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Many specialty stores that focus on healthy living and wholesome foods have extensive health, beauty, and spa sections with tons of products for you to peruse. Often, these sections, often called “Healthy Living” or “Holistic Health” sections of the store, focus on environmental- and body-friendly products with only natural ingredients and recycled or recyclable packing, and beauty products that avoid animal testing. These sections are wonderful resources for health and beauty products, but can be somewhat daunting if you don't know what you're looking for. Use these guides to determine what you'd like to put in your cart.
• Hair Care Products: When shopping for environmental- and health- friendly hair care products, look for shampoo and conditioner that have all natural ingredients, rather than ingredients you can't pronounce. Essential oils of plants such as chamomile, mint, honeysuckle, and lavender; lemon, sunflower, and marigold extract; and other botanical ingredients usually mean not only a great-working shampoo or conditioner, but also a great scent as well. When buying hair styling products, avoid aerosol containers, products made with animal ingredients, artificial colors, and parabens (synthetic preservatives).
• Vitamins and Supplements: Most “healthy living” sections of specialty stores have a variety of vitamins and supplements to choose from to help you do everything from remember better to get rid of your cold. While there are way too many supplements to discuss each one in-depth individually, the most important point to remember about buying supplements is to do your homework. Many vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the FDA, meaning they are not subject to the same strict regulations that prescription and over-the-counter drugs are. Make sure you know what the supplement is for and what supplements you should avoid, based on your health; for example, if you are on an anticoagulant, you should avoid ginseng supplements, and if you are pregnant you should not take evening primrose supplements.
• Beauty Products: When shopping for ecologically sound beauty products, look for makeup, face, and body care products that use only natural scents (nothing artificial), natural colors, and ingredients you recognize. Rose water, beeswax, mint, tea tree oil, almond milk, and avocado all have documented properties that will soothe and cleanse your skin and make it glow. As a rule, products with fewer ingredients are usually more earth-friendly.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|