As Seen on TV: BeautyGeeks on "Steven and Chris" to Talk Natural Ingredients

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Goodness, seven and a half minutes speeds by. Catch my look of surprise at the end of the clip (below) when I realize we've finished. *grin* Thanks much to the lovely folks at CBC's "Steven and Chris" (which is now being broadcast in the US, too -- congratulations!) for having me back to chat, this time about three natural ingredients your hair and skin will love.

Consumer demand for reduced chemical content and more plant-based ingredients has even big companies such as Jergens, Dove, St. Ives, L'Oréal and Pantene using higher quantities of natural botanicals than before. And when it comes to truly natural care, companies like Burts Bees, Upper Canada Naturally, Consonant Body and Green Beaver are turning people on to the possibilities of going a little greener with their beauty regimen.

There are lots of great natural botanical ingredients to nourish hair and skin. These are just three we're hearing about at the moment.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is considered a powerhouse natural ingredient because:
• it's a superb moisturizing buttery ingredient that, especially on damp skin, melts easily into skin and hair without leaving a greasy finish
• it's rich in essential fatty acids the body can't make but needs to maintain a healthy levels of moisture -- fatty acids (also known as lipids), prevent moisture from escaping skin too rapidly
• because it's such a good moisturizer, it can lessen the look of fine lines and slow the appearance of new ones (dry skin wrinkles more easily -- think of the difference between wrinkling dry paper and wrinkling wet paper)
• it's very good for rough, dry, dehydrated, cracked skin
• it contains something called kinetin, a natural anti-aging ingredient that encourages new-cell population
• it's an antiseptic
• it's good for a dry, itchy scalp
• it's a good pre-wash conditioner for really dry hair -- apply to dry hair before showering, let it sit for five minutes, then wash and condition as usual
• the beauty-segment producer on "Steven and Chris" says her sister uses it to remove her makeup -- eye makeup too
• you can cook with coconut oil -- and if you slather it on your skin and sit in the sun, you'll be cooking all right.

Find coconut oil in: pure solid form at your grocery store; Revolution Organics Freedom Glow, The Body Shop Coconut Oil Hair Shine, Lush Vanilla Delight Hand and Body Cream, Yves Rocher Serum Vegetal3 Day Cream

Squalane (from olives):
Olive oil is another great source of essential fatty acids we can't make but that the skin needs to be healthy. These days we're hearing more buzz about something that comes from olives: squalane, a highly moisturizing ingredient in skincare. Highlights:
• it's something we have naturally in our sebum, but it diminishes as we age
• in the early days of cosmetics, manufacturers put squalane in skin creams -- but it came from shark liver oil
• squalane today now comes from botanical sources, such as olives
• like coconut oil, it helps reinforce skin's own protective moisture shield to keep nasties out, can be easily absorbed without leaving an oily wake, and has anti-microbial properties
• like coconut oil, it helps soften fine lines and can help slow the appearance of new ones, and can help restore rough, dry, dehydrated, cracked skin
• oral squalane supplements, according to a 2009 study in Korea, can help build up skin's resistance to UV damage a smidge. Doesn't mean you can skip the SPF 30, but folks who are really concerned about sun damage -- that's us, right? -- will like that

Find olive squalane in: Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Elemental Herbology Cell Food, CoverFX Brite Prep FX Foundation Primer, Genuine Health DermaLipid (available as of April)

Argan Oil
Argan oil is actually not new to beauty world, but it's a hot, hot topic ingredient thanks to the popularity of a product called Moroccanoil. But here's the thing: argan oil comes from Morocco, but Moroccanoil and argan oil are not the same thing. Argan oil:
• comes from kernels found in the nut or pit of the argan tree's fruit
• is very rich in an absorbable form of the antioxidant Vitamin E, and those natural fatty acids (including squalane) our hair and skin need to protect itself from intruders
• boosts the nutrient and oxygen content in cells and can help repair DNA damage caused by smoking
• like coconut oil and squalane, has anti-bacterial properties
• has anti-inflammatory properties, too
• is also used for cooking, more widely in Morocco than here
• is in a hair product called Moroccanoil, but although Moroccanoil contains some argan, what does all the work in the formula are its silicones (the first few ingredients ending in "cone") that help instantly smooth, detangle and polish dry, damaged hair
• comes in a pure, organic form to be used on skin
• is in some makeup, such as Josie Maran's eco-responsible line

Find argan oil in: Moroccanoil, Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil collection, Josie Maran Argan Oil, Josie Maran cosmetics, Kiehls Superbly Restorative Dry Oil, Herbacin Kamille Skin Firming Body Lotion, Fruits & Passion Argan Nourishing Butter

Thanks again, Angela and Chris.“Steven and Chris” airs weekdays on CBC at 2pm ET.