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What products are your children using at school?

August 21, 2015

It is that time of year when it seems we eat, sleep, and breathe back-to-school shopping. School supplies. Clothes. Dorm room must-haves.

It can be easy to forget about health and beauty essentials during this crazy time. But, especially for college students and teens it is important to send them off to school with the cleanest products, because let’s be honest, when it comes time for them to buy their own they are going to grab whatever is easiest and cheapest.

You’ve probably trained them well to read labels and make smart purchasing decisions, but we all know that as a college student it is easy to be swayed by price. Make sure you send them off stocked up with these clean essentials so they aren’t tempted by the price tag on sulfate and paraben filled products.

You can find descriptions of and links to each product at the bottom of this post! :)

  1. Our Everyday Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner Combo is a staple for any student. Without parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, or other nasty chemicals this shampoo gently cleanses and strengths the hair while our conditioner de-tangles, controls frizz, and improves texture. 
  2. Wild Eucalyptus Body Wash is a refreshing scent perfect for both guys and gals. It is a gentle body wash filled with all-natural ingredients that is sure to leave everyone else in the dorm jealous. 
  3. Teenagers and college students need a facial cleanser that can keep the dirt from intramural sports and the acne from stressing about exams away. Our Cleansing Milk is the perfect cleanser that removes makeup, dirt, and residue to leave your face clean but never dried out!
  4. For those dry months of walking to class in the bitter cold, or for those with dry skin, a light moisturizer is key to keeping the skin moisturized. Our Ultra Light Day Cream won't clog pores and lead to breakouts, but will keep your face refreshed. It is perfect for sensitive skin. 
  5. Can you honestly ever have enough chap stick? There are two on my desk right now and probably two more in my purse! Every backpack, night stand, and study space needs a good natural lip balm! (My personal favorite is the citrus!)
  6. For when those pesky spots pop up after a long night in the library or an intense game of frisbee on the quad, our Acne Serum will zap them fast. The best part? It doesn't have toxins in it that will do even more damage to your face and dry it out! 

Even if it is too late to send them off with these products, we all remember what it was like to be in college and a care package is always welcomed with excitement! ;)

 - Emily

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The Natural Face Cleansing Routine You Should Be Using

August 14, 2015

There is so much information out there about the best way to cleanse your face - it can be overwhelming! While everyone has success with different routines and products, there are a few things that dermatologists and health and beauty experts suggest that everyone does.

I put together a guide for you to help prioritize what should be a part of your daily face cleansing routine!

 

Step 1: Exfoliate

 

Exfoliating is an essential part of any routine that is often ignored (I know I have been guilty of it in the past!). Removing the dead skin cells from the skin prevents them from clogging your pores and causing irritation and acne. How often you exfoliate depends on how sensitive your skin is, but 2-3 times a week is what we suggest when using our Exfoliating Cleanser. 

Step 2: Cleanse

For most of us cleansing is the step we have been doing the longest and most routinely. While you may be tempted to buy cleansers that are advertised specifically for healing acne, these can dry out the skin. Find a cleanser that will clear away any makeup or daily residue, but won’t dry out your skin’s natural oils. Our cleansers are gentle but effective.

 

Step 4: Moisturize

The type of moisturizer that you should use depends on your skin and the time of year. In the summer a lighter cream is better because of the humidity, while during the winter it is best to break out your favorite heavy-duty moisturizer. We have several moisturizers to choose from and it could be a whole different email to explain their differences, but our website does a great job of explaining each of them!

Step 5: Treat

This is the step when you can address any special attention that your skin needs. If you want to address fine lines and wrinkes, Vitamin C is a great natural product for this. Our Reparative Serum is full of Vitamin C and great if mature skin is a concern of yours. If acne is a problem, don’t forget that drying your face out too much can only cause the problem to escalate. Our Acne Clarifying Serum is a great product that will clear your face up without drying it out. A tip for our serums: a little bit goes a long way!

- Emily

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A Cheat Sheet for Decoding Labels

August 07, 2015

Take a walk down the health and beauty aisle or visit any brand’s website and you’ll see countless certifications and logos filling the bottles. They all have a different meaning and should affect which brands you purchase but it is hard to know exactly what they all mean!

That’s why I decided to create a cheat sheet featuring some of the most popular labels in the industry that will be helpful for your next purchase of personal care items.

