Earth Day

According to Zero Waste Week, more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally every year by the cosmetics industry, most of which are not recyclable contributing to loss of 18 million acres of forest annually. The personal care industry is worth $500 billion per year. Cosmetics packaging are produced, and mostly for one-time use. Empty containers are often too small for recycling, and mixed-material items end up going straight to a landfill even the ones you attempt to recycle. Makeup is arguably the most complicated category due to the mixed materials used in every product – for example, if your compact has a mirror, it is headed for landfill.

Put simply, just because your shampoo bottle is recyclable doesn’t mean it will be recycled. According to the recycling company TerraCycle, the global cosmetics industry produces 120bn units of packaging every year, and few are accepted by kerbside recycling programmes. “Many of the design technologies that make personal care and beauty products so squeezable, twistable, portable and generally easy to use render them difficult to recycle,” says its European head of communications, Stephen Clarke. “The more complex or costly the packaging, the harder it is to collect, separate and recycle. As a result, it makes it more economically viable to simply trash it than put forth the resources to recover it.”

What’s perhaps more frightening is that a lot of the plastic we use ends up in the ocean through litter, transport errors and through our sewer systems. In fact, the Ellen Macarthur Foundation estimates there’ll be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. At current estimates between 5.1 million and 13.9 million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year. 

In fact, UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reports that plastic debris causes the death of more than 100,000 marine mammals and more than a million seabirds per year. Not to mention the microplastics that are ingested by fish that travel up the food chain to us. Ocean Conservancy working with the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment has estimated that there is already over 165 million tons of plastic in the ocean.

Damages of Microplastic

Let me begin with the smallest beauty terror that harms our environment — microplastic. Microplastics are polluting oceans and harming wildlife—and your beauty products could be part of the problem. They comprise of plastic particles that are smaller than five millimeters in diameter, manufactured polyethylene plastic. In the form of a microbead or a plastic fiber, these particles are added as exfoliants in cleansers, cosmetics, and personal care products, such as toothpaste and soap.

Water filtering systems are not designed to sift elements smaller than five millimeters. Therefore, the particles contaminate water in oceans and end up being consumed by fish, birds, and marine animals. Microplastics also cause damage to humans and widely found in bottled waters which could potentially contribute to cancer risks once consumed. Non-biodegradable glitter also adds to the build-up of microplastics in our oceans. Glitter is still plastic and since it goes down the drain, scientists found it to be the highest concentration to of dangerous to sea life. 

According to Jonathan Whitney, PhD, a researcher with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration on Pearl Harbor military base, microplastics are showing up in dead larval fish. He has discovered microbeads from beauty products in the bellies of dead larval fish.

“They’re outnumbering the fish we’re finding in some of these samples,” Dr. Whitney says. “It’s been shocking.” Whether or not it’s this last meal of plastic shards that kills the baby fish, we don’t yet know, but he and his team have learned one odd fact: fish gobble up blue plastic the most. “About 75% of the ones that we’re finding are blue, which is consistent with what other [researchers] are finding in other species,” he says. “We think that it’s because that’s what a lot of their prey look like.” Although the US was the first country to ban microbeads, followed by the UK, France, Canada, Taiwan, Italy, New Zealand, and many other countries, the marine science community is now left to determine the long-term damage of microbeads. A single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles entering the ocean. There is a multitude of natural alternatives to microplastic such as:









Ground coffee

Ground fruit kernels

What’s inside that package?

When you order beauty products online, it arrives wrapped in more plastic aside from bubble wrap inside box. In 1919, it was a $60 million industry in the U.S. By 1938, it became a $400 million. By the 1970s, it reached as a billion-dollar industry. The number and variety of products exploded—and along with the products came vast new amounts of packaging. The amount of plastic packaging on U.S. products (not just on personal care items) has increased by over 120 times since 1960—with almost waste piling up in landfills. The packaging industry for beauty and personal care products, which primarily reflects plastic packaging, makes up nearly $25 billion in sales.

