD. Aluminum, antiperspirants and breast cancer. J Inorg Biochem. 2005 Sep;99(9);1912-9.
Tomljenovic L. Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link? J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2011;23(4):567-98. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101494.
Malluche HH. Aluminum and bone disease in chronic renal failure. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2002;17 Suppl 2:21-4.
Beeswax is an exceptional natural alternative to mineral oil. Mineral oil is made from petroleum, and I have a hard and fast rule about using the same products on my body as cars do on theirs. That's not to say that mineral oil isn't relatively safe in skin products, but sources like Yumyucky.com and Beauty Lies Truth claim that mineral oil can elevate estrogen levels in our bods, not to mention has been linked to climate change in its crude form. Whether or not you believe the hype about mineral oil, one thing is for sure: Beeswax has been proven to be far safer and more effective. Trust that.
Beeswax is brought to you by adorable worker bees that form the beeswax to raise their young in honeycomb cells. Although beeswax is processed poorly when ingested by humans, it has major skin benefits when applied topically. Beeswax carries antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that are essential in fighting chapped skin and bacterial infections that tend to affect us most in the dry, winter months. It forms a protective wall by sealing in moisture in our skin without smothering and clogging up the pores. Plus, beeswax contains vitamin A which has been proven in multiple studies to reduce wrinkles and age spots while re-hydrating and reconstructing damaged skin cells.
When you think of beeswax, don't just think of lip balm, because this ingredient has several different beauty benefits that can protect your skin AND your outerwear. These are just a few ways that beeswax can save your look from some harsh, winter blues.
Dreads are arguably a fairly easy style to maintain, but leave your dreads in despair for too long and they'll start breaking off. To retain the tightness and smoothness of your dreadlocks, heat 100 percent organic beeswax in a saucepan on low heat. Begin at the root of each dread and roll into the wax, using the palm of your hand, until the dread is completely covered. There are many over-the-counter products that contain beeswax for waxing dreads, but you can find pure beeswax (which means not additives) for about six bucks at your local beauty supply store.
Some people are more prone to bacterial skin infections then others, but even if you've only gotten one from swimming in quarry thats water turned out to be not so pure, treating a bacterial skin infection can be an exhausting task. One great recipe that was researched by the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates for treating and relieving irritation combined olive oil, honey, and beeswax. This all-natural, topical treatment can replace petroleum based products that can take longer to fight against the bacteria. Try grapeseed oil instead of olive for a lighter formula with plenty of skin benefits.
KRISTIN COLLINS JACKSON
Ja http://www.bustle.com/authors/308-kristin-bycollins-jackson2015 FASHION & BEAUTY
You hear it all the time from skin care companies and the slogans for their products: "Lock in the moisture!" Did you know that you are actually locking in toxins with toxins? Yes, your body is trying to perspire and sweat out the toxins, and breathe. And just what toxins are we talking about that are trying to get out? Don't get me started. What is it about all petroleum-based products that you should know? What about baby oils and baby lotions? What's locking in toxins all day, every day, and what goes into the manufacture of most lotions, personal care products and everything that drives the skin cancer industry?
For starters, many baby oils and lotions are loaded with skin-clogging petroleum. If you could take a video camera into 100 random American family homes you would find at least 80 with a bathroom counter, shower and medicine cabinet full of products containing Vaseline and/or petroleum jelly. What the heck is petroleum jelly? They surely don't tell you during the "happy go lucky" commercials.
Revealing Toxic Skin Care
Let's quickly define toxin: (noun) A toxin is an antigenic poison, often derived from microorganisms, which causes disease when present at low concentrations in the body. Now let's define petroleum: (noun) A liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is present in certain rock strata and can be extracted and refined to produce fuels including gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil. Petroleum jelly, the main ingredient in Vaseline, is an oil-refining derivative. They used it to coat the bottom of oil rigs in the mid-1800s, so I guess nothing's too "Neanderthal" for today's society, why not make it a lotion? Advertise it well, and the shoppers will buy it. This byproduct of the oil industry is far from "eco-friendly." I guess your skin and your baby's blood aren't so eco-friendly either, if these toxins are inside, trapped, unable to escape.
