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Follow our journey as we build Puristics, a new brand of anti-aging skin care without harsh chemicals. For us, the past 3 years have been filled with "aha" moments as we educate consumers about label literacy - knowing the ingredients in your beauty products, since harsh chemicals can end up on your skin. We welcome you to learn from our experiences both as businesswomen and busy moms, and please share your own stories, too!

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Monday
Mar082010

I'll be your guinea pig!

Now that the weather in the Northeast is starting to perk up and feel a bit more like Spring, I’ve realized that I might actually shed my turtlenecks for short sleeves - - someday, maybe.  To that end, I’ve been thinking about changes that I can make in my personal care product choices for the warmer weather.  A change here and a change there will lead bit by bit to a healthier me, I hope (particularly if I add more treadmill miles and deduct a few cookies!).  I’ve been using our Puristics products as they come straight off the lab benches, and I’m incredibly excited about sharing them with everyone.  Because, Puristics doesn’t have products for every type of personal care need yet, I needed to do some research to find more ways of removing potentially harmful chemicals from my “get ready for summer” routine.  I test drove 3 types of products and am sharing my findings with you.

Change:  Switched from a national brand anti-perspirant/deodorant to an aluminum free, natural product.

Result:  Different but worth it.  I missed the “anti-perspirant” benefit (from the aluminum) during occasional stressful moments, but the deodorant seems to be functioning just fine.  And, it might not be a bad thing to let my body tell me when the stress response is kicking in, though it’s an adjustment.  Incidentally, my 12 year old daughter’s science class has been creating personal care products from natural ingredients this semester (she says her nail polish is a failure), and she told me that the aluminum is the ingredient that gives you those lovely yellow pit stains on white shirts.   If that’s true, I might be able to save a few of my white shirts this summer just by changing to a natural deodorant.

Change:  Tried “sugaring” or body sugar (natural, in-home process similar to waxing) instead of a chemical depilatory for my forearms and bikini area.

Result:  Definitely worth it.  The discomfort is the same as it would be for waxing at a salon, but the in-home set-up was more convenient.  Compared to a chemical depilatory, there’s no contest.  It’s no more difficult to use and is clearly less toxic.  There were no fumes, my skin didn’t become irritated, bumpy and itchy after use, and I knew that I wasn’t killing off hair with chemicals. 

Change:  Tried “less toxic” nail polish.

Result:  One brand wouldn’t stay on my nails at all.  The second brand performed great (No Miss), but I’m still confused by the category offerings.  I’m not sure, in the end, if the brand I chose was any better than the brand available in the salon (which it turned out also claimed to be free from formaldehyde, DBP and toluene).  This will take more investigating and shopping around, but I definitely think it’s worth the work so please check some out on your own and let me know.  Of course, the other big nasty in a pedicure is everything that goes on in a nail salon.  I truly would like to find a way to fix my “runner’s feet” without harmful chemicals in any part of the process.  So far though, my home pedicuring talent would give only a pre-schooler competition.

Finally, a somewhat separate and unrelated beef . . . . I reached for a new brand of hair conditioner this morning and noticed a “100% natural” claim in a bullseye on the front of the bottle.  Looking closer, I saw that the 100% natural referred only to 2 ingredients - - the complete ingredient list had plenty of nasties in it!  You would think I’d be better at checking out labels by now.  I hope you’ll help me as I continue to search for better solutions in the personal care space and elsewhere.  I promise to pass on helpful information as I come across it as well.  If we all make small, simple changes bit by bit, we’re sure to do better for ourselves, our families and our futures.

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