Thursday, September 19, 2019

What do they mean?

It can often be confusing when products tout the virtues of their products, especially the differences between vegan, organic and cruelty free.  As Beauty Care Choices continues its commitment to the Clean Salon, you will see these symbols associated with brands, brand lines and products.  As you continue to make safer choices on what beauty products you purchase, we want to be sure you understand what these terms mean.

Cruelty-free means that the products, and the ingredients that were used in the product, were not tested on animals at any stage during their development.

Vegan means that the products contain no animal ingredients or animal by-products. This includes well known ingredients like honey, beeswax, gelatin, yogurt and other less obvious animal by-products like:
  • lanolin (wool grease) which is common in lip products.
  • Shellac (from lac bugs) used in some nail products
  • squalene (shark liver oil) used in lip balms, deodorants and moisturizers
  • carmine (crushed-up beetles) to create a red color for lipsticks, blushes, nail polish.
  • ambergris (sperm whale vomit) in perfumes.

Across the USA, UK and Australia, certified “organic” has a very similar definition. If you’re buying certified organic generally your products (food or the ingredients in your cosmetics, for example) come for a farming system which uses:  
  • No manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilizers
  • No artificial or synthetic colors, preservatives or chemicals (including parabens and sulfates) 
  • No routine use of antibiotics
  • No GMOs (genetically modified organisms) or growth regulators
  • Very limited number of pesticides allowed
  • More sustainable land management

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

BEAUTY SCIENCE: Water-Free Beauty Products

Not letting the tap run for too long and making sure the dishwasher is full before turning it on are two sure-fire ways to reduce water consumption, but did you know you can also cut down when it comes to your skincare routine?  Enter: waterless beauty products, a growing trend of cosmetics for environmentally-conscious consumers.  

Water is usually the first thing you see on the ingredients list of most of your skincare and personal care products.  Since ingredient lists are arranged in descending order, this means that there is more water in the product than any other ingredient.   The world faces a looming water shortage — it’s estimated that nearly ten per cent of the world’s population does not have access to clean and safe water — many big beauty companies are now recognizing the importance of scaling back on water usage, with many of them taking the lead to pledge a decrease in water usage in the coming years.  (For example: Cosmetics giant L'OrĂ©al has committed to a 60 per cent reduction in water consumption per finished product by 2020 (from a 2005 baseline), while Unilever (makers of many soaps and shampoo brands) is committing to halve the water associated with the consumer use of its products by 2020 (against a baseline of 2010). 

More and more beauty product manufacturer's are developing water-free (or nearly water-free) products.  Waterless products come with less packaging and a lower shipping weight.  They also don’t "go off" so there’s less wastage.  Items like solid bars instead of shower gels, dry face masks, shampoo bars, moisturizing sticks are showing up more and more.

Is it truly "Waterless"
It may be impossible for any beauty formulation to be truly waterless. The water required to grow raw ingredients and process, ship, use and dispose of any of your cleansers and scrubs may far outweigh any water savings gained from excluding water in the formulation itself.  Just because a product doesn’t contain a high concentration of water doesn’t necessarily mean that it didn’t require the usage of a large amount of water in its manufacturing process. And since most products contain dozens of extracts and chemicals, it might be difficult to tell how much water is actually used by the companies to make them.

What advantages, besides saving water, do waterless products provide?
We all know that products with high water content are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. This is why there is a need for preservatives to help keep skincare formulas stable and safe even after months after opening. Now, imagine if your skincare products are completely free of water. This means that the use of preservatives will be completely eliminated, leaving you with cleaner, non-toxic products to use with a peace of mind.  Plus, who doesn’t find it a pain to transfer products to TSA approved sizes when you travel? If you’re using solid perfumes instead of packing travel-sized vials of fragrances, and swapping out cream masks for a dry sheet mask, travelling will be so much easier.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Beauty Product Safety - Let's Detox!

