Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Talc Body Powder – Friend or Foe?

By now you already know I’m addicted to deodorant. However, what you probably don’t know is that I have a habit of using “baby powder” all the time too. I use powder the most after showering because it's great for soaking up any extra moisture my towel missed. Plus, I think powdering my underarms creates the perfect dry “base” for applying deodorant. As I was dosing myself with powder the other day, I began to wonder what the "magic" ingredients were in the bottle. When I read the label on the back, it simply said talc & fragrance. Wow, for once there isn’t a giant list of ingredients written in unpronounceable Latin words! Automatically I thought to myself, talc is a natural mineral, so clearly it can’t be bad for me, right? WRONG.

It turns out that talc, the same mineral used for writing on chalkboards, is an enemy to our body’s largest organ – our skin. Several scientific studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung cancer, skin cancer, and ovarian cancer! OMG I’ve been using talc powder since I was a baby! Apparently talc is known to contain traces of asbestos too. Gross. Now I understand why this is a major concern to consumers and people in the beauty industry. Talc is used widely for commercial purposes, and often in its powder form for cosmetics. Reports have shown that talc powder causes tumors in rats forced to inhale it, even though it contained no asbestos-like fibers. First of all, animal testing is a NO NO in my book, but the fact that talc powder can cause tumors in any living organism is horrific!

Welcome talc…to my list of enemies. I think it’s time everyone gives talc the boot, and opts for a healthier alternative. Obviously everybody wants a high quality product, but you’d love it even more if it was affordable right?! Well Bath and Body Naturals, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, offers exactly that. Affordable bath products made from the highest quality forms of natural ingredients. The owner, Paula Van Dyck, has been creating her natural bath products for 15 years now, and has NEVER tested her formulas on animals.

Check out the 6oz natural body powder (talc free) priced at only $4.30! This silky, talc free powder works just as well as the “enemy” to eliminate friction while keeping your skin cool and comfortable.

Chose from a variety of fragrances like gardenia, rose, jasmine, lavender, and unscented.

The base for each blend includes corn starch, arrowroot powder, clay & oat starch. Curious to know why these natural ingredients work so well? Here’s a quick breakdown for you:

Cornstarch: Is a healthy alternative to talc because it’s absorbent, soft & gentle. Cornstarch is produced through the milling of corn to extract the starch, which is then processed and dried to a fine powder.

Arrow Root Powder: Its natural qualities are almost identical to talcum – it has an absorbent, fine texture. Arrowroot is starch flour made from the root of the manoic plant. It's fine texture and pure white color makes it a natural additive for body powder.

Kaolin Clay: Has a high mineral content which lightly draws out impurities and toxins. It’s good for all skin types (sensitive or dry, young and old).

Oat starch: Has the combined attributes of talc & anti-irritating attributes of oats. It soothes the skin & gives the powder a good flow.

The big lesson I’ve learned is that it counts to think twice before rubbing something into your skin. What you think is safe, may really not be.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Departing LAX on a high note with an Eco-fashion Showroom

The sexy sustainable trip to LA is sadly coming to an end today. Overall I think the trip for cmarchuska was a great success. Aside from the four days of trunk shows at the Equinox gyms, Christine met with some highly influential people involved in the green fashion movement. One of the most exciting events that Sexy Sustainable Style was involved in during this trip was Christine's meeting with the owner of a green eco-fashion showroom. It's very likely that cmarchuska will soon have her designs hanging on the racks of this highly selective showroom. Stay tuned for more updates as the partnership develops.

In the meantime, I have to start packing my suitcase and get ready to fly back to NYC tonight. The weather and the people have been great out here in L.A. I'm sad to leave.

