Everyday people get up in the morning and proceed with their routines. Shower, get dressed, brush hair, moisturize, detangle, powder, pluck, the list is endless. And, everyday we use products to assist us in maintaining our bodies: lotions, rubs, gels, and cosmetics to name a few. We rely on products to improve our overall well being by nurturing, healing and preventing. But what if the things we thought were helping, are actually hindering us? Like most people who use cosmetics mostly everyday, I was in the dark about the toxic ingredients of commercial products until I stumbled upon a book in the Lifekind library. Drop Dead Gorgeous by Kim Erickson is an eye-opening book about protecting yourself from the hidden dangers of cosmetics. Synthetic materials such as suspected carcinogens, hormone-disturbing parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives linger in those lotions and soaps that leave your skin feeling dreamy and moisturized. In our beloved face powders and favorite blushes you are exposed to substances such as Aluminum Powder which is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So why does the public consumer not know about this?? Unfortunately these types of issues are no concern to the manufacturers and they skirt around the issue when it becomes public knowledge. But there are still ways of obtaining the knowledge. Kim Erickson’s book is a wealth of information with excellent references and even all natural recipes for your own lotions and beauty products. Here is a sample of one that you can try at home! Chocolate-Mint Body Smoother (Emollient-rich cocoa butter has a delicious chocolate scent) 2 ounces cocoa butter ¼ cup apricot kernel oil 1 teaspoon beeswax, grated 1 teaspoon liquid vitamin E 3 drops peppermint essential oil Combine the cocoa butter, apricot oil, and beeswax in a small saucepan. Heat on low until the cocoa butter and beeswax have completely melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the vitamin E and peppermint essential oil, stirring well to blend. Pour into clean container and allow to cool completely before capping. So before you buy your next lotion from the local drug store remember Drop Dead Gorgeous by Kim Erickson. Maybe if enough people know and realize the dangers of everyday products we can start a change towards a cleaner, healthier living that is chemical free.