Nurture My Body has many certifications and below are just a few. Visit our “We Are Green” page for a full list.

Nurture My Body uses all of these labels on our various products becasue we know they are important to you! Below are some of my favorite products to use in the summer, all of which include the labels listed above. I hope this was helpful!

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Are Cosmetic Products Harming Coral Reefs?

July 21, 2014

If you have ever had the chance to snorkel in the Caribbean or perhaps even off the coast of Australia, you have probably gotten to see what an amazing ecosystem exists just below the ocean’s surface. However, coral reefs are in danger and are being killed off at extreme rates due to:

  • Agricultural runoff containing pesticides and herbicides
  • Human waste and sewage
  • Chemical dumping and oil spills
  • Direct human damage from tourists (UVI, 2001)

While these issues are often the most heard about, a recent study suggests coral is actually more sensitive than we think. It turns out that the chemicals in certain sunscreens, lotions, and other cosmetic items, can actually kill coral. These chemicals can activate viruses in the coral and attack the algae population, which is vital to the coral’s survival (Downs, 2014).

Why should we care? Well, coral reefs provide a habitat for marine life, as well as coastal protection. In addition, coral reefs:

  • Provide tourism and recreation
  • Produce vital chemical compounds for medicinal purposes
  • Supports jobs, generating $100 million annually in the US, $29.8 billion worldwide Tourism 2011)

What Can We Do?  Unfortunately there is not a lot of regulation over lotions, cosmetics, and most other products we use on our bodies. So here are some pointers:

  • Avoid wearing lotions and cosmetics with toxins, like oxybenzone, octylmethyl cinnamate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, and butylparaben
  • Do not touch or walk on coral when diving and snorkeling
  • Use less toxic chemicals on lawns. It all ends up in our water
  • Use a natural, mineral based sunscreen
  • Buy organic when possible

At Nurture My Body, all of our products are rated 0-1 by the EWG, meaning we don’t use harmful and dangerous chemicals in our products. Additionally, not only are our products safe for your skin, but they also are safe for the environment.

Stay Healthy!

The Nurture My Body Team

 

 

REFERENCES:

Downs, C. A. 2014. "Toxicological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, benzophenone-2, on planulae and in vitro cells of the coral, Stylophora pistillata."Ecotoxicology23: 175-191.

"Tourism and Recreation.". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 13 May 2011. Web. . <http://coralreef.noaa.gov/aboutcorals/values/tourismrecreation/>.

University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). 2001. Threats to Coral Reefs. UVI Web site.
http://www.uvi.edu/coral.reefer/threats.html

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Why Use a Zinc Based Sunscreen?

June 19, 2014

Summer is here, and with that comes protecting ourselves from the sun. But did you know that not all sunscreens are created equal?

It’s pretty simple. Suncreens can be either chemically based or mineral based. Chemically based sunscreen often contain oxybenzone, and mineral based sunscreen generally use zinc. The problem is, that oxybenzone is considered a toxic ingredient.

Here are some research findings about oxybenzone:

  • Oxybenzone is a penetration enhancer, meaning it can help other chemicals absorb into your body (Pont 2004)
  • Oxybenzone has also been linked to disrupting hormone function, in men and women (Kunz 2006; van Liempd 2007)
  • Oxybenzone has been found to be the source of allergic reactions of the skin (Bryden 2006)
  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG), rates oxybenzone an 8 on their toxicity scale, which is extremely high

But if it is so dangerous, why is it still sold in stores? Turns out, the last safety review by the FDA was conducted in the 1970s. As a result, sunscreen manufacturers are able to use oxybenzone and other chemicals as long as they follow the 1970 guidelines.

For now, these sunscreens will stay on the shelves. But as a consumer you can make a choice. Find a zinc based sunscreen rather than a chemical based sunscreen. Zinc, a mineral found in most natural sunscreens, is more natural, far less toxic, and extremely effective at blocking the sun. It is also the only active ingredient approved by the FDA for children under 6 months.

That is why here at Nurture My Body we only use zinc in our Organic Sunscreen .

Our Organic Sunscreen also:

Uses non-nano zinc oxide. We never use nano-sized particles that can cross into the bloodstream.

Is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.

Provides 97% UVA and UVB absorption across the entire broad spectrum.

