Toxic Beauty

Once upon a time, a fair young maiden woke up and crawled out of bed. She washed her face, and she washed her head. She turned on the blow dryer to get some extra bounce, and glanced at her watch, racing to beat the clock.

She glanced in the mirror and pursed her lips, assumed the position, pulled out a magic wand and changed her lashes to be no longer blonde.

She smiled at the glitter gloss, and the mascara on her face, and loved the sparkly glow it brought to her face.
She smiled once more then skipped out the door, into her kingdom called the Halls of High School.

Meanwhile, as she gracefully went about her day, the products on her face melted deep into her skin. Toxic ingredients soaked their way inside, damaging her health, though she didn't know it at the time.
This young woman was innocent, sweet and naïve, she did not know that she was deceived.

Until one evening when she got home from school, the words that she heard were shocking and cruel. She saw a report about makeup that she couldn't ignore, a proclamation that went out all over the news, and she knew there was something she had to do.

Meet Ava Anderson

Meet Ava Anderson. At fourteen years old, she adored getting all dolled up, just as much as any other girl in her Freshmen class. All her friends wore makeup, and until her freshmen year, she never thought twice to check the labels of these "magic potions".

Ava isn't a Disney Princess or a fictional character, she's a real life girl who discovered the truth about what is in personal care products. After seeing a report on the news, Ava begin researching for an entire year.

She was beyond shocked at what she found. Determined to save herself, and her friends and family from the beast-like harm that was bottled up in her products, she started throwing her products away.

Ava's Mom admired her gutsy determination but had to say, "Well, this is great Ava! But what am I going to use in the morning?!"

Ava got right on it. After searching organic shops and shopping malls, ordering things online and from different countries...Ava didn't find exactly what she was looking for. 
So, after a year of research, she started planning the launch of her own non-toxic, personal care product line!

All Natural...All Good?

When I (Livy) first learned of Ava's story, I was inspired and curious. Are my personal care products really that bad? I asked myself, What about the FDA? Aren't they supposed to regulate that stuff? Isn't TOXIC kind of a strong poison?
I don't wear that much makeup, and I use all natural products! I think I'm all good! :)

My only major concern was my shampoo. After all, I'm massaging that stuff into my head long as I'm using safe stuff there, I should be good, right?

Well, it turns out, I wasn't good. I was using Gud Shampoo and Conditioner by BurtsBees, a company which has a great reputation for being healthy, safe, and all natural! After I decided to look up the ingredients on it's label, I was quite shocked.
My "all natural" shampoo contained something called fragrance.  

Fragrance has nothing to do with sweet smells.
Did you know that the ingredient" fragrance"  is a name in which manufactures can legally hide hundreds of ingredients for which they don't have to list or be accountable for?

Fragrance is a great cover-up for toxic ingredients like phthalates (THAL ates) and parabens, which are known hormone disrupters and are closely linked to breast cancer, diabetes, and other dangerous problems. As girls, we don't want to be using ANYTHING that will mess with our hormone system...we need that to work right!     

(Above is a screen-cap from the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. The Environmental Working Group provides an online source to look up  individual ingredients in personal care products. That first ingredient you see - FRAGRANCE scored a dangerous 8 out of 10. Not something I want in my body!)

In this sneaky ingredient "fragrance" or "perfume," more than 75% of these are hiding dangerous substances. I was a little appalled...what was THIS doing in my shampoo?!

Beware of catchy labels that say "All Natural!" or "All Organic!" Manufacturers can call their stuff natural and organic, as long as it has some natural or organic ingredients. But in order for them to make money, they've got to put some of the cheap chemicals in there too...or else they wouldn't be able to sell it as inexpensively.   

But Wait....Just How Bad is Bad?

Girls, let's be honest. We hear about stuff like this all the time. With so many new studies and health scares, and announcements on the news about what's good and what's is a girl supposed to know what's true and what's bologna? Some days we're supposed to drink coffee because it's good for us, other days they say it will harm us! Should we really care about all this? I mean, why bother to follow the "health" trends that seem to zoom around like a crazy rollercoaster? The FDA is never very are we supposed to keep up?

Well sister, every girl has the responsibility to take care of and love her own body. We choose what we will put inside ourselves on a daily basis. Our bodies are SO amazing and they can detox what we eat, get rid of the bad stuff, keep the good stuff and somehow sort through all the mess...but this topic is way more important than food.

Why do I say that? What we eat can be detoxified and taken care of in our digestive system, but what we put on our skin and scalp goes directly into our blood stream.
Dr. Samuel Epstein, former head of the Cancer Prevention Coalition said, "It is more dangerous to put a product on your skin than to eat it." 

