August 3, 2010

Top 5 Beauty Tips for 2010

Whether you purchase your many beauty products in the store, buy them homemade from a local retailer, or brew them up yourself in your kitchen, there are always new advances and recipes to add to your roster and improve your regimen. Staying on top of the latest and greatest in the vast market of beauty products and trends is not always easy, especially with everyone recommending their favorites, but there are a few things you can look for in order to ensure that the products you choose meet your standards and fit your needs. Here are a few tips for finding the newest items to make yourself beautiful.


1. Avoid chemicals. If you prefer organic or homemade beauty products, chances are good that you’ve already jumped on this bandwagon. But with more and more products causing allergic reactions and companies seeking out loopholes that allow them to advertise their products as “natural” when they aren’t, it can be difficult to find the items that meet your criteria. Your best bet is probably to make your own, but if you don’t have time, look for products that are not only advertised as toxin-free, but are also fragrance-free (as fragrances are often made with chemical compounds that are not required to be listed on packaging). If you’re not sure, check with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to see if the companies you like have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics to ensure customer safety.

2. Be wary of trends. Buy your beauty products like you buy your electronics. You know if you are the first in line for the new iPhone, you’ll be sorry six months down the road when Apple releases the bug-free version (sure they test it, but they have a release date to hit!). It’s no different with cosmetics or creams. Wait until you’re sure the products are safe to avoid some of the pitfalls of acting as a company’s lab rat.

3. Embrace organic. As the demand for eco-friendly merchandise continues to grow, so does the variety and availability of green and organic beauty products. They are often all-natural (free of paraben, sodium laureth sulfate, and other chemicals), they don’t depend on harmful animal testing, and they now offer just as many benefits and options as other brands.

4. Shop smart. Plenty of companies offer products that practically promise the moon, but use a little common sense. While some may show results over time (or even instantaneously), they are often short-lived and no substitute for proven remedies (this can be applied to just about anything from cellulite reduction to softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles). Listen to what your mother told you: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

5. Start on the inside. Being beautiful starts with having a healthy lifestyle, so stay hydrated, implement a balanced diet, and get plenty of exercise. When your body is functioning at its peak, you’re sure to exude a natural glow that will allow you to cut back on the products needed to maximize your beauty.


Carol Montrose is a writer for Online MBA Rankings where you can browse the top online MBA programs.

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  1. Soudarya9:37 AM

    Can makeup cause cancer?

  2. Anonymous9:38 AM

    Many cosmetics contain chemicals known as parabens and phthalates, which recent studies indicate may be linked to cancer development.

    Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. (Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.)
    Phthalates are known to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairments in laboratory animals that are exposed to these chemicals during pregnancy and after birth. Phthalates are also known to be hormone-mimicking chemicals, many of which disrupt normal hormonal processes, raising concern about their implications for increased breast cancer risk.
    There are numerous other chemicals of concern in personal care products. BCA is particularly concerned about lutein (progesterone), formaldehyde and coal tar due to their links to cancer. The Environmental Working Group recently released Skin Deep, a report on the safety of cosmetics and personal care products. Astonishingly, 1/3 of products tested contain on or more ingredients that are known, probable or possible human carcinogens.

    Cosmetic companies will argue that we don't need to worry about harmful chemicals in their products because they are only used on our skin and hair. For example, the cosmetics industry has long stated that their widespread use of parabens and phthalates is not harmful because they remain on our skin and are not absorbed into our body. However, a recent study found parabens in human breast cancer tissue, raising obvious questions about the ability of parabens to accumulate in our bodies (Darbre et al. 2004). In September 2000 scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found phthalates at surprisingly high levels in every one of 289 people tested, especially in women of reproductive age. The authors concluded that "from a public health perspective, these data provide evidence that phthalate exposure is both higher and more common than previously suspected" (Blount et al. 2000).

    Many cosmetic companies will also argue that the level of a harmful chemical in any one product is not enough to harm you, based on studies of chemical exposure in adults. However, science is finding the timing of exposure is crucial, and that even a very small dose of some chemicals can have serious consequences in children and young women who are still developing. Also, we are rarely exposed to a chemical just one time. We may use the same product every day, several days a week, for months or years. In addition, we use dozens of personal care products daily, not just one. So while exposure from one product on one day may be small, the fact is we use numerous products a day for extended periods of time. As a result, scientists are finding chemicals such as parabens and phthalates accumulating in our bodies.

    Many diseases like cancer, asthma, birth defects and learning disabilities are on the rise, and there is growing evidence that these health problems are linked to the chemicals we are exposed to in our air, water, food, and everyday products. It's time we start acting to protect human health. The Precautionary Principle, a common sense approach to chemical use, says "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". It guides us to take action to prevent exposure to chemicals we know or suspect are harmful to our health. In the case of cosmetics, when a product ingredient is known or strongly suspected of being harmful to our healthy, our top priority should be eliminating the use of this chemical and finding a safe substitute to replace it. In many cases, we know safe alternatives do exist and are already being used by some cosmetic companies. The notion of "safe" or "acceptable" levels of hazardous chemicals in our products should only be introduced when we cannot find alternatives. We are entitled to products that won't hurt us.

  3. It's true that most of the products that are said to be as chemical free are not actually so. I always prefer herbal products and they are much safer than other products.

  4. Pralhad4:51 PM

    all cosmetics come with an expiry date even if it is not mentioned on the product. Replace all cosmetics within six months. By the end of 6-7 months, whatever is left in a container may have become contaminated by contact with your hand or an applicator. Even the presence of air each time you open the container to apply make-up each day can lead to gradual build-up of bacteria, which can cause skin infections and inflammation.


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