Often beauty products will be packaged in swathes of cellophane, cardboard, tissue paper and boxes. Containers and packaging are used in the shipping, storage and protection of cosmetic products. They also provide sales and marketing benefits. Undoubtedly, packaging plays a huge part in the allure of a new beauty purchase.

Health and beauty products are meant to be eye-catching to make consumers want to buy it as to where the package is more pertinent than its ingredients. Brands often wrap, ship, and display products with unnecessary materials like paper, plastic, glitter, stickers, and bags all in the name of branding. 

Decades ago, the beauty industry wasn’t a threat to the environment where products like glass shampoo bottles and refillable compacts were the norm, but it all changed mid-century when plastic manufacturing became widespread. Easy to produce, durable, and most importantly, cheap. In 1926, the Lever company (which would later become Unilever) kicked off an ad campaign outlining the damage “body odor” could do to one’s career and social prospects. The market for face creams, cosmetics, and other personal care products marketed to women increased in result of the rise of Hollywood movies and the invention of American glamour and beauty standards. During World War II, the U.S. government went so far as to declare lipstick a “wartime necessity,” a critical component of cultural life and morale-building. Soaps came in bar form. Perfumes, a symbol of luxury, were packaged in elaborate glass containers. Hair-care products were powders or pomades packaged in tins or jars.

Every year, 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging are produced, and mostly for one-time use. Empty containers are often too small for recycling, and mixed-material items end up going straight to a landfill. Meanwhile, many of the beauty products purchased often sit unused or outdated gathering dust and eventually ending up as trash—replaced with fresh new updated items from the store. Think about the purchases you make in 

Ulta and Sephora to later return, because these items are considered “damaged” they go directly to trash to prevent dumpster divers in the resell of returned products. The products are destroyed and thrown in the trash to make it non sellable. 

Humans have created more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics — and 91% of it hasn’t been recycled. What’s more, 70% of plastic waste is estimated to end up in the ocean or in landfills, where it takes over 400 years to decompose. This means that by 2050, there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than fish.

Disposable razors with multiple blades are no good, single-use razors are even worse. 

Consumer giants like P&G* have begun testing out refillable products to help prevent the use of plastics by using pod-refill technology. Anitra Marsh, associate director of sustainability for P&G Beauty, said women in their 20s and 30s—may be more worried about the environmental impact of what they buy. The goal “is to have more products that are recyclable, reusable and refillable,” Marsh said.

Other brands like Humankind, are entirely focused on refillable products. The online brand only sells eco-friendly health and beauty items in recyclable packaging, including mouthwash tablets, refillable deodorant and shampoo bars.

Brian Bushell, a co-founder, said the company is “combating the global crisis of single-use plastic in all of our product categories.” The paper-pod refill system for its deodorant eliminates about 90% of single-use plastic associated with common deodorant dispensers, he said. “Consumers are craving ways to make more responsible choices,” he said. “Not only for themselves—but also for our planet.” Bushell said

Another aspect of health and beauty that causes damage to the environment is the marketing of new products. The fact that 80% of existing purchased products aren’t actively used but rather ignored over new ones through social media promotion has caused an environmental awareness. 

Look for these ingredients on the back of the product:

Polyethylene (PE)

Polypropylene (PP)

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)

Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE)


The Future of Ecobeauty

Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s “New Plastics Economy” has been rallying businesses and governments behind this common vision of a circular economy for plastic. The vision is supported by three key actions: eliminate, innovate, circulate.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy

Companies have already pledge to make 100 percent of their packaging reusable, refillable, or compostable by 2025, and to source 50 percent of that packaging from recycled material. You will be surprised how easy it is to replace your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one but make sure the bristles are made of other material than nylon or other plastic, sheet masks with natural mud masks, and makeup remover cloths or composable Konjac sponges instead of single-use wipes 

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste aims to accelerate waste management and scale new solutions to minimize and correctly manage plastic waste to move from a linear to a circular economy. They recommend to: 

  • Consider the life cycle of your purchases and stop purchasing single-use plastic beauty items.
  • Choose products in reusable or recyclable packaging and take advantage of refill schemes and recycling initiatives. 
  • Look out for labels such as Rainforest Alliance Certified, ECOCERT, and Fairtrade to make sure the ingredients are sustainably sourced too.
  • Take time to read the labels to avoid dangerous microplastic particles.
  • Replace short life cycle plastic items such as plastic shower sponges by a natural option like the plant-based loofah.

