<![CDATA[True Natural, Lavera & Benecos Blog]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/ Sun, 04 Oct 2015 21:33:39 +0000 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Think Pink, But Go Green! ]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/breast-cancer-awareness-2015/
Janet Kelly, natural skincare passionista & contributing editor

October is here, and for some, that means falling leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, football, and pink ribbons -- pink ribbons everywhere. Our awareness of breast cancer has come a long way since a pharmaceutical company started Breast Cancer Awareness Month back in 1985, but the fact remains that despite the billions of dollars that have been spent on the cause, we’re apparently no closer to the cure than we were before. It’s as if we’re more aware of “breast cancer awareness” than the disease itself.

Most of the research for “the cure” still focuses on the same treatments that are not curing cancer; i.e., chemo, drugs, and radiation. The fact remains that the number of deaths per year from breast cancer has remained around 40,000 for the past two decades, and according to breastcancer.org, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Awareness doesn’t seem to be changing the numbers.

Free Lavera Lipgloss with $50US order

Free Lavera Lipgloss Offer

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are giving away a free Lavera Rosy Promise Lipgloss! Any order $50US or more (after discounts, excluding shipping and taxes) will have this item automatically added at no charge.

Some of the money raised goes into promoting mammograms in an effort to find cancer early enough before it has spread. Unfortunately, 90-96% of women who now have metastatic breast cancer were indeed diagnosed at an early stage, so that doesn’t seem to be working either (as important as mammograms are). I can’t help but wonder where we’d be today if all the money that has gone into awareness and marketing went into figuring out what causes breast cancer in the first place and how we can prevent it.

The cure is in the cause. The cause will give you the cure.

- Charlotte Gerson, Founder of the Gerson Institute

Today, in 2015, there are still more questions than answers regarding breast cancer. We’re told about risk factors like late menopause, having children late in life, and family history of cancer, yet 70% of those with breast cancer have none of these known “risk factors.” I’m part of the 30%. I had never smoked, wasn’t overweight, exercised regularly, and had been eating mainly organic foods for years. I never missed a yearly mammogram; in fact, I had an all-clear mammogram two weeks prior to feeling a lump in my breast. This lump which was missed in my mammogram turned out to be a 2.5 cm triple negative (meaning very aggressive) cancerous tumor. Twelve years later, I remain passionate about finding the cause and cure.

As an esthetician, I study the skin, so that is my focus here. Many of you know that the skin is our largest and most permeable organ. Just about anything we put on our skin will end up in our bloodstream and be distributed throughout our bodies. Because we lack the necessary enzymes to break down many of these chemicals, they tend to accumulate over time, such as with lead in hair dyes and mercury in skin whiteners. Girls often start using cosmetics at a very young age which increases their lifetime exposure. Many chemicals are considered safe in low doses by themselves. The concern is the damage they can cause when used over time and synergistically with each other. There’s no research or data on this.

Considering that women are exposed to 168 unique chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products every day, and men are exposed to 85, I think that more awareness regarding ingredient safety is called for. While discussing this with my former oncologist years ago, he said what I’ve heard many people say: “Do you really think that products with carcinogenic ingredients would be allowed on the market?!”

I know that the European Union (EU) wouldn’t allow them. To date, the EU has banned nearly 1,400 chemicals in cosmetics; our Food and Drug Administration has banned only 11. You can imagine how bad those 11 are, yet they were in your hair and skin care products as recently as in the1970s. It makes me wonder what people will be saying in 2055 about the ingredients that are “acceptable” today. For example, here are seven common skin-care ingredients that are used in the U.S. but banned in other nations:

1. Formaldehyde: This chemical is used as a preservative and also includes a group of substances known as “formaldehyde donors,” which effectively release formaldehyde into a product. One of the most controversial of these donors is quaternium-15, which until recently was found in baby shampoos. The American Academy of Dermatology warns that formaldehyde can cause severe allergic reactions. Canada has banned it in personal care products.

2. Benzidine: This chemical can be found in many hair dyes. Although it can no longer be produced in the US, it can be imported. It is a known carcinogen.

3. Petroleum: It is often found in mascaras sold in the United States. Petroleum distillates are used as emollients and are also found in eye shadow, lotions, creams, hairspray, and foundation makeup. Petroleum has been linked to cancer and has been banned in the European Union.

