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But sensitive skin can also react to organic ingredients that are "new" to it, so go carefully with straight essential may need to put them in a carrier oil you know you don't have a problem with. I have had an adverse reaction to tea tree oil and also neroli oil (which was a shame, because I loved the smell...and may try it again some day but very sparingly, because it does have some excellent benefits if you don't react badly to it). Also...this same series of articles reminded us to use sunblocks, but most sunblocks contain potentially carcinogenic you pretty much have to stay away from all the big name sunblocks and look, again, at the health food stores for the zinc oxide options (for example). I'm loving a regular TREAT-ment of raw coconut oil, and of course it smells like I just came from the beach even though I avoid too much sun and have gotten over the desire to be tanned. There is also something called "oil cleansing" for your skin which you do with olive or coconut no soapy products at all. My skin has gotten very dry this summer, so I'm going to try that.


I also don't agree that people won't buy shampoos that aren't pretty colors. I don't need my shampoo to be green, pink, or yellow; I don't even need it to smell like strawberries or whatever. Just so it actually works, doesn't smell bad, and doesn't contain harmful ingredients.


I do not agree with the statement from Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade. I believe that consumers WILL buy shampoo that does not lather or looks brown in the bottle once they are informed of the hazards of consuming the chemicals that produce the lather or the pleasant color. At least this consumer and most of her friends and family would!


Recently I have been using all natural skin and hair care products from a Co. called Arbonne. I have pampered my skin for years always thinking expensive is probably best...not necessarily so.


Susan: Vaseline is a byproduct of the petrochemical industry. It was first developed and marketed as a salve to speed the healing of burns and skin irritations. The reason it could work was because it sealed the skin, keeping germs out and moisture in. The trouble is that Vaseline, or things like it, really shellac the skin and prevent it from performing its usual functions of absorbing and excreting. If you use it regularly and suddenly stop using it, you may have a detox reaction that looks like an allergic reaction, because your skin realizes it is "open for business" and starts moving toxins out again. While you use it, the toxins your skin normally excretes are forced back in your blood stream and sent to your liver to be dealt with. Natural alternatives include ointments made with beeswax (which helps keep in moisture but will allow toxins out!) and antibacterial essential oils (tea tree, pine, etc.). Saje carries some good stuff like Recovery and Restoral balms.

chad henry

Glad she started her own company, but gee there were tons of hair and body soaps available for years without any chemical additives. Try castile soap for both hair and body, and rinse with vinegar. Sheesh.


GREAT article, Catherine! Good to see you at the studio again. Let me know what you use and what you can buy locally...I'm interested in this topic. THANKS!!


I am dealing with a serious reaction to a medicine I have been taking and the only thing that calms my inflamed skin, which is very dry because of the swelling, is vaseline. What are your theories about
using this product and is there a pure version of it?


Honey Girl Organics only uses food quality organic ingredients in its skin care products: cremes, cleanser, toner, baby butter, lip balm... I love them and feel like using them because they have no chemicals or fillers! Goes along with my yoga practice for sure.


This may sound like heresy, and I do strive to use green and natural products as much as possible, but natural isn't always best. I personally can't use many products made entirely with natural ingredients because my skin breaks out with eczema. Likewise, many essential oils will tend me toward asthma and swollen sinuses. And (sadly) cats, while entirely natural, are a problem too. So, it's a very good thing that so many companies are gearing up to reformulate in accordance with the stricter European laws.

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