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Liz Thompson

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  1. Though the US may not regulate the cosmetics industry as rigorously as Europe, things are moving in the right direction. On November 5th the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted 12 to 1 in favor of heavier scrutiny by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) when it comes to organic labeling by personal care product manufacturers, holding them to the same guidelines as food producers. The USDA holds strict standards for organic food products but up to this point cosmetics and personal care products have been very loosely regulated in the US. The new recommendation will requ
  2. The perfect cosmetic product is conveniently packaged, versatile, comes in a variety of gorgeous colors and, of course, is good for you and your skin. Well, Revolution Organics has created such a creature with their Freedom Collection. Beauty Balms ($33.95) are creamy colors that come in a a sleek twist-up tube (easily tote-able) and are made with good-for-skin ingredients, like olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and aloe vera. All are 100% natural and made with 85% certified organic ingredients and mineral-based pigments and packaged in recyclable material. Now on to the fun part â€
  3. Switching to nontoxic skin care, body care, even makeup is easy enough. With plenty of truly exceptional all natural product lines on the market today, you can swap out your moisturizer, body wash and mascara with no trouble at all. But, when it comes to hair care, it can get a little more difficult. In the past, few natural hair care lines lived up to the performance of their conventional, toxin-laden counterparts. These au naturel shampoos and conditioners left hair waxy, stringy and feeling a little bit like straw. Something their chemical cousins combat with harsh synthetic deter
  4. Photo credit: schoschie You know there are certain ingredients that you don’t want in your cosmetic products. But you may not know all of the name variations or even exactly why certain ingredients are harmful. Well, leave it to Stephanie Greenwood at Bubble & Bee Organic to come up with an easy, convenient and (even) fun way to keep you in the know on toxic ingredient education. With “Today’s Chemical†(Stephanie’s new chemical ingredient education service) you can ask a question about toxic ingredients in cosmetics, learn about chemicals and get recipes for homemade beau
  5. Photo credit: Unhindered by Talent Okay, so the economy is bad. And, yes, we have all had to make changes and/or sacrifices in the name of saving a buck. But can this whole mess be put to good use? Yes it can! While you are already watching your spending closely, try keeping an eye on what you buy and not just how much it costs. We can blame the big corporations for getting us into this economic mess and much of it may be deserved, but we the people are out there buying stuff up, so let’s make it count. We are still a capitalist country and true to this is supply and demand.Â
  6. Want a super cool summer treat for your lips? eos lip balms are the way to go. These cute and colorfully packaged balms come in traditional sticks and the highly innovative spheres, a variety of flavors and all are USDA Certified Organic and all natural. Made with vitamin E, shea butter and jojoba oil to keep lips super soft and smooth, the balms are free from harmful ingredients, like petrolatum and parabens. Lip balm smooth spheres come in honeysuckle honeydew, summer fruit and sweet mint flavors. Lip balm smooth sticks offer vanilla bean, pomegranate raspberry and sweet mint fla
  7. It is definitely time to get the sunscreen out, but with so many chemical and not-so-natural versions on the market it can be very difficult to choose one that is safe. In the past natural sunscreen product manufacturers used zinc oxide to provide UV protection. And though it is safe and effective, it leaves behind that ghostly white skin we all wish to avoid. So the next scientific breakthrough was the use of nanotechnology, the creation of incredibly small particles — measured in nanometers (nm), or one-billionth of a meter. This took care of the white film, but recent evidence shows
  8. Aromatherapy is one truly beneficial indulgence most of us don’t make time for. Afterall, you do have to know what you are doing, like which essential oils work for what ailment, how to mix and use them and which to stay away from. Essentials oils are very potent and it is not wise to throw caution to the wind when using them, as some are skin irritants and over doing it can be toxic. That said, the right ones can go a long way toward good physical and mental health. Nuworld Botanicals has come to our aromatherapy rescue with Aromatherapy Personals, little rollerball vials that co
  9. With the social season picking up again, you are probably looking to add something cute to your wardrobe. A pretty dress in a fresh color adds splash and is a great go-to piece. Lara Miller has some of the cutest for the season. Lara Miller, Chicago eco-designer, designs clothing for women that is not only sweet and lovely, but ultra wearable…the perfect combo. Her tops, dresses and skirts for spring are made from an organic bamboo and cotton blend for maximum comfort and, better still, are machine washable. Each piece, angular in construction, seems to meld to the body in flowy f
  10. Photo credit: Margaret Anne Clarke It seems everyone these days is coming out with their own “natural†or “organic†beauty line. But are they truly what they claim to be? After all, when a well known company says their stuff is good for you most folks believe them. Take Victoria’s Secret, for instance, who recently came out with Pink, their new body care line touted as "organic, natural and vegan". Since no ingredients were listed anywhere, I set out to do a little investigating. After a lot of searching and being redirected (and a visit to my local Vicky’s) I still
  11. Photo credit: foundphotoslj Fresh air and sunshine (and the vitamin D it provides) are good for you. But too much sun exposure can have adverse effects on the health of your skin. Premature aging, dryness, sun spots and even skin cancer can result. But this time of year we are all itching for a bit of summer glow. The chic and safe way to sun these days isn’t the natural way. In this case, fake is better. So, rather than laying in the sun or going to the tanning bed to get your bronze on, check out the safe, nontoxic tanning creams on the market. These are not the toxin-
  12. [caption id="attachment_1315" align="alignright" width="178" caption="Further Soap"][/caption] Reuse is a keyword in helping to protect the environment. Reuse your bags, clothing, electronics and the list goes on. But what about reusing the waste oil from restaurants? You have probably heard of biofuel and those who use it to run their automobiles, but what happens to the waste from the biofuel? That is where Marshall and Megan Dostal’s creative thinking comes in. Marshall has been collecting leftover grease from fine restaurants in L.A. for years and turning it into biofuel (i
  13. Photo credit: the half-blood prince Sunscreen has been touted over the past few decades as an essential component in keeping our skin healthy and cancer-free. It is, of course, widely known now that prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays could be a common cause of skin cancer. Not to mention the other benefits of sunscreen, like its role in preventing the signs of premature aging. But scientists are now looking at sunscreen, rather some of its ingredients, as a potential threat to the environment. Zinc oxide is a common and popular ingredient used in sunscreens to absorb or deflec
  14. Though we were sad to see Plenty Magazine (and website, too) come to an end, there is good news. The Mother Nature Network (MNN) is stepping up to the plate, glad to welcome all PlentyMag.com viewers to their site. Plenty’s existing content is being merged with MNN’s information and visitors to the Plenty site will be redirected to MNN.com. Plenty reached all of their subscribers last week, notifying them to stay tuned to MNN for up to date coverage in the world of green. MNN, a new environmental site founded by Rolling Stones keyboardist (and tree farmer) Chuck Leavell, offers
  15. Photo credit: yoppy People seem to be jumping off the soy boat as quickly as they jumped on as more research is revealed on this once thought super food. We all know of soy’s good attributes; contains significant amounts of essential amino acids, omega-6 fatty acids, may have a protective effect on the brain and cardiovascular system and is a good source of protein. The flip side of this coin is that soy is also rich in isoflavones, called genistein and daidzein, which are potent phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens, sometimes called "dietary estrogens", are naturally occurring non steroi
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