Unmasking Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-3-45-31-pmA new report released by the Breast Cancer Fund and spearheaded by the “Campaign for Safe Cosmetics” has just released some scary facts – there are toxic chemicals in kids’ cosmetics and face paints.

How can this happen?  Because although most people assume the FDA regulates cosmetics and personal care products in the same way it does food and drugs to ensure they’re safe, it does not.  The only safety law on the book for the cosmetic industry is 75 years outdated!  Sadly, cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market today.

And yes Halloween only comes once a year, but the damage does not stop in October.  Younger and younger kids are using makeup and face paint, contributing to exposures linked to breast cancer and other later life diseases.  According to data supplied by Environmental Working Group, Americans use an average of 10 personal care products each day, resulting in exposure to more than 126 unique chemicals.  Chemicals like – lead, cadmium, toluene, parabens, formaldehyde, and ethoxylated ingredients.  Contaminants that are linked to breast cancer, kidney cancer, lung and prostrate cancer, not to mention other harmful conditions.

Here is a summary of some of the disturbing findings:

  • Kids’ face paints can be contaminated by heavy metals, including lead and cadmium.  Lead causes altered brain development and learning difficulties, while cadmium disrupts the body’s hormones.
  • Children are highly vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals during critical windows of development, and because teens account for a growing segment of the estimated $71 billion cosmetics industry, they are subjected to these harmful ingredients a long time, leading to future health issues.
  • The secret, often toxic, ingredients in “fragrance” don’t have to be labeled – a serious problem because 40% of the cosmetics and personal care products on the market today contain fragrance.  That’s why at in Harmony Naturals we only use therapeutic grade essential oils; oils that are natural and good for you.
  • Heavy metal concentrations are higher and more common in darkly pigmented paints.

Learn more in this full report and consider using the safer alternatives available at in Harmony Naturals.  Consider using products like 100% mineral makeup instead of face paints, vegan lip glosses for color instead of the unregulated products you will find in the kid’s aisle, and cleansers and moisturizers that only use pure, clean ingredients.

We need your help to get out the word.  Education is power.  So please share this information with others.

Why Choose Gluten Free Beauty Products?

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Gluten free skin care and cosmetics from in Harmony.  

If you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive do you need to avoid beauty products with gluten?  Probably the safest answer is YES!  It’s true that skin care products (such as moisturizers) that you use on your skin but don’t ingest shouldn’t in theory be an issue, however, our skin does absorb everything we put on it, so why take the risk?  And let’s not forget the fact that there is always the possibility of accidentally ingesting just a little bit.

How can that happen?  Well, what if you use a facial cleanser and while rinsing off you accidentally get a little in your mouth.  The same with a shampoo or conditioner.  Or what about the possibility of using a hand cream that gets under your fingernails and then you pick up something to eat?

Here’s a suggested list of things to do to stay safe, especially if you suffer from celiac disease or are gluten sensitive:

  • At the top of the list – avoid gluten-containing lip care products because you ingest some each time you use them.  You might want to try in Harmony’s gluten free lip balm and vegan lip glosses.
  • Never use a gluten containing product anywhere near your mouth.
  • Skip powders that contain gluten, since they can become airborne (inhaling gluten is a problem!)  We recommend in Harmony’s line of mineral makeup.  All of these products are 100% mineral based.  There are no fillers, no harmful ingredients, only pure organic ingredients so it’s OK if they are accidentally ingested.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly, including under your nails (especially if you bite them!) every time you touch a gluten-containing product.
  • Make sure you don’t rub your face or skin and then touch your lips if you do choose to use a gluten-containing product.

Benefits of Aloe Vera in Beauty Products

Aloe vera heals and enhances all skin types.
Aloe vera heals, soothes, reduces and enhances all skin types.

Aloe vera is one of the most versatile, safe and amazing ingredients used in the beauty care industry.  It’s rich in vitamins A, B, C and E and contains a plethora of antioxidants, amino acids and nutrients.  In Ayurveda (one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems) aloe vera is considered the miracle substance that can be used to treat wounds, minor cuts, dry skin, severe burns and more.  Many of us know this cactus for its ability to heal and soothe sunburn.  But its benefits are endless.  Here are a few.

Facial Products

The first ingredient in our cleanser, toner and moisturizer is organic aloe vera juice.
The primary ingredient  in our cleanser, toner and moisturizer is organic aloe vera juice.

