A friendly reminder that the safest thing to put on your skin is something that you would trust putting into your mouth. After all, your skin absorbs chemicals and nutrients from topical applications just like your digestive tract, which means all those nasty chemicals in sunscreen, lotion, and other beauty products end up in your body. As more and more research is done in the field of environmental medicine the public is crying for more and more “ecologically safe,” alternatives for conventional care products. But learning all of the names of chemicals, and misleading wording of labels can be very confusing. And as a recentHuffington Post articleaddressed, the cosmetic industry’s labeling is unregulated, meaning that terms such as “organic,” or “natural” don’t necessarily mean what they’ve come to mean on our food packaging.

TheEnvironmental Working Group(EWG), has developed theSkin Deep database,a database as well as smartphone app that rates cosmetic and care products based on their contents of unsavory chemicals and additives. They also have begun offeringEWG verifiedlabeling options to products which adhere to their rigorous standards. Products must score a “green” in EWG’s Skin Deep database, cannot contain any ingredients on EWG’s “unacceptable,” or “Restricted” lists, must fully disclose all ingredients on the label, including ingredients used in fragrances, as well as maintaining other ecologically sound manufacturing practices. For more information on Environmental Working Group, and the EWG verified products visitwww.ewg.org.

email-photoNode Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine amongst the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend campout where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision. 

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