If you're joining us on our Clean Salon beauty journey, now is the perfect time to do a beauty cabinet detox, getting rid of products that contain unhealthy ingredients you are now determined to avoid.

It’s can be little surprising to realize just how many products we use every day. Most of us have more than we think. Now consider that the more you use, the higher the chance you’re not only using one ingredient villain, you may be layering on several of these toxic ingredients – from head to toe.

The first step is identifying the ingredients you want to avoid.  Be a label reader. If you are unsure of what an ingredient is, you can always check our Beauty Science page.  You also might want to start just by avoiding all of the dirty dozen.  These are the most problematic and have the most science behind them.

If you can't afford to toss every thing and start over...which most of us can't...put a big black X on the item so when it is time to replace it, you're not just grabbing the same brand out of habit.  It's a good reminder you want to find a clean product to replace it.

It is important to remember that the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate beauty products and has only banned 11 substances.  In contrast, the European Union (EU) has over 1,000 banned chemicals.  It also much more closely monitors and approves beauty products.  If you want to learn more about this, we've provided the links below for chemicals banned in the USA, Europe, Canada & Japan.

USA Chemicals banned

EU Chemicals Banned



Monday, September 16, 2019

Beauty Care Choices launches the "Clean Salon"

Finding the right beauty product, a safe product, a "clean" product just got easier at is adding icons to their web site! With the rise of non-toxic beauty, people are spending a little more time checking out the packaging of their cosmetics. You may be paying stricter attention to ingredient lists. So are we and we are working hard to help you find the right products before you buy.  We've started with the icons below.  With 185 brands and over 20,000 products, we will be continuing this effort.  We want you to enjoy a "clean salon".

When in comes to beauty products, consumers have lots of choices, from what they buy to where they buy it. They also have choices of what ingredients go into their ultimately on their body. During the past few months our BEAUTY SCIENCE articles have provided our customers with the pros and cons of various ingredients used in the making of hair, skin, and cosmetic products. Why? Because more and more people are making healthy choices regarding beauty products. Not only do they want to avoid the "dirty dozen" (see chart below), but may want exclusively organic & cruelty free, biodegradable, or alcohol free products. They may have allergies that require them to be gluten free or need it to be hypo-allergenic.

The FDA does NOT require approval before a cosmetic goes on the market or approval of cosmetic ingredients. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines cosmetics by their intended use, as "articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body...for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance". Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, cleansing shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, and deodorants, as well as any substance intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product.

Take a look at the new look on our web site. You'll see and be able to search for the right products for your needs.

Clean Salon (on Facebook) is a new group resource at Beauty Care Choices. If you have health concerns that make you sensitive to chemicals in beauty products, we want to hear from you. Please join our group discussion and share your personal story. Help us to help you find products that perform without the chemicals that cause you concern. Everyone is developing more and more sensitivities and not just to what we put in our bodies but what we put on them. Gluten Free, Paraben Free, Free of Artificial Colors/Additives, Vegan, Alcohol free, Sulfates (SLS) and so many other individual concerns are troubling our customers and salon clients. Our goal is to help our customers navigate their Beauty Care Choices according to their health care needs.

The dirty dozen:

Sunday, September 15, 2019

WHAT'S NEW this week?

Cleanse and exfoliate with this 2-in-1 skin care formula! A cleansing stick designed to create a rich lather to gently cleanse the skin to leave it refreshed and clean. Enriched with 100% pure natural hemp seed oil and formulated with fine walnut shell to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Its blend of essential oils, butters and extracts work to restore and seal in moisture for all day hydration. Leaves subtle sweet, perfume notes of Koa and Sweet Almond for a refreshing and light scent. Paraben-free, gluten-free, vegan, THC-free and dye-free.