4. Hydroquinone: This is used to lighten hyperpigmentation (dark spots on the skin generally caused by sun damage). It has also been linked to lung irritation and tumors in mice. Canada and some Asian and African countries have banned the use of hydroquinone in skin products.

5. BHA: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is used as a preservative in moisturizers, shaving creams, fragrances, and makeup, particularly lipsticks. It is linked to endocrine disruption and cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The EU prohibits its use in fragrances, and California requires a warning label on all products that contain BHA. On top of the human danger, it adversely affects the environment because it accumulates in water and kills wildlife.

6. Parabens: These chemicals are used as preservatives in a variety of cosmetics. They are suspected endocrine disruptors and may interfere with male reproductive function. They’re commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants and have also been linked to breast cancer. The EU banned parabens in 2012.

7. Lead: Although lead is never listed in lipsticks as an ingredient, it can be found in many of them. Lead is a neurotoxin and can be dangerous even at small doses, but the FDA doesn’t consider the lead levels in lipsticks to be a safety concern since it’s ingested in very small quantities.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, more than one in five personal care products contain chemicals linked to cancer. Eighty percent contain ingredients with hazardous impurities, and 56 percent contain “penetration enhancers” that help deliver ingredients deeper into the skin. Eighty-nine percent of the ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the FDA or any other publicly accountable institution.

In the United States, both cosmetics and drugs are regulated by the FDA. For drugs, the FDA requires that new products be shown to be safe and effective before they are allowed to be sold. This is not the case for cosmetics. Although the FDA requires that cosmetics be safe, it does not have the authority to require companies to test their cosmetic products (except some color additives) before they are put on the market. The FDA holds cosmetic firms themselves responsible for confirming the safety of their products and ingredients prior to marketing.

So who does test for unsafe additives in beauty products in the U.S.? The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), a self-policing safety panel, is the FDA’s main source of scientific data. According to its Website, the CIR “thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.” It’s interesting to note that the CIR is funded by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), an industry group of more than 600 cosmetic companies. In fact, the PCPC reportedly spent over $600,000 on lobbyists in Sacramento to prevent the California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005 from passing, a law that would have required manufacturers to post any unsafe ingredients on product labels.

Reports from environmental and public-health groups, like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, have often directly contradicted the “safe” findings of the CIR. In a 2007 study, the Environmental Working Group found that that 1 in 30 products sold in the U.S. fails to meet industry or government safety standards. Nearly 400 products sold in the U.S. contain chemicals banned in Japan, Canada, and the EU.

Most testing of cosmetics (and their ingredients) look for short-term issues such as skin or eye irritation or allergic reactions. Short-term health issues are likely to become apparent once a product reaches the market and is used widely. It is much more difficult, however, to identify long-term toxic or carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effects.

Even labels are misleading because not all ingredients need to be disclosed. Many ingredients are hidden behind the word “fragrance” as well. Because fragrance is considered a trade secret, many manufacturers get around leaving off ingredients that are suspect in this way. They fall under the umbrella of “fragrance.”

To complicate matters even more, the word “fragrance” often means something entirely different when it’s concerning a product made in the EU vs. one made here in the U.S. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a popular site for researching ingredients and skin care products, defines fragrance as “an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.” All of this can be true in regards to synthetic fragrance, but when the “fragrance” in question is a carefully researched blend of natural essential oils, this doesn’t apply.

Is your head beginning to spin? Are you wondering who in the world you can trust to lead you to safe skin care products and cosmetics?

Despite its flaws, the EWG and their Skin Deep database are a good resource for those wanting to learn more about skin-related health issues and ingredient concerns. They rank products and ingredients on a 0-10 scale in terms of safety. There are just several things you need to keep in mind when you use their database.

• The information they have is taken from the ingredient labels given to them by the manufacturers. They are not doing any actual investigations themselves. Their rating is dependent upon the accuracy and transparency of any given manufacturer. As a result, their ratings also do not take into account the percentages of composition. This means a product with 0.1% parabens would have the same hazard as one with 10 times more parabens.

• Keep in mind that many chemicals are harmful individually, but together they create a beneficial and safe product. Let’s take lye, for instance. Lye alone is unsafe, but after it reacts with oil and water to create soap, it’s harmless. In this same way, many essential oils have Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) warnings that could be misunderstood and deemed as dangerous when taken out of context. MSDS sheets were designed to inform the end user of how to handle the ingredients properly in their undiluted form; they weren’t meant for us to use in considering the safety of a cosmetic.

