Organic Shopping Guide

Here are some quick tips to help you in your quest to purchase organic and green beauty/household products. This is just a "cheat sheet" and if you want a more comprehensive explaination, please purchase my book.

Here are some quick tips to remember:

Not tested on animals – While the finished product may not have been tested on animals, this doesn’t mean that the individual ingredients weren’t tested on animals. So make sure you look for other organic clues before you purchase. Keep Shopping.

Natural, hypoallergenic – These terms mean absolutely nothing. Keep shopping.

Organic –Keep a look out for the "USDA Organic" seal, a statement of certification from the California Organic Farmers Association (COFA), or "100% Organic" from a reliable state or local body. In order to be certified organic, a product must contain at least 70% organic ingredients, not counting the water. If you are unsure about a product, move on.

Avoid certain unpronounceable ingredients – Here is a partial list of some ingredients to avoid, based on information from

  • Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens –They can be found in almost all non-organic hair and skin products.
  • Coal Tar – This is found in most dandruff shampoos, anti-itch creams, and some synthetic colors.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
  • Hydroquinone – This is found in facial lotions and skin lighteners.
  • Formaldehydes also known as: DMDM hydantoin, Quaternium 15, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol
  • Synthetic Colors labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number
  • Synthetic Fragrances often labeled simply as “fragrance”-
  • Parraffin (mineral oil, petroleum) – It’s ironically found in chap sticks, lip balm, lip stick, and lotions among other personal care products.
  • Triclosan – This is found in most antibacterial products, as well as toothpaste and makeup.
  • Alcohol, isopropyl (SD-40) –This can be found in many products from hair spray and perfume, to antibacterial hand wash and antifreeze. One ounce is considered a FATAL dose.
  • Aluminum –You will find it in most personal care products, like eye shadow, hair dye, and antiperspirants.
  • Lead and Mercury (lead acetate and thimerosol)– It is found in toothpaste and men’s hair dye.
  • Mainstream Sunscreen with the following ingredients: Octyl-Dimethyl-Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid and Oxybenzone – These are ironically linked with skin cancer. A better alternative is a sunscreen with Titanium Dioxide in it.
  • p-Phenylenediamine (1,4-Benzenediamine, p-Phenyldiamine, 4-Phenylenediamine)– This is found in most do-it-yourself hair dyes.
  • Others to watch out for: Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Talc, Acrylates, Methacrylates, Tocopherol Acetate, anything with the word ‘paraben’ in it,benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, quaternium-15, quaternium 1-29, anything with the world ‘chloride’ in it, benzyl alcohol, carbomers, dimethicone, dimethicone copolyol, cyclomethicone.

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