If you like to sparkle here and there, consider products that use synthetic mica, a sparkly but biodegradable alternative. 

Some brands have made efforts to reduce single-use plastic packaging by switching to PCR (post-consumer recycled) material, or alternatives to plastics like aluminum bottles and recycled and recyclable plastic, including 20% marine plastics sourced through TerraCycle. The bottle is a slightly unappealing grey color as a result. By 2025, Unilever** will collect and process more plastic packaging than they sell, will reduce the use of virgin plastic by 50% and plastics will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. 

Consumers also have to be careful with which products are actually green since a brand might create a nature-inspired formulation of shampoo or body wash by simply adding a few drops of an organic or plant-based extract so it can be labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘botanical’ to the label. The product is designed in a way that’ll sell the “natural” message, when in reality it may end up in our environment the one these companies claim to care about. 

Be aware that ingredients also cause damage to the environment. About 14,000 tons of sunscreen is collected in the world’s reefs each year caused by the chemical waste from the beauty industry that’s washed out to the ocean. 

Join the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement in sharing ideas and efforts to cut back on plastic. 

Choose eco friendly products

*P&G Statement: We do not test our products on animals anywhere in the world unless required by law, and we are working hard to make animal testing of all consumer products obsolete. We are a proud supporter of #BeCrueltyFree and we’ve invested more than $420 million in developing non-animal testing methods and have advocated for their approval by policy makers around the world. Today, we use more than 50 non-animal alternatives, half of which were invented or co-invented by P&G. We will continue to work with partners like the Humane Society International and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to promote the development of new alternatives and advocate for their public use and adoption to eliminate animal testing.

**Unilever supports calls for a worldwide animal testing ban on cosmetics by 2023, and work with regulators, NGOs and suppliers across the world to increase the acceptance of non-animal approaches. Their long-term investment in non-animal safety science has enabled some of their brands to be certified by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as ‘PETA-approved’, including Dove, Suave, St Ives, Simple, Sunsilk, Zendium, The Good Stuff, Emerge, Love Beauty and Planet, Love Home and Planet & Cafuné. 

Unilever Statement: We do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing. We use a wide range of non-animal approaches to evaluate the safety of our products for consumers, our workers and the environment. We also develop ‘next generation’ safety assessment approaches that do not rely on new animal data. Our scientists regularly participate in discussions with regulators and scientists in China to increase the use of non-animal approaches to safety. Across our wider product portfolio, some of the ingredients we use have to be tested by our suppliers to comply with legal and regulatory requirements in some markets; and some governments test certain products on animals as part of their regulations.

When Aunty Flow Comes To Town

I’m not a Dr but after doing some research, I found ways you can suppress your period. One of the reasons many women don’t try period suppression is because they are accustomed to believe that a monthly period is necessary for good health. In the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals survey, 89 percent of women said they worried that there might be long-term health effects, and 66 percent said that period suppression just didn’t feel natural. 

Researchers believe fewer periods can help improve quality of life for women especially those in military or athletes. 

If you don’t struggle with heavy flows, lucky you. One out of five women suffer from heavy flows, also known as menorrhagia (meh·nr·ei·jee·uh).

The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days, and the actual period part ranges from 2 to 7 days. A period that lasts longer than five to seven days is considered prolonged menstrual bleeding. The total amount of blood lost during one period is usually about 60 milliliters (around 2.7 ounces). On average, a woman can generally lose up to around 16 teaspoons of blood (normally a lot less) during their cycle. It might seem and look like a lot but it’s not. 

