23In recent decades reproductive and developmental problems have become more prevalent—for example, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that male reproductive problems, including undescended testicles and hypospadias, doubled between 1970 and 1993. Environmental chemicals are strongly suspected to be contributing factors. Several recent reports highlight the presence of low-level concentrations of potential reproductive or developmental toxicants, particularly phthalates, in cosmetics and personal care products. A key question is whether these exposures are significant enough to cause harm.

In June 2004, Environment California issued Growing Up Toxic: Chemical Exposures and Increases in Developmental Diseases, which details chemicals found in consumer products and their potential health impacts. Other reports released around the same time by the Environmental Working Group (Skin Deep: A Safety Assessment of Ingredients in Personal Care Products) and Friends of the Earth (Shop Till You Drop? Survey of High Street Retailers on Risky Chemicals in Products 2003–2004) support Environment California’s publication.

According to these three reports, makeup, shampoo, skin lotion, nail polish, and other personal care products contain chemical ingredients that lack safety data. Moreover, some of these chemicals have been linked in animal studies to male genital birth defects, decreased sperm counts, and altered pregnancy outcomes. There is no definitive evidence for the same effects in humans, but widespread exposure, primarily to phthalates, has been shown to occur.

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22Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is in the business of looking good — and diet is at least half the battle. She recently revealed her secret to eating well: She's been following the dietary guidelines of the London-based naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib, who just released a new book, Younger Skin Starts in the Gut.

While the model's precise plan is ambiguous when it comes to serving sizes and the carb-fat-protein breakdown, the diet forbids dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, — and probably joy. (Because what else is there to live for?!)

"It's been really tough," Rosie admitted to E! News. "I miss a glass of wine, I miss my cheese plates, and I miss my croissants. But interestingly you can still eat so beautifully and so wholesome and you can really be still so satisfied through healthier choices. It's just switching your mindset a little bit and it takes a couple of weeks to kind of adjust."

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21Botulinum toxin injection therapy (also known as "BOTOX therapy" or onabotulinumtoxinA) is used to treat dystonia - neuromuscular disorder that produces involuntary muscle contractions, or spasm - that affects muscles that control movement in the eyes, neck, face, limbs, voice box, or the smooth muscle in the bladder. The goal of the therapy is to reduce muscle spasm and pain.

In October 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved BOTOX injections to treat chronic migraines in adults who experience headaches on 14 or more days each month. This treatment involves multiple injections in the head and neck, administered every 12 weeks.

Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin is produced by Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that causes food poisoning (botulism). There are seven known types of C. botulinum toxin, but only types A; (BOTOX Cosmetic) and B (Myobloc) are used as medical treatments.

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20In case you haven’t noticed, life has gotten harsh. It starts with jarring alarm clocks and chlorinated showers, where we lather up with stripping detergents and petrochemicals. Once in front of the mirror, we might pass a little harsh self-judgment before brushing our teeth with sodium lauryl sulfate, gargling with stinging mouthwash, applying paraben-laden deodorant to freshly-shaven underarms, and coal tar-derived color cosmetics to freshly-exfoliated skin. With a spritz of great-smelling neurotoxins and carcinogens, we hit the kitchen for our blood-sugar-spiking juice and cortisol-pumping coffee. As we sit down with our newspaper to dwell on the important things, we think: Ahhh, the most relaxing part of my day, as our bodies gasp, What just happened! And what’s going to happen to me when we go out the door?

What often awaits are skipped meals, commando fitness trainers and lunch hour facial peels to show our body who’s boss. Or the two o’clock sugar or caffeine fix as we ignore our screaming body chemistry (which we think is just in our heads). We blame our missed gym sessions, or too many calories for our figure flaws, and our genetics for our skin problems. We down rice cakes, salads, and diet soda to get through the cravings and avoid weight gain.

It Wasn’t Supposed to Be This Way
What I’m about to tell you will anger the diet, fitness, and drug police. And the former food-addicted and exercise-driven woman I was would never have believed it if I hadn’t been forced to by a health crisis: Today’s boot-camp approach to health and beauty won’t fix your health or your skin, and guarantees you eternal struggles with food and weight, while forever distracting you from the real solutions, as the real problems worsen.

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19Winter is here and if you’re anything like every other woman on the planet, chances are your skin has started to get dry, tight, or maybe even a little flaky and chapped from the sudden drop in temperature. No judgements—you’re not alone. Usually updating your skincare routine with more oils, heavy creams and seasonally-appropriate products can help remedy the problem, but there’s something to be said for the use of extra face masks this time of year. Sheet masks in particular are skin savers as they can be left for 15, 30 or even 60 minutes to help serum soak into your skin when the weather wants to pull all your moisture out. But because every sheet mask isn’t made the same way, we tested a number of masks to see which would truly give your skin that radiant holiday glow.

We’ve yet to see an SK-II product that lets us down and their Facial Treatment Mask is no exception. Soaked in the brand’s concentrated Pitera ingredient, the cotton mask has won multiple accolades over the last two years from the Details’ Men’s Grooming Awards to Brides magazine’s Beauty Awards. This mask can be left on for five to 15 minutes to allow the serum to soak into your skin (or even longer if you’d like). After removing the mask your skin will seriously glow. Our skin immediately looked brighter, more radiant, hydrated and plump, making it one of our favorite masks. Available at SK-II and priced at $95 for six sheets.

Taking a more scientific approach to beauty, NER:D Skincare uses bacteria and natural ingredients to create their face masks. Formulated with rice bran oil, macadamia oil, licorice root extract, allantoin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid and squalene, the brand’s Super Hydrating Mask helps rehydrate skin and retain moisture. To use this mask, be sure to take off both the front and back films before using and leave it on for 30 minutes or longer. Your skin may not look utterly transformed after one use like we saw with other masks, but this serum did make our skin feel hydrated longer. We also noticed our skin felt plumper and we didn’t even need a primer before our foundation the next morning.

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