It’s the perfect ingredient to be used in your facial care treatment, because it helps all skin types.  It moisturizes the skin without a greasy feel so those with an oily complexion love it.  And because of its nutritional qualities, it replenishes moisture quickly for those of you with dry skin.  The beta carotene and vitamins C and E help fight aging by naturally improving the skin’s firmness and keeping the skin hydrated so it’s perfect for those looking for a natural treatment for wrinkles.    And even those with skin sensitivities are soothed by its healing properties.

We recommend products that contain aloe vera as a primary ingredient.  See what we offer at in Harmony.

Skin Care

Are you looking for a natural way to treat stretch marks, soothe razor burns or cuts, heal eczema?  Then consider applying aloe vera or products that are rich in aloe vera, preferably as the primary ingredient.  We recommend our hand & body lotion and our lavender body butter.  They do a great job of treating these conditions along with treating dry, cracked skin and cuticles.

Hair Care

Aloe vera isn’t only good for your face, its an ideal hair care product.  It’s known for promoting hair growth, it reduces dandruff, it maintains the pH balance of the scalp, it conditions the hair and soothes scalp psoriasis.  The shampoos and conditioners sold at in Harmony use organic aloe vera juice to address all of these issues and more.

To learn more about the power of using aloe vera in your beauty care routine read these articles:

6 Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair, Skin & Weight-Loss

The Benefits of Using Aloe Vera for Skin Care and More

Exfoliate & Then Hydrate to Eliminate Dry Skin

Does moisturizing dead skin cells make sense to you?  When put that way … probably not, yet millions of us do it.  We see our legs flaking and think “I need to moisturize”.  And when that doesn’t work, we think we need something stronger, or that we need to apply it more often.  Or maybe, we think it’s time to move to Florida.

Perhaps a better solution is to exfoliate first and then apply an effective moisturizer.

Exfoliation is the technique of removing the top layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis and encourages the live cells down in the dermis to turnover and rejuvenate the skin. Exfoliation:

  • Effectively treats dry skin
  • Keeps pores clear
  • Prevents blemishes and break outs
  • Helps your skin maintain the luster of your youth
  • Keeps skin healthy

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Two of our favorite exfoliators are Lavender Body Scrub and Tropical Fruit Masque, both by in Harmony.  The scrub rids the body of dry skin cells and then moisturizes with a special blend of shea butter, organic jojoba oil, and evening primrose oil for healing and luxurious results.

The Tropical Fruit Masque combines papaya, pineapple and grapefruit into a soothing blend that naturally removes dead skin cells from the delicate facial area and natural antioxidants increase the rate of cell renewal.

After exfoliating, try our top selling moisturizers – hand & body lotion, lavender body butter, facial moisturizer.  We think you’ll find you get better results.

In Harmony specializes in all natural beauty products that are good for you.

Cures for Dry Skin

Fall is about many things. Leaves falling, apple picking, family gatherings at Thanksgiving … and dry skin. It’s inevitable and because we’re busy, we tend to ignore the warning signs. Until we can’t any longer. So, much as we clear out our closets to make way for winter clothes, let’s make room in the medicine chest for natural beauty products that keep our skin and hair healthy and happy.  And improve our emotional well being as well.

handbody2-novHydrating Body Lotion.  When the temperature drops, we crank up the heat and take longer and hotter shows.  And this drys out our skin.  So before you start getting uncomfortable, you might want to consider using  in Harmony’s organic skin & body lotion.  Organic aloe juice, rose distillate, organic coconut oil, witch hazel, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, goat milk, organic honey and black willowbank extract are expertly blended together to hydrate and nourish even the driest skin.  And a touch of therapeutic lavender essential oil relaxes the mind, while tea tree essential oil helps heal cracks and cuticle tears.

Lavender Body Scrub.  Have you noticed your skin is a little rougher?  Maybe scaly?  It lavenderbodyscrub-novmight be time to slough off the dead skin cell buildup with an all natural solution.   in Harmony’s lavender body scrub uses pure cane sugar to naturally exfoliate the skin. It’s a great way to renew and refresh any time of year. Blended with shea butter, rosehip fruit oil and evening primrose oil, you’ll feel luxurious all day long.

lavenderbodybutter_1Lavender Body Butter.  Need a little extra pampering on those cracked heals and elbows, why not try in Harmony’s lavender body butter?  Organic aloe, shea butter, mango seed butter and vitamin E are expertly blended together to soothe even the roughest skin.  And the touch of therapeutic grade lavender essential oil enhances the spirits, making this a great treat for yourself or a a friend.