Shortening your period with natural cruelty-free menstrual products/ methods: 

Periods can be a monthly inconvenience and interfere with your daily or future plans. It is believed that natural pads help shorten periods as opposed to commercial brand pads and tampons. There is no evidence that proves this, but some methods can increase the speed at which the menstrual blood leaves the uterus, which may shorten the period.

It’s no secret hormonal birth control such as the pill, implant, progestin shot and IUD is a way to prevent your period flow. Doctors refer to this as “menstrual suppression.” However, certain methods may work for some people. 

Birth Control pills allow you to skip your period altogether with continuous cycling (starting a new pack of birth control instead of taking placebo pills in the 4th week). The traditional OCP is taken for 21 days, followed by 7 days of placebo pills. It is important to know that all prescription medications in the United States are tested on animals as required by the Food and Drug Administration. Also know that there is currently no oral contraceptive available that doesn’t contain lactose, the hormones they contain are often from animal products. Many types of hormonal birth control contain estrogen, which is known to increase the risk of developing blood clots. Please consult your doctor before considering this option. 

Tampons might be a convenience and help soak up blood but they are not as good as you may think. It can block menstrual flow from the vagina which can make your period last longer. There’s also the risk of getting TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). Not only are tampons bad for the environment but believe it or not, they are tested on animals.  

Avoid tampons and use menstrual pads instead, not just any pads try using natural chloride free pads.

Organic pads are more breathable due to the absorbent cellulose core and soft organic cotton cover to lock away menstrual fluid, compared to ones made with synthetic fibers that contain plastic content which can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. 

Pads that are made with synthetic fibers contains only a small percentage of cotton, and some of them contain no cotton at all. Pads from common brands use fabrics to imitate the texture of cotton and are often perforated (pierced with holes) to help absorb flow a little faster than organic pads. You can notice the difference in the texture between a common brand pad and an organic cotton pad.  

When using commercial or generic brand pads, I feel the need to change them as often as opposed to organic pads. During my last period I tried organic pads* throughout the whole cycle to see if it helps the flow end faster. My cycle didn’t last longer than 5 days. 

*I tried CVS brand organic cotton with buy one get one 50% off offer and Organyc using 40% off coupon, that’s about $5 worth of savings. 

A good hormone-free alternative is to try to eat a healthy, balanced diet packed with lots of fruits and vegetables. 

Exercise helps lighten your menstrual flow, and it’s also useful for reducing water retention, bloating and cramps. The movement of the muscles during exercise may also help more uterine blood exit the body, potentially reducing the duration of a period. It also reduces stress, and even alleviates mood, because of the release of ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins.

Vitamin C may help reduce your progesterone (prow-jeh-str-own) levels which, help break down your uterine lining more quickly – shortening your period. It effectively lowers the heavy bleeding from the uterus during periods. This is caused due to the anti-estrogenic properties in vitamin C. 

Raspberry Leaf is said to help ease heavy menstrual bleeding while improving egg quality. It contains something called fragarine, an alkaloid found in raspberries, which is known to help tone and tighten muscles in the pelvic region (helps relieve cramps) preventing hemorrhage due to its high iron content and astringent qualities. The tea is also high in tannins (a naturally occurring chemical found in wine) which is believed to strengthen the uterus and reduce heavy and irregular bleeding during your cycle. 

I recommend you try a hot cup of Stash Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Herbal Tea. I drank it on my first day of period and it prevented cramps (this is based on my experience only).

Climaxing is yet another form of a natural pain-reliever and can help keep cramps away. 

So, anything that can get the uterus to exit blood faster is probably going to speed the process along. Sex or masturbation that leads to orgasm can stimulate contractions in the uterus, which may result in more menstrual blood leaving the body through the vagina. Having an orgasm releases ‘feel-good’ hormone like oxytocin and dopamine that help ease pain like menstrual cramps.

