The Informative, the Strange and the Surprising

Herbalist Angie Jenkins of Sister Lotus recommended A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, and I received it about a week ago. I have come across everything from the surprising and strange to the very informative. There's hours of enjoyment and some recipes in this fifth edition by Ruth Winter, although she's soft on what the David Suzuki Foundation deemed the dirty dozen, but bear in mind that this edition was published in 1999, and Ms.Winter is now 80 years old. Since purchasing this book, I have learned that a seventh edition was recently published. Drats!

Here are a few examples:

Rosemary Extract

"Widely used for beverages, condiments and meat." (Yep, I know)
"Widely used in hair products, bubble baths, body and hand preparations, lipsticks, suntan products and bath soaps." (Informative)
"A teaspoon of the oil may cause an illness in an adult." (Surprising)
"An ounce may cause death." (Surprising, strange and informative)


"Some extracts of bamboo are muscle relaxants--for example, curare is used by the Indians as arrow poison." (Who knew!)

Recipe: Banana Face-Mask (for dry skin) *non-toxic

"Mash one ripe banana and mash thoroughly with the tablespoon of almond meal plus two tablespoons of yogurt.
Spread mixture on face and neck.
Leave on for 4 to 5 minutes.
Rinse with lukewarm water."

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) Number #1 on the Dirty Dozen list

The David Suzuki Foundation: BHA serves as preservatives in make-up and moisturizers. It is also suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer.

A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients: "A preservative in cosmetics, foods and beverages. White to slightly yellow waxy solid with a faint characteristic odor. Can cause an allergic reactions."

The David Suzuki Foundation
A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, MS

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