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Writing project!

For the past six weeks, I've been writing product reviews of eco-friendly bath, body, skin, and hair care items.  Just by looking at that, it might not seem like a super serious writing project, but let me tell you about why I think it's so important.

About ten years ago, a series of events led me to become a better environmental steward.  I'm not talking about just recycling; I'm talking about a complete overhaul of the way we live and the things we buy.  It sounds daunting, but I made changes over time, which helped the process be not quite so overwhelming.

I'm not much of a makeup wearer, but if it smells good and bubbles and makes my skin pretty, I like it.  Obviously I'm not the only person who likes those sorts of things, because companies like Bath and Body Works, Bliss, Redken, Matrix, Mac, etc. are making money off of people like me.  When women have less money to spend, they'll give up a lot of things, but cosmetics and toiletries aren't one of those things.

This is a big industry, and there are so many toiletry items that contain ingredients that are bad for the environment and our health.  Question: would you ever slather gasoline on your skin as a lotion?  No?  How about to wash your face or hair?  Still no?

Here's the thing: most conventionally made toiletry items have petroleum products in them.  Some of the ingredients are cleverly disguised, like paraffin.  Some of them, like petroleum jelly, are not.  The important thing is that petroleum products aren't good for our health or the environment.  And manufacturers of beauty products are using petroleum-based ingredients in the stuff you use on your body every day.

That should absolutely make you twitchy.

Petroleum-based ingredients aren't the only bad ingredients in toiletry items and aren't the only ones we need to watch out for.  I don't want to cover everything now, because it's a huge topic, but that's part of what I'm writing about as I do these reviews.  Until then, you can visit the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database to look up the ingredients in products you're using.

I've told you about the problems with conventional toiletries, and I don't want to leave you without a solution to those problems.  There are other companies out there like Aubrey Organics, John Masters Organics, Mill Creek Botanicals, Jason, Dr. Bronner's, etc. that are making cosmetic and toiletry items that are safe for the environment and your health.  Some of them are really good, and some of them need some work.

Over the past ten years, I've used a lot of eco-friendly beauty products.  Sometimes when I purchase shampoo or shower gel, the clerks will ask me if that particular item works.  In the past they've tried an eco-friendly item that didn't work as well as they'd hoped, which discourages them from trying other eco-friendly products in the future.  It can be difficult to find good reviews of eco-friendly products online too, which further discourages people from buying good products.

Since using eco-friendly beauty products is something I completely believe in and want to encourage other people to do, I feel strongly that writing good reviews of these products is important.  So I'm doing that right now.  I hope to have the first draft of this project done by the end of the summer, and the final e-book ready for download by the end of the year.

Would you like to read some of my reviews here?  Do you have any particular products you're interested in trying, but won't spend the money until you have a review?  Let me know in the comments if you have questions I can answer.  Thanks!

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