• They do not discern between a naturally sourced ingredient or a synthetic variant. For example, when it comes to “fragrance,” both synthetic fragrances (phthalates and all!) and natural essential oils get the same scores of 9. Because of this, a Walgreens sunscreen lotion might be given an overall ranking of 3, while a Dr. Hauschka all-natural sunscreen might get an overall ranking of 7, all because of the “fragrance” from all an all natural essential oil with a ranking of 8. So, you can see that you have to dig a little deeper when it comes to “Skin Deep” ratings.

• In a sense, they are systemically biased against European products. For example, in the EU, all components of an essential oil must be listed, but in the U.S. these components are not listed. Let’s take the essential oil rose, for example. For rose oil, the EU lists it like this:

Rosa Canina Fruit Oil (or as part of Fragrance/Parfum), geraniol**, limenone**, linalool**, eugenol**, citronellol**

In the U.S., it’s listed like this:

Rose Essential Oil (or Fragrance)

Although both oils are exactly the same, the EWG ranks every single component listed in the EU description separately and does not discern between 0.01% or 5% of an ingredient. So, while rose oil itself might get a ranking of 0 in the product from the U.S., it wouldn’t get that kind of ranking if every single component is ranked, and those individual components (taken out of context) might each get a 5+ ranking.

If you’re still reading at this point, that tells me you’re really serious about the types of skincare products you use, and I applaud you for being an advocate for your health. During this month of awareness, my hope is that I’ve brought a little more awareness to the importance of the hair and skincare products you use. The good news is that so many safe, effective, and affordable products are available these days. On the True Natural website, you’ll find products that have been certified by leading organizations in the EU and found to be free from any harmful ingredients. This means that you will not find any products that contain formaldehyde, benzidine, petroleum, hydroquinone, BHA, parabens or lead, to name just a few, helping us all to Think Pink But Go Green! 

Wed, 30 Sep 2015 19:08:24 +0000
<![CDATA[Best Five Nail Polishes to Wear This Fall - Plus 15% off!]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/best-nail-polishes-fall-2015/ When it comes to non-toxic nail polishes, award-winning Benecos nails it!

They’re all 5-Free, and that means they’re free from toluene, camphor, phthalates, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. But that’s not all! They’re also long-lasting, chip-resistant, vegan, gluten-free and cruelty free. They dry just as quickly as their less healthful counterparts too. And, ooh, the irresistible colors!!!

Benecos Award-Winning Nail Polish - best non-toxic / eco beauty product finalist benecos award-winning nail polish - best nail polish finalist

But don’t just take our word for it! The UK’S No. 1 Natural Beauty Blog “BeautyShortlist.com” named Benecos nail polishes a finalist as “Best Non-Toxic/Eco Beauty Product” of 2015!

The Natural Beauty Awards 2014, conducted by Natural Health Magazine, awarded Benecos Cherry Red as “highly commended” after rigorous weeks of testing by a panel of expert judges.

Benecos Nail Polish awarded OekoTest Good Rating

Perhaps the most coveted rating is when the Oeko-Test Magazine deems a product as “good.” Oeko-Test is a German magazine similar to Consumer Reports in the U.S., but it has a much stronger emphasis on consumer safety and health as well as the environment.  The highest rating possible is “Very good.”  To date, no nail polish is capable of getting that rating, but Benecos comes close being rated as “Good”.  We consider that as an honor coming from Oeko-Test!

We invite you to check out our Top Five Nail Polishes for Fall 2015 and beyond:
1. Taupe TemptationIt was love at first brush stroke for a number of us at True Natural. Think of it as a warm neutral with an edge. It transitions beautifully from everyday casual to lavish night on the town too.
2. DesireReminds us of a good Cabernet – bold, rich, and deep. It’s very similar to Cherry Red, but it’s ever-so-slightly lighter.
3. Deep PlumFor an oh so deep and mysterious look, Deep Plum adds the perfect allure. This dark sexy shade is a great look in fall and winter.
4. Rose PassionThe ultimate go-to shade and a perennial favorite. This amazing neutral shade looks good on everyone since it has both pink and coral undertones. It’s got the versatility and wearability of a nude look, but with an elegant  dose of passionate color.
5. ChocolateEmbrace your inner rock star with Chocolate nail polish. Yes, it’s got edge and attitude, but it’s also a very classy and chic look for fall and winter.

