Category Archives: beauty products

Top 5 Green Actions

Lately I’ve been noticing that I am easily distracted. I get my mind set on doing something based on what an “expert in the field” is saying only to turn around and hear another “expert” telling me I need to be doing something else. With all the modes of communication available to me it’s easy to be bogged down with excessive information. I feel like they are just throwing bits and pieces of stories at me and hoping something will stick.

This is especially true when it comes to living green. There are about a hundred thousand things everyone could be doing to build a better world but it would be impossible for every person to do each of these things. I’ve narrowed it down to what I believe are the top five things. These are the actions I personally can see myself continuing to do or working toward doing more often.

1. Buying less stuff

We live in a culture where buying and having more stuff and a bigger place to keep it all is marketed as the fastest way to find happiness. I believe this to be wrong. Work on finding happiness within yourself through relationships, hobbies and activities. Collect only things that you actually need, rather than things that are advertised to make you think you want them.

2. Buying products from socially responsible companies

There are certain things you will probably never stop buying and for each person these special items may be different. Be sure that you are purchasing your favorite items from socially and environmentally responsible companies. Follow the links to my guides below for more information:

And be sure that when you do make purchases you bring your reusable bag.

3. Using alternative forms of transportation

The most significant change an individual could make toward reducing their carbon footprint is to cut down on how much they drive. Trains, buses, bikes, carpool. Avoid spending time in a vehicle occupied only by yourself and your imaginary friend. Read more in Getting Around.

4. Eating less meat and more sustainably grown and harvested food

Recognize the importance of knowing where your food comes from and what is being used to grow or raise it. Find out more, read Buying Food: The Naked Truth about Local and Organic. Decide for yourself whether fish should be on your menu: 

5. Conserving energy and water at home

When it comes to conserving energy and water, small adjustments can have a big impact. Protect the environment by conserving energy and water with these 100+ tips. Additionally, check out The Pros and Cons of Wind Power.

The Perfect Ten: Mani-Pedi for the Earth Angel

I love going to the nail salon to get pampered, I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s a little splurge that helps me relax and results in beautiful digits. Unfortunately, mani-pedis are not very Earth-friendly and, with the exception of the relaxed feeling that results, they aren’t very good for your body either. Just like so many other things that I love, I must add them to the bad list and replace them with an Earth-friendly option. (Yes, there is another way!)

Here’s the deal, the process from start to finish is chemical city. The pedicure sinks they soak your feet in must be disinfected using harsh, nonbiodegradable chemicals. Tools are shared between customers. It’s a green goddess’ nightmare (I just learned that green goddess is also a salad dressing, so I do not mean this nightmare to involve withered vegetables or anything like that, but hopefully the context was enough so you new that).

Über Chic is an eco-friendly salon in Edgewater, CO

On top of this the products used specifically for nails (at the salon or at home) go directly to your bloodstream (do not pass the liver, do not collect $200). It turns out that while your nails are hard, they are absorbent and therefore do not form good barriers (you might say they form better windows than doors).

Many nail polishes contain formaldehyde, which as you might remember from Cleanliness is Next to Godliness: Hair, is a carcinogen with many undesirable qualities. Dibutylphthalate is another common ingredients. See the phthalate hiding in that word? It’s another carcinogen and a hormone disruptor. The dibutyl form is a potential reproductive toxin and endocrine disruptor. You may also find the volatile organic carbon toluene, which is a neurotoxin.

Piggy Paint is a harsh-chemical free nail polish marketed for children, with ingredients as natural as mud.

The removers aren’t much better. According to the National Institutes of Health, acetone is a poison which can cause death; coma; unconsciousness; seizure; respiratory distress; kidney damage; nose, throat, lung and eye irritation; intoxication; headaches; fatigue; stupor; light-headedness; dizziness; confusion; increased pulse rate; nausea; vomiting; and shortening of the menstrual cycle in women. Most nail polish now state they are “non-acetone” but what do they replace this nail polish removing miracle poison with? Acetate.

It may be listed as ethyl acetate, amyl acetate or butyl acetate. It’s not as bad as the original stuff (acetone) but the fact that it’s “flammable” and the “vapor may ignite” and warns me to “keep out of eyes” and that it’s “harmful to synthetic fabrics, wood finishes, and plastics, makes me wonder, “If it’s not safe for my table how is it possibly safe for me?”

No Miss Inc. sells  healthy alternatives to beauty products at an affordable price.

