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The Official Blog of The GEM.

Diamonds on your inside. That’s what we want. Don’t you? This blog is a place to visit for guidance, humor and wit about healthy, happy lives. We only have one life. Make it count!

Archives: July 2014


Personal Care Products That Are GEM~my

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

Tiny GEMs Need Protecting

Tiny GEMs Need Protecting

Last week you super fine GEMs really took notice of our post about personal care products and the chemicals that they contain. We received so many emails and texts wanting to learn more about specific brands and information. Many of you were extremely interested (worried) in making positive changes for you and your family. No need for anxiety!

Let’s get this chemical-free show on the road.

Please note, this is just a start. There are hundreds of others! The important thing is to read the label and know a company’s philosophy on harsh chemicals. The best way to make certain of this is to download EWG’s Skin Deep App. This thing IS AWESOME. There you can quickly scan a product and this bad ass app will give you its safety rating. You can rest easy with this!

During the research, I shockingly learned some of my favorite personal care products scored much higher on the EWG safety rating than I would prefer! Holy sh*t. That is why you MUST use the app in the stores or go to a highly, edited website to shop.

Most websites have a range of product ratings on their site. This site does a tremendous job of showcasing the safest and best ones. These. Folks. Rock.  “Rodale’s is for people like you, who want to do the right thing but don’t have the time or energy to wade through all the confusing and conflicting information out there to figure out what is really good or what isn’t. Since 1942, that’s what we do. We are your trusted source. Let us make it easy for you!” Well … sign me up!

Don’t worry, though. There are some more mainstream brands out there, you just gotta look! 

For kids:

Food Babe has a great article about safer sunscreens. See all of the best ones on EWG’s website.

Skin Care

  • JASON satin shower body wash - This one ranks a 1, though I was shocked to see mine rated a 5! Grrr.
  • Derma E rocks our world. Love their Super Intensive Body Balm
  • Coconut oil works for just about everything under the sun: moisturizes, removes make up, mouthwash … yes, mouthwash
  • Drunk Elephant.  Their skin treatments look amazing!
  • Tata Harper. Expensive, but their line is soooo good. They grow their own botanicals on her farm!

Other amazing, conscientiously clean companies that have great ratings for skin care include Odacite and Acure (Whole Foods).

Lipsticks & Makeup

  • Tarte mascaras, concealers, eyeliners – Love their Amazonian Clay products.
  • Zuzu Luxe Cosmetics – Lipsticks
  • Burt’s Bees for lip balm – Burt’s Bees is available just about everywhere—so you can grab their skin care products when you are in a bind.

Toss the ChapStick!

Haircare

  • John Masters Organics. This brand has a huge selection of products. All rank well on the EWG chart.
  • Giovanni for shampoos, hairspray and gels. While these don’t have the very best ratings, they are less toxic and you can find this at Target!

Toothpastes

  • Tom’s of Maine—fluoride free – Lots of kinds, I love the cinnamint one. Available in lots of drugstores and the Target.

Deodorant

These are not anti-perspirants, btw. You have to get used to the fact that you are supposed to sweat! No aluminum. Period.

There are conscious companies that are trying to make a difference with quality personal care products that are helpful and not harmful! Reward them by buying their goodness. If you are really committed to change and need informed and happy handholding, a Diamonds On Your Inside Counselor can walk you through a Healthful Home cleanup session.  Eliminate the body and home products that are toxic, and find clean, quality replacements.  You need a hand? We got that, dear GEM.


Not All Skin Care Products Are GEM~my

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has 4 Comments

Whether fancy and expensive or common and cheap, skin care products are riddled with harmful thegemjuicebarimage2014chemicals and ingredients. In fact, some of the most toxic elements in a woman’s daily life are her personal care products, which contain ingredients linked to:

  • Cancer
  • Birth Defects
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Allergies
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Hormone disruption

A veritable toxic shit storm of harm! Nothing is exempt. They  are in lotions, sunscreens, deodorant (yikes!), makeup, lipsticks, soaps, shampoos and nail polish.

Think that it doesn’t matter because it is just on your skin? A whopping 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Kids absorb EVEN more than that.

WTF. You think, “That can’t be. Our consumer products are safe. The FDA takes care of all of that.  They protect us from harmful ingredients in the products we put IN and ON our bodies.” UMMMM. Not.

YOU have to take control and protect yourself. You must make educated choices about the products you use. Your skin and longevity will thank you.

What to do first …

Educate yourself! Download the Environmental Working Group’s tools and resources and lessen your exposure to toxins. You don’t have to throw everything out and start from scratch, unless you are as crazy about it as we are. Start with your soaps, body lotions and shampoos. Work from there. Once you start understanding the dangers of these ingredients, the shift becomes MUCH easier!