According to medical doctor, Dee Fenner of Michigan Medicine Von Voigtlander Women’s Clinic at the University of Michigan, having sex on your period can come handy when rushing aunty flow to end by causing contractions in your uterus that occur when you orgasm, which then helps your menstrual flow by squeezing out more blood. “Although no studies have been done on this, it’s likely that menstrual blood in the uterus is squeezed out during orgasm,” says Dr. Fenner. While there is no evidence that proves this a fact, it is worth a try.

Heating pads placed on your stomach help make the blood flow from your body. The faster all of that blood flows, the sooner your period will be over.

Magnesium is believed to help create an incline in estrogen so when you increase your intake, it can make your period end sooner. It can also help reduce the amount of blood you lose during your period. To get more magnesium eat dark chocolate, oats, pumpkin and watermelon.

There you have it, some methods to help shorten your period when aunty flow decides to pay a visit.

Protect Your Skin From The☀️ (sun)

Now that summer is almost over, you’re probably thinking you don’t need sunscreen.  Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US which is why it’s important and necessary to apply sunscreen. Sunscreen is an effective protective agent against damage from the sun’s powerful rays for all ages, genders, and skin types; lessening the chance of developing skin cancer. It is recommended to seek shade during the brightest time of the day which are between 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (or 2pm).

According to dermatologists, sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. There are two types of UV rays known as UVA and UVB rays. These rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Both UVA and UVB rays are carcinogens (cancer-causing).

• UVB has a B for “burning” – these rays are the ones most commonly associated with sunburns when skin is exposed to sun.
• UVA has an A for “aging” – these rays beams cause fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. They are most commonly associated with skin aging that cause wrinkles and potentially skin cancer (although less than UVB) after repeated exposure. UVA rays have the ability to pass through glass. UVA rays make up more than 90% of all UV radiation, and penetrate clouds and glass, year-round.

AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommends using a broad-spectrum protection sunscreen that offers protection against both types. The suggested SPF (Sun Protection Factor) should be of at least 30 and must be reapplied every 80 mins if in water or every 2 hours if dry.

Even if you have darker skin or tan rather than burn, skin cancer is non-discriminatory and can be diagnosed for any age, gender, or skin type. The great news is that sunscreen can now be found in some cosmetics. This was not the case years ago but because it is more important now to apply sunscreen, certain brands have included sunscreen in their products.

For face: There are now many facial moisturizers that contain sunscreen, and this is adequate for regular daily use if the majority of your day is spent indoors and/or out of direct sunlight.


• Choose a non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) sunscreen with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide if you have acne-prone skin or if you experience skin irritation with other chemical-containing sunscreens. Consult your doctor if sunscreens cause persistent significant skin irritation, or if you believe that you have a sunscreen allergy.

• There are now several powder-based products containing mineral sunscreens that can be applied over moisturizer or make-up. Tinted (skincolored) products are available.

For lips: lip-balm containing SPF30 is recommended.


For body: UVA/UVB (broad spectrum) coverage greater than SPF50 is recommended

• lotion, cream, gel is recommended over spray

• consider using SPF30-50 UV-blocking articles of clothing as an alternative to sunscreen.



This infographic provides more information on sun protection.

I like to use Ocean Potion which I purchased in TJ Maxx. It has a pleasant smell and is smooth during application. This sunscreen is available in retail stores such as Walmart, Stop n’ Shop & ShopRite or online retailers such as,, &


To read more on sunscreen click here

Biotin- Does it help hair growth?

Now that winter is over, we gotta prepare our locks for summer hair. I remember a few years ago seeing a woman in Sephora with beautiful long, black hair. I was looking at the Dry Bar products when I saw her. I went up to her and said “I like your hair. I’ve been trying to grow mines but it just hasn’t been growing” she gave me a simple answer to my problem. ” I take biotin” she said. Her hair reminded me of Rapunzel, expect it was black and shiny. I then asked if that’s her natural hair, she said “yep, I never dyed it”. I was so impressed by meeting someone who has had virgin hair her entire life.

