Spa

By Kelley Granger

By now you know the dangers of trans fats and the perils of being a couch potato. You probably made moves after the new year to either eat smarter or exercise more, scarfing down lean protein and leafy greens after a monster Zumba session. We think that’s fab. But we also want to remind you that you not only need to pay heed to what you put in your mouth and do with your body, but what you put ON your body too. There are scores of products on the market with highly questionable ingredients, and luckily, many natural alternatives. We tapped into the Environmental Working Group’s database of cosmetic and body products to see exactly which ingredients they deemed dangerous in everyday products—then offer you a natural alternative we’ve tested ourselves. Take a tour of your bathroom cabinet with us and cleanse, cleanse, cleanse!

What you own: body scrub
What popular brands contain: artificial fragrances (can cause irritation and allergies), BHT (potential carcinogen)
What you should try: Amala Detoxifying Body Polish
Specs: no animal testing, 100 percent natural origin, 79 percent of plant ingredients produced by organic agriculture, certified by NATRUE (European authority for natural and organic cosmetic standards). $26 for 1.7 ounces.

Sacrifice the suspect ingredients and suds up with this foaming body polish. It’s infused with myrtle to expel impurities and olive stone and sea salt to soften skin. The heady, intoxicating scent gives your shower an instant spa atmosphere. http://www.amalabeauty.com

What you own: body wash
What popular brands contain: cocamide DEA (potential carcinogen), retinyl palmitate (potential endocrine disruption; biochemical and cellular changes)
What you should try: Primavera Ginger Lime Body Wash
Specs: totally vegan product, no animal testing, NATRUE certified, fair-trade farm sources. $20 for 6.8 ounces.

You’ll be sold at one whiff of this invigorating blend of organic ginger and lime oil, with jojoba, green tea and myrtle for good measure. It gets a nice foam without any of the traditional (potentially hazardous) foaming agents. Suspicious of the “fragrance” listed on the ingredients? Fear not, it’s derived from a blend of essential oils. http://www.primaveralife.com

What you own: foot cream
What popular brands contain: parabens (potential endocrine disruption; biochemical and cellular changes), retinyl palmitate (potential carcinogen and developmental/reproductive toxicity)
What you should try: Dr. Hauschka Rosemary Foot Balm
Specs: no animal testing, NATRUE certified, 100 percent natural ingredients, most grown biodynamically and organically or ethically wild-harvested. $19.95 for 1 ounce.

This thick cream is formulated with a blend of silk powder and clay that absorbs almost immediately into the skin, so there’s no worry about slick soles. It also contains rosemary, which imparts a powerful, distinct scent as well as antioxidant and Ph-balancing benefits. Dr. Hauschka claims the balm has a warming effect, but we felt a cool, refreshed feel after applying. http://www.drhauschka.com

Resources:
Find more natural, ethical products: http://www.natrue.org
See where your body products rank in safety: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep

Originally published March 2013
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