Is biodegradable formula is safe for use around fragile reefs and aquatic environments.

Consumer choices can be confusing, and often overwhelming, but choosing a product with natural, mineral-based ingredients, like zinc, will keep you and your kids protected from the sun, and also protected from dangerous chemicals.

Enjoy your summer!

References:

Bryden AM, Moseley H, Ibbotson SH, Chowdhury MM, Beck MH, Bourke J, et al. 2006. Photopatch testing of 1155 patients: results of the U.K. multicentre photopatch study group. The British journal of dermatology 155(4): 737-747.

Kunz PY, Galicia HF, Fent K. 2006. Comparison of in vitro and in vivo estrogenic activity of UV filters in fish. Toxicol Sci 90(2): 349-361.

Pont AR, Charron AR, Brand RM. 2004. Active ingredients in sunscreens act as topical penetration enhancers for the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 195(3): 348-354.

Van Liempd SM, Kool J, Meerman JH, Irth H, Vermeulen NP. 2007. Metabolic profiling of endocrine-disrupting compounds by on-line cytochrome p450 bioreaction coupled to on-line receptor affinity screening. Chemical research in toxicology 20(12): 1825-1832.

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Natural Baby Products

April 13, 2014

There are many questions that are frequently asked regarding natural baby products since we know all parents want the best for their babies. You want to ensure that you gather all the information that you can to find out if this is the product you want to use on your little one.

Rest assured – your little one is important to us. We are here to answer those questions, give you peace of mind. All our products are made from quality, organic ingredients.

Q: When you say 100% organic, what exactly does that mean and does it apply to all the natural baby products that you sell?

A: 100% organic means that the products do not use harsh chemicals or other factors that can be harmful to both humans and the environment. These products you would find in other items throughout stores but in our store we only sell items that come with ingredients that we harvest naturally, that are good for you and also are NOT tested on animals. This goes for all the products that we sell, not just the natural baby products.

 

Q: Do you just sell skin care products for baby, or can I purchase some and do you have other items as well for baby?

A: We sell soap, shampoo, sunscreen, lotion and body wash for baby – as well as a whole line for adults. If you're looking for something specific, do not hesitate to check out the many sections of our store. You can also ask us if we make something in particular that you're interested in.

 

Q: How do I know what the natural baby products are made with? Will my baby break out or have a reaction to the ingredients?

A: The ingredients that the specific product is made out of are all outlined on the side of the product. Nothing is left behind and all ingredients are listed. If your baby has an allergic reaction, bring in the bottle with you to the doctor's office – they might know what the problem is. However, it is rare that they will have a reaction since all products are natural.

 

 

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What is the EWG and why do their rankings matter?

April 07, 2014

What is EWG and what do these rankings mean?

You'll see EWG a lot on our web site and for good reason! Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a America's largest and most effective non-profit, environmental health research and advocacy organization. Their goal is to create a healthier, cleaner world this and the next generation. We are proud that Nurture My Body is ranked by them as one of the safest cosmetic companies in America.

EWG estimates that on average, people use 9 products daily, including soaps, deodorant, haircare products, lotions, shaving creams, make-up, etc.. Kids using similar products also absorb the chemicals in sunscreen, soaps, and lotions. Most of us buy these assuming that they are approved by some agency to be safe. They are not! No health studies or pre-marketing testing is required before these products are absorbed directly into our bodies! Unbelievably, "..a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA." (FDA 2012) The FDA hopes companies will police themselves, but their priority is on their profit, not your health. Many hazardous chemicals are used as preservatives, fillers, and fragrances. For example, scientists have discovered phthalates in urine, parabens in breast tumor tissue, and fragrance chemicals in human fat. Cosmetics still include formaldehyde and its precursors, coal tar, and a slew of other dangerous chemicals you won‘t even be able to pronounce! Are there potential risks? You bet! Thankfully the EWG has developed a data bank of over 73,000 personal care products that Americans use. The main score (zero being the best) is an average of the rankings of the individual ingredients. Be sure to see this breakdown. Now go for it. . . Make a commitment to your health and search for the scores of your lotions, make-up, and hair products. Test out our child's sunscreen and soap. Then put in Nurture My Body. You'll be glad you did!

P.S. Remember that all these toxic ingredients eventually get into our water supply since humans excrete some and dispose of them. Pass this on to our friends to make a difference on our planet!