What about the Earth? Good point, observant reader, I have not begun to discuss the impact these products have on the Earth. When nail polish and remover go down the drain they seep into and contaminate groundwater. Additionally, while the bottles are technically recyclable, the vast majority of nail polish bottles end up in the landfills where they leach out.

Now what!? Don’t cancel your appointment yet, as always I have solutions for your beauty needs.

  • Check your city and regional magazines for local green salons and spas.
  • Call or stop by some local salons and ask them the following questions:
    • Do you use and carry eco-friendly products? Check ingredients and make sure you would use understand the ingredients.
    • Do you employ water-saving practices, such as reusing rinse water?
    • Do you use energy-efficient equipment?
    • Do you use natural cleaning products and laundry detergents? Refer to greening your home part 3: cleaning supplies for information about what to look for.
    • Do you recycle?
    • Do you offer other eco-friendly services? They may not always use eco-friendly practices but they may offer services to people who ask.
  • Consider skipping color and opting for a simply buff and shine treatment (the unnatural color just chips away in a few days anyway).
  • If you love color, only use polishes which do not contain toluene, phthalates, or formaldehyde. You can find some at:
  • Make sure your remover is acetone- and acetate-free. Try No Miss Vegan Nail Polish Remover (smells like vanilla!). While more and more salons are offering earth-friendly nail polishes, the remover is harder to find so take your color off at home.

What earth-friendly products do you use for a perfect ten?

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness – Hair Care

You may have heard that a “green” beauty routine is no beauty routine at all. For extremists this is probably true, but I’m not an extremist: I like my skin to feel soft, I like my hair to shine, I like playing with makeup. If you are like me and want your eco-friendly lifestyle to continue into the bathroom (or wherever your beauty regimen takes place) then read on. If you aren’t like me you can still read on, we don’t discriminate here.

Here at Maggie’s Mind Mumbles, I frequently discuss that what we’re putting IN our bodies should be whole, unprocessed foods. For the products we put ON our bodies can affect us just as much, if not more. While it seems as if the products like lotion and makeup sit on the surface of the skin or products are washed away as with soap and shampoo, the chemicals are actually absorbed directly into the bloodstream without being detoxified in the liver.

With that said, we’ll start at the top and work our way down. Today…


Your lovely locks are the accessory you wear everyday so it’s understandable that you want your hair to look nice and you want to use products that promote beautiful hair.

Look at the ingredients list on most shampoo bottles. You may find these invading your bottle:

Not only are these, and the other chemicals I haven’t listed here, damaging your body but they are also wrecking havoc on the environment. Additionally, these shampoos are often sold in PVC bottles (I really need to write a blog about why PVC is the worst because it keeps coming up and I keep having to just ask you to take my word for it).

So to help you remember not to buy products with these ingredients I have crafted a downloadable cheat sheet that will fit in your wallet. That way you won’t have to try to remember these scary names.

Aided with your cheat sheet you can find plenty of shampoos that don’t contain offending ingredients but will still leave you with hair that is smooth, strong and shiny. Oh, and smells good too, that’s an important one. You can find healthy shampoos at health food stores, the organic section of most supermarkets and some are even finding their way into drugstores. They range in price from cheap to steep.


I currently use Alba Botanica body builder mango. I found it in the shampoo aisle at a Safeway (conventional grocery store). The bottle was paid from 100% recyclable materials and it is free of all the harmful ingredients listed above. It also smells like a Hawai’ian rainforest and costs less than $10. I condition with a rare treasure I happened across on a quick bathroom break on my way to work. I remembered I needed conditioner so I picked some up. Ology is a Walgreens brand free of bad guys and loaded with good guys. I grabbed the volumizing and softening grapefruit and eucalyptus (can you tell that my hair needs more volume?) It’s pretty great and for $6 I can’t complain.

Other great brands include:

  • Hugo – try Vanilla & Sweet Orange Shampoo
  • Aubrey Organics – Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner is fabulous
  • Burt’s Bees – Terrific shampoos and conditioners
  • John Masters Organics – Have yet to try these friend recommended shampoos and conditioners
  • Tween Beauty – I know I’m totes not the target demographic but I want all my BFFs to try Orange Sherbet Shampoo and Vanilla Bean Conditioner LOL

Just a few tips – check that the package is made from recycled materials (I will never stop saying this), be sure that the label says certified organic because organic is not a regulated term in the beauty world and make sure you like the scent (that probably goes with out saying but there are some ick smelling healthy shampoos out there).

Which shampoo and conditioner can you not live without?