08/08/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Green Beauty Guide: How To Make Your Beauty Bag More Eco-friendly

Re-examine your beauty products, reduce your waste and the eternal quest for green beauty will be just around the corner. More companies than ever are producing eco-friendly beauty options and abandoning their use of toxic chemicals such as petroleum, formaldehyde, and even hormone disrupters.

Blogger Reenita Malhotra of FeelGoodStyle reflects on the movement for environmentally sound beauty selections.

There was a time, not so long ago when looking for organic beauty products was a fairly easy exercise because they were few and far between. Until fairly recently it was the norm to create products with chemical preservatives and artificial additives a plenty, the odd organic beauty product was typically high profile making it easy to identify. Today things have changed: practically every beauty product on the market contains some organic ingredients. How do you even begin to pick and choose where to go?

Beauty blogger Deb Hiett of FeelGoodStyle questions the "organic" label present on most cosmetics.

Currently the FDA lacks stringent guidelines for natural beauty products. If only 1% of the ingredients used in a product are organic, the product can have an "organic" label. B-cause has an "Ingredients to Avoid" list and it's a little frightening to see how many of these ingredients appear in products that are probably on most bathroom shelves.

Treehugger offers 10 tips to green your beauty routine:

* Chemical chaos--look at the label. The biggest and most complicated issues regarding the cosmetics we use are the unregulated chemicals that are used to make them. From the consumer's point of view there are certain common substances to look out for. The best advice is to learn the main ones to avoid and then check the product ingredient label. Or rather than scouring every label, you can also choose a cosmetics company that has signed the CSC's compact and uses certified organic and natural ingredients.

* Taming the mane--hair care. The number of products we women put in our hair must easily outnumber the amount we put on our skin. Shampoo, conditioner, serum, wax, gel, hair spray, color...the list goes on. Hair, like the skin, is extremely absorbent and all those products can contain potentially harmful chemicals. Watch out for: shampoos and conditioners containing petroleum products; hair dyes with carcinogenic coal tar, (coal tar can also be present in strong dandruff and psoriasis shampoos); hairsprays and hair gels containing petroleum derivatives, formaldehyde, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance.


:: Make your own green shampoo and conditioner.
:: Check this database to see if your beauty products are eco-friendly.
:: Read about Aveda's bottle-cap recycling campaign.
:: Read Paige Donner's blog on eco-beauty and sustainable skincare from the Huffington Post.