Stay away from:

  1. Parabens. This widely used preservative is in everything: makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, lubricants,and facial cleansers. Parabens mimic estrogen in ways associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have actually been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Look for “Paraben-free” products.
  2. Artificial colors. Yes, the same stuff that makes your Skittles bright like rainbows. Made from petroleum, synthetic colors are skin irritants and linked to ADHD in children. (Insert my uncontrollable anger here.) The Europeans consider artificial colors a human carcinogen and actually banned them. What?? We use stuff (smarter) countries don’t allow because it’s dangerous? Don’t forget this is what is in your packaged food and candies. MAKES ME FURIOUS.
  3. Fragrance. One of my least favorite things. Due to a law created to protect a company’s “secret formula,” the contents of fragrance don’t have to be disclosed. It may contain chemicals that cause allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and possibly effects on the reproductive system. It’s found in really anything with a scent! Just stay clean and let your inner scent shine through. You are MUCH more appealing than “spring meadow rain” anyway!
  4. Triclosan.  It’s supposed to be an antibacterial agent, but it’s also a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones — and a skin irritant. Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants. Tom’s toothpastes are a great alternative to that nasty conventional stuff.
  5. Sodium lauryl sulfate/Sodium laureth sulfate. This surfactant can be found in almost all personal care and cleaning products—anything that foams. SLS’s are known to be skin, lung and eye irritants. It combines with other chemicals to form a kind of carcinogen, leading to issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash, cleansers, mascara and acne treatment.
  6. Phthalates. I can’t even pronounce it, but they are a group of chemicals used in things like nail polish, perfumes, deodorants, lotions and hair spray. Yikes! See ya, Aqua Net. Known to be endocrine disruptors, they have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not often disclosed since it is added into that “secret formula” called fragrance. Yeah … the Secret deodorant should hit the trash. Sorry.
  7. Formaldehyde. Helps prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen and has been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and may be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows and nail polish treatments. It is also used to embalm cadavers. Just sayin’!
  8. Toluene. Derived from petroleum, this nasty devil can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
  9. Sunscreen chemicals. This is bad sh*t. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are easily absorbed into the body. They can cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. Find all-natural sunscreens (you will pay high dollar, but you and your kids are worth it!)

The average person slathers on around 125 chemical ingredients found in personal care products every day. YEESH.

Which products will you eliminate first? Download this groovy shopping guide for quick reference for things to avoid.

Once you’ve tossed the Jergens for jojoba, test some of The GEM girls’ favorite lines:

  • Odacite (skin care)
  • Tarte (makeup)
  • Hourglass (makeup)
  • Derma E (skin care)
  • Tom’s (toothpaste)

Easier still, shop at places that have edited the products for you – conscious companies who are trying to make a difference with quality skin care that is helpful, not harmful!

If you have a favorite, fabulous and SAFE product, please share it with us! We are always looking for the good stuff!


What is Alkalinity and Why Do You Need It?

Posted on by diamondsonyourinside and currently has No Comments

Alkalinity. You need it. Your body craves it. In order to enjoy optimal, immune boosting health, free from disease, inflammation, diabetes, cancer (YIKES) — you should maintain a slightly alkaline pH level, specifically, 7.365 on the pH scale of 0-14, 7 being neutral.

Our bodies work really hard to maintain itself within this small window. The more acidic our diet and lifestyle, the more we work against our body’s efforts. In turn, we leave ourselves feeling tired and our immune systems vulnerable to disease.

hummusmvOH, and did I say disease and cancer thrive in an acidic environment? Reason enough for me to listen!

How did you get here in your acidic world? It’s your lifestyle.

What does that mean?

Our Standard American Diet, or SAD (appropriate initials!), is a major factor of acidity. It is a diet full of processed, highly acidic foods and drink, i.e. sodas, chips, sweets, fast food, DAIRY, alcohol, grains, heavy amounts of animal protein and SUGAR. When acidic foods are digested, an acidic residue is left behind. When too much acidic ash accumulates, it damages cells and tissues and robs the body of key minerals that help keep inflammation in check.

Constant stress and negative emotions are acidic culprits too. Emotions can have a greater impact on our blood and physical health than our food!

A lack of consistent exercise stagnates the body’s circulatory system. Oxygen through your cells is cleansing and alkalizing. Just do it.

These things increase acidity and inflammation in your body and causes major disruption to your system. So what do you do?

Four simple steps to alkalinity:

  1. More Water. Back this up with 32 oz of clean, filtered water each morning and you will be very pleasantly surprised by the way you feel. An easy way to make your water more alkaline is to add a little lemon or cucumber to filtered water. It’s weird because lemons, while acidic in your mouth (and on your teeth), are extremely alkaline when digested.
  1. More Greens, less sugar. A whole foods, plant based diet is the key to an alkaline system. Make 80% of your diet alkaline foods. Fresh vegetables, salads, leafy greens, omega oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains. Crowd out the bad with the good, then begin to cut and eliminate the bad. Think GREEN and whole foods with high nutritional value. And as always, NO artificial sweeteners—toxic, toxic, toxic. Check out this amazing chart.
  1. More Exercise. Essential because it pumps our blood and lymph around the body to remove wastes and helps deliver oxygen to cells for necessary functioning. Deep breathing can be hugely beneficial as it also controls stress and negative emotions.
  1. Supplements. Not the first solution, but part of the big puzzle – Utimate Omega 3s and probiotics.

Even if you just add three extra greens a day, morning water consumption and 15 minutes of daily exercise, you could feel a huge difference!

The big solution lies in creating a lifestyle where food, stress management and a mindful exercise practice all contribute to your optimal health. So dive in! What are you waiting for?