Ladies, how often do you attempt to translate the list of foreign ingredients on the back of cosmetic products? They’re usually veiled with polished packaging, flawless models in strategic marketing campaigns, and reputable name brands that target a high end luxury clientele. This is all very enticing, especially when these products seem to enhance both one’s complexion and self-esteem. But the growing concern over what’s really getting under our skin has lead to an empowering movement fueled by grassroots activism and national coalitions such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. As the body’s largest organ, I think we can all agree our skin is worth looking into.
With type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism, my brain always sparks when I come across findings related to cosmetic ingredients altering the endocrine system or concealing gluten. I recently DL’d an awesome app called Think Dirty which lets you scan any female or male personal care product on trial. A staggering number of allegedly ‘natural’ products are revealed to be not so clean, and the app helps clarify which ingredients are known to be toxic to our bodies and the environment. From shampoo and body wash to makeup and deodorant, it’s a bit of a shock to find out which hormone disrupting chemicals should have never left the science lab.
For an eye-opening read on toxins in our everyday body care, check out author Gillian Deacon’s There’s Lead In Your Lipstick. Deacon also shares her guidance and recommendations with the David Suzuki Foundation in Safe Cosmetic Brands Uncovered. Another illuminating resource is One Green Planet’s article on Updating Your Cosmetic Knowledge. Given the lack of regulation when it comes to mainstream cosmetics, chemicals like parabens, pthalates and mysterious “fragrances” are often present where you least expect them.
Thanks to this emerging awareness, Walmart recently launched a chemicals initiative requiring full disclosure from companies on toxic ingredients. Here’s an excerpt from the full policy:
The objective of this policy is to help ensure that household cleaning, personal care, beauty and cosmetic products sold by Walmart will minimize hazards to people or the environment. Walmart advances the development of sustainable chemistry practices.
Want in on the action? The Environmental Working Group is now asking Revlon and L’Oreal to remove dangerous chemicals from their products. You can sign the petition here.
Although it’s not always economical to go green, synthetic products can ultimately come at a high cost to our health and well-being. Unloading hundreds of dollars worth of trusted brand products from our makeup bags is lamentable and honestly distressing. Yet the more we know, the easier it becomes to cultivate a clean cosmetic slate!