Monday, August 19, 2013

Aromatherapy as Plant Medicine

     A few years ago, I became enchanted by aromatherapy. I'd had it up to my hairline with ambiguous product ingredient listings collectively called, "perfume." I discovered so-called scents are often noxious, as their proprietary recipes call for fixing the aromas with nasty chems like formaldehyde. Not only can perfume contain extremely harsh chemicals, but manufacturers don't have to tell you what's in the product itself!
     I learned essential oils can be used to safely scent everything we put on our skin. Further, pure essential oils are therapeutic plant medicine. Originally published on Kitty's Zen of Homekeeping, the following article explores clinical aromatherapy as a healing modality and all-around tool for healthy lifestyles.
     In my home, I use Tea Tree oil directly on itchy insect bites or a few drops in the laundry with the pups' bedding. Eucalyptus essential oil is added to steam vaporizers during cold and flu season, and everything gets sprayed with a mixture of Lavender oil and water. I use more volatile oils like Lemon and Orange mixed with diluted vinegar to make the greatest cleaning spritz on Earth. When I want to calm myself, I apply a few drops of Ylang Ylang or Sandalwood to a cotton ball and sniff away to bliss. This article is a great place to get started.

Aromatherapy Basics:
  • Pure essential oils are plant essences with real effects on the body and mind. As such, they are to be used carefully!
  • There are only TWO essential oils that can be applied directly to unbroken skin: Lavender Essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil. Other oils can have serious side effects if they are not mixed into a carrier oil. 
  • Essential oils can be added to homemade cleaning products, natural cosmetic recipes, or diffused in various ways.
Please click here to read the article: kitty's Zen of Homekeeping: Clinical Aromatherapy, featuring an interview with the Fragrant Muse, Liz Fulcher.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hello Hip Cats and Kittens,
     In the event you've been wondering why your Kitty hasn't been posting about healthy and natural cosmetics so much lately, it's because I am planning the biggest event of my life. About a year ago, I got the opportunity to realize one of my fondest dreams: to make a movie. Today, the crew of Chicago Rot dropped the teaser trailer. Imagine me cutting a big, red bow and taking a bow. Please watch the trailer below, but be warned it is very gory. This is a dark film with a lot of heart, sure to become a hit with the goth set, science fiction fans, rockers, and those who love the city of Chicago. 
     The link will lead you to Kickstarter, a forum for independent artists. If you want to get on board with this project, please peruse the offerings and incentives. And watch this space for further details about special effects makeup. It's going to be one hellacious shindig after another this summer. Thank you for your support, and for reading Kitty. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Anonymous Reader Claims Korres is a Greenwasher

