The Queen of Green Answers Your Beauty Questions, Part 3

The Final Chapter

The Green Living Editors would like to say thank-you to our visiting editor Lindsay Coulter. The Queen of Green has generously given up her time to answer your questions on health and beauty products. Make sure you keep track of what Lindsay is up to by following her blog.

Don’t forget,The David Suzuki Foundation is compiling a first-of-a-kind inventory of toxic ingredients in the personal care products used by Canadians. So take part in this important survey.

Here are final set of answers to your questions!

Question 1: Once I did the cosmetics survey I realized my medicine cabinet was full of suspicious stuff. Now I’m wondering how do I get rid of medications?

Unused or expired prescription medication that gets flushed down the toilet will eventually finds its way into streams and rivers- also known as our drinking water.  Not only are you eliminating the risk of an accidental poisoning in your home, but you’re also playing a role in keeping our oceans and landfills free of pollution.  Instead, take old meds and over-the-counter health care products back to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.

Question 2: Do I need to worry about the Dirty Dozen ingredients in sunscreens? What’s the safest sunscreen to use?

The U.S. Environmental Working Group found that most are filled with chemicals hazardous to your health. Not only that, but some were harmful to the environment- thought to be the culprits killing coral reefs around the world.

EWG’s findings showed that 80 per cent of sunscreens do a poor job of protecting your skin from damaging UV rays. But there’s good news, they’ve created the fourth annual Top Ten List of the best sunscreens. And because we all make the mistake of staying out too long or not applying a high enough SPF, check out some of these recipes to soothe a burn.

Question 3: What exactly is “fragrance” and why is it bad?

“Fragrance” is indeed a mystery. That’s why I decided to cover in my Queen of Green blog topic this week.

Question 4: How do I find a hair salon that uses non-toxic products?

Great question, and not only because you may be exposing yourself to toxins but does anyone ever think about their loyal hairdresser? 


Studies have shown that hair dressers are five times more likely to develop bladder cancer, after working with permanent hair dye for 10 years or more. Coal tar which is cancer causing, is found in many hair colourings. Today there’s a growing popularity of eco-salons. Most major cities now have t

Question 5: I read about the dirty dozen chemicals on your website and it prompted me to throw out everything in our medicine cabinets. I bought new, organic, fair trade products from a local store instead. It got me thinking because I have two young children (in cloth diapers), is Vaseline bad for their health? I love your newsletters and it has really inspired me to make more and more changes around our home.

So glad you found the information useful. It can be quite an awakening realizing that you can reduce your exposure to toxins, especially in your own home. Check the ingredient list on Vaseline- you’ll probably find two, petrolatum and fragrance. Both made our Dirty Dozen list of ingredients to avoid. So, yes, baby products are not all created equal. Visit Skin Deep to see what they say and check out the safety reviews of other baby products too.