This styling gel is surely more than your average gel! A weightless and color-safe, non-alcohol gel formulated to give you maximum style durability and superior humidity-resistant hold. Gives you thicker, fuller-looking hair and will not flake or build up. Is thermal resistant up to 450 degrees F and prevents frizz for up to 24 hours. Ideal for blow-outs and style sculpting. Cruelty-free, paraben-free, gluten-free and vegan.

Achieve show-stopping brows with this brow enhancing serum. Formulated with 5 powerful peptides to condition the brows while delivering much needed nutrients. Infused with molasses and sodium hyaluronate to deeply hydrate and nourish the brows while panthenol and biotin work to provide hair-loving vitamins to encourage fuller-looking, healthy brows. Gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan friendly. Brows are left pampered, conditioned and nourished!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Applying an Eye Shadow palette

When you buy an eye shadow palette, you're getting a ready made set of colors that are coordinated to give you a beautiful look.  But...what's the best way to apply the colors and in what order.  Hynt Beauty shows you.  Hynt Beauty - one of our newest, all natural cosmetic brands.

Friday, September 13, 2019


For over 15 years, MOP® has been making some of the best products available in salons. The mission from the beginning has always been to make products that use the best ingredients while never sacrificing our Modern Original Performance. What does this mean… well, it simply means that do not ever sacrifice performance for the latest ingredient fad, but always want to make the customers feel good about what they use on their heads. That is why vegetable and fruit derived ingredients, botanicals and natural extracts are used wherever possible in the formulas. They never test products on animals and wherever possible they try to make all of the formulas Vegan.

MOP products use enticing extracts and nourishing botanicals to give you hair that is strong, healthy and full of shine.  For example, their C-System Clean Shampoo is fragrance free & contains powerful antioxidants.  Their Mixed Greens uses vegetable derived cleansing agents that smooth & soften.  The Pomegranate Nourishing Mask is packed with moisture and utilizes their exclusive POMegranate Enzyme which is complete with Punicic Acid to make hair stronger, thicker and healthier.

MOP's goal is to create a culture where all people can express themselves without being judged, condemned or criticized.  MOP gives back to these organizations:

The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 3 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community. 

Not In Our Town is a movement to stop hate, address bullying and build safe and inclusive communities for all. 

The It Gets Better Project is a nonprofit organization with a mission to uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe. Growing up isn’t easy, especially when you are trying to affirm and assert your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. It can be a challenging and isolating process – but, the good news is, no one has to do it alone.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Going Gray Gracefully

Gray hair first appears in both men and women generally between the ages of 34 and 44.  Turning gray prematurely (under 20) is largely genetic.  So why do you turn gray? Your hair follicles contain pigment cells that produce melanin, which gives your hair its color. When your body stops generating melanin, hair goes gray, silver, or white.  In other words, your hair goes through natural cycles of falling out and growing back, and after age 35, it's more likely to grow back in gray.

When grey hairs first start appearing, it’s pretty easy to keep on top of them with a bit of colour gloss and an occasional squirt of root touch-up spray. But sooner or later, the maintenance gets serious. Semi-permanent colour glaze gives way to permanent dye, and the root covering schedules shifts from every few months to once a month or less.

Of course there’s no reason why you can’t carry on colouring forever, but there may come a point when you start asking, ‘Is it really worth the effort?’ The good news is, grey hair is officially on trend right now, so there’s never been a better time to make the transition to the silver side. If you’re ready to embrace the silver side, here’s our expert guide on getting it right. Because these days going grey DOESN’T mean having granny hair.

Contrary to popular belief, going gray takes more work than just cancelling your next salon appointment for a monthly root touch-up. (If it were that easy, who wouldn’t jump on that time-saving, penny-wise, and hassle-free scenario?) There are a few essential tips when you decide to embrace the gray that make sure the transition from color-treated to completely natural occurs without any moments of doubt or discomfort. Check out the three best tricks you need to go gray gracefully when you decide it’s time to give up the highlights.

