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A safer way to shop for toiletries

MagazineNovember 1999 (Vol. 10 Issue 8)A safer way to shop for toiletries

When choosing personal care products, shop at health food stores and specially dedicated shops such as Planet Organic (0171 221 7171)

When choosing personal care products, shop at health food stores and specially dedicated shops such as Planet Organic (0171 221 7171). Choose those that contain the fewest number of ingredients.

For healthy skin: the skin is the major excretory organ of the body. Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water to encourage your kidneys to flush out toxins. Avoid smoking and alcohol.Instead of fancy cleansers, exfoliants and astringents, use simple vegetable based soaps, a wash cloth, witchhazel or a weak apple cider vinegar solution. A good rule of thumb for moisturisers indeed any personal care product is, if you can't put it in your body, don't put it on your body. Use simple vegetable oils, such as apricot kernel oil or coconut oil for normal skins and heavier oils such as avocado and evening primrose oil for older or drier skins. Rosehip oil is a rich and nourishing oil for the face.

Alternatively, Neal's Yard produce a range of creams and oils for face and body which do not contain harmful ingredients (mail order 0161 831 7875). Consider also products by The Green People Company (01444 401444), Aveda (0171 410 1600) and Neways (01480 861764).

For healthy hair: Makes sure that your protein intake is adequate. Prematurely greying hair can indicate a lack of the amino acid phenylalanine. Aveda, Green People and Neways all make kinder shampoos.

If you dye your hair: Look out for UK products by Neways or HerbUK (01202 471800) or American brands such as Color Me Naturally, Light Mountain Natural Hair Color or Henna Color the Gray (available for mail order from California based distributor Sue Wilson, 707 542 4141).

For dental health: Tom's of Maine produce fluoride free toothpastes in both fennel and mint flavours. Consider also toothpastes by Weleda (0115 944 8200), Sarakan and Green People. Alternatively, brush regularly with bicarbonate of soda or food grade hydrogen peroxide.

Antiperspirants and deodorants: Look for those which are not coloured and which do not contain aluminium. Desert Essence Tea Tree Deodorant. Weleda and Tom's of Maine also produce a range of safe deodorants. Usea mineral rock crystal, such as Crystal Spring Natural Body Deodorant. Neal's Yard Remedies also stock mineral salt deodorants.

Safe perfume use: Look for fragrances based on essential oils and free from petrochemicals such as those made by Aveda.

Supplement: Take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement, plus 7500 iu vitamin A, 100 mg B complex , 1-2 g vitamin C, and 400 iu vitamin E,also essential fatty acids.

Health complaints commonly associated with perfume

What to watch out for

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