peppermintteashampoo_1Tea Tree & Peppermint Shampoo. Do you suffer from dry scalp in the winter?  You might want to try in Harmony’s tea tree & peppermint shampoo.  Why? Because it naturally heals dry skin.  Just check out these ingredients – organic aloe leaf juice, rosehip fruit oil, organic jojoba seed oil and pro-vitamin B5.  There is nothing harsh and toxic.  Just all natural ingredients, which promote healthy skin cell rejuvenation and soothes dry scalps, while naturally cleansing.  Your hair will look great.  And it’s gentle enough to be used on your skin.

lipbalmallAll Natural Lip Balm.  Do your lips chap in the winter?  Protect them this winter with in Harmony’s organic lip balm.  Key ingredients include shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E.  It’s the most nourishing lip balm on the market, preventing cracked lips and healing them quickly when it occurs.  This product is also gluten and wheat free.

Be Beautiful Naturally with in Harmony

The Dos & Don’ts of Facial Toners

Are you confused about toners?  Don’t be.  If you’d like to learn more about why to use, how to use and when to use, read on.  Perhaps you’d even like to know what a toner is.  So let’s start there.  Facial toners are a soothing, complexion-enhancing skin care product with amazing benefits for your skin.

Toner Benefits

  • They soak up excess oil and remove dirt, makeup and dead skin cells from your face.
  • They are especially healing to those who suffer from acne or oilier skin as they clear pores to minimize breakouts and blackheads.
  • Restore and repair your skin, especially if you use a cleanser that alters it (and sadly many do).
  • Condition and moisturize your skin.
  • Calm redness while hydrating and soothing skin.
  • Prepare your skin for better absorption of products that are applied to the face following toner application.
  • Toners are the most gentle way to exfoliate the skin.
  • Provide an extra barrier of protection with antioxidants and minimize the appearance of large pores.

Many people so love their toner that they use it on its own as a cleanser, while others prefer to use it as the middle step between washing your face and applying moisturizers.  It is recommended that you use a toner daily.

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At in Harmony our customers tell us they not only use our toner, which is loaded with organic aloe juice, therapeutic grade essential oils and organic black willow bark, as a facial product, but also to soothe razor bumps and burns, relieve dry itchy skin, and other skin irritations.   And while most wipe the toner with a cotton ball to remove residual dirt, many of our customers mist their face and let it dry naturally.

It is important that you read the ingredients before purchasing a toner.  You want one with ingredients you recognize and that are proven to smooth, soften, calm and repair skin.  Stay clear of ones that contain alcohol or other astringents, which will irritate the skin.

A good toner is a wonderful addition to anyone’s skin care routine.  We hope you will check ours out.  Learn more.

The Brush Up on Taklon Makeup Brushes?

Let’s start with explaining what a Taklon brush is.  After all, even spell check doesn’t recognize the word!

Taklon is a very special, high-quality synthetic fiber.  And if images of stiff and hard-to-use come to mind, brush them away.  That was years ago.  These brushes are soft, apply makeup beautifully, are easy to clean, last forever and best of all, good for you and kind to animals.  Which is why in Harmony uses, sells and recommends them.

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If you wonder why an all natural beauty line prefers taklon to animal hair brushes its because they are safer for you.  Did you know that animal hair brushes harbor bacteria, are loaded with dead skin cells, can irritate sinuses, and that dyes are often used to make them look better?  All of these factors can cause your skin to break out.

And taklon brushes are a great cruelty-free alternative.   Sadly, every year millions of animals are harmed in the creation of animal hair brushes.  Not a good option for those of us who support animal kindness.

in Harmony’s 100% taklon brushes are made of the highest quality taklon.   They are designed to have anti-bacterial qualities, are super soft and ideal for applying loose mineral makeup evenly.  These vegan brushes are famous for their durability, flexibility and ease of maintenance.

Like anything, these brushes will last longer if well taken care of.  Some experts recommend you wash them weekly (but this blogger does it once a month with good results).  Regardless of the frequency, know that cleaning your brushes regularly will ensure that they’ll remain in good shape.  We recommend that you use a plant-based cleanser like in Harmony’s body wash.

What do you think?  Is it time to try a taklon brush?

Be Beautiful Naturally – Sulfate and Paraben Free

There are so many frightening ingredients in today’s beauty products.  Often we read words like sulfates and parabens without understanding what that means for our health. And it’s complicated, because there are so many dissenting opinions.

