Cause: more toxins in everyday environment. Effect: cancer rates continue to climb for men & women. Answer: do not use conventional make-up or bodycare. [Summer Rayne Oakes interview]

Why use chemicalridden makeup, lotion, shampoo or conditioner? Seriously: why do you do it to yourself?

If you wouldn’t eat it, we probably shouldn’t be putting it on our skin—the body’s largest organ that absorbs (according to Joshua Onysko of Pangea Organics) 87% of what’s put on it. Not to mention that we wash a lot of this stuff down the drain, and then we got chemicals in our water, and skies, and sinks.

But enough from me—I’m a boy, and don’t know nothing about bodycare—let’s hear from Summer Rayne Oakes, ecomodel and ecofashionista. Excerpt:


So if we’re new to environmentally responsible beauty shopping, what tips can you teach us?

Good question. Here are my Top 5 Tips:

  • Beauty Shop like You Food Shop. Shop for your personal care and cosmetic products like you would the food you eat. Make an effort to shop for the freshest, most nutritious, naturally-derived ingredients on the market.
  • Keep it simple. Simplify products and look for simple ingredients with no or less synthetic ingredients. Some synthetics to steer clear from include: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, formaldehyde, synthetic colors and fragrances.
  • Buy what you reapply. We don’t have unlimited budgets to spend on beauty, so if you have the money to only purchase a few natural or organic products, purchase the ones that you use most often on a daily basis, like deodorants, body washes, soaps, toothpaste, foundation and sunscreens.
  • Look at the labels. There has been a big shake out in the beauty industry between different “organic” and “natural” claims, but for the most part you can still use organic and natural logos as a guide. These labels include: Natural Product Seal, USDA Organic and Ecocert, just to name a few.
  • Filter it out. One of the biggest beauty secrets is a water filter – for both your drinking water and your shower. Filters help eliminate heavy metals that can make your skin and hair dull, dry or filmy.

Many people want to shop from more earth-friendly companies, but are scared off by high prices. What are your favorite budget-friendly companies that fit the bill? On the fashion front: Levis has a great line called Levis ECO that is cost-conscious but with the same Levis-fit that everyone loves. H&M has upped their organic content and they have some great basics, like tees and undergarments. I’m also developing a line of sustainable shoes and accessories called Zoe & Zac with Payless ShoeSource, which will be all on-trend and under $30.

On the beauty front, you can get a lot of great natural products from Burt’s Bees that are all fairly budget-conscious. I love their scrubs and the honey lip balm. Some pretty nail polishes by Zoya (without chemicals like formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate) are only $6.00 and available at Futurenatural.com. Giovanni also has some pretty amazing products-ranging from creamy lotions to chocolate body scrubs that are Oh-so-decadent.

Do you have any at-home beauty tips you can share with us? I do love doing an apple cider rinse for my hair. In fact, I just did one after I came back from London last week because the old water pipes in the house I was staying at left my hair filmy. Pure apple cider vinegar, when rinsed through the hair helps remove dull layers and restore a natural sheen…for much more, go here.


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bigmike784 Nov 27, 2010 6:42pm

@yurikomuro no it doesn’t require more weed.

Lulu Sep 27, 2010 8:30am

My local co-op has discontinued selling Burt's Bees because their product line has been compromised. They were bought out a while back and the ingredients have changed for the worse, I was told.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.