Above: Our "sexy sustainable" adventure climbing Runyon Canyon's mountainous trails to see the Hollywood sign... The views were spectacular and my trusty iPhone's pictures turned out fairly well. The weather was hot that day, but thankfully Christine and I were sporting white organic cotton shirts from cmarchuska's line. Christine wore her mseries long-sleeve tee paired with the ocean blue summer hunter scarf & I was in my favorite vneck, the pristine white kiva tee.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hollywood - Bringing celebrities & cmarchuska together

Sexy Sustainable Style reporting live from the hills of Los Angeles:

The Equinox gym on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood has been buzzing with celebrities these past few days…what’s new? Nothing, I know. Except that cmarchuska’s two day trunk show in the gym’s upscale boutique has caught their eye and the interest of many others. Celebrities such as Jamie Lynn Sigler, Nia Long, Dave Navarro, and even Fabio stopped in the boutique to check out cmarchuska’s chic eco-designs. The brightly colored organic cotton summer Hunter scarves have been a big hit among shoppers. These vibrant scarves are great for keeping you warm on a cool spring day, and add style to your outfit.

Me (right) in my cmarchuska Violet Hunter scarf with designer Christine Marchuska(left) seen here wearing the Ocean Blue Hunter scarf.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Jet Setter's Guide to Healthy Snacking

The Sexy Sustainable Jet

Are you a “jet setter” always in a rush to catch your next plane, train, or automobile?! If so, then it’s likely you already know how difficult it can be to keep your sexy figure while on the run all the time. Your schedule is packed from morning to night with meetings and events, and it’s impossible to sit down and eat a nutritious meal. Therefore, snacking on the run becomes your only option.

So what do you eat when you’re headed to the airport and your stomach’s growling like a beast? Are you tempted to just run to the corner store and grab candy or a bag of chips? It’s so easy to pick up junk food to satiate your hunger pains. The problem is, the junk food’s energy boost is short lived, and soon you’ll be crashing like the stock market plus you’ll have put on a few extra pounds! YIKES. Think about it; is that Snickers bar really worth it?

It’s important to be conscious of what you eat, especially when you live a jet setter’s life. Leave the processed junk food alone and opt for one of these healthy snack bars instead:

1) PROBAR– Whole Berry Blast ($3.29): This 100% vegan bar is the perfect snack for a long flight because it’s a 4 course meal packed into one small bar! PROBAR’s energy bars are so great that they’ve won the Nutrition Bar of the Year award from Whole Foods Magazine & Health Magazine. Visit www.theprobar.com for more info.

2) LARABAR – Pistachio ($1.69): This is one of my favorite energy bar brands because I love the nutty, sweet flavor choices they offer such as Cinnamon Roll, Pecan Pie, and Chocolate Coconut. Mmmm don’t they just sound delectable?! The Pistachio bar puts a smile on my face too because it only has 3 ingredients & the sweetness you taste isn’t from refined sugar, it comes from the fruit of dates! Pistachios are an excellent source of protein and potassium. The Vitamin E in this bar also boosts your immune system and alleviates fatique. Visit www.larabar.com for more info.

3) Clif Nectar -Lemon, vanilla, cashew ($1.49): Hiking up mountains or biking along the river? Then Clif bars are the answer to your munchies. They’ll never freeze or melt in extreme temps. Visit www.clifbar.com for more info.

4) Prana Bar – Pear Ginseng ($2.19): The Pear Ginseng bar is bursting with sesame seeds, one of the most calcium-rich foods that exist. Eating this bar will give you 15% of your daily calcium! Visit www.pranabars.com for more info.

Sexy Sustainable Tips to Satisfy your Hunger:

  • Stay hydrated. Snacking on energy bars is best when you’re hydrated because they’re a condensed food. (Note - This is also very important when you’re flying because the high altitudes dehydrate your body). It’s best to drink water 30 minutes or more before snacking so your system is ready to absorb the nutrients. WATCH OUT - Drinking water while you snack may actually dilute the effectiveness of your digestive juices & drain your energy in an inefficient way.

  • Read the labels carefully. Be aware that even within one brand of energy bar, the different flavored bars may result in a wide range of nutrients, calories, and ingredients that can have varying effects.

  • Watch out for caffeine. Too much caffeine can tax your adrenal glands and put stress on them…The stressors can lead to a numerous symptoms such as fatigue or cravings for salty & sweet foods. Caffeinated ingredients are often found in energy bars. Keep an eye out for ingredients like guarana, green tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, and cacao because these also contact caffeine.

Writing about all these yummy snacks makes me want to eat one!