  • Going from colored hair to natural gray requires a transition stage that can be made a little less noticeable by getting a chop. Having a short haircut will keep your hair from looking conspicuously contrasted in color, and you can even bid farewell to hair color with one last job: some highlights or lowlights that blend the roots to the rest of your pixie, crop, or bob. No matter your base color, keep the highlights and lowlights in the ashy, cool-toned family to create a natural blend of color. Besides, you’ll love the low maintenance styling that a short haircut needs as you initially embrace the gray. 
  • Many good things can happen when going gray, but for most people, is a year-long process that certainly won’t happen overnight. If you are ready to commit to growing out your gray, know that patience is key. It will be a shock to the eye and maybe some emotions will arise too, but focus on the end result and keep in mind the reason you have chosen to make this decision. So don’t freak out and grab a bottle of die prematurely, because there are ways to make the transition easier.  
  • Use the right shampoo to avoid dull, yellowing gray strands. Whenever hair is dyed or highlighted, using the proper shampoo helps keep brassiness at bay. For colored blondes, violet shampoo keeps every shade vivid and balanced. For colored brunettes, blue shampoo keeps those caramel highlights rich and warm. Similarly, gray and white hair can skew yellow or look dull easily—due to pigment loss—when not kept in tip-top condition with the right shampoo. Grey hair is generally coarser and drier. Invest in a shampoo formulated just for gray and white hair to avoid dull, yellow, or brassy strands. For most, a violet-tinted shampoo will work wonders when used just once or twice a week. (Use an ultra-hydrating shampoo formula for the rest of your weekly washes.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BEAUTY SCIENCE: Smoking & Wrinkles

Yes. Smoking can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. These skin changes may occur after only 10 years of smoking. The more cigarettes you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more skin wrinkling you're likely to have — even though the early skin damage from smoking may be hard for you to see initially. Aside from age, smoking is the strongest predictor of facial wrinkling in men and women.  And smoking doesn't cause wrinkles only on your face. Smoking is also associated with increased wrinkling and skin damage on other parts of your body, including your inner arms.

How does smoking lead to wrinkles? The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A.

Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking.

In addition, repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes and the facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — may contribute to wrinkles. Premature wrinkling was first documented in smokers in the early 1970s, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In a study of more than 1,100 subjects, University of California researcher Harry W. Daniell noted that the severity of wrinkling—after accounting for factors like age and sun exposure—was most apparent in smokers of both sexes beginning around the age of 30. Smokers between the ages of 40 and 49, reported Daniell, were as likely to be “prominently” wrinkled as non-smokers who were 20 years older.
Pix from WebMD
In the picture above you can clearly see the effect smoking had on Twin B.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Helping your Brittle Splitting Nails

Onychoschizia is the medical term for splitting fingernails. The term onychoschizia includes splitting, brittle, soft or thin nails. Onychoschizia is more common in women. Only very rarely are internal disease or vitamin deficiencies the reason (iron deficiency is the most common).

If the fingernails split, but the toenails are strong, then the cause is likely something you are doing. Basically brittle nails can be divided into dry and brittle (too little moisture) and soft and brittle (often too much moisture). The usual cause is repeated wetting and drying of the fingernails. This makes them dry and brittle. This is often worse in low humidity and in the winter (dry heat).

The best treatment is to apply lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin to the nails after first soaking nails in water for 5 minutes. Wearing cotton gloves when performing household chores that involve getting the hands wet is very helpful in preventing brittle nails. If your nails are soft, they may be getting too much moisture or being damaged by chemicals such as detergents, cleaning fluids and acetone based nail polish removers .

Be gentle to you nails. Shape and file your nails with a very fine file and round the tips in a gentle curve. Daily filing of snags or irregularities helps to prevent further breakage or splitting. Avoid metal instruments on the nail surface to push back the cuticle. If the nails are "buffed" do this in the same direction as the nail grows and not in a "back and forth" motion because this can cause nail splitting.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Make-up Brush Guide: What each does - How to care for them

Many cosmetic products come with a small "applicator" brush, so why invest in good make-up brushes?  First, these small applicators do not give you the control you need.  They also do not usually stand up to repeated use.  A good make-up brush, designed for a specific purpose, will let you achieve the look you expected from the product.  Quality make-up brushes are an investment you really want to make if you want to apply your cosmetics like a pro!  Below are the must-have brushes you need to blend, highlight, and contour your face to perfection.

Blush Brush
he brush should be soft, but substantial enough to pick-up the powder in the first place.

Cleaning Your Brush Often Makes for a Happy Face!
Because these brushes are used on your face, the cleaner, the better! Many dermatologists advise washing brushes used for foundation and concealer once a week to prevent buildup. We should be cleaning our tools on a weekly basis to prevent bacteria buildup. Otherwise, you're going to experience a lot of unwanted breakouts. 
Brushes used near the eyes should be cleaned at least 2x a month
Go Beyond Basic Care
Using fancy dry shampoo-like sprays or any product that is formulated as a "brush cleanser" really isn't necessary. In fact, we find the best cleaning solution is a baby shampoo or moisturizing shampoo mixed with tea-tree oil. The addition of tea-tree oil helps kill acne-causing bacteria because it's antimicrobial. 
Also, using higher quality brushes will make a huge difference. Using the right tools are just as important as the makeup itself for getting the look you want. Knowing when to toss your brush is also important. If your brushes become too squashed or your the bristles are starting to fray, shed or loose shape then it's time to throw them away. They simply will not be able to handle the job. 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

WHAT'S NEW this week?

Phyto-Nature Firming Serum

Reduce the appearance of premature skin aging with this firming serum. A dual-phase serum that restores and preserves the nature of younger-looking skin. Formulated with Sapphire-bound biomimetic peptides to help firm the skin and reinforce skin defenses to counter visible signs of aging. Phyto-Nature technology uses potent, plant-derived bio-extracts to visibly tighten the skin. Amaonian Camu Camu prolongs radiance while Hyaluronic Acid delivers a filler effect. Antioxidant Moroccan Rockrose Extract and Madagascar Green Coffee Bean leave the skin revitalized with a decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Suite Eye Shadow Palette
Glamour up your eyes with this eye shadow trio palette. Designed with low fall-put and blend-able shadows to enhance and define the eyes. All colors are made to flatter all skin tones and eye color. Perfect to use for an every day look or special occasion! 

Select from six perfect palette suites!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Pin Curls - an old-fashioned method to re-visit.

There’s something about pin-curling that’s unlike any other way of curling—the curls really have a resilience and mold-ability that isn't usually found with other curling styles. You can brush it a lot without losing the curls, and you can get in there and shape it how you want it to be. It’s super fun, and the effort is totally worth it. There's are other pluses - you don't use heat on your hair, you can curls before bed and save big time in the morning, and you can brush into softer curls or just finger comb for a scrunched look!

Beginning with towel-dried hair, brush your mane to ensure it’s free of any knots or tangles.

Grab a one-inch section of hair at the front of your head, twist it from root to tip, then twist the twist around itself to form a bun. Pin the bun into place with a bobby pin or two or a clip, then continue to take one-inch sections and create mini buns all over your head.  
  • The size of the section will determine the tightness of the curl.
  • Create triangular section so finished curls flow together and don't leave gaps.
  • If you have thick hair, partially blow-dry hair to barely damp or it will take too long for your curls to dry.

Spritz your mane with a curl spray to set your buns.  Wella's EIME Perfect Setting Lotion Spray is a good one.

STEP #4: SEAL WITH HAIRSPRAY BEFORE REMOVING PINS.  (You can skip this step if you are leaving your pins in overnight.)

Leave your style to sit for 10 minutes post-hairspray.

Gently remove your buns to reveal gorgeous, curled hair.  Brush for flowing curls.  Finger comb or a scrunched look.