Until Sept 30th, 2015, SAVE 15% on ALL Benecos Nail Products with coupon FALL-LOOKS!

Must Try: Benecos Natural Nail Care Pen

Benecos Nail Care Pen

When you transform your cuticles, you pretty much transform your hands! Once you’ve used Benecos’ award-winning Natural Nail Care Pen, you’ll see what we mean. This most nourishing balm comes in a convenient tube. When you twist the tube, the balm is released which you apply with the built-in brush. Because it’s so hassle- and mess-free, you’re more apt to use it on a daily basis. And when you use it on a daily basis, there’s no way you can have dry nail beds, brittle nails, or rough and jagged cuticles! Winner of the “Best Nail Innovation” award in the 2013 Pure Beauty UK Awards.

Fri, 25 Sep 2015 18:07:57 +0000
<![CDATA[Three Perfect Fall Looks from Lavera and Benecos]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/perfect-fall-looks-from-lavera-benecos/ Now is the perfect time to refresh your makeup bag for fall!  Between now and September 30, 2015, we're offering 15% off all cosmetics with promo code FALL-LOOKS. We've rounded up three of our favorite Fall looks here, but we invite you to visit our website for our full line of natural cosmetics from Lavera and Benecos!

Fall Makeup Looks - Sultry and Smokey with Lavera and Benecos


Fall 2015 is all about making a statement, and nothing makes a statement like this elegant and classic look. Red lips look awesome anywhere, anytime, and on anyone, especially when it’s Lavera's Deep Red lipstick. Completing the look are Lavera’s mineral eyeshadows: Golden Glory and Shiny Taupe, lined with their Liquid Eyeliner in black. Lavera Rouge: Charming Rose adds a natural flushed cheek. Whether you’re headed to the office or on date night, this look is picture perfect.  

Fall Makeup Looks - Sultry and Smokey with Lavera and Benecos


There are so many directions you can take this irresistibly sultry look. Luckily, it’s easy to create too, with Lavera’s Smokey Grey Quattro. Rounding out the look is Lavera’s Black Soft Eyeliner and Benecos Multi-Effect Mascara in Black. To achieve the perfect nude lip, we love Lavera’s Hazel Nude Glossy Lips. For just the right amount of fresh color on your cheeks, try Lavera Rouge in Cashmere Brown. Put it all together, and you’ve got magic.

Fall Makeup Looks - Everyday Natural with Lavera and Benecos


While we love getting all glammed up, we also love keeping it simple. Nothing says simple can’t be stunning though! Enhance what Mother Nature gave you with this line-up of Benecos and Lavera beauty essentials: Lavera Mineral Eyeshadow Quattro in Cappuccino Cream #2 is a staff go-to fave, and we love accenting the eye by lining it with Lavera’s Eyeliner in Black. Benecos Sassy Salmon imparts a youthful glow to the cheeks, and completing the look is Benecos Twist-Up Shiny Lip Color in Rusty Rose with Benecos Lipliner in Brown.

Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:06:51 +0000
<![CDATA[To BB or Not to BB - That is the Question!]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/lavera-bb-and-cc-creams/ Lavera has now introduced their amazing new CC Cream, and we are excited to introduce it to you! This week, we are offering 10% OFF both Lavera BB & CC Creams - sale ends FRI, Sept 18th!

From the runways in Milan to your favorite neighborhood coffeehouse, Fall 2015 is all about seeing fresh looking skin. One of the best ways to achieve this look (besides drinking lots of water, getting plenty of sleep, and all that good stuff!) is by using BB and CC creams.

CC stands for “color correcting,” but that’s just one of its eight benefits! Although it doesn’t give as much coverage of freckles, blemishes and dark circles as BB Creams and foundations, it is an expert at giving you a flawless, even-toned complexion. It is also more effective in hiding fine lines, brightening your skin, plumping up any wrinkles, and firming. Also, when it comes to added moisture, it’s got BB Cream beat too, with its 24 hours of moisture with an SPF of 6.

The Lavera BB Cream is also slightly darker than the CC Cream. So, if you have light to medium skintone with normal to dry skin and are looking for help reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skintone, Lavera CC Cream may be your best option.

If you have oily to normal skin with light to medium-tan skintone and are looking for coverage for freckles, blemishes, and dark circles, BB might be the cream for you!

Looking for more coverage? Lavera’s Natural Mousse Make-up offers light to moderate, while their Natural Liquid Foundation offers moderate. For those who prefer full coverage, Lavera’s got you covered with their 2-in-1 Compact Foundation.

