Beauty and the Chemical Beast: How to go non-toxic at the salon

February 27, 2013 in Self-Health, Social Responsibility, Style, Sustainability by alliemcc

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Image via Alex Designs.

I've let my membership in Green America lapse (student budget, what can I say?).

But they sent me the latest issue of their magazine, The Green American, with the guilt-trippy, "here's a free issue, please come back to us!" packaging. Le sigh

As guilty as I felt reading through the magazine, I have no qualms about sharing the feature article, their great introductory guide to healthier salon products and services.

If you’re going to the spa, look for a member of the Green Spa Network, a coalition of green-minded spas across the US that pledge to be energy efficient and sustainable in all their practices. If there isn’t a green salon near you, bring your own nontoxic products to your salon if allowed. Buy from screened green businesses listed at greenpages.org, and visit the Skin Deep Database at ewg.org/skindeep to find least-toxic products for at-home use.

You can read the whole article here

The Green American article gives a few resources for finding non-toxic salons and products. I find mine by shopping online, and at my local health food store, which has a skin care and cosmetics section. I do my own color at home with a European box dye on my hair; I've been replacing my standard nail polish with 3-free formulas, and I use a coconut oil-based nail polish remover.

By no means am I going all organic and non-toxic all the time. Budget, convenience, and a husband who has different shopping habits– not to mention society's standards of hygiene (hello, chemical-laden anti-perspirant)– mean that I still slather myself and ingest plenty of awful crap that I just pray gets flushed out of my system somehow.

But I'm hoping and planning that one day, sooner than later, I'll be able to say that everything that I put on my body could safely be eaten. Actually, I'm making it a priority. Our skin is our biggest organ, and it absorbs everything that touches it through our pores and into the bloodstream.

Now let that sink in a minute. (Pun absolutely intended.)

 

Ebay's World of Good is another great starting point for stocking up on products.

For a local angle, you might want to read my review of Synergy Salon in New Canaan, Connecticut.

And this article, that I posted on my Facebook page earlier this year, will make you think twice (at least) about hair extensions.

If you've already switched to organic food, have you also taken a closer look at your beauty maintenance? Shout out your favorite green products and salons in the comments below!