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Just Say NO to Parabens

Just Say NO to Parabens

April 06, 2014

Happy Thursday Nurturers! I just got back from a lovely and relaxing vacation in New Hampshire and have been digging myself out of a big pile of to-dos.  I finally got a little bit of free time so I decided to write a post :) Today I want to talk to you about parabens.  What are parabens? Parabens are chemical preservatives found in many commercial brands of cosmetics and body care products. They are used to inhibit the growth of bacteria (mostly in products that contain a lot of water, such as shampoo) and increase shelf life. Why are parabens bad? According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, parabens have been found in biopsies from breast tumors at concentrations similar to those found in consumer products. Parabens are found in nearly all urine samples from U.S. adults of a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds. So... EWG's Skin Deep database indicates that parabens are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation. The greatest concern is the link between breast cancer and parabens.  Parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. They also increase the expression of genes usually regulated by estradiol (a form of estrogen); these genes cause human breast tumor cells to grow and multiply in cellular studies. Nurture My Body products are always paraben-free.  Be sure to check your beauty and household products to see if they contain parabens.  If they do, do yourself and your family a favor and make the switch to a paraben-free alternative. :) Until next time, Sally, Summer Intern

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So many choices, but which organic shampoo is right for you?

So many choices, but which organic shampoo is right for you?

April 06, 2014

Hi Nurture My Body Family! Hopefully you all read my recent post on SLS and Sulfate-free shampoos. If you didn’t, read it now :) Here at Nurture My Body, we get many questions about which shampoo is right for your hair. So, I figured it was about time for me to write a post about the differences in our shampoos. As you may know, we carry three kinds of shampoo (all of which come in both scented and fragrance-free): Moisturizing Shampoo, Shampoo for Normal Hair, and Volumizing Shampoo. I've had the pleasure of being able to try all three, so I’m going to try to explain the differences.

Moisturizing Shampoo:

This shampoo is perfect for those of you with dry and/or color treated hair. If you’re like me, you are guilty of coloring and over-processing your hair. Not only am I guilty of this, but my hair is pretty long so I used to have a hard time finding a shampoo that didn't make it look like a frizzy, dry mess. That was until I tried this shampoo. It does such a good job cleaning my hair without stripping it of the natural oils that it needs to nourish itself. After using this shampoo, I almost don’t even feel like I have to use a conditioner (and sometimes I don’t because I only like to condition my hair every other time that I shampoo). This is my favorite because it is best for my dry and over-processed locks.

Shampoo for Normal Hair:

This is our staple shampoo. If you don’t feel like you have particularly dry or limp hair, this is the product for you. It safely removes built-up dirt and impurities while leaving hair with the natural oils that it needs to look shiny, healthy and enviable. As always with our products, this shampoo contains no parabens or sulfate, has an EWG rating of 0 and is safe for color-treated hair. Volumizing Shampoo: Who doesn't crave a little bit more body and bounce in their hair? I know that I do. If body and bounce is what your hair is asking for, look no further (how cliché does that sound? :)). But seriously, the Volumizing Shampoo is my second love. I use it almost every other time that I shampoo, switching off with the Moisturizing Shampoo. Over the years hair tends to lose its luster, volume and life. Without a trip to the salon (that reminds me that I need to make an appointment to get my hair trimmed!), it can be hard to get your hair looking young again. With the help of this Volumizing shampoo that is safe for color-treated hair, give your hair life again without stripping it of its natural oils. Whichever shampoo you decide to use, you can feel good using it knowing that all of our shampoo is paraben-free, sulfate free and also comes in fragrance-free (but the scented version is amazing (lavender! :)). Until next time, -Sally, Nurture My Body Intern

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How to Treat Age Spots Organically

How to Treat Age Spots Organically

April 06, 2014

Hey Nurture My Body Family!

What is it with me and the Regenerating Cream this week? Earlier, I talked about how it can be used as a part of a skin regimen to treat Rosacea.

This time, I will be talking about age spots.

After a lifetime of being exposed to the sun, you're bound to have multiple consequences, including brown spots on your hands and face.

Age spots, technically known as "solar lentigines," are well-defined, uniformly colored areas of brown or grayish pigment that generally show up on the hands, face, neck, and chest.