To read more about these natural makeup options, please check out our chart below.

And don’t forget – 10% off all Lavera BB and CC Creams this week only - sale ends Fri Sept 18!

Lavera foundation coverage chart

Fri, 11 Sep 2015 21:43:33 +0000
<![CDATA[After the Latest Sunscreen Scare, Who Can You Trust?]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/sunscreen-who-can-you-trust/ Many of you may already be familiar with the latest disturbing news regarding a popular brand of sunscreen. For those of you who aren't familiar, this brand, that touts itself as "all natural, safe, water resistant and non-toxic," has been on the receiving end of some very bad publicity from their customers. Parents have been posting pictures on social media of themselves and their children with horrible sunburns after wearing this brand of sunscreen. It is a scary situation because we all assume we can trust our sunscreens to keep us safe. We wanted to take this opportunity to explain to our customers again what makes True Natural sunscreens safe and healthy to use.

Why are True Natural sunscreens safe?

  • True Natural uses a higher combined percentage of sunscreen active ingredients (nano-free zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are what protects the skin from dangerous sun rays) in order to provide the highest level of sun protection.
  • All True Natural sunscreens are Broad Spectrum. What does that mean? Only sunscreens that have met the FDA standard for Broad Spectrum protect against both UV-B and, the stronger and more damaging UV-A rays, which are linked to skin cancer. Sunscreens that are not Broad Spectrum only protect against UV-B.
  • True Natural Sunscreens are top-rated in the EWG's Skin Deep Sunscreen categories for the last 4 years as sunscreens that provide 100% mineral-based protection without hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin. * While we understand that decreasing the active ingredients in our formulas might make them easier to apply and perhaps more transparent, our commitment is first and foremost providing the highest level of broad spectrum protection available, guaranteed not to result in sunburns. And they decrease the risk of skin cancer and skin aging when they are used as directed.

As summer comes to an end, be sure to stay just as diligent with your sun protection as you were on June 1! Apply and reapply liberally, remembering all your easy-to-forget areas like ears, the back of your neck, tops of your feet, back of your arms, chest area and lips.  If your skin starts showing redness, put on extra clothing go find some shade.

General recommendations for staying safe in the sun using SPF 30 Sunscreen are:
Fair Skin -- 2-3 hours
Medium Skin -- 4-5 hours 

To learn more about safe sun exposure and how much time you can safely be in the sun, read our blog Safe Sun Exposure. For additional reading about SPF facts read our article Facts About SPF.

In order to help you stay safe in the sun, we are discounting our best-selling sunscreens. Save 15% on our Neutral 50, Baby and Family 30 and Active 30 Sunscreens all week! 

Fri, 07 Aug 2015 21:55:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Vitamin D is not an excuse for NOT wearing Sunscreen!]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/vitamin-d-sunscreen/ A Vitamin D deficiency is not an excuse to spend large amounts of time in the sun without the use of sunscreen.

Often depicted in the media, there is no doubt that Vitamin D is an essential nutrient. The fact is, most fair complected individuals can acquire sufficient Vitamin D through limited sun exposure.

As opposed to increasing sun exposure, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that adequate amounts of Vitamin D should be obtained from a healthy diet (i.e. dairy products, fortified cereals and fish) and/or Vitamin D supplements.

Thu, 06 Aug 2015 21:49:16 +0000
<![CDATA[Skin Cancer Myths & Facts]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/skin-cancer-myths/ Millions of Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer annually and over 80,000 diagnoses will be melanoma, skin cancer’s deadliest form.

Here are some common misperceptions and the real facts to dispell them:

Myth — It is impossible to get skin cancer in an area of the body that has never been exposed to the sun.

Fact — Sun exposure is a risk factor for developing skin cancer, these cancers can develop anywhere on the body regardless of direct sun exposure. The reasons why cancers develop are very complex and not entirely clear, involving both genetic and enviromental factors. We do know that one or more sunburns doubles the risk for skin cancer.

Myth — If I have a growth or mole that has been there “forever,” it can’t turn into a skin cancer.

Fact — Some melanomas develop as a new lesion, however many melanomas arise in preexisting moles that may be very familiar. It is important for you to become familiar with the growths on your body so that you are capable of recognizing any changes. Know the ABCDEs of melanoma.

Myth — Using sunscreen ensures I have 100% protection from the sun’s rays.

