Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We've moved!

That is... our blog has moved to a new location. The new blog for Head to Toe Organics is now located at...

Please visit, bookmark and tell all your friends!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lavender Skin Care

Lavender skin care has been around for centuries. Lavender was commonly used in Roman baths to restore the skin. It is used today for it's calming and relaxing qualities and is moisturizing to the skin. The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the fresh flowering tops.

In the bath it is excellent for relaxation, stress relief and aching muscles. When combined with nourishing oils such as cocoa butter, avocado butter and shea butter, it provides soothing relief to dry skin.

Look for lavender in body wash, body lotion, shea butter, bar soap and shampoo. Enjoy it's calming and healing qualities.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Triclosan under investigation from USDA.

Triclosan (used in toothpaste, soap, and hand sanitizer) is being investigated by the USDA. The FDA noted that an animal study showed this chemical may alter hormone regulation. Children are especially at risk for this chemical absorbing into their bloodstream.

According to the FDA, “A cosmetic manufacturer may use any ingredient or raw material and market the final product without government approval". That leaves the door wide open for these companies to use many chemicals that are a risk to our health.

One can only hope that triclosan is the first of many chemicals that will be investigated for consumer safety. The best approach for our own health is to be a label reader. Read ingredient labels so that you are aware of the chemicals in each product. Choose products that are natural and organic and free from toxins that jeopardize your health.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clean Skin Care

Today's skin care products are so laden with chemicals yet the average consumer is unaware of the harmful effects these toxins cause. People are demanding healthier products and want clean skin care. Keep an eye on the ingredient list when buying body care and avoid products that contain chemicals. Here is a look at three chemicals used in many products today that should be avoided:
  1. Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl) - These chemicals are commonly used as preservatives. Parabens have been found in breast tumors which shows that these toxins enter the blood stream and affect out health.
  2. Phthalates - The primary use of this chemical is to make plastics but ends up in soap, hair spray, nail polish and shampoo. Health concerns include endocrine disruption, brain, nervous and immune system disruptions, reproduction and fertility problems.
  3. Sodium Lauryl (Laureth)Sulfate - Many soaps are made with SLS. It gives soaps their foaming ability. It causes skin and eye irritation, rashes and allergic reactions.
There are clean skin care alternatives. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn't eat it you shouldn't be putting it on your skin. Be a label reader and choose skin care products that nourish your skin and lead to overall better health.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Steps to Keep Your Skin Organic

Somewhere in time cosmetic companies decided it was a good idea to add chemicals to skin care while luring us into thinking that these products actually helped our skin. The movement today is to get back to basics and quit inundating our bodies with unnatural toxins. Taking simple steps to keep your skin organic will lead to a healthier body.
  • Read ingredients on all skin care products and know what you are buying.
  • Research ingredients to educate yourself on the dangers of chemicals used in skin care.
  • Support companies that create products that are healthy for you and contain no chemicals.
  • Send a message to cosmetic companies that use harmful ingredients and don't buy their products.
If everyone took small steps to eliminate toxins one product at a time, our skin, health and planet would benefit from this healthy lifestyle change. Take the first step today and keep your skin organic!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Exfoliating Bar Soap

An exfoliating bar soap is a great way to scrub away dead skin cells while cleansing at the same time. Two ingredients that work well to exfoliate in a bar of soap are ground juniper berries and oats. They gently remove dry, flaky skin without drying you out.

Soap bars should also include moisturizing oils to hydrate and soften skin at the same time. Safflower, sunflower, and coconut oils are excellent to aid in hydration. Exfoliating bar soap that is free from chemicals and certified organic keeps your skin glowing and healthy!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Bar Soap Organic

There are many harmful ingredients in soap. Here are some dangers in soap and good reasons to keep your bar soap organic:
  • Sodium tallowate is often used to make bar soap. It is the fat renderings from meat processing. Hormones, antibiotics and toxins are stored in animal fat and then this fat is used to make soap.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfates are added to soap to make it lather more. This chemical can cause skin irritation.
  • Fragrances are used to give soap its scent. There are over 200 reported chemicals used in fragrances but none have to be listed in the ingredients because they are cloaked under the word "fragrances".
Look for ingredients that are certified organic and use plant oils to make the bar soap not animal fat. The scent should come from essential oils which come directly from the plant. Healing herbs also contribute to the overall scent of the soap.

