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Skin-care items spotted at the Natural Products Expo

Beer shampoo, eco-chic cosmetics and baby products share the spotlight at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim.

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times

March 17, 2012

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Sarah Pearsall couldn't find a natural shampoo that made her kids' hair look shiny and healthy. Then her mother-in-law mentioned that women in the 1960s, including Jackie Kennedy, rinsed their hair with beer.

"Ewww," Sarah said. "I don't want to smell like a bar."

She evidently got past her disgust. She and her husband, Brad, were among the 3,000 exhibitors manning a booth last week at the Natural Products Expo, the world's largest trade show for health foods, supplements, natural cosmetics and eco-friendly cleaners. Their product, Broo Craft Beer Shampoo, is "pure enough I can drink it," Brad said proudly.

Trends at the Natural Products Expo

The couple's quest began with handing a chemist a six-pack and asking him to turn it into a shampoo with natural ingredients, explained Brad, standing next to a vat of frothing, fermenting beer intended to show potential customers just how natural the product is. The company went through 53 brands of beer before they found the right formula (their product is on sale next month in select Whole Foods stores).

Other items we spotted at the Anaheim expo that are part of the booming $3.2-billion natural skin-care business:

• Cosmetics that don't contain parabens and are made with cruelty-free testing methods. Lavera is one of many eco-chic lines that contain ingredients such as herbs, flower extracts and essential oils. Remember rose water and mud facials from the mid-20th century? They're back too. Eliah Sahil's face fluid has rose hips, and 7th Heaven has a line of rejuvenating mud facial masks.

• Lines for babies that don't contain gluten, soy or synthetic fragrances (Dolphin Organics and Monkey Sea Monkey Doo), as well as for teen girls (Good for you Girls with organic teas and vitamin E). "It's intelligent skin care," said Good for you Girls founder Kimberly Grustas. "It's not hope in a bottle."

• Citrusway has a natural, topical solution for toenail fungus that is a blend of citrus seed extracts. But it takes at least nine months of applications to see the fungus disappear.

• Body-mod care: After Inked sells tattoo moisturizer and after-care lotion infused with grape seed oil that "naturally helps new tattoos to look healthier."

shari.roan@latimes.com