Fact — Most people do not apply enough sunscreen to truly protect their skin for the amount of time they spend outdoors. One ounce of sunscreen may protect you for a maximum of 1.5-2 hours, depending on your skin type and activity level. Always remember to reapply your sun screen frequently and seek shade when possible. Myth — I would know if I have a skin cancer on my body, wouldn’t I? Fact — Many people have no idea they have skin cancer. When melanoma is detected early, it is often 100% curable! Late detected melanomas are very often fatal, making them “silent killers.”

Understanding Skin Cancer

Excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or synthetic UV radiation from indoor tanning devices, are the major contributors of skin cancer. All skin cancers are managed best when detected early.

What to Look for:

Any skin cancer can appear suddenly as a new spot or develop slowly in or near an existing spot. In fair complected men, melanomas are most often found between the shoulders and hips, or the head and neck area. In fair complected women, melanomas most often develop on the lower legs as well as between the shoulders and hips. Any change in a spot needs the immediate attention of a Dermatologist.

To see what melanoma looks like and to read more information about this deadly disease, please visit our friends at the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation who provide the SunSmart America ™ K-12 Curriculum and Resources to help promote sun safety education, prevention and early detection of skin cancer.

Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:41:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Why Choose Natural vs. Conventional Makeup?]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/natural-versus-conventional-makeup/ What we eat effects our health. But many of us are not aware that what we put onto our skin also affects our long term well-being. Studies have should than our skin absorbs up to 60% of what is applied to its surface. Highly sensitive mucous membranes absorb eye makeup. While there is some controversy over the number of pounds of lipstick the average woman consumers in her lifetime, the fact is that lipstick, lip gloss and lip balms are consumed.

According to the Environmental Working Group, most of the over ten thousand ingredients used in personal care products on the market today have not been evaluated for safety. Even more disturbing, U.S. researchers have found that one in eight ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals (including carcinogens, pesticides and reproductive pollutants). Given that these ingredients are not just staying on our skin but entering into our blood stream, these startling facts and findings make one thing clear: being mindful of the ingredients in our makeup is a must.

Many of the harmful ingredients found in cosmetics are synthesized and do not exist in nature, or are petroleum-based, with many dangerous contaminants. By going natural, these toxic synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, surfactants and more are avoided in favor of safer, natural alternatives.

This is not to say that with natural cosmetics you will no longer have breakouts and allergic reactions. Different natural ingredients may cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to specific irritants – for instance, those with gluten intolerance may react to products with wheat protein.

At True Natural, we take care to ensure the cosmetics (and all products we list) are truly natural and do not contain the toxic ingredients that are common in conventional makeup. All our cosmetics products are also gluten-free – suitable for those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. And every product is listed with the complete ingredient listing so those with allergies can identify any products with ingredients they are sensitive to.

We encourage you to read the ingredient listings of our products and any product you purchase. This is the best way for you to ensure for yourself that the products you use are compatible with a healthy lifestyle.

Top 12 ingredients to Avoid & Why

Thankfully, a growing number of resources exist to help us avoid such terrible toxins. At the forefront: David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen List, which outlines which ingredients to avoid and why.

Here’s a (somewhat) condensed version we’ve put together for your convenience:


methylparaben (EWG Hazard Score 4), butylparaben (EWG 7) and propylparaben (EWG 10)

The most common chemical of the bunch, parabens are used to kill bacteria in water-based products. Unlike parabens in foods, parabens in cosmetics are easily absorbed into the body, entering the bloodstream and organs intact. They are endocrine disrupters: have been found in biopsies from breast tumors (in amounts similar to those found in mainstream personal care products!) and can interfere with male reproduction. As a result of widespread publicity and consequent consumer backlash, they have been removed from a number of lines and/or products.

Dibutyl phthalate (EWG 10)

Used primarily in nail products, dibutyl phthalate (or DBP) is absorbed through the skin. It interferes with hormone function and can cause developmental defects, changes in the testes and prostate as well as reduced sperm counts. According to Health Canada, when products containing phthalates are sucked or chewed for prolonged periods, they can cause liver and kidney failure in small children. EU legislation prohibits the use of DBP in cosmetics. Its use in cosmetics remains unrestricted in cosmetics in the US (except the state of California) and Canada

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives:

DMDM hydantoin (EWG 7), diazolidinyl urea (EWG 6), imidazolidinyl urea (EWG 6), methenamine (EWG 7-9), quaternium-15 (EWG 8) and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (EWG 6)

Formaldehyde (EWG 10) -releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used by mainstream brands because they offer an inexpensive way to inhibit the growth of microorganisms. They are known to irritate skin and eyes and trigger allergies. While banned in a number of countries (because of their potential carcinogenic nature), these preservatives are legal in Canada – albeit in restricted concentrations. In the EU, they are also restricted and labeling is required for products that contain these ingredients. FRPs are completed banned from cosmetics and toiletries in Japan and Sweden but there are no restrictions in the US.

