Have you ever stopped to consider what exactly is in your beauty products and household cleaners? The truth is that most everyday products contain harsh or harmful chemicals that can have an adverse effect on your body and overall health. At Unite for HER, we help people take a closer look at the products they are using, and provide resources for switching to safer alternatives. We also empower the women in our breast cancer Wellness Day Program by offering them a free Beauty is Wellness private consultation with advisor, Jolene Hart.
Beauty & Skincare Products
In the last decade or so, skin cancer education has led us to understand the harmful effects of unprotected sun exposure on our skin, but how about your shampoo, deodorant or cosmetics? Our skin is our largest organ, and can absorb up to 60% of the synthetic chemicals it comes in contact with. By using all-natural and organic products containing vitamins and ingredients to promote health, we can strengthen our bodies from the inside out.
So how do you make the transition to all-natural and organic personal care products? While the decision may seem expensive and daunting, there are many resources available to help you further understand what products are safe and recommended:
- Unite for HER Resources – Head over to the Resources section to find websites recommended by our beauty advisors, Danielle and Jolene, for your organic beauty and skincare needs.
- Skin Deep – Designed to help people find safer products with fewer ingredients that are hazardous or that haven’t been thoroughly tested. Skin Deep combines product ingredient lists with information in more than 50 standard toxicity and regulatory databases. See how your favorite skincare brands are rated!
- Eat Pretty – A seasonal guide to looking and feeling your best all year, from the inside out. Discover a new approach to beauty, one that pampers you and makes you glow with the freshest, most beautifying foods in nature that help you look and feel gorgeous.
Helpful Beauty Apps
- EWG’s Healthy Living by Environmental Working Group
- Think Dirty by Think Dirty Inc.
- GoodGuide by GoodGuide, Inc.
Cleaning & Household Products
Many chemical-based cleaning products available today contain ingredients that may be harmful to your health. Some frequently used additives have been linked to health issues including allergies, respiratory issues, and cancer. Try to avoid products containing ingredients such as:
- Trisodium nitrilotriacetate
- Napthas and mineral spirits
- Ether-type solvents
- Sulfuric Acid
Non-toxic cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in knowing that your family’s health is protected, and that your home is a safe place for your bodies to rest and restore. Try these effective homemade substitutions:
- Baking Soda: Cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours
- Lemon: Effective against most household bacteria
- Borax (Sodium Borate): Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls & floors
- White Vinegar: Cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains & wax build-up
- Cornstarch: Can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets & rugs
Unite for HER has given me a completely new chapter to the rest of my life. I am trying things I would never have done before. At the age of 70, I participated in my very first ever 5k walk and came back again the last two years!
Unite for HER Clean Beauty Philosophy
At Unite for HER, we help people take a closer look at the products they are using, and provide resources for switching to safer alternatives. Our aim:
- To be a source of trustworthy information.
- To empower and educate patients about safe personal care product options and their personal care product choices.
- To share some the potential risks of commonly-used beauty ingredients, as well as the shortcomings and lack of long-term testing of many ingredients in the US beauty industry.
- To offer clean beauty guidance that is accessible and actionable.
We acknowledge: Our viewpoint reflects a constantly evolving body of knowledge and research and may also evolve and change as our understanding of clean beauty and safe cosmetics develops. Until we have research on every ingredient and its long-term safety, we aim to err on the side of caution and avoid unnecessary risks in our personal care product routines. Creating a safe beauty routine is a continuing process of education and research on our part, as well as the part of patients.
Meet the pretty committee!
Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a former magazine beauty editor, and the founder of the pioneering beauty coaching practice Beauty Is Wellness. She is the author of Eat Pretty, a seasonal guide to looking and feeling beautiful using nutrition and self care, the guided journal Eat Pretty, Live Well, and Eat Pretty Every Day (2016 Chronicle Books).
She is also the co-founder and Director of Education of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, an educational organization with a mission to advance an integrative approach to healthy skin. Jolene teaches women to become their healthiest, most beautiful selves inside and outside by addressing beauty and health concerns ranging from acne to weight gain to nutrition for healthy aging. She educates women about the powerful connection between inner health and and outer beauty, teaching them how to choose safer personal care products and eat for beauty each and every day.
Danielle Messina was diagnosed in 2009 with both aggressive + non-aggressive Stage II Breast Cancer at the age of 31. She has undergone two surgeries + 33 radiation treatments with conventional cancer treatment, but opted against chemo + Tamoxifen after learning that the side effects included other forms of cancer. Danielle has since chosen a natural approach to healing and an integrative path to prevention.
As a former, professional figure skater who’s been glamming it up since the age of 4, her diagnosis forced her to examine her diet + lifestyle choices, including the beauty products she was using everyday. Determined to turn her pain into purpose, Danielle has publicly documented her journey on The Glamorganic Goddess as a young Breast Cancer Survivor on a mission to find clean beauty products – without carcinogens and without sacrificing her standards.
Today, Danielle has dedicated her life to educating others about the importance of cancer prevention through a truly healthy lifestyle. Danielle currently consults for natural beauty brands, retailers, salons and organizations to help bring you better products, while working with cancer patients, survivors, and individuals to help them make more informed choices when shopping for beauty products.