Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Petal & Post 'Dirty Dozen' Challenge

This journey of green beauty will change your life this year and I promise that you will become an even healthier you along the way
— Jamie MacLean

Knowing my plan to kick off 2015 with a wellness cleanse, my good friend and founder of the luxury green beauty e-boutique Petal & Post, Jamie MacLean challenged me to take my intention to the next level: each month of the year, take the time to understand one of the "Dirty Dozen" cosmetic chemicals as named by David Suzuki

Jamie explained to me that finding truly authentic green beauty products is becoming more and more difficult as savvy marketers get away with "green washing" and, as a result, far too many "natural" brands on the market are simply posers. And so, this challenge is a way to empower myself (and maybe you) to understand ingredient names so we can at least identify the dirty dozen as a starting point.

On average, a morning routine can involve 126 different chemicals.

First up: BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – Closely related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservative.

The Challenge:

  • Start by auditing the bathroom. Have a look at your moisturizers. 
  • Commit to keeping a watch out for BHA & BHT the next time you are shopping.

Feeling pretty confident as a mostly "clean" shopper I was surprised to find BHT listed as an ingredient in one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE body moisturizers! Say it ain't so!

Recognizing my look of "I don't think I can (read: want) to do this", Jamie quickly introduced me to Neom 'Burst of Energy' an organic, ethically sourced, lotion softly scented with grapefruit, lemon & rosemary.

Okay I'm listening again.

Month by month, discover with me the ingredients to avoid and their natural alternatives. I make no promises to make the switch (I hear that my lipstick may be a real doozy, but as neither BHT or BHA are listed in the ingredients, I'm not ready to go there yet). 

In the meantime, take a look at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the largest online database (and Skin Deep app) of more than 70,000 products, and see how your fave products fare.

I know it won't be easy but I'm interested. Challenge accepted. 

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