From flaky skin to diaper rash, you can simply coat your body with an oil-refining derivative and feel the difference right away! You're tired, sick, and you have tumors in your near future, but American advertising is telling you different. You can hear the commercial all the way from the kitchen, where you're preparing food that's probably GMO. Now what, you start to itch and get weird rashes on your body, so it must be something coming from outside the house!
The whole "petroleum industry" and their constituents will tell you the same thing over and over, year in year out: "These products are generally regarded as safe, since the harmful components are removed during the refining process." This is a total lie. Yes, some "components" of misery are removed, but certainly not all, or even close to that. You are using thick toxic emollients on your body, or on your children's bodies. It's simply a matter of "how toxic" everything is that is left behind, for your skin care use. You get the illusion that your skin has somehow been moisturized or hydrated, but all the while your pores suffocate. And guess what, so do your cells and your mitochondria, when your body can't rid itself properly of carcinogenic, mutating chemicals!
Do the math. It adds up really fast these days. Think about it: You're probably consuming artificial sweeteners, fluoridated tap water and getting flu shots too.
There is a lot more to detoxifying and "excreting" than "number one and two." Your body simply MUST sweat to stay healthy. And don't think for one second that you're repairing any dry skin that you abused with some chemical-laden soap either. You are just pouring salt in the wound. Putting a new chemical on chemically damaged skin ensures more damage, period. It's all been a part of the big "moisturizing cream" movement in America over the past few decades.
Did you know that irradiated mice that are "treated" with these toxic moisturizers increase their rate of cancerous tumor formation? Yes, we are animals too. Our DNA is 99% the same. Face the facts.
Commercial hand lotions are a huge problem in America, too. Is the cold outside making your skin dry? Quick, run to Rite Aid or Walgreen's and grab you some crude oil! It's on sale, and don't you have that coupon ripped out from your Prevention magazine, or was it Cosmo? I think the petroleum stuff is in the same aisle as the chemical dieting aids. By the way, how much hand lotion do you use per "serving," because your skin is actually "eating it." Was it designed to lock in moisture or kill your good bacteria, I can't remember? What's the name of YOUR quick fix? Can you imagine what the popular "hand sanitizers" are doing to your immune system? You might as well use ant and roach killer on your hands.
Have you checked for parabens, alcohols, mineral oil and aluminum in your skin care products? That's like your skin is literally "eating cancer"! Clean out your bathroom now, your purse, your cabinets. Throw away the poison. Aluminum is a bio-accumulative heavy metal. Where do you think Alzheimer's sufferers got the train wreck started?
Don't put anything on your skin that isn't safe to eat!
"A recent study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group [EWG] showed that many cosmetic products -- including more than half of all baby soaps -- contained a carcinogenic chemical. Internal studies in the cosmetics industry show that many of their products can be contaminated by a carcinogenic impurity called 1,4-dioxane, and the EWG's independent study showed that 1,4-dioxane is fairly widespread among cosmetic products."
Up to 80 percent of all cosmetic and skin care products are contaminated with carcinogenic impurities. Can you imagine "locking in" the formaldehyde, nitrosamines and acrylamides all day, every day? Are you locking in ethylene dioxide, sodium laurel sulfate or hydroquinone? You better find out.
Check you hair "relaxers," hair dyes and bleaching products, hair removers, soap, baby soaps, sun tan lotions, sun block lotions, "firming" lotions, hormonal creams, facial moisturizers, conventional anti-aging products and the "around the eye" creams.
Mike Adams, executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, strongly advises consumers to avoid non-organic cosmetics and skin care products. Some contaminants have been researched that cause liver and neurological disorders.
Remember, no organic seal - no deal!
Never put toxins on your skin, because they just soak right in.
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea: common preservatives w/parabens.
Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens: inhibitors of microbial growth used to extend shelf life of products -- shortens "human life" though.