Many of us girls are trying to eat healthy (most of the time, haha), take care of our bodies and live an awesome life! We have big plans and dreams ahead of us! We want to be healthy and thrive!
But so many of us don't realize that our daily beauty routines are both toxic and damaging to our health and hormones.   

The Beauty Bar:
Livy's Top 5 Beauty Picks

I have a few favorite products from Ava Anderson's Non-Toxic personal care line. I've been testing out her stuff, and I have to say that it gets the LIVY stamp of approval!

1) Mascara
If you choose to start small and replace only one item in your morning line-up, go with the mascara! It brings bold lashes in a sweet and classy way, using only all natural ingredients (and nothing else).
I love this little wand because

on days when I like to add a little extra love to my face, I can do so in confidence, knowing that I'm not harming myself. It's all mineral based, and there is no flaking or brittle breaking.
 The tube is brown but it's all black inside. The mascara also doubles as an eye-liner. Simply use an eye-liner brush to apply. Boo-ya! Two in one! :)

2) Cleanser
I feel so pampered when I use this!  Ava Cleanser has some epic ingredients loaded inside this bottle and is enriched with anti-oxidants.
It's so important to be aware of what we apply to our faces on a daily basis. Check the labels of the stuff you're using, and I guarantee you'll want to switch to this!
One of the reasons I was eager to try the Cleanser is because I used to have really bad acne. I'm not going to say this is a miracle cream, or that it gives you a perfect face overnight.

BUT, I am going to say that this cleanser does exactly what a good cleaner should do! Clean, purify, detoxify, open up pores, scrub 'em out, and heal your face.
That, my dears, it is totally doing for me. I can see a major improvement and I've only been using it for a month.   

I would recommend this to any teen with acne. It's still working on me, and for me, and I know that it will continue the all-natural cleansing process...but I'm enjoying it while it does! :)

3) Shampoo
Ava Shampoo is formulated with organic aloe as the base, rather than water. It also contains essential oils, which if you've done any study about those, they're beyond amazing. This shampoo doesn't have any harsh or toxic ingredients to dry, strip and damage hair. My hair is much softer and healthier looking.

It took a few days for my scalp to adjust to the different formula, 'cause it's not used to something so gentle...
Don't be surprised if it takes awhile to get used to. Your hair is used to high chemical products, and needs to tone down a little in order to like this gentler wash.
It doesn't get sudsy right away, because it's not water based --- so work it in a little more, and soon it will suds! Still, it won't be as sudsy as the stuff you're using right now...but that's okay.
It's taking care of the cleaning! :)

4) Lip Balm
Lip Balm...such a small, harmeless tube! The stuff you're using right now can't seriously hurt anything, right?
Ehh, I wouldn't be so sure. Most name brands are "high hazard" on the toxicity scale at the  Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Check the ingredients of what you're using and make sure it's safe! If it's not, switch to Ava's lip balm which is formulated with organic shea butter and spearmint. Love it! 

5) Deodorant
Ugh, something smells. No, it's not's just me thinking about all the toxic ingredients hidden in deodorants! It makes me think something is a little fishy...
But seriously, have you ever checked your label before?
Most brand names include aluminum and dangerous metals like lead and copper! Ava's stuff is the real deal...
No parabens, no aluminum, no harmful chemicals! Score!

The Big Choice: Beauty or a Beast?

As a big sister, I deeply care about all of you, and want the best for your lives! Just like Ava, when I discovered that so many girls were deceived about what kind of deadly beast is attacking their true beauty and health, I wanted to do something about it!

I hope you'll consider the information I've passed onto you today, and ask yourself, "What choices am I going to make for my life? What am I going to put onto my head and my face?"

In the same way that we guard our hearts, we should guard our health too! God has given us too much of an amazing, priceless gift to trash it with toxins!

Will you choose true, lasting, healthy beauty products, or continue purchasing beastly products that are making you, your friends, and your family sick?  

I don't know why the laws about what goes into our products aren't changing yet. We've got recalls for toys with lead in them, but still have lead in our lipstick? Girls, it's time to cast our vote against the big wig marketers who tell us that their products will complete our lives. They bombard us with ads as we spend millions, yet they don't bother to take the time to care about our health or wellbeing.

Thank God for a young girl named Ava Anderson who stood up and offered us a choice! Now we can cast our vote against those harmful products, and choose to spend our money on worthwhile products.

I, for one, have chosen to take the stand against toxic beauty deception, and tell my friends and family about the alternative. I have even chosen to join Ava's team and help promote and sell her worth-while products. If you decide to buy anything from my web store on Ava's site, I'll get a small commission which will help support Crown of Beauty Magazine!

I hope you'll share this message with your friends, and let them know that they are beauties who don't need to be deceived by a beast! <3

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