I started getting haircuts in hopes of rocking a new style and then regretting it. Always wanting a bob so I decided why not try it. The moment I saw my hair getting cut, so many thoughts came rushing through my head wishing I could stop the process and  grow it back. Since then, I continued to have my hair short for the purpose of having it loose. Last October, I wanted a different look, I wanted bangs. I had realized how short my bags have been cut and of course regretting that also. Months have passed and my hair hasn’t grown long like before. So I decided to take the chance in taking Biotin and test it myself to see whether what that woman in Sephora had said was true. I’ve also been using Marc Anthony Grow Long products for a month now but I haven’t notice any difference. It is formulated with caffeine, ginseng and vitamin E to restore strength for healthier hair growth.



What is Biotin?

According to WebMD, Biotin is an important component of enzymes in the body that break down certain substances like fats, carbohydrates, and others. Many beauty products have biotin in them to increase its benefits. However, ingesting biotin is highly recommended if you want to restore your damaged hair and youth.

Biotin is a water-soluble (dissolves in water) B vitamin that helps your body convert food into energy. It is beneficial for your hair, skin and nails. It isn’t stored in your body; it actually just flushes right out of you when using the bathroom.

Mind, Body and Green  shared about one small study, where women with thinning hair reported significant regrowth when supplementing with biotin as compared to those given a placebo twice daily for 90 days. Biotin supplementation has not been extensively studied for hair growth though, and evidence is limited.


It has been less than 30 days that I have been ingesting biotin once daily.

For Ladies Only- Taking Care of your Vajayjay

I don’t usually talk about feminine hygiene but I feel like this is an important topic to discuss. Gynecologists often recommend to avoid the use of any feminine hygiene products such as douche, cleansing wipes, freshening spray or powder, fragrant shower gels or soaps, and instead replace it with a fragrance-free soap or shower gel.

Our lady parts can indeed be sensitive so it’s best to treat it right with something that won’t cause irritation or worse yet an infection. The use of such products may also further upset your vagina’s delicate balance of organisms and it is associated with various reproductive health problems.

According to Cosmopolitan, the vagina should have a pH (or acidity level) of 3.5-4.5, which means there is enough lactobacilli (a “friendly” bacteria that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing disease) as in good vagina bacteria, and no overgrowth of bad bacteria that can cause odor, irritation, or even bacterial vaginosis (which is actually the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge).

A 2006 study found that 27 percent of African-American women and 15 percent of Hispanic women regularly douche, as compared to only 9 percent of white women.

But why do we see so many feminine hygiene products available in stores? it’s advertising after all, isn’t it?!

The good news is that sales on douches has decreased since 2014 according to Consumer Healthcare Products Association also known as CHPA.

Category 2014
(in millions)
(in millions)
(in millions)
(in millions)
Feminine Hygiene Douches 23 22 20 19

We all have that favorite shower gel like the ones from Bath and Body Works. You wouldn’t think it’ll hurt to try to boost the smell down there by using a scented shower gel…. we’re all guilty of that but little do we know we are ignoring our vagina’s cry for help. The best option is to use a fragrance-free shower gel or soap. I like to use 365 Whole Foods brand for $4.99, it’s a dermatologist tested formula with glycerin, panthenol and aloe vera.



Here are some more interesting links to check out:

The Effects of Feminine Wash

Are Feminine Hygiene Washes Safe? Science Says You’d Be Better Off Skipping Them

Five things you need to know about feminine washes

Are Dedicated “Vagina Washes” Necessary?

The Dirty Secrets of Feminine Hygiene Products Most Women Don’t Know


“Women of America, I promise you, you do not need vaginal deodorant. You need a doctor. If you use simple soap and water and you get out the shower and there’s still a rancid-ish odor, don’t spray perfume on it! That’s crazy! That would be crazy!” -Sarah Silverman