Triclosan (EWG Score: 7)

Triclosan is a concerning antibacterial agent that the Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban on. It accumulates in the body and has been found in breast milk and the umbilical cord blood of infants. It is also an endocrine (hormone) disruptor, impacts thyroid function and could likely contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria (a.k.a. "superbugs”). Its use is restricted in cosmetics in Canada and Japan but not in the US.


BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) (EWG 5-7) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) (EWG 6) are petroleum derivatives used to preserve the shelf like of products like lipsticks and moisturizers. BHA induces allergic reactions and has a high potential for bioaccumulation (the accumulation of a substance in various tissues of living organisms) and interferes with hormone function. BHT can act as a tumor promoter. Long-term exposure causes liver, thyroid and kidney problems in mice and rats. Evidence suggests it has can mimic estrogen and cause reproductive problems. Although banned in many countries (including Australia, England and Sweden), its use in cosmetics is unrestricted in Canada and US.

Coal Tar Dyes

Derived from petroleum, coal tar dyes can cause skin reactions, have been thought to increase hyperactivity, ADHD and learning difficulties in children and may be related to lung and skin cancers. Additionally, they can contain heavy metals and aluminum substrate, which can be toxic to the brain. While the use of many coal tar dyes are forbidden in Canada, some not approved as food additives are allowed in cosmetics, even those that may be ingested, like lipstick. P-phenylenediamine (EWG 7) is one such dye that is widely used in hair coloring and determined safe for use in cosmetics in the US.

DEA, cocamide DEA & lauramide DEA

DEA (diethanolamine – EWG 10) and DEA compounds are often used to make products smooth or sudsy, or as a pH adjuster to counteract the acidity of other ingredients. In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of DEA-related ingredients has been linked to liver cancers and pre-cancerous changes in skin and thyroid. Furthermore, they can also react with nitrites to form nitrosamines, which are a possible human carcinogen. Surprisingly, then, the use of DEA-related ingredients is unrestricted in cosmetics in Canada and US.

Parfum (fragrance)

“Parfum” is an umbrella term that signifies an unknown mixture of some 3,000 chemicals. Cosmetics manufacturers in Canada, US and many other countries, are not required to list their particular fragrance recipe in order to protect their proprietary formulas from those wanting to copy the scent. However, due to the non-disclosure, toxic chemicals can be included in the recipe that can cause migraines, allergies and asthma and in laboratory experiments, have been associated with several unfavorable health complications including cancer and neurotoxicity. That said, some “Parfums” can be 100% natural, essential oil based and free from toxins and allergens. The EU allows the term “Parfum” to be used, but any allergens in the product formulation, including the fragrance, must be listed. In the US and Canada, “Parfum” is allowed, and allergen listing is not required. The EWG classifies all “Parfum” as Hazard 8, irregardless of whether the scent is naturally sourced or synthetic.


Petrolatum (or mineral oil jelly) (EWG 4) is a petroleum product often used in moisturizing products because it is cheap, abundant and effectively seals off the skin from water and air. Petrolatum can cause allergies and skin irritation. It can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – which can cause cancer. It is restricted in Europe and currently under assessment by the Canadian government (but not restricted at this time). It is not restricted in the US.


cyclotetrasiloxane (EWG 5), cyclopentasiloxane (EWG 3), cyclohexasiloxane (EWG 2) and cyclomethicone (EWG 2)

Siloxanes are silicone-based combinations used in cosmetics to smooth, soften and moisten. Exposure to high doses of cylcopentasiloxane (also known as D5) has been shown to cause uterine tumors, harm the immune and reproductive systems and negatively influence the nervous system. Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4) has been labeled an endocrine disrupter in Europe. In the US and Canada, these ingredients are not currently restricted.