Despite the name, these spots are not caused by age. Rather, they come from sun damage (so don’t feel old if you have them!).

Conventional treatment for hyperpigmentation includes bleach, specifically hydroquinone or tretinoin (Retin-A), which carry serious health risks like cancer, reproductive toxicity, and skin allergies. Also common are cryotherapy (freezing) and light therapy (either laser or intense pulsed light). Although effective and relatively safe, both of these treatments can cost thousands of dollars.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your age spots, here are some things that you can be doing:

  • Up your antioxidants.
  • Try a yogurt mask—yogurt contains lactic acid which lightens and exfoliates skin, but don’t do this if you have had a recent sunburn, windburn, wax or chemical peel because it could irritate your skin (I’ll be doing a homemade face masks post in the near future☺)
  • Rub pineapple, papaya, cherry, pumpkin, grape, pomegranate, raspberry or other enzyme rich food on your skin. Natural food enzymes accelerate exfoliation of dead cells on the skin’s surface, which then stimulates the formation of new skin cells.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. I keep harping on it, but use sunscreen!

In addition, try using our Regenerating Cream twice daily to aid cell turnover fading the age/sun spots while fighting wrinkles and providing the perfect amount of moisture.

-Sally, Summer Intern

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How to Treat Rosacea Organically

How to Treat Rosacea Organically

April 06, 2014

Hi Nurture My Body Family!

Each week I tackle some of our customer questions via email and each week I get at least one question about Rosacea.

While I don’t have Rosacea, one of my very best friends of 10 years does and I’ve seen her struggle with treating it and attempting to cover it.

Rosacea is a condition of facial redness and sensitivity that affects about 10 percent of the population. The problem usually starts in middle age, and both men and women can be affected. You can read a lot more about rosacea on Wikipedia.

But why am I telling you about Rosacea? If you have it, you likely already know what it is. So instead of telling you about your condition, I’ll give you ways to treat it.

Many Rosacea sufferers complain that antibiotics and other prescription creams are too harsh for their sensitive skin or that they would rather use organic or natural remedies.

Here are a few things that have been found to help:

  • Mediation, yoga and various relaxation and breathing exercises
  • Wear sunscreen (organic!) at all times
  • Avoid flush-provoking foods like hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol and large hot meals

In addition to these tips, I would suggest using our Regenerating Cream as a part of your skin regimen. Our formula with 25 certified organic ingredients penetrates deeply to the cellular structure and fights the aging effects of sun spots, fine lines, and rosacea.

Specifically, it contains these ingredients selected for their calming and redness reducing qualities (click each to learn more specifics in our organic ingredient glossary):

We've combined the best nature has to offer to create a great organic cream for rosacea. It's lightweight enough to be perfect for use both day and night, and you can feel safe using it, since you know it's from Nurture My Body.

-Sally, Summer Intern

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Make Sure You're Using Organic Shampoo for Your Baby!

Make Sure You're Using Organic Shampoo for Your Baby!

April 06, 2014

Happy Hump Day Family!

Today I want to talk to you about choosing safe shampoo and body wash for your baby. Your baby is the most precious thing in your world, and you would never do anything to harm them. But what if you were harming them without knowing it? If you aren’t careful about the products that you use to bathe your bundle of joy then you might be.

Four years ago, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (a great organization that lists Nurture My Body as a "champion" for safe cosmetics) came out with the news that Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby shampoo contained the formaldehyde-releasing preservative quaternium-15, as well as the chemical byproduct 1,4-dioxane. Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that “the presence of 1,4-dioxane, even as a trace contaminant, is cause for concern,” and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added formaldehyde to its list of known human carcinogens in June 2011.

Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo has become the poster child for the need for chemical reform in the United States— because nothing says we need tighter chemical regulation than toxic baby shampoo.

Here at Nurture My Body, we certainly don’t want you using toxic baby shampoo. Your child is priority one. And our safe baby care products are made with this in mind.

Nurture My Body’s line for little ones contains pure certified organic ingredients that are handmade. Our safe skin and hair care products for babies never contain parabens, phthalates or sodium lauryl sulfate. Oh, and they certainly don’t have carcinogens. They boast the Environmental Working Group’s safest rating of zero, so you can provide the best for your baby.

Lots of love to you and your kiddos!

- Sally, Nurture My Body Intern

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