State agency tells Minnesotans to go green with cosmetics

Move over Clinique, Maybelline and L’Oreal. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has entered the cosmetics and personal care products market with the latest edition of “Living Green 365,” a taxpayer-funded monthly online publication for Minnesotans committed to ”taking action to lead healthier and more sustainable lives.”


But instead of glossy lipstick and make-up, the state agency offers a less than glamorous line of recipes for home-made cosmetics and tips on selecting the most sustainable deodorant, perfume and shampoo.

At first blush, PCA chic takes the fun out of trying to look and smell good, much less pamper oneself.

For starters, the Living Green team urges ecologically conscious consumers to forgo conventional cosmetics altogether, in favor of making their own personal care products to conserve cash and the environment.

It’s easier than you think! Not only will you avoid toxic ingredients, you will save money. A few recipes are provided below to get you started.

Whether it’s whipped body butter with grape seed oil or hair and body elixir with fractionated coconut oil, “a little bit goes a very long way!” Straight sweet almond oil makes a “good summertime body moisturizer” and doubles as a makeup remover and facial cleansing agent. Witch hazel works as a replacement for skin cleansers and astringents. But make sure to use recyclable containers!

Ingredients bought in bulk for creating your products also often come in containers that can be reused numerous times. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your products contain no toxic or synthetic chemicals that can expose you or your loved ones to risk or be released into the environment…Look for ingredients you could eat.

For those who cannot resist the guilty pleasures at Macy’s cosmetics counter, the state strongly recommends thoroughly breaking down the ingredients on the label before making a rash purchase that the environment may regret.

To be avoided: Products with too many ingredients, “unscented” as opposed to “fragrance-free” products and synthetic dyes that are “simply a brand’s attempt to set itself apart from other brands or to make products more appealing.”  After all, why would Chanel or Lancome want to distinguish their products from competitors?

Previous issues of Living Green 365 have tackled popular environmental themes, as well. Recent headlines include:

“Is your toilet taking a leak?” Call now for “free” leak detection tablets while supplies last.

“Slay your energy vampires.” Don’t forget to turn off your laptop and other devices.

“Twelve ways to make your summer party a green get-together.” Nothing says backyard bash like forcing guests to bring their own reusable plates and cups, banning balloons, setting up organic recycling  stations, nixing mosquito spray, prohibiting camp fires and guilting friends into taking sustainable modes of travel.

“Greening your next move.” A how-to guide to moving your belongings via a bicycle brigade. 100905-bikemove1_crop

It’s not as if the environmental agency doesn’t have enough to do already. Regulators reported issuing just 74 percent of all air, water and land permits on time, amid a 31 percent decrease in applications over the year ending in June 2016.

While claiming permitting efficiency continues to be “very good,” the PCA acknowledged a “decrease in overall permitting timeliness.” No whipped body butter or organic make-up can cover up that blemish.