Petrolatum: usually says it will protect you from sunburn, chapping, etc. -- ruins the body's natural moisturizing mechanism.
Propylene Glycol: often a synthetic petrochemical mix.
PVP/VA Copolymer: a petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, wave sets and other cosmetics.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: Hundreds of professional articles warn you about this, maybe thousands.
Synthetic Colors and Fragrances: most contain known carcinogens (ingredients that mutate your good cells and turn them cancerous).
By SD Wells
source : naturalnews.com
As global temperatures rise, the organic matter in forests appears to break down more quickly, which is accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere, according to new research.
A new study by a team researchers including U of T Scarborough Professor Myrna Simpson reveals that as global temperatures rise the organic matter in forests appear to be breaking down more quickly, accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
Credit: U of T Scarborough
Forests can store as much as 45 percent of the world's terrestrial carbon, making them a critical part of the process of regulating climate change.
As global temperatures rise, though, the organic matter in forests appears to break down more quickly, accelerating the release of carbon into the atmosphere.
This surprising conclusion comes out of a long-term study that was intended to find means to mitigate global warming, not exacerbate it.
"Our question was, 'How much carbon can the soil hold?'" says UTSC professor of environmental chemistry, Myrna Simpson. "But in our experiments, we found that soil was not the limiting factor. We couldn't even get to the carbon saturation point."
Since 1990, a team of international scientists have been running experiments in Harvard Forest in Massachusetts, testing the effect of adding (or removing) varying amounts and types of "litter" -- leaves, twigs, seeds, roots and other organic material -- above and below ground. Simpson joined this work in 2010. She contributed specialized expertise in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to the mix. NMR allows researchers to scan every type of organic material in soil, molecule by molecule.
"The scientific community widely accepts that soil organic matter chemistry is tied to inputs," she says. "But we were surprised to see that all of our litter manipulation resulted in accelerated breakdown of organic matter."
Climate change could lead to "more productive" forests -- bigger trees and more vegetation. This productivity would naturally increase the amount of litter, and therefore the amount of carbon sinking into the soil in the form of organic matter.
But in a paper published recently in the journal Biogeochemistry, Simpson and her co-authors describe how they simulated this change by doubling the amount of litter in sections of the forest in the hope that the soil could absorb more carbon. Instead, the increased litter stimulated bacterial and fungal activity. Organic matter broke down more quickly, eliminating any carbon storage benefit and releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere.
"Altering the litter did more harm than good," Simpson says. "Ours was a human manipulation, but it could as easily be altered through climate change."
Simpson's experiments continue both at the Harvard Forest and at other experimental forests around the world in collaboration with a large network of ecologists and soil scientists. In each case, local plant species, climate and other factors might lead to different results. Also, litter is just one consideration in how long carbon stays sunk in a forest -- Simpson is testing the effects of nitrogen and other variables that could affect forests' abilities to store carbon.
Soil breakdown is further complicated because plants create many products -- from cellulose to lignin -- each of which is affected differently by changes in soil content and environmental conditions. What accelerates one form of decomposition might slow down another.
"I want to emphasize that this was just one forest. We don't know if this is a global phenomenon," she says. "We're looking now to see how vegetation, temperature, moisture in different regions affects the process. These results just suggest that for forests like the Harvard Forest, adding extra litter is not a way to mitigate climate change and enhance carbon storage."
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and lenght.
ORGANIC SKIN CARE PRESERVES YOUR HEALTH
Mass market skin care products are full of artificial and chemical ingredients whose long-term effects on our bodies are mostly unknown. While there is no direct link between illness and the chemical products we put on our skins every day, using organic skin care products ensures that you won’t be getting of these questionable ingredients on your body.
Organic skin care products are also chock-full of beneficial antioxidants and moisturizers, all from natural sources. There is no beauty like natural beauty!
ORGANIC SKIN CARE PRESERVES THE EARTH
Don’t you think we’ve destroyed enough of our fragile environment simply to make ourselves richer, more comfortable and prettier? Organic skin care products begin with organic ingredients, grown and produced sustainably using the most advanced practices.
