Safer Personal Care Products

Organic Peppermint Soap

Organic Peppermint Soap

Ten years ago this month, I was in the midst of a very sad and strange time. One of my friends was dying of prostate cancer, another was being treated for thyroid cancer, two were undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, and a professor of mine had recently passed away from a brief, but brave fight against a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I have been thinking about these people have been on my mind lately.

One aspect of my work outside of Herban Lifestyle involves staying up to date on cancer prevention research, so I read a lot about topics like diet, exercise, and other ways you can reduce your risk of cancer. And one thing you can do to keep yourself healthy is to avoid potential carcinogens in your environment, particularly in your personal care and makeup products. You may be surprised at how prevalent they are.

There are many resources for finding out which ingredients are best to avoid, such as the European Union’s banned ingredients list. But one resource I have found to be very useful is Whole Foods’ quick guide to ingredients that have been found to cause a variety of health problems. Their Guide to Premium Body Care Product Ingredients is an easy-to-read list makes it simple to interpret those wordy ingredient labels. I recommend printing it out and carrying it with you when you shop for personal care products.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has as its mission “to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems, and replace them with safer alternatives.” Herban Lifestyle has signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ pledge “to not use chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects in their products.” You can find the complete list of companies that have pledged to use safe ingredients here.


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