Clean Up Your Cosmetics

Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a website that provides information on cosmetics and personal care products. The safety, health impact, and environmental effects of each ingredient are noted, and then every product reviewed is given a rating from one to ten (one being safest). It’s an eye-opening website – I was surprised by how toxic some of my favorite products are.

I was using Clean and Clear Morning Burst Detoxifying Facial Cleanser, but the bottle is nearly empty. I decided to check Skin Deep and discovered that this cleanser is rated 8 (high hazard). The areas of high concern, as rated on the website, are:

Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Miscellaneous, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards, Biochemical or cellular level changes

And they call that detoxifying?

I’m going to use up the bottle, but I’ve already bought my new product:¬†Alba Botanica Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser. It smells deliciously fresh, and its rating is only 3.

Today’s challenge: research your cosmetics.

Can you recommend any natural products that work really well?


Sign A Petition

Okay, I know you’re going to have a busy weekend. Today’s Act of Change will take less time than pouring a cup of coffee. Here you go: visit Amnesty International’s home page and sign the petition to free Iranian activist Hengameh Shahidi. All you need is your first name, last name, and an email address.

This woman is a journalist who has been imprisoned since June 2009 for charges that, according to Amnesty, “In no way justify her imprisonment”. You can read her full story on the Amnesty website, or the Free Hengameh Shahidi Facebook page, or her website.

Done. Now enjoy your coffee, have a great weekend, and come back on Sunday for another Amnesty-related challenge!


Make a Care Package

Last year, when I went on an exchange to France, my cousin Marnie sent me the most wonderful care package. It contained candies, a bright scarf, photos of us, and a beautiful necklace – all wrapped in hand-knit woolly socks. I was lonely and homesick at the time, and the package really lifted my mood.

Today I decided to help my friend Cassie by making my own care package. Cassie has had extensive dental surgery, for which she has missed all her exams, and as an extra bonus her grandmother has died. I figured she needed cheering up.

This is what I packed:

  • “Vamp” Shimmering Body Lotion (we both hate Twilight, so I knew this would make her laugh)
  • Tongue-Toos (candy tattoos for your tongue)
  • Purple nail polish (school colour! Plus it was on sale)
  • ¬†Burt’s Bees lip balm
  • An origami swan
  • Happy face stickers
  • Archie comic book
  • A get well soon card with a cat on it (I love cats)

I stuck it all in a purple shoebox, taped on some colourful bows, and dropped it off at her house. This was fun.

Have you ever given/received a care package?

Be a Donor

When I got my new health card, I signed the organ donor consent card and stuck it in my wallet. Around the same time my cousin had to have a liver transplant, and I saw how receiving it changed his life. I was glad to know that, even if I died in a car accident, I could help someone.

Not quite.

I read a story in the Toronto Star about how you have to register online using the Be A Donor website through Service Ontario, even if you’ve signed the card. I registered this morning – all you need is your health card and your date of birth. In the event of accidental death, you could save up to eight lives!

(If you don’t live in Ontario, you could try to find out how to register for organ donation).

Do you know anyone who has received an organ transplant?

Day 1: Operation Beautiful

Operation Beautiful is a blog devoted to to ending negative self-talk. Participants write positive messages, saying things like “You’re beautiful”, and leave them in public places. This might seem like a small act, but I think that these notes can really brighten someone’s day. We all feel down sometimes. Sometimes we just need a little kick of positivity to make ourselves feel better.

There is so much pressure on women to be thin and “pretty” (whatever that is). We need more awareness of the idea that everyone is beautiful, because beauty is not an absolute. It’s not having big eyes or clear skin. It’s not having a cheerleader’s body or perfect hair. This kind of beauty perfectionism is harmful, really. If you feel badly about yourself all the time, you won’t be able to help anyone else – so negative self-talk perpetuates apathy and pessimism.

Today’s challenge is easy: write an Operation Beautiful note and stick it in a public place. If you can’t think of anything to write, Caitlin’s Post-it Phrase of the Day is “Dream it, and you will achieve it“.

I work part-time at the library, so I’m going to put slip these notes into various books:

Hopefully they’ll brighten someone’s day!

Question: Have you ever found an Operation Beautiful note?