When you use organic skin care products, you not only feel more beautiful, but also better about doing something good for the planet!
ORGANIC SKIN CARE SIMPLY WORKS BETTER
If you don’t think that better health and a better environment are worth paying organic skin care prices for, then maybe this last argument will convince you: organic skin care products work better than their artificial counterparts.
How? A lot of chemical ingredients, used for cheap filling and a quick fix, actually do more harm than good. Sure, your skin might look brighter for a few weeks, but in the long run, synthetic ingredients can cause irritation, sun sensibility and can even lead to cancer. Why would you want to hurt your body in the pursuit of beauty?
Organic skin care may look like it’s not working as fast, but it’s changing your skin from the inside out, rather just on the outside. It benefits your overall health as well as the health of the planet.
first published on spamagnolia.com
Our face serum Face It contains Geranium oil to give the serum a refreshing scent, but also for the beneficial properties.
First published on : Mercola.com
Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the plant's stems and leaves. When made from young, green leaves, geranium oil appears with a lemon scent. However, if extracted from older leaves that have changed their color, the oil will have a strong rose fragrance.
Anxiety is a common problem among Americans, and drugs like benzodiazepine are commonly used to treat it. Not only can these drugs cause withdrawal symptoms, but they also lead to a host of health problems that include memory loss, hip fractures, and impaired concentration, which further develop into unnecessary stress and expenses.
Instead, the underlying cause of anxiety can be dealt with using natural stress management methods, like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Another method worth trying is aromatherapy. Research has shown that treating stress with essential oils is effective, plus has minimal risks involved. If you're interested in trying this out, you can start out by using geranium oil.
What Is Geranium Oil?
Geranium is a perennial shrub with small pink flowers and pointy leaves that is native to South Africa.1 Out of the many varieties of the plant, Pelargonium graveolens is the source of the essential oil. The oil is widely used in aromatherapy and contains a number of beneficial compounds.
Geranium oil is often compared to the rose essential oil because they share almost the same therapeutic traits. In fact, geranium is considered the "poor man's rose" and its oil is often the alternative to the more expensive rose oil.2
There are several varieties of geranium oil, depending on where they are cultivated. The highest-quality and most expensive type is produced in French island Reunion, called the geranium bourbon essential oil.3
Uses of Geranium Oil
In aromatherapy, geranium oil is used to treat acne, sore throat, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Its users are mainly for women due to its rosy smell and its beneficial effect on menstruation and menopause.4 The essential oil can also uplift mood, lessen fatigue, and promote emotional wellness:5
Geranium oil also functions to reduce pain and inflammation. Its antiseptic properties can help speed up the healing of wounds and treat a variety of skin problems, such as burns, frostbite, fungal infections, athlete's foot, and eczema. Hemorrhoids can also be treated with the use of geranium oil.6
Frequent travelers can use geranium oil as a natural insect repellent. Topical application can also help heal insect bites and stop itching. It may also be used as a massage oil to relieve aching muscles and stress.7
Other uses of geranium oil include:
- Food – Geranium oil can be added to baked goods, frozen dairy, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and candies. However, I strongly advice avoiding these processed treats to maintain your health.
- Perfumery – Geranium oil has been use to create an artificial rose scent in fragrances and cosmetics.
Composition of Geranium Oil
Geranium oil contains about 67 compounds. The main components of geranium oil are citronellol (26.7 percent) and geraniol (13.4 percent). Other major constituents include:9
Nerol (8.7 percent)
Citronellyl formate (7.1 percent)
Isomenthone (6.3 percent)
Linalool (5.2 percent)
Benefits of Geranium Oil
Geranium essential oil provides numerous health benefits due its uses as an astringent, hemostatic, cicatrisant, diuretic, and many others. Below are just some of the ways this essential oil serves both your physical and emotional health:10,11
It causes your gums, muscles, intestines, skin, blood vessels, , and tissues to contract due to its astringent properties. It prevents skin problems like sagging and wrinkling, and helps give your muscles a toned appearance.
It contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It can inhibit the bacterial strains Brevibacterium linens and Yersinia enterolitica, as well as the fungal species Aspergillus niger. It can also prevent bacterial infections.
It can help eliminate the appearance of scars and dark spots by improving blood circulation just below the surface of the skin and promoting an equal distribution of melanin.
It can help speed up the healing of wounds by triggering blood clotting. This also stops toxins from reaching your bloodstream through open wounds.
It assists in detoxification by increasing the rate of urination. This process of elimination does not only remove toxins from your body, but also aids in your digestive function and helps inhibit the excess gas in your intestines.
It can serve as a deodorant due to its fragrant scent. It can also cure body odor due to its antibacterial action.
How to Make Geranium Oil
Geranium essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the plant's stems and leaves. When made from young, green leaves, geranium oil appears with a lemon scent. However, if extracted from older leaves that have changed their color, the oil will have a strong rose fragrance.
While geranium oil is available in stores, it is possible to create a homemade variety. There are several guides available on the Web, but here is one from eHow.com:13
What You Need:
Mortar and pestle
Carrier oil like jojoba oil
Large jar with lid
Small jars or bottles with lids
Remove the leaves from a geranium plant (more leaves mean more oil produced).
Remove pests, dirt, and other debris from the leaves by washing them in cold water.
Dry the leaves by gently patting them with a cloth or paper towel.
Using the mortar and pestle, ground the leaves until they are completely mashed and pulpy. Leave the crushed leaves for a few hours.
Afterward, transfer the ground leaves to the large jar. Pour some of the carrier oil – just enough to cover the leaves. Then, seal the jar and place it in a cool, dry spot. Set aside for two weeks.
Once the two weeks are up, check the scent of the oil. You may add more ground leaves to make the scent stronger and set aside for another week. If the fragrance is too strong, just add some oil to dilute the finished product.
To store, pour the geranium oil into the small sterilized jars or bottles through a strainer lined with a cheesecloth. This will separate the crushed leaves from the oil. Once the oil has been transferred, seal the bottles/jars and store them in a cool, dry place.
How Does Geranium Oil Work?
There are several ways of using geranium oil. Inhaling it is one of the most common practices. Place a few drops onto a cloth or use an aromatherapy diffuser. This sends messages to your limbic system, which is in charge of controlling emotions and affecting the nervous system. Inhaling geranium oil may also influence your heart rate, stress levels, breathing, blood pressure, and immune system.14
Apart from inhalation, here are some ways you can make use of geranium essential oil:
It can work wonders on bruises and cuts if used as you would any antiseptic. Just make sure you cover it with gauze.
Adding one drop of geranium oil to a small jar of cold cream or one teaspoon of wheat germ oil can also benefit hemorrhoids.
To treat athlete's foot, about five drops of the essential oil should be combined with a foot bath made of warm water and sea salt. The mixture should be set aside in a dark bottle. Massage the formula unto your feet in the morning and at night.
Is Geranium Oil Safe?
Geranium oil should not be applied directly to your skin as a massage oil or added to baths.
It should first be diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba oil, olive oil, or sweet almond oils.
Geranium oil is relatively safe and works as a relaxant and stimulant for the brain. However, those with skin sensitivities may experience certain side effects.
Pregnant and nursing women should exercise caution when using geranium oil and other essential oils, as there is currently a lack of research regarding the safety of geranium oil in pregnant women. Geranium oil should not be used on babies and young children due to the delicate nature of their skin. Parents are also warned to be careful in the administration of the essential oil near the nose of children, as there have been reports of toxicities and even death from doing so.19
Geranium Oil Side Effects
Because it's non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing, geranium oil does not cause side effects. However, it may cause allergies and sensitivities in some people.20 If you're looking for essential oils that offer the same therapeutic benefits as geranium oil does, your options include lavender oil, orange oil, lemon oil, and jasmine oil. 21
To be on the safe side, consult your physician before using any essential oils for medicinal purposes.
Geranium is part of Face it serum, have you tried it?