Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day is Every Day

Earth Day is April 22nd so in honor of the environmental movement and our wonderful planet, I am going to focus this week on organic, eco-friendly beauty.

I have been critical of companies in the past who seem to just market certain products certain ways in an attempt to deem them organic or environmentally friendly. I have also stated that companies can claim that their products contain organic