Skin deep is deep enough

More than 500 chemicals are used in the products an average woman puts on her body every day. More natural products are available at select stores such as the Linden Hills Co-op. Credit:

Part of my job as the Weekend Tourist is to look at our environment and take note as things change. New stores open up, the character of a neighborhood evolves, products start taking up more floorspace in stores I patronize; these are indicators that we are learning and growing or have different needs.

Look at the organic foods movement. It wasn’t too long ago that buying organic meant trips to special stores. Now it’s everywhere. The latest in eco awareness seems to be natural cosmetics. Why?

How would you like to spread a elixir of tar, formaldehyde, plastic, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead on your face? The label says it’s all natural! Well, it turns out it isn’t. Nobody oversees the beauty industry. No product testing, ingredient labeling, or monitoring of health effects are required. The word “organic” is regulated by the FDA but you’re on your own when it comes to what you put on your body. Calling a product “natural” in hair care, skincare, and cosmetics industries is just a marketing term. Toxic chemicals are absorbed right through the skin then go straight into the bloodstream. Can’t be good for a person. Plants and minerals are better.

Salons, spas and dermatologists sell more healthy cosmetics and some brands are available at major retailers and department stores. The following stores have large selections of safe natural cosmetics. Costs ranged between drugstore and department store prices. Keep an eye out as you wander the aisles and let me know if you see something new.  To check product safety levels, visit or

AVEDA INSTITUTE (411 E. Hennepin Ave.) A full line of cosmetics including mascara (mosscara) made from Icelandic moss.

LINDEN HILLS CO-OP (3815 Sunnyside Ave.) The counter’s expanded here over the years and lipsticks have been a big seller especially since the FDA found traces of lead in 400 lipsticks. Several kinds of mascara are available from the helpful sales staff.

WHOLE FOODS (3060 Excelsior Blvd. and 222 Hennepin Ave.) General line including many colors of lip balm, shine, gloss, and shimmer by Burt’s Bees.

INTELLIGENT NUTRIENTS (983 E. Hennepin Ave.; also available at Horst Galleries, 326 Central Ave. SE) Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda, and currently the visionary behind Intelligent Nutrients gets to call many of his skin and hair care products “organic” because the ingredients are approved by the FDA as organic foods! They’re so safe they’re edible. He currently has a line of lip tints with more products in the works.

MOSS ENVY (3056 Excelsior Blvd.) This eco friendly store has a skincare and cosmetics section. Want to learn more about natural cosmetics? Attend their Mindful Makeup Masterclass Wed., February 12, 5–7 p.m. Three local, award-winning, professional makeup artists will share industry tips and secrets. Wine and chocolate at 5. Call (612) 374-4581 to register.

TEA BREAK: Stop in for desserts and tea at La Société du Thé (2708 Lyndale Ave. S.)

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