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Avoiding Allergic Reactions: Knowing What’s In Your Hair Dye Before You Buy It

Coloring your hair at home is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to pump up your look. The challenge is finding a color that looks great and is safe for you, too!

This especially important because people everywhere are starting to color their hair at younger and younger ages, which “increases the potential risk of adverse health effects,” according to research from the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products.

Stacy Ditroia: Hair dye caused an allergic reaction that caused her face to swell up.The concern is that the earlier a person starts dying their hair, the more overall lifelong exposure they have to chemicals that can build up in their body and potentially cause allergic reactions, sometimes leading to hospitalization.

A Denmark study found that in that country, the average age for someone starting to dye their hair was about 16.

A survey in 1992 by the Japan Soap and Detergent Association found that “13 percent of female high school students, six percent of women in their 20s, and two percent of men in their 20s reported using hair coloring products. By 2001, the proportions had increased in these groups to 41 percent, 85 percent, and 33 percent, respectively,” and it’s a trend that’s not slowing down.

The concern isn’t just in these countries. It’s an issue in most industrialized countries. Salynn Boyles, a contributing writer for WebMD Health News, said, “As more and more young people color their hair, the incidence of hair dye allergies is also increasing. The culprit is a common chemical ingredient in permanent hair dyes, called paraphenylenediamine or PPD.

“PPD is found in more than two-thirds of commercial (hair) dyes. Patients with severe PPD reactions commonly develop painful rashes around the hair line or on the face which often require treatment and can occasionally lead to hospitalization. Facial swelling is also common.”

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Natural and Organic Nail Polishes Benefit Health

Photo courtesy of Oprah.com

Wearing nail polish is a great way to bump up any look, whether you’re going for sophistication, playfulness, vintage, Goth, or anything in between. Along with more colors to choose from, there are more brands than ever before, ranging from convention to many newer healthier natural and organic-based products.

Conventional Nail Polishes

Conventional nail polishes are generally cheaper, but they are also filled with health concerns for wearers, especially those with allergies, chemical-sensitivities, pregnant women, and children.

All convention nail polishes contain a number of toxic chemicals that most notably include formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

Formaldehyde is used in many polishes as a nail hardner, but it’s also a known human carcinogen, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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Rejuvenating Your Appearance: Matching Your Year-round Sunscreen to Your Skin Type

Cartoon courtesy of greengenie.ca.

We all feel good when our skin looks healthy, but looking in the mirror and seeing sun damage can definately damper a mood.

The good news is that no matter how much exposure your skin has endured, there are steps you can take to rejuvenate it.

With improved nutrition to create new healthier skin and some sunscreen, everyone’s skin can look better. The best nutritional advice is to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat, as well as whole grains, and less red meat. Limit processed foods. It’s common sense advice, but makes a world of difference.

When it comes to sunscreen, that’s a little more complicated. First, you have to understand what the sun does to different skin types, then you can decide what sunscreen best meets your needs.

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Lily Organics: Nourishing the Skin With Ingredients Straight Off the Farm

Yarrow is a natural astrigent and toner.

With the continuing movement to preserve our planet, many of us have also started to reawaken to something that people have known for millenniums - everything that we need (with few exceptions) for good health and beauty comes from nature.

This philosophy is nothing new to Lily Morgan, president and owner of Lily Organics skin care company, who believes that “the quality of a product is determined by its freshness. It’s all about the ingredients; what they do; how fresh they are; and where they are grown.  It’s what we have committed our company to.”

Creating a formula. Photo by Lily Organics.

Lily Organics’ skin care products are formulated using a combination of natural ingredients which the company purchases, and organic ingredients that are both purchased and grown on Lily Organics’ USDA certified organic farm.

“When we first started out, we couldn’t get many of the ingredients that we wanted certified organic, so we started growing our own,” said Ms. Morgan, who began formulating skin care products in the early 80’s for a very personal reason - her own severe acne.

“Having bad skin was such a motivator. I tried everything and nothing worked. I started to compare the ingredients in the products from the drug stores and the more expensive department stores, and started to notice that the ingredients were primarily the same. Besides that, when I looked up the definitions of the chemical ingredients, I couldn’t see how they would improve my skin,” she added.

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Using Beauty Products With Phthalates While Pregnant Could Affect Baby

Every woman wants to be beautiful and we all have different opinions about what beauty is. It can be a couple of things - looking good, being healthy, or helping others. These are the things most of us try to do everyday.

Photo courtesy of Sciencedaily.com.

This post - like many others that I write - is about what’s in the things we buy, and how they might affect us, our families, or unborn children. As part of that, I came across a study which found that higher prenatal exposure to phthalates seems to contribute to behavior problems in children between the ages of four and nine.

The study, Prenatal Phthalate Exposure is Associated with Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning, was conducted as collaboration between Mount Sinai, Cornell University, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Phthalates are part of a group of chemicals that are known as endocrine disruptors that can interfere with the body’s hormone system. Phthalates are a family of compounds found in a wide variety of consumer products, such as nail polish to increase their durability and reduce chipping; and in cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, and shampoos to maintain fragrances.

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