Hello and Happy Spring, Kittens!
     Recently, an anonymous reader left a comment alleging Korres is indeed a greenwashing company, despite my claims to the contrary. Despite my hella-heavy workload on other projects, I couldn't in good conscience let it go. I had to examine the data myself, especially because I use Korres daily on my face.
     I've tried many of their products, and I've stuck with both their blush and foundation. Since reviewing the Ginger and Vitamins foundation moons ago, I have re-upped at least three times. From a cosmetic point of view, I am very happy with the SPF 10, as well as the coverage. It seems to be fragrance-free and is perfectly spreadable. 
     Now Anonymous' claim, "Korres IS a greenwashing company" was neither attributed to any source nor elaborated upon, so I can only assume this reader bases his or her opinion on Korres' ingredients. Greenwashing is also about manufacturing procedures and the environmental impact of such practices as shipping and packaging.
     The first place I go for ingredient research is the Skin Deep database, where products are rated 0-10 for health hazards. With 86 Korres products currently listed, Skin Deep rates the company between 0 and 9. Further, the website contends Korres has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, but is currently considered "non-compliant" because one or more ingredients used in their products is prohibited or restricted by the Compact. These violations seem to include the use of "fragrance," as well as the chemicals Ethanolamine (in two hair colorants) and Polysorbate-60 in Mastiha Oil and Citrus Fruits Anti-Acne Cream-Gel. 
     Many of the high hazard ratings for Korres involve the use of "fragrance," which can be rather nasty given formaldehyde fixatives and other toxic ingredients. Calling a grouping of ingredients "fragrance" for proprietary reasons means the consumer doesn't know the formulation for the perfume. This is a common problem (offense) across the beauty industry. Other toxic ingredients used by Korres include the family of parabens, which I personally hate and avoid because of skin irritation and possible endocrine interruption. In fairness, Korres scored several zeroes and many low ratings, making those products perfectly (or virtually) safe and healthy to use. A heavy sigh of disappointment from your Kitty. One paw down, thus far; not so green and natural.
     Let's look at what Korres does environmentally through manufacturing to further investigate this claim of greenwashing. I began my research at the Korres website, with an analysis of their "Eco-Conscious Policy." Korres states, "In a world facing ever-growing problems including limited natural resources and the increase in pollution levels, Korres Natural Products sees its fundamental responsibility towards nature and the environment as an essential effort that should be done by all of us, for the protection of our planet."
     According to Korres International's website, "Production takes place at our certified plant (environmental and quality management system/ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ECOCERT)which includes a water purification section, a production unit and a packaging zone.In terms of our ‘green’ commitment, we follow over 20 environmental management and sustainability programmes, including waste management, recycling, avoiding non-biodegradable ingredients/materials, emission control and carbon footprint appraisals."
     ISO is by the organization's own definition, "An [international] non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations...therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society." In other words, ISO certification is stringent and "legit."
     Kitty can only conclude that in a world of greenwashing, Korres is doing its very best to be a leader in eco-friendly manufacturing and product formulation. To us, intention is everything. Although many of the products in Korres' lines contain ingredients such as "perfume," or parabens (natural no-nos), by and large the Korres company is indeed towing the line and not greenwashing consumers. We at Organic Orgy would like manufacturers to list the ingredients of so-called perfumes. We understand proprietary formulation, but would like to know whether fragrances include toxic ingredients. We prefer fragrances made from essential oils without formaldehyde fixatives. 
     To learn how to read product labels and avoid the most toxic ingredients, check out this page produced by the Environmental Working Group, publishers of the Skin Deep database.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I was first turned on to Rare Minerals Blemish Therapy with a tiny sample. Where, or where was this product when I was a teenager? All natural ingredients with sulphur action decimates blemishes practically overnight. The powdered formula blends beautifully with anything else on your face. Two paws up! The brand is sold at (my favorite emporium for green and natural cosmetics), and you can get more info by clicking on the picture above.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The No-Bummer Summer Hiatus is Over: Kitty's Back With a Giveaway!

     Dehydration during and after exercise can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, and heat exhaustion. Staying hydrated is particularly important for athletes, but pregnant women, children and many patients need to monitor fluid intake as well. Many sports drinks replace electrolytes, but are loaded with sugar and empty calories as well as unnatural food coloring.
     Active people looking for a great natural sports drink will love Ultima Replenisher. Although many athletes and parents opt for plain water to avoid empty calories and harmful chemicals, Ultima provides complex carbs, water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants without artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Vegan and gluten-free, Ultima Replenisher speeds fluid absorption and delivers electrolytes, hydrating the body and boosting metabolism.
     Sweetened with natural stevia, Ultima contains far less sugar than most sports drinks on the market, and uses natural sources like beet color rather than chemical food coloring agents. It’s packed with nutrients like calcium, zinc and potassium, and Ester C helps to support the immune system. Other sports drinks are either loaded with calories or formulated with artificial sweeteners; Ultima Replenisher only contains about 10 calories per serving, making it an intelligent choice for children and others concerned about sugar content.
     Ultima Replenisher is also eco-friendly; the powder is easily mixed into your own container (hopefully a nice stainless steel canteen) so you can avoid wasteful and potentially toxic plastic bottles, especially in warm weather, when toxins like BPA from plastic may leach into the drink. Ultima is available in delicious grape, banana berry, kiwi strawberry, lemonade, orange and wild raspberry flavors.
     For the next two weeks, Organic Orgy will be hosting a giveaway for a box of Ultima Replenisher packets. Tested by Kitty herself, and approved with Two Paws Up, you'll love this natural product. All you loyal kittens need to do is head over here to read the review. Follow Kelly on, then come back to Organic Orgy and leave a comment to let us know you're a new subscriber. Five random kittens will be selected to receive the goods. Meantime, if you want to pick some up at your local store, Ultima is available at Wild Oats and Whole Foods stores. Good Luck and Happy Hydrating!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kittens, I've been waiting for this: 20% off at! (Click below) Yay! Stock up on your awesomely natural Arcona products. I'm currently dying over Lavanilla's Lavender scent, too. Don't forget your sunscreen, Jackie-O sunglasses and hats: the summer essentials, even on cloudy days! XO Kitty Friends & Family Event

