Did you know you may be slathering cancer causing creams on your body? Did you know that you may be gently rubbing your baby’s skin with products that can create developmental problems? Did you know that many “natural” products contain these toxic ingredients? Did you know that some “organic” products also contain these substances?
Hey, I’m not being a wild eyed reactionary here. Science backs me up. Fortunately, there is a move afoot to remove the worst offenders from the shelves of stores in the U.S. Unfortunately, U.S. regulatory agencies don’t have the same “safe cosmetics” standard for U.S. citizens as the European Union has for European citizens. Think about this. There are some manufacturers that create two versions of the same product: A safe one for European citizens and another for the rest of the world. Sucks if you’re part of the rest of the world, doesn’t it?
Are Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Companies Bad?
The short answer is no, they’re acting perfectly normal. You see, here’s how it goes. Let’s say Acme Cosmetics is planning to add a moisturizing cream to its line. You have money to spend on a moisturizing cream. They want that money and they know they’ve got to appeal to you to get it or they will lose you to their competitors. Acme knows it has to compete with a market that is viciously competitive.
Now here’s the challenge. The cream must smell lovely, it must have a long shelf life, and it must contain emulsifiers so that it doesn’t separate (customers whine a lot when their creams separate). It can’t be too expensive or chances are you will buy from a competitor that has a popular moisturizing cream already on the market. Acme must convince you that its cream is the best and is therefore worthy of you spending your $ on it.
Acme spends a lot of money and lab time coming up with an absolutely irresistible fragrance that it thinks can be successfully marketed. Remember, at this point, the interest is in giving you a fragrance that you won’t be able to resist. (Notice that everything is about you and your money.) After all, a few drops of neurotoxin or hormone altering chemical aren’t going to kill you, at least not right away.
Herein lies the problem with Acme’s logic. Their moisturizer has a few drops, but so does your perfume, your lipstick, your night cream, your bath oil, etc. So you’re getting these chemicals in most all your products. That means you’re getting way more than a few drops. Like Acme’s moisturizer, you leave some of the products you use on your skin. That gives those toxic chemicals a marvelous opportunity to make their way into your body.
Don’t believe what I say about safe cosmetics and personal care products? Then check out this information directly from http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=644:
When sprayed or applied on the skin, many chemicals from perfumes, cosmetics and personal care products are inhaled or absorbed through the skin. A recent EWG study found synthetic musk chemicals Galaxolide and Tonalide in the umbilical cord blood of newborn infants; these chemicals were found in all but one fragrance analyzed for this study. Diethyl phthalate (DEP), which appeared in 12 of the 17 products we tested, has been found in 97 percent of Americans tested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In one study, 80% of test subjects had one or more of these toxins in their bodies.
What about the small business that sells “natural” or “organic” products?
Sadly, folks that own small businesses purchase these same toxic chemicals to make their “natural” and “organic” products. I recently had a discussion with a gal who makes creams, lotions, soaps, etc. to sell at fairs, home shows, farmer’s markets and online. She told me she had to use the preservatives or the products wouldn’t have a long enough shelf life; if she didn’t use the emulsifiers, the products would separate; and if she didn’t use the fragrances, the products wouldn’t sell very well. She also reminded me that she used these products in very small concentrations. Since she was already aggravated with me for asking questions, I abstained from asking her if she would be willing to take small doses of arsenic every day because I thought she might start throwing things at me if I did.
Actually, this gal was totally misguided because she could make safe cosmetics for her customers. She just needed a little more education.
So, if you want safe cosmetics, what do you do?
- Educate yourself. You can start by going to http://www.safecosmetics.org/. Listen to their little video on their home page for a basic understanding and then explore the site for detailed information. Next go to http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ to find additional information specific to a particular product or ingredient.
- Realize that labels with ingredient list don’t tell the whole story. Many of the toxic ingredients are hidden in the fragrances. All you will see on the label is “fragrance.”
- Make your own all natural products without toxic chemicals.
- Refuse to buy products that contain no toxic substances, particularly if they are to remain on your skin. (Remember Acme wants to please you and convince you to spend $ on its product. What do you think they will do if you say no to their product because there are toxins in it?
- If you are pregnant, have a baby, prepubescent child, or teenager make absolutely sure that only safe cosmetics touch their bodies. Educate your teenagers so they won’t simply buy products with unsafe ingredients and use them when you aren’t looking. Not that a teenager would ever rebel against the advice you give him or her. (If you think that, I’ve got the golden gate bridge and I’ll sell it to you really cheap.)
Our position on the subject of safe cosmetics and personal care
Here at SpaFromScratch.com, we want you to have loads of relaxing fun whether that is from having a totally awesome spa day, spa party or creating spa products. We also want you to be healthy. For this reason, we are dedicated to giving you information that will keep you, your loved ones and/or your customers safe.
Since our primary focus is on personal care products versus cosmetics such as lipstick, nail polish, perfumes, etc. make certain you go to the website(s) I’ve recommended and do your own research on cosmetics. You really really really need to do that.
Now go have fun and relax.