Head To Toe Organics wants to help you keep your bar soap organic by offering 25% off organic bar soap. Eleven scents available.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Karite Shea Butter

What is the difference between karite shea butter and African shea butter?

They are the same thing. Shea butter is extracted from the fruit of the karite (or shea) tree in Africa. It grows naturally in the wild. These fruits are harvested, dried, then ground into powder. The powder is boiled where the oil rises to the top and collected and then solidifies.

This super hydrating butter has a high degree of healing properties and is excellent for dry, chapped lips and skin, eczema, burns, wrinkles and insect bites to name a few.

Most shea is refined to take out impurities. Many commercial companies use the chemical "hexane" to refine which removes most of the healing properties. Certified organic shea is filtered through earthen clay and never uses any chemicals but still retains a high degree of healing qualities.

If you are feeling the "winter dry skin", your best defense is karite shea butter that is certified organic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Body Scrub Organic

Keep your body scrub organic. Why? I'll give you three very good reasons:
  1. If your scrub is certified organic it won't contain harmful toxic chemicals. Scrubbing removes dead skin cells and toxins from our skin. What's the point of using chemical laden products that put toxins back on our skin?
  2. Many body exfoliates use petroleum based polyethylene. These plastic micro-spheres end up in our sewers, streams, lakes and oceans and kill aquatic animals. Organic scrubs that are certified use natural ingredients of jojoba beads, finely ground coffee beans, coarse sugar and oatmeal to exfoliate your skin.
  3. Using organic scrub is environmentally friendly. There are no polluting chemicals to harm our planet.
It's easy to keep your body scrub organic. Be a label reader on products so you know what you are buying. Taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle will reap big rewards.

Friday, February 19, 2010

sodium lauryl sulfate

Do you enjoy richly foaming shampoo, body wash and shaving cream? The reason for all that lather is the chemical sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). It is an ingredient in car washes, engine degreasers and floor cleaners. It is also found in toothpaste, shampoo, body wash and shaving cream.

Reports have been published that raise a number of health concerns. Studies have shown SLS irritates skin and eyes.

There are healthier alternatives. Organic saponified oils of coconut and olive, jojoba oils, shea butter, sunflower oil, aloe, vitamins C & E, white tea and essential plant oils gently clean, nourish and soften skin. So take a closer look at the ingredients in the skin care products you are buying and avoid sodium lauryl sulfate for healthier skin and body.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Green Lotion

Many consumers are looking for greener products today and green lotion is no exception. There are some guidelines to follow when shopping for eco-friendly skin care products.

*Look for certified organic ingredients - the plants (cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, etc.) were grown without the use of synthetic chemicals that pollute the planet.
*No synthetic chemicals were added - phthalates and parabens are used in many skin care lotions. Not only are these chemicals toxic to you, but they are also harmful to the environment.
*Minimal packaging - look to see if the plastic can be recycled and that the product doesn't come in a lot is excess packaging.

If we all took small, simple eco-friendly steps, what a difference it would make. Take that small step with green lotion. It is healthier for you and easier on the environment.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Phthalates Cosmetic

"Phthalates cosmetics" shouldn't even be put in the same sentence. Phthalates are industrial chemicals used to make plastics. They are found in things like toys, rain coats, shower curtains, and food packaging to make plastic flexible. Companies use this chemical in nail polish, shampoo, lotion and hair spray to stabilize fragrances. It has an oily texture that makes skin feel soft. The chemical name often doesn't appear on an ingredient list because retail products aren't required to list the individual ingredients in "fragrances".