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clinical Aromatherapy

Hello, Kittens! When I first started blogging, I became an instant fan of Liz on the Fragrant Muse. She has taught me so much about essential oils, which are now a staple of my laundry room, first aid kit, yoga practice, and stay-sane regime. Essential oils are the only permissible perfume in my world, and I even like to re-broadcast what Liz has taught me. Please click here to read my recent Examiner post featuring The Fragrant Muse, who is by far, one of the smartest cats I know. Peace & Love, Kitty.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Biodegradable Sunscreen and Self-Tanner

Save 20% on Lavera Sunscreens when you subscribe

Lavera makes the most effective, best smelling, healthiest self-tanning products I have ever used. I love, love, love them and have used them for years. Did you know Lavera's sunscreens are biodegradable? Perfect for your family, especially if you spend the summer at the lake: you'll protect the environment and your skin! Many eco-tourism parks require biodegradable sunscreens for scuba divers and snorklers. Problem solved, kittens. Gotta go slather up!

Save 40% on Lavera CLearance Perfect Tan Kit

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Safe Green Sunscreen All Other Sunscreens Wish They Were


     After extensive objective research (your Kitty is never asked by a brand to test their products, nor does she accept swag for reviews), I have no compunction whatsoever in saying Arcona may well be heaven's gift to lovers of green and natural cosmetics. I have found the sunscreen of sunscreens, Reozone 40 (click image above for ordering info. I can't find it anywhere but Here is why it's the cat's meow:

  •  It's made in the USA, which cuts down on expensive and unsustainable shipping from a far. Plus, I try to buy American whenever I can, 'cause that's how I roll.
  • Reozone 40 blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Both are dangerous.
  • The packaging is sleek and looks cool on my vanity (I prefer things left out to match their surroundings and my laboratory of a master bath sports brushed nickel hardware. I know, weird. This is an issue with tissue boxes, soap, and candles as well. One day I'll tell you about my towel-folding protocol in the linen closet).
  • The formula contains a little color, so it doubles as a foundation of sorts. It will do in a pinch when I don't have time to use mineral powders on top to hide my freckles.
  • I have yet to get that creepy stinging feeling some facial sunscreens impart. No carbuncles or clogged pores, either.
  • It smells like nothing. I love that.
  • The texture/viscosity is incredible, almost like mousse.
  • Is purported by the brand to "Help guard against future sun damage and neutralize free radicals with antioxidant sodium selenite."
  •  I hate petrochems, hate sulphates, hate sheisty perfumes, and double hate parabens. The former are terribly unsustainable and the latter two give me headaches and disrupt my already whackado endocrine system. Here is why I love Arcona: "ARCONA products do not contain petrochemicals, binders or fillers, chemical stabilizers, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphates, perfumes, dyes, or any other caustic, toxic ingredients." [per Arcona's website]. 
     Although Reozone 40 will set you back about $28, I feel it is worth the investment. The tube is generous, and the formula is thick enough to use just a little at a time. Sunscreen is definitely the place to spend as much as necessary for the perfect product, and this is it kittens. Enjoy and practice safe sunning! Love, Kitty

