July 27th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If your dog has ever been sprayed by a skunk, you probably know that tomato juice is truly man’s best friend.
But tomato juice has a more human application: It can rescue hair that has been damaged by chlorinated swimming pools.
Light-colored hair can take on a greenish tinge from pool chlorine and other chemicals. If you find yourself with green locks:
- Apply pure, organic tomato juice to your hair.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes, and rinse with water.
- Shampoo and condition normally.
- Treat hair more than once, if necessary.
Say goodbye to one of the few bad ways to “go green!”
Read More:Protect Your Hair with Organic Tomato Juice
July 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Most cats have a visceral reaction to catnip (Nepeta cataria), whose aromatic oils entice them to eat it, rub up against it, roll around on the floor and/or drool. (This is your cat on drugs…)
Growing your own organic catnip is a breeze. Tolerant of virtually any type of soil, the perennial thrives outdoors and in windowsill gardens. You can buy a packet of 450 certified organic catnip seeds for as little as $1.89.
Organic Cat Toys
As for organic cat toys, Duckyworld Products sells a variety of stuffed playthings, including 100% organic catnip pillow toys ($7.69) and the adorable Stinky Sardine ($8.75). The company’s toys are filled solely with 100% organic catnip—no cotton fillers, plastic pieces or other cheap mainstream stuffings.
DIY crafters should check out Holly Tse’s Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time ($11.95), which features more than 50 projects and lots of eco-friendly cat care tips.
Brew a Cup of Organic Catnip Tea
Humans are not immune to catnip’s botanical powers. Steep dried plant leaves in hot water, and you’ll enjoy a lemony mint tea.
Celebration Herbals sells a box of 24 ready-to-use organic catnip teabags for $4.89. The bags are chlorine-free and can be composted after use, and the box is made from recycled paper.
DIY Beauty Products
Organic catnip essential oil is a natural mosquito repellant, and you can use it to scent handmade bath and body products (soaps, lotions, bath salts). It can, however, be expensive: about $23 per fluid ounce. That said, a little goes a long way, so consider it an investment.
Read More:Frisky Felines—and Their Owners—Enjoy Organic Catnip
July 4th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
About 10% of American women (and 5% of the general population) have unsightly, often painful corns and calluses.
Extreme weather—hot summers and cold winters—exacerbate the problem, as skin tends to become drier during these seasons.
“Corns and calluses are caused by friction and pressure on the feet, either from wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or from conditions such as arthritis, trauma, bunions or various deformities,” explains New York dermatologist Joshua Fox, MD.
Be proactive, and you can look forward to wearing sandals and exposing your bare feet. Start by exfoliating dead skin: Soak your feet in water laced with organic essential oils, and treat rough spots with a pumice stone or foot file. Next, apply your favorite organic moisturizer to soften skin.
“If you are in good health, you don’t have to see a professional for corns and calluses, unless they hurt or bother your walking” Dr. Fox says. “But if you don’t like the way your feet look, are having pain or have certain medical conditions—including diabetes, poor circulation or numbness in the feet—it’s important that you see a doctor or podiatrist who can evaluate the problem and help you remove the corns and calluses.”
Read More:Naturally Treat Summer Corns and Calluses
December 5th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
I wash my hair each morning. It’s long, curly and tends to get oily.
You may think I wantonly go through a lot of organic shampoo and water, but I have a hair-healthy, water-saving routine that gets the job done quickly and effectively: I simply use less shampoo, and I focus on cleansing my scalp.
It’s an approach endorsed by Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, Calif.
“When we wash our hair, we tend to use too much shampoo by washing the entire length of the hair, rather than concentrating on cleaning just the scalp,” she confirms.
“In addition, how often you wash your hair should be based on how oily your scalp is. If it’s oily, you might need to wash it more frequently than someone with a dry scalp. However, most of us are probably overwashing our hair and can save some money by using less shampoo.”
African-Americans should wash their hair no more than once a week, Dr. Mirmirani says, as their hair and scalp tend to be much dryer. Overshampooing can further dry out the hair and scalp.
“I recommend that you choose a shampoo formulated specifically for your type of hair,” she says. (Needless to say, we recommend a natural or organic shampoo that’s free of harsh chemicals and dyes.)
“If you color your hair, then select a shampoo designed for color-treated hair,” Dr. Mirmirani adds. “It is gentler than regular shampoo and can help extend your hair color. But if dandruff is a problem, then try a shampoo formulated to fight dandruff.
“The key is finding the product that works best for you,” she concludes, “and avoid the temptation to spend more than you have to.”
Read More:Overdosing on Shampoo?
November 12th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Pick up any beauty magazine, and you’ll likely find an article on buying the right hairbrush. Unfortunately, the information is often wrong.
Let’s start with basic physiology. Hair is a fiber—one whose structure and integrity must be protected if you want lush locks. Our follicles produce these fibers, which are composed of hair keratins: fine, tightly packed structures covered by a protective cuticle.
Think of the cuticle as the shingles on a roof, which form a barrier atop the underlying structure, suggests Paradi Mirmirani, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. When damaged, the cuticle will break apart, exposing those inner fibers. You’re probably familiar with the result: frizzy, flyaway or dull hair.
Choosing the right hairbrush helps you protect the cuticle. While some hairstylists promote boar-bristle brushes (organic and nonorganic) as the best option, Dr. Mirmirani says they’re a bad idea.
“Boar-bristle brushes, which are quite expensive, put a lot of friction on the hair because the bristles come into contact with hair against its natural grain,” she says. “This can cause a considerable amount of damage.”