Companies are free to use whatever chemicals they want in beauty care. They advertise the "wonderful scent" of these products and we, as consumers, buy them based on how they smell unaware that this "scent" is stabilized with phthalates.

This chemical has been found to disrupt the endocrine system which is a system of glands that secretes hormones to regulate our body. Concerns consist of the development of the reproductive system where children are most at risk.

There are healthier options available. Essential oils are oils extracted directly from plants and give skin care products clean, healthy aromas in shampoos. lotions, etc.

What can consumers do? We can send a clear message to companies by leaving those chemical laden products on the shelves and choose products that are made with natural and organic ingredients.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Body Exfoliants From Polyethylene

The cosmetics industry never ceases to amaze me. The latest news is body exfoliants from polyethylene. These are finely ground pieces of petroleum based plastic. They never biodegrade (well not for 2 thousand years) and they are too small for sewer filters to catch so they wash down the drain into our sewers, rivers and oceans. They pollute the environment and are harmful and deadly to aquatic critters.

A healthier option for our bodies and the environment would be to use jojoba beads, ground coffee beans, oatmeal, grape seeds and coarse sugar. All are biodegradable but still do a wonderful job exfoliating your skin. Products don't have to be complicated to work well. In fact, simpler is often times better. Many toxins in skin care products dry and irritate the skin. Keep it natural and organic, your body will thank you!


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shea Butter Lavender

Shea Butter lavender blends the healing moisturizing oils of shea butter with the calming and relaxing essential oils of lavender. This has been a long time favorite of many for decades.

Winter time can really dry out our skin. This blend is great, especially for night time moisturizing, because it hydrates your skin while you sleep while the soothing scent of lavender relaxes you to get to sleep. Folklore suggests that pillows were filled with lavender flowers to help people fall a sleep. Studies today claim that lavender may improve sleep quality and promote relaxation.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Olive Oil Castile Soap

All soaps are made by combining lye with oil. The differences in soap is the oils that are used to make it. Each oil produces different qualities. Olive oil castile soap is made using primarily olive oil.

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid that helps smooth and moisten the skin. Hydroxytyrosol is a very powerful antioxidant found only in olive oil. This oil is non-greasy and won't clog your pores. Very mild and great for babies and sensitive skin.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Shea Butter Cocoa Butter

If your skin if feeling dried out this winter, it's time to start using shea butter and cocoa butter.

Shea butter is extracted from the seeds of the wild shea tree in West Africa. This butter has moisturizing and healing properties. Refining is usually done with a chemical called "hexane". Certified organic means that the butter is filtered using clay and no toxic chemicals. African women have been using this oil for generations to protect their skin from the harsh dry climate.

Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from the cacao bean. It is a natural emollient and contains natural antioxidants and actually helps to increase skin hydration.

Using these body butters daily will help combat dry itchy skin as well as the skin splitting on your hands especially around the fingernails.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tea Body Wash

Tea time may take on a different meaning when you start the day with tea body wash.

The antioxidant qualities have always been good for our bodies but did you know it is also healthy for our skin?

Tea (especially green and white varieties) helps to prevent the activities of enzymes which break down elastin & collagen that lead to wrinkles on our skin. It gives your skin a good dose of anti-aging antioxidants. Other studies show promising results with white tea. The serum was applied to the skin before sun exposure and the polyphenols in tea helped to protect vital cells from damage (see Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland).

So give your skin a good dose of tea in body wash or lotion to keep your skin looking younger.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Almond Oil for Skin

Almond oil is a highly effective way to combat the dry, flaky, itchy skin we experience this time of year.

his pale yellow oil is obtained from the dried kernal of sweet almonds. It is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, D and E. This nourishing oil easily absorbs into the skin to soothe and soften the skin which is why many massage therapists use this hydrating oil to lubricate the skin during a massage session.

Apply almond oil around the eyes to reduce puffiness and help minimize fine lines and dark circles. It is excellent in creams, lotions and balms to relieve dry itchy skin.