Take sulfates, for example.  Ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureate sulfate (SLES) are chemicals found in shampoo, toothpaste and soaps.  These chemicals act as a foaming agent.  In more concentrated forms, they are also used in industrial cleaners – engine degreasers, carwash soaps, even floor cleansers.  They are believed by many experts to be carcinogens, which are absorbed into our bloodstreams.  And they are known to cause hair, skin and even eye irritations.  In the case of this blogger, SLS causes my tongue to break out in canker sores.  Sadly, most commercial toothpaste brands use it.  Just read the ingredient label of your favorite toothpaste.  You’ll see what I mean.

So why does the industry use sulfates?  Because they are cheap and effective at stripping away that oily feeling and making us feel clean.  And because the beauty care industry is unregulated here in the United States.

It’s the same with parabens.  Parabens have been widely used in products to prevent bacteria growth since the 1950’s.  Before that formaldehyde was used!  Common names for parabens are: butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben.  They don’t sound too good, do they?  These parabens have been deemed xenoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body.  They are linked to breast cancer, testicular cancer and reproductive issues.  Experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in beauty products.  And watchdog groups warn that parabens can be stored in the body and that over time will pose a health risk.

So wouldn’t you rather use beauty products with ingredients you recognize … and can pronounce?  Ingredients that won’t cause long term health problems?

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All natural, organic and sulfate-free shampoo/body wash & conditioner. 

in Harmony is passionate about beauty products that are good for you. We want you to look beautiful and feel beautiful … naturally. Everything we create is made using the best nature has to offer – organic ingredients, therapeutic grade essential oils and pure minerals. Nothing harmful will touch your skin. Even those with sensitivities and allergies will find in Harmony rejuvenating and healing.  See more.

After all, we know that what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.  There is nothing harmful – no sulfates, no parabens, no synthetic fragrances and no dyes. Only nature’s best ingredients. Most of our beauty products are vegan, gluten free and wheat free.

Be beautiful naturally … with in Harmony.

Stay Healthy – Read Beauty Product Labels

Just like in the food industry, you need to read the ingredients that are in your skin care and makeup products.  According to a study released last year by the Harvard School of Public Health, the average U.S. person is exposed to more than 100 chemicals in their cosmetics, soaps and personal care products before leaving the house in the morning!

And what’s even more disturbing is that some of these products contain a dozen or more chemicals, many of which are carcinogens, neurotoxins and reproductive toxins that are absorbed through our skin … our largest organ.

Unfortunately the FDA currently has little power to regulate ingredients in personal care.  There is legislature under consideration by Congress – The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Act of 2013 – which would require more safety measures, but until it is approved we need to be our own advocates.  So read the labels.  Make sure you know what you are putting on your face and your body.

At in Harmony we pride ourselves on safe, non-toxic ingredients.  Our products are all natural, developed by a doctor and are 80-100% organic.  Many of our competitors claim to be organic, but only 3%+ of their ingredients are.  How can they do this?  Because the industry is not yet regulated.

Full Product Line

Learn more about Why in Harmony Naturals and let’s all be healthier and wiser about using products that are good for us.

Benefits of Mineral Makeup

There’s a lot of interest in mineral makeup because of its safe, all natural and organic characteristics.  But do you have all the facts?

Mineral makeup is as ancient as the human desire to enhance one’s looks.  Think Cleopatra’s kohl-rimmed eyes.  But not all mineral makeup products are the same.  Be wary of those that have fillers or claim to be mineral-enriched.  They may contain preservatives, perfumes, chemical dyes or other irritating ingredients that clog the pores and aggravate allergies.

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It’s always best to go with a trusted brand like in Harmony, which recently introduced a line of 100% organic and mineral makeup.   The benefits of using such a brand include:

  • 100% mineral makeup products won’t clog your pores.
  • They are preservative-free and fragrance-free which minimizes allergies and skin irritations.
  • They soothe.  Did you know that calamine lotion which is used to calm rashes is basically zinc oxide colored with iron oxide?  Both of these ingredients are in mineral makeup?
  • It serves as a natural protector from the sun.  Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are naturally found in mineral makeup and both ingredients have been approved by the FDA as a sunscreen.
  • It is totally oil-free which is great for those with oily skin.
  • It is breathable.  It is light, airy and leaves your skin looking natural and beautiful.
  • 100% mineral makeup doesn’t support the growth of bacteria, making it especially beneficial for patients with acne-prone skin.

To learn more visit inharmonynaturals.com