Dr. Mirmirani recommends using inexpensive plastic brushes with wide-spaced needles. Plastic, however, often contains PVC, so I avoid the animal bristle/plastic problem with my eco-friendly Earth Therapeutics Natural Wooden Pin Brush (see photo, above).
Read More:Natural Hairbrush Basics
September 24th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
For me, autumn-proofing my skin focuses on the driest parts of my body: feet, elbows and knees.
There’s no need to buy fancy and expensive products to treat these areas, according to Sarah Callard, author of The Little Green Book of Beauty: 250 Tips for an Eco Lifestyle.
“For dry skin, use olive oil, organic if possible,” she writes. “It has excellent moisturizing properties and has been traditionally used as an intensive conditioning and moisturizing treatment for areas prone to dry skin.”
Callard recommends applying it at bedtime so you can wake up with smoother skin.
Also by Sarah Callard
Read More:Fight Dry Skin with Organic Olive Oil
September 23rd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
As summer yields to fall, temperature changes will require you to alter your organic skin-care regimen.
“While the autumn weather may encourage outdoor activities, your skin will retain less moisture because of the cooler, drier air,” says Joshua Fox, MD, founder of Advanced Dermatology in New York and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology.
“The same happens indoors as the heat goes on and up,” he continues. “Key symptoms of ‘autumn skin’ include dryness, fine lines, dull and sallow skin tone, sun and age spots, flaking and irritation, as well as the flare-up of some chronic conditions.”
There’s no need to completely overhaul your daily routine. Simply make some minor adjustments.
“Three things that everyone should do to protect their skin in the autumn include drinking lots of water to remain hydrated, applying moisturizer before going outside to give it time to be absorbed and, importantly, continuing to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.”
Stores like Whole Foods Market have a wide array of natural and organic skin-care lines.
Read More:Autumn-Proof Your Skin
August 6th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Suffering from dry, chapped and/or scaly summer feet and hands?
How about a “Southern Secret”: a pink lemonade aromatherapy soak, exfoliating key lime scrub, hydrating lavender paraffin wrap and berry fusion moisturizer massage?
That’s just one of the pampering treatments available at Recess, a completely green nail spa in Los Angeles.
Nail technicians use products featuring hand-blended organic ingredients that are free of formaldehyde, parabens and dyes.
Only metal instruments are used (and promptly autoclaved), and foot files, buffers and orangewood sticks are never reused. Nail polish is toluene-free.
New customers can enjoy a $50 Basic Manicure/Pedicure Special. The salon will eventually launch an online store for product purchases.
Location: 8408-B Beverly Blvd. (east of La Cienega)
Phone: (323) 782-9919
DIY Beauty Treatments
If you’re outside the L.A. area, try some of our soothing DIY treatments, including Bedtime Piña Colada Callus Treatment and Don’t Sweat It! Foot Spa.
Read More:Take a Recess!
June 15th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
The mass media have trained us to recoil at the thought of eating dietary fat. In reality, the body requires “good fats” (unsaturated) to do its job. You want to avoid polluting your circulatory system with “bad” fats (saturated and trans fats).
Unsaturated fats provide energy and nourish our skin and hair. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, which slow the aging process.
When we’re deprived of essential fats, our skin can become dry, scaly and wrinkled, according to Apostolos Pappas, PhD, a research chemist with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products in Skillman, NJ, and coauthor of The Saint Tropez Diet: The Delicious and Healthy Weight Loss Plan Presenting the Best Scientific Principles of the French and Mediterranean Omega-3 Diets.
In his book, Dr. Pappas encourages readers to:
- Eat more foods that contain healthful unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 essential fatty acids.
- Combine them with foods rich in vitamin A.
- Eliminate foods with unhealthful ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids (This is why I’ve eliminated tilapia from my diet, even though it’s a sustainable fish.)
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to boost consumption of nutrients with antioxidant activity.
As dermatologist Rebecca A. Kazin, MD, pointed out in Winterize Your Skin to Prevent Damage:
When shopping at your local natural and organic food store, remember your skin. Choose foods that are rich in antioxidants, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and green tea. Also opt for foods with essential fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts and canola oil.
Green Beauty Prediction: Expect to see more skin- and body-care products that contain vegetable oils and fruit extracts to treat and prevent dryness.
5 Salmon Recipes
- Maple Wasabi Glazed Salmon
- Spring Thyme Salmon
- Salmon Niçoise Salad
- Salmon Burgers With Dill Sauce
- Slow-Roasted Copper River Salmon With Organic Fava Bean Sauce
Read More:Don’t Shun Essential Fats
January 12th, 2009 - Leslie Billera
[caption id="attachment_1956" align="alignright" width="178" caption="Organic Beauty Magazine"]
Rona Berg, the new editor-in-chief of the just-launched Organic Beauty magazine wants to help you live green – and look great doing it.
A one-time beauty editor of the New York Times Magazine and former editorial director of Elle, she says that “going green is no longer just a trend, it’s a lifestyle.” As for her fresh-faced new mag, she says it will “provide a smart, sophisticated resource for women who want to cut through the confusion and find more natural alternatives.”
Editorial coverage in every issue will include some of OrganicAuthority.com’s favorite topics, including natural and organic skin, hair, nail and oral-care products; organic foods, herbs, supplements, elixirs and fitness strategies; natural alternatives to cosmetic surgery and injectables; sustainable beauty, fashion and style trends, as well as beauty bargains, up-to-the-minute news and breakthroughs.
Read More:Organic Beauty Magazine Launches