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The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, Makeup, and Fragrances Paperback – September 2, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In this thorough, practical guide, writer and registered nutrition specialist Gabriel (Clear Skin) recommends subjecting everyday cosmetics to the same scrutiny with which we subject our food: "each cosmetic chemical ends up in thousands of hungry mouths covering our skin-pores." Navigating labels is a true problem, because cosmetics come under no government regulation, unlike food and drugs; as such, skin products sold as "natural" or "organic" may contain numerous unsafe chemicals, with a few token ingredients to justify their claims. Gabriel provides a list of dangerous ingredients to watch out for (and why), identifies the safest products on the market (free from "synthetic dyes, fragrances, preservatives or detergents"), and takes readers step-by-step through cleansers, toners, facials, moisturizers, sunscreen, hair care and baby care. Her sophisticated daily regimen (two daily cleansings, exfoliation, toning, moisturizing and sun screen) may be too much for some readers, but those with the wherewithal will also find some useful, surprising tips for home-brewed cosmetics (eggs for masks, lemon and sour cream for exfoliants, organic mayonnaise for a moisturizer and foot mask). Though aimed at women, Gabriel also covers products used by men and children, including shaving cream, soap, shampoo and powders.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Julie Gabriel is a registered nutrition specialist (RHN) educated at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. She launched a series of workshops titled 'New Mom's Diet' in Toronto. She is in the process of launching her own organic skincare line called Petite Marie Organics. Julie has been writing and editing fashion and beauty for about 15 years. In 1992 she worked in production at CNN's Style with Elsa Klensch. She was the associate beauty editor in Harper's Bazaar (Eastern European editions, 1998-2000), beauty editor in Atmospheres (2001-2001) and has written over five hundred articles and features on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
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I also liked that she gives us some products to check out and gives us resources to get ingredients for making our own products. I honestly didn't realize that you could purchase things like coenzyme Q10, for instance. Yes, some of these ingredients can be expensive but if you're using them in several different products however, you will be spending less to make your products than you would be spending on pre-made products. I realize that making your own products is not something that everyone can or will do but I am glad she included the information for those of us that can and want to.
And obviously, the products that Ms. Gabriel recommends are not going to work or be liked by everyone, but that is the case with any product recommendation. That is why it's called a "recommendation". It's not as if she said, "You all absolutely have to go out and get THIS cleanser or THIS moisturizer, it's the ONLY one that works!" I personally found a few very good products that she recommended.
The bottome line is, just as I said, this is a great starting point on doing your own research. No one out there is going to do all the homework for you. At least Ms. Gabriel cared enough to put this book out there for others to learn from. I like this book and even though I first read it from my library, I found enough useful info in it to purchase my own copy.
As a (former) 15-year subscriber of Allure beauty magazine with an insatiable appetite for any mainstream beauty product, I felt increasingly liberated as I made my way through this book. It enables me not only to purchase with confidence from integrity-filled companies, but the ability to master my own creations. Don't be the victim of unregulated chemicals! Take control of your health and make educated decisions regarding your skin. Many of the beauty products on the market are made by companies with business standards- the final goal being profits, not your optimum health. As Ms. Gabriel points out, never "assume that people who make it have only good intentions in mind."
I absolutely adore this book. I'm a big book reader of all different types, and this by far is my favorite. It helps that I have an interest in being green and a fascination for beauty...but of the materials that are out there, Julie does an amazing job putting the facts forth and offering a single point of reference. I'm studying aesthetics at a 'natural' school, and so far everything in this book is accurate with industry standards. It goes a step beyond by detailing individual ingredients, which I've found myself wondering about and wanting to know more in classes. I frequently discuss this book with my instructors and they are sometimes surprised to learn about new information. One of my instructors is buying the book himself. So many friends I've shared this book with find it intriguing. The recipes are a great addition also.
My friend refers to this book as my bible, and I'd agree with her. I trust the information, and I thoroughly enjoy reading it. It is an excellent guide.