BPA and the EPA

     Two things today, kittens. First and foremost, BPA. Bisphenol-A, or BPA is now being taken seriously by the Environmental Protection Agency. BPA is the nasty chemical in plastic that leaches into our food and beverages. How you ask? Canned goods and bevs are lined with a think plastic layer to keep the product from oxidizing. Microwaveable dinners come in plastic containers; baby bottles and sippies are often made of plastic, notably polycarbonate (#7). Heat these things in any way, including leaving water bottles in the sun and you will be ingesting BPA. Gross. This insidious chemical is also in some cosmetics. Read my full post in my column on; please do subscribe! I list some options for getting this toxin out of your life!
     Second, a blogging tip from me to you: ever find yourself cutting and pasting some mobius strip of code? You can easily shorten long URLs by going to No www is necessary. Copy your link into the magic box and you'll get a bit that looks like this: Presto! No more ridonculously long web addresses!
     Don't forget your sunscreen, kittens. As promised, I will be posting a piece on green and natural sun options. I am still hard at work testing some products for you. Love, Kitty

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Groupons and Natural Beauty

Hey Kittens,
     It's been forever long and the organic products are stacking up in my powder room begging to be reviewed. Your Kitty has been writing her paws off about yoga for her "real" job, and though I think of you between cat naps, I have been working. I feel like Vicki on Real Housewives of Orange County, sitting here in a trapeze top bedazzled all to hell squawking, "I'm working. I'm working. I work...." ad infinitum... just kidding. I wouldn't be caught dead in a trapeze top!
     So just a fast missive today. Have you heard of Groupons? Groupon is a service (which I hope serves your area; if they do Indianapolis, I'm sure anyone can get it) which emails a sweet deal every day. Today, I scored a $35 mani-pedi at a local spa called Eden's Pathway. Get this: it's all natural. Herbal formuals, essential oils, bodywork and the whole shebang. If not for Groupon, I would never have found this place! I can't wait to get there! I'll tell you all about it once I get my services.
     I had to quit going to my usual mani-pedi joint because I picked up a few of the products they were using and the labels scared the crap out of me: Paraben City! I suppose I could take my own toulene and formaldehyde-free polishes, Dr. Hauschka lotions, Korres salt scrubs, and sweet almond oil, but it's just easier to have cheese-grater feet than schlep all my potions with me to the shop.
     Meantime, enjoy spring wherever you are. I am currently testing sunscreen, perfume and body wash for you. Lots of Love, Kitty

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Letting the Sunshine Into Frozen Indiana

In the words of Borat, "Wowie Wow Wow Wow!" Thanks so much to Mandy at Yoga Addicted, my yoga sista in Charleston, SC for bringing the sunshine in all the time, and especially today! herewith, the 12 blogs that bring the sun into my life by educating me, supporting me, inspiring me and/or making me laugh daily (in no particular order, just off the top of my head):

1. Dumbwit Tellher: very creative in-depth features. I heart Deb!
2. Chinoiserie Chic: more taste in her little finger than most muster up all our lives.
3. La Dolfina: California dreamin' in the most delightful visual ways.
4. My Favorite and My Best: funniest blogger in the 'sphere. A consummate cusser to boot.
5. Odi Et Amo: brilliant and eloquent musings from Averill. Is there nothing she can't do?!?
6. The Fragrant Muse: aromatherapy and authentic living. Love it.
7. Citizen Green: ridding the planet of plastic one cheap piece of crap at a time.
8. Sanity Fair: just fabulous. Would that I were her for a day!
9. Ms Arscott: always interesting introspective posts.
10. It's All Jenni: all yoga all the time. Sutras, get your sutras here!
11. Art's the Answer: highly educational and inspiring!
12. Liberty Post: prolific and provocative prose from one whose finger is on the pulse of culture.

In the last year, these kittens, along with Mandy have enriched my experience immensely. I salute them with two paws up! Hopefully they will find the time to pass this along to their favorite 12, and so on and so on! Peace and Love, Your Kitty.