March 4, 2009

Beauty from the Outside In, a Look at Pevonia Botanica

We’ve always been told that beauty is on the inside- that it’s not always about how you look, but rather, about being a compassionate person and treating others in the way that you want to be treated yourself. That’s true and good and all, however, when it comes to the cosmetic and skincare industry, “beauty,” loveliness, comeliness, fairness, and attractiveness, it’s what you put on the outside that counts, especially when the products you are using contain chemical and toxic ingredients that contribute to a multitude of health concerns, including the “big C,” or cancer.


It’s kind of surprising, actually, that as large as the health and wellness industry is, and for as much emphasis that we put on healthy foods and beverages that we ingest, it seems that there hasn’t been as much attention placed on what we put on our skin, in our hair, and what we “make-up” with. However, thanks to a growing awareness on the harmful effects of chemical ingredients in beauty products from the media and websites such as cosmeticdatabase.com, as well as an increasing number of “natural,” and “organic” skincare manufacturers, the beauty industry is moving towards a more “green,” sustainable approach to personal care products.


One company in particular that has made great strides in this area is Pevonia Botanica. A very well-known brand in the spa world, Pevonia is a leader in skincare solutions for all. With an extensive line of spa and at-home products for every skin type and concern, Pevonia has made great strides in protecting the earth through cruelty-free formulations (no animal testing) and eco-packaging (fully post-consumer recyclable and biodegradable packaging). The company promotes the fact that its products are made with organic extracts and oils, are paraben, alcohol, lanolin, mineral and paba-free, they do not use artificial colors, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, and use “naturally green formulations.”  Also, Pevonia proudly supports environmental conservation as well as worthy philanthropic organizations.


Having received a Pevonia facial at Shear Productions Spa in Denver, CO, I have to say that my initial reaction to the products was a very positive one. Not only was the experience incredibly relaxing, my skin felt rejuvenated and smooth when I left the spa. I even discovered that I had been using the wrong products for my skin type, and because of my wonderful experience with the Pevonia products, I wanted to purchase the entire line and take it home to duplicate the wonderful skin results I encountered from my facial. However, before I did so, I needed to do some research- Pevonia Botanica seems to be a great “green” company, but do they live up to everything they say?


Looking at the website, Pevonia Botanica seems to fit the bill for an “eco-friendly” skincare company. But wait, what exactly is a “naturally green formulation,” a phrase they use in their green promotions. Let’s take a deeper look……


When visiting www.cosmeticdatabase.com, the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database website, I discovered that Pevonia Botanica has definitely made “green progress,” but is not ranked as highly as other eco-conscious skincare lines. For example, on a 0-10 scale, with 0-2 being very low hazard, 3-6 moderate hazard and 7-10 high hazard, Pevonia Botanica products primarily fell in the mid-range ranking of 3-6 moderate hazard. Not bad, but certainly not as good as they could be. For example, a Pevonia product ranked at a 4 level still contains ingredients linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, irritation, contamination concerns, occupational hazards and biochemical or cellular level changes………….and this is just the moderate ranking! I don’t even want to look at products ranked on a “hazardous” level.


I have to admit, using conventional beauty products for most of my life, I am just now realizing the many harmful effects of their ingredients and have only recently started switching to a more natural, organic beauty approach. While I enjoyed my Pevonia Botanica spa facial, and would be willing to use some of their lower ranking products on the Skin Deep cosmetic database scale, I am definitely going to be thinking twice about what I put on my skin, my lips and my hair, as I have learned from this experience that beauty is most definitely NOT skin deep, and what you put on the outside will be absorbed into your body and can have some serious implications on your health. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to avoid cancer, and avoiding conventional beauty products is one important step in doing so.

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