Earth Day, created to raise awareness and appreciation for the globe’s natural resources, can teach us a lot about how natural products are good for you. Europe has lead the charge with its ECOCERT labeling for organic products in a clear and rigorous way, but the US has caught up quite a bit over the past few years and now savvy consumers can purchase paraben and phthalate-free products even in drugstore aisles. Now that’s something to rejoice at.
Here are some ways you can celebrate Earth Day with beauty products that work.
This beautiful plant-patterned styling creme will not only give your hair style, definition, and hold, but will help you appreciate the benefits of natural ingredients. It contains shea butter, aloe vera, black cumin, and clary sage to moisturize and strengthen, and all this amounts to soft, bouncy hair with tons of shine. A special anti-inflammatory ingredient also makes this product ideal for those with itchy and dry scalps.
The ECOCERT natural mud from the Dead Sea is one of my all-time favorite indulgences, next to a box of dark chocolate. A perfect mid-week pick me up for the face or for an added boost of hydration, this mud has a minimum of 95% natural ingredients, and at least 10% are organic. While mud is typically associated with cleansing, the Dead Sea mud is mineral-rich and helps with hydration and pH balance. This body mask is the ideal thing for a quick pick me up.
With “nude” makeup becoming all the rage (again), there’s no surprise that haircare has jumped on that bandwagon too. Herbal Essences, a brand that has always been about natural ingredients, has launched the “Naked” line, featuring a dry shampoo, shampoo/conditioner, souffle, and spritzer that will help your hair shine naturally (without the need for too many extra products). The Naked Volume Dry Shampoo is my particular favorite because it helps you get voluminous hair during the in-between washing days; plus, it doesn’t contain parabens—it’s as close as you can get to nudie hair.
Photo Credit: ErnoLaszlo.com
This luxury brand, which was Marilyn Monroe’s go to skin care of choice, has a deliciously decadent yet 97% natural bar of soap: Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar. It is also infused with minerals from the Dead Sea, and exfoliates and refines skin as naturally as one possibly can.
Everything in the Whole Foods beauty aisle is fair game these days. They are imposing strict standards on what they will accept as natural (“We’re working to make organic mean organic in every aisle throughout our stores,” the company says on its web site). One of my favorite everyday finds is this rich coconut lotion that boasts broad spectrum UV protection from zinc oxide, as well as neem and papaya extracts. It’s just one of the reasons to shop there for beauty.
Photo Credit: wekeepitkind.com
Body order is a touchy subject. You know exactly what I mean if you ever needed to tell a co-worker to rethink their hygiene regimen (I have and it’s not fun). Kids present an equally sticky situation. Children reach puberty at younger and younger ages—an unfortunate consequence of antibiotic loaded milk and meat—and their still little bodies begin to emit adult like odors—worse, in some cases, because kids are so active.
The UK’s Roberta and Michael Harris took matters into their own hands so visits with their grandchildren would be more pleasant. With 20+ years of pharmaceutical experience under their belts, they developed and formulated Fresh Kidz, a deodorant range just for children.
Originally launched in the UK, Fresh Kidz just hit stateside stores. It’s available in two versions—Fresh Kidz Girls ($4.99) and Fresh Kidz Boys ($4.99), each formulated without aluminum, parabens, or alcohol, which could be irritating or harmful to young armpits.
“It was essential to create a brand that parents could trust, and at the same time we wanted to design the range so kids would want to use it,” said Rochelle Diaz, COO of Kind2Skin USA, which markets Fresh Kidz in the US. “Our ultimate mission is to create a natural based range of personal hygiene products for kids aged between eight and fourteen.”
Housed in cute kid sized roll on packaging, Fresh Kidz is said to give 24-hour protection. It is available now at Meijer, select Whole Foods, Giant, Stop & Shop, and Amazon.com.
Photo Credit: syneron.com
Body shaping has come a long way, baby! Syneron Candela, one of the world’s leaders in aesthetic devices (think laser and radiofrequency) has just received FDA clearance for its UltraShape System, which targets fat cells and makes them go away—forever.
Technically, it is the first and only non-invasive body shaping treatment that uses pulsed focused ultrasound energy to precisely target subcutaneous fat. The surrounding tissue, blood vessels, and muscles are not affected at all. Unlike other body shaping technologies, UltraShape uses a pure mechanical effect to destroy fat cells without using heat. This unique feature of the UltraShape technology results in a safe and comfortable treatment experience.
UltraShape joins Syneron’s other body shaping device, VelaShape III, which works with elōs based thermal technology. These two FDA cleared technologies offer a wide range of body shaping options including circumferential reduction in various body areas and reduction in cellulite appearance.
Prior to the FDA approval, UltraShape had been used in Europe, Asia, and Canada since 2005, and US physicians were clamoring to see the technology arrive stateside.
“UltraShape uses non thermal ultrasound providing efficacy and the non-heat dependent energy is tolerated well by the patients,” said Jeffrey M Kenkel, MD, FACS, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, one of the primary investigators in the FDA-required study of the device.
A clinical study of UltraShape with 150 subjects was performed at three clinical sites in the U.S. and one site outside of the U.S. Study results showed that the treatment had an average reduction of 2.5 cm (that’s basically 1 inch) in circumference of the treated areas*.
According to William Coleman M.D., Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Adjunct Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery), Tulane University Health Sciences Center and a principal investigator in the FDA study, “In our practice, patients were very satisfied with the results of the UltraShape treatment.”
Since receiving the CE mark (the European Union’s certification of approval), the device has been used in over 300,000 procedures worldwide.
UltraShape will be available in the US in mid May 2014. Visit ultrashape.com
*Study on file with Syneron.