Understanding GREEN

Posted by STETSON CREATIVE Monday, August 2, 2010

We see it everywhere these days, at the pharmacy, grocery store...departments stores, and beauty boutiques. We see the words all natural, certified organic, and mineral, but what does it all mean and how can these new trends affect your beauty regimen? Well, it's all in the terminology, which is important to understand before we even begin.

USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC - In the US, federal organic legislation defines three levels of organics. Products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled "100% organic". Products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word "organic". Both of these categories may also display the USDA organic seal. A third category, containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled "made with organic ingredients". In addition, products may also display the logo of the certification body that approved them. Products made with less than 70% organic ingredients can not advertise this information to consumers and can only mention this fact in the product's ingredient statement.


ALL NATURAL - In the United States, neither the FDA, nor the USDA has rules for “natural." The FDA explicitly discourages the food industry from using the term. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits labeling that is misleading, but does not give any specifics.  This means that the description "all natural" on your beauty products means little, and you still need to check the ingredients.

ECO FRIENDLY - The US doesn't yet have guidelines in the use of the terms such as "eco-friendly" or "environmentally friendly" in regards to products or brands, but legislation is in process to change this.  This means that just because your face wash says its "green", doesn't mean it is.

MINERAL - The latest cosmetic trend, using crushed minerals from the earth instead of fragrance, dye, and filler which are part of traditional makeup formulas claims to be healthy for skin, but how much of it is truth, and how much is heresy? This is another case of individual preference.  Again, there are no guidelines or regulations on what defines mineral makeup, with some brands staying true, and others adding the fillers in addition to the minerals, so check the ingredients on your favorite mineral brands to find out the truth.  Dermatologists argue about the skin benefits of mineral makeup and some actually think they can irritate skin, so the choice is up to you!

So we have discussed the methods of proper face care, so today I'm going to build on that for all of you environmental buffs.  Increasing numbers of studies are showing that using all natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals on the skin can be very beneficial. The main thing is to look at the ingredients: If you can't pronounce them, do you really want to put them on your face?

Look for ingredients like Sage, Chamomile, Lavender, Willow, Green Tea, Aloe, and Lemongrass.  I really like the brand new formula from JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS featuring bearberry.  Bearberry extract can in sebum reduction, which cause the oily secretions from the pores.  This system, which features a face wash, toning mist, and balancing face serum offers gentle cleansing a treatment without over drying.  TIP: I found that it was most effective to use the face wash immediately followed by the toning mist, and then using the serum as a spot treatment for blemishes.
$20 - $24 John Masters Organics www.johnmasters.com

When you have oily skin, it is also beneficial to do a clay mask 1-2 times per week.  If your skin is very sensitive, do not do this more than once a week.  JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS also has an amazing clay mask, which unclogs pores with Moroccan clay, aloe vera, lavender, and sunflower.  Apply to a clean face with your finger avoiding eye and mouth areas and allow to dry for 5-10 minutes (less if your skin is very sensitive) and rinse with warm water.  Follow with an oil free moisturizer.
$30 - John Masters Organics www.johnmasters.com

Look for skin nourishing ingredients such as ginko biloba, honey, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, avocado, and apricot oil.  For very dry or aging skin, I really like HUNI's Cleanser and Intensive Hydrating Mask, which utilize shea butter and macadamia oil for a luxurious experience.
$35 - $45 Huni www.comvitahuni.com

For more natural products, stay tuned all week!


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