26 November 2010

Pharmacopia body care products rely on nature to nurture your skin

The phrase “ignorance is bliss” could easily describe my days as a beauty product junkie. Eyeball-popping credit card bills aside, I was ridiculously clueless with regard to the all-out-chemical assault that I continually waged on my skin and body. When I look back on all the products that I liberally primped and preened with -- infinitely unnatural in their scents, colors and ingredients – it’s a wonder that my phoenix-like epidermis didn’t slough off altogether.

Roughly 82,000 different chemicals are used by the cosmetics and personal body care industries, 20% of which have actually been tested for safety. It seems outrageous that the FDA possesses barely any authority to regulate the ingredients found in today’s grooming products and yet that is entirely the case. If you’re inclined to think that the remaining 65,600 compounds are probably still okee-dokey, this is one occasion when whistling without a care in the world could potentially bite you in the butt.

For close to seven years now, The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics has made it their mission to educate formerly wide-eyed, trusting consumers like myself regarding what we're all really slathering on our faces and bodies. Considering widespread rates of cancer and infertility, one has to question if the 10 or so beauty and personal grooming products that we typically use on a daily basis are in some part to blame. Based on various studies conducted by the Environmental Working Group regarding the most commonly used chemical ingredients found in today's beauty potions, lotions and cleansing items, the answer appears to be a definitive ‘yes.’

Fortunately, supporting companies committed to the Compact For Safe Cosmetics can offer consumers peace of mind as well as the ability to make safer purchasing decisions without worrying about potentially health-compromising chemicals. Pharmacopia is among the more than 1,000 businesses that have pledged to be transparent through the production of personal care products that are actually good for your skin and the environment.

The natural and organic body care company seems to be the darling of the magazine circuit, earning rave reviews from Vogue, Organic Style, Health, Body & Soul and Natural Health. It’s easy to see why after test driving their paraben-free, certified organic, vegan-friendly Everyday Body Wash and companion lotion, both bursting at the seams with botanical goodness. Simply conducting a side-by-side ‘sniff test’( inhaling the scent of a conventionally produced liquid soap product followed by a whiff of Pharmacopia’s body wash) reveals a radically different bouquet – chemical notes are immediately apparent in the former, while in the latter, the scent of jasmine leaps forward as a reminder that, oh yeahhhh, this is what Mother Nature really smells like.

Containing fatty-acid-packed algae extract which renews the moisture level in skin as well as green tea and organic aloe vera, their Jasmine Everyday Body Wash delights the senses, rinsing off easily without depleting your bits-and-pieces of much-needed hydration. If you live in a cold climate, then trying their Jasmine Everyday Body Lotion is a good idea, as it contains several emollients such as organic avocado oil, organic aloe vera and organic shea butter that work in tandem to restore the condition and appearance of the epidermis without creating oil slick-like conditions.

The market for natural body care products continues to grow in leaps and bounds, which means that there are seemingly infinite opportunities to try healthier alternatives until you finally hone in on a few brands that really do the trick. Since very few of us have unlimited funds, sometimes a friendly recommendation is precisely what we all need to help keep credit card bills in check. Pharmacopia products aren't the most budget-friendly, but with roughly 20% certified organic ingredients, it's not entirely unreasonable that their higher price tag reflects their costly commitment to quality, plus...they happen to be effective. Washing and moisturizing without the chemicals? Yes, you're worth it.

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Screen capture pharmacopia.net