Canadians spend more than $5 billion on cosmetics each year — that is a lot of creams, lipsticks and nail polish.
Regular nail polishes can contain formaldehyde, which is a probable human carcinogen, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, yet is still found in many nail polishes in North America. Sweden and Japan do not allow formaldehyde in cosmetics.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a hormone disruptor and commonly found in nail polish too. Dibutyl phthalate has been banned for use in cosmetics in Europe, but is still allowed in cosmetics in North America. According to the US based Environmental Working Group only 13 per cent of the 10,500 chemicals used in cosmetics and nail polishes have been fully tested for their health impacts.
I only use edible ingredients on my skin now. It is sensible to read ingredient labels on your cosmetics as we absorb a certain amount of what we rub on the skin. I have a responsibility to think about what I use on my skin not only for my own benefit, but also as substances I wash down the drain affects others.
All that said, thankfully, it is surprisingly easy to care for your nails, naturally.
Nails are made up of keratin, which is a protein and so eating enough protein is sensible. Daily exercise is also a good idea as it boosts the blood flow to the hands and as massage therapists might tell you that encourages nail growth.
Using oils on your nails is the best way to moisturize and care for them naturally. Simply using an organic grape seed or sunflower oil is actually far less toxic than some heavily marketed nail care products.
I make a lot of my own personal care products, but recently I am loving using 100 Mile Botanicals Rose Petals Body Oil, which uses herbs grown in PemBee Gardens, Pemberton. The oil contains rosehip oil and hemp oil, which are both thought to strengthens nails.
The joy of edible oils is they are versatile; I have used the Rose Petals Body Oil on my face and the ends of my hair too. As skin care goes, 100 Mile Botanicals is truly local. You can buy 100 Mile Botanicals products at Quantum Vitamins.
Perhaps you refrain from using oil for fear of getting a greasy keyboard at work or getting your ski gloves oily? Do not worry as you literally only need a couple of drops around the cuticles or on the backs of the hands to moisturize. Hand massage is effective at reducing stress and tension; focus on relaxing your jaw as you massage your hands, it could be for just a minute after going to the washroom at work, but this minute is your time. Claim it!
Lemon and Olive Oil Hand Scrub
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon organic olive oil
2 tablespoons of sugar
Mix together in a ramekin and use a little on your hands and nails. Gently rub into the cuticles and the backs of the hands. Rinse with warm water and dry the hands thoroughly. Add a couple of drops of olive oil to moisturize your hands and nails, only if necessary.
Joanna writes for www.ActualOrganics.com, log on for more edible skin care recipes.