Sodium laureth sulfate

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES - EWG 3) is used as a cleansing agent or to create a lather/foam. It is extremely drying, leaves skin void of a natural barrier against environmental pollutants and can also irritate the eyes and the respiratory tract. Also, it can be contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane (EWG 8), but consumers would have no way of knowing. Currently, there are no restrictions on the use of this ingredient in cosmetics in Canada. It is allowed, with concentration limits, in the US.

Polyethylene glycols (PEGs)

PEGs (EWG 3) are petroleum-based compounds that moisturize, keep products stable and enhance the penetration of other ingredients. They can contain the carcinogenic contaminants 1,4-dioxane and be toxic when applied to broken or damaged skin. Nonetheless, there are no restrictions on its use in cosmetics in US or Canada.

Sun, 23 Nov 2014 07:59:13 +0000
<![CDATA[Breast Cancer Awareness Month]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/2014-breast-cancer-awareness-month/

Our dear friend Jennifer, who inspires us daily with her amazing outlook on life while living through her second remission.

Here at True Natural, we recognize October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month - as a time to support our friends and loved ones who have been affected by this terrible disease, and, as a company, to re-commit to our mission to provide safe, natural products.

Uli Jacob started True Natural / Lavera in North America back in 1999 with the mission to educate women that they did not need to sacrifice safety for high quality skincare, cosmetics and personal beauty products. There were, even back then, non-toxic, all natural alternatives to the mainstream lipsticks, face creams and shampoos that were chock full of parabens, phthalates, SLS, and even heavy metals like lead.

Along the way, we found many women suffering thru breast cancer, survivors and family were discovering our products. Because our products were FREE of known carcinogens, produced to higher ingredient standards in Germany, clearly stated all ingredients, AND were effective products, our mission was a perfect match for their needs. Those undergoing chemotherapy could still look and feel beautiful despite what was happening to their bodies, and know that their makeup and skincare was doing no harm.

We are extremely grateful that we are able to provide healthy and safe products to the community. We are committed to our ingredient policy to offer only the best safe, all-natural products and continue to work to expand this selection.

AND Please Remember - Go get your Mammogram!

Sat, 11 Oct 2014 00:54:15 +0000
<![CDATA[Gluten in the Skincare and Makeup you wear impacts your health too!]]> http://www.truenatural.com/blog/gluten-free/

If you are here, its because you are concerned about the ingredients you are putting into your body – and are very aware of what the wrong ingredients can do.

Did you know that skincare and cosmetics that are free of gluten, parabens, SLS and other toxic ingredients are as important to a healthy lifestyle as the food you eat? Here’s why:

  1. Your body is your largest organ – It absorbs 60% of what you put on your skin
  2. Over 20 main stream lipstick brands tested by the FDA contained lead - more than 1/3rd exceeded the lead limit for candy.
  3. Its claimed the average woman consumes between 4-9 pounds of lipstick over her lifetime

Ingredients to avoid in Skincare and Cosmetics

There are quite a number of ingredients that contain gluten. Obviously, anything derived from Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) - hydrolyzed wheat protein, wheat germ extract, etc. - but Barley (Hordeum Vulgare) and Rye (Secale Cereale) derived ingredients also contain gluten. Oat (Avena Sativa) may be cross-contaminated.

We also recommend that parabens, SLS, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, dyes, preservatives, and a number of other common but harmful skincare ingredients (the "Dirty Dozen" ingredients) be avoided. None of the products sold at TrueNatural.com include these ingredients. By avoiding them, customers find that, in addition to being safer, the products are gentler on the skin and more suitable for those with skin sensitivities.

We carry only premium NATURAL skincare and AWARD-WINNING cosmetic brands from Germany and the US. All Lavera & Benecos Makeup are gluten-free. All True Natural Sunscreens, Self Tanners and Anti-Aging products are gluten-free.

For a complete list of GLUTEN-FREE products, click here.

Questions? Contact us at 1.877.515.8783 - We look forward to serving you!

TrueNatural Team.

Gluten-Free Skin Care Resources

CeliacDisease.About.Com is a great resource for Celiac Disease and has a number of articles about how Gluten affects the skin.
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness also has some great resources regarding Gluten and how it affects the skin.
Details regarding George Washington University study on the affects of gluten in skin care
Skin care ingredients to avoid - the Dirty Dozen.
Our blog on Ingredient Labeling rules for Skincare and Cosmetics.
Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredient Resources at TrueNatural.com.

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:29:20 +0000