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Eco-friendly beauty put to the test

April 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Natural beauty products may line the store shelves these days, but if you're like many consumers, you still wonder if they're as good as their traditional counterparts.How long will it last? Is it better or worse? Will I have an allergic reaction from it?

These are just a few questions beauty author Susie Galvez hears all the time from women. She says the first thing you want to look at is the label.

"Read the back of the product. Make sure that you can understand a lot of the ingredients, and if those ingredients are safe for your skin and you haven't had a reaction, you should be ok," says Galvez, author of Ageless Remedies.

How long it lasts and if it's better or worse than traditional products are questions that require a little testing. We found three women willing to test them out.

Tester Madison Wellington tried Josie Maran Cosmetics mascara, as well as a traditional type, then went to work cutting onions. Both mascaras held up through the chopping.

"I'm tearing up, but look, no, no, no, this is running, but the mascara is not running," said Wellington, an actress and stay at home mom.

Next, hairsprays were put to the test. Both held up but the tester liked the more-natural feel of the eco alternative Intelligent Nutrients, which claims that it's safe enough to drink.

Nail polish was the last beauty essential tested. Tester Tanya Acker put traditional nail polish on one hand, and natural alternative SpaRitual on the other, then took on a sink full of dishes.

"I find the natural polish, it held up incredibly well," said Acker.

Eco beauty expert Rachel Sarnoff says 'green' beauty products have come a long way, but says if it's eco you want, make sure that's what you're getting.

"Make sure you understand the ingredients that are in your beauty products," said Sarnoff. "All the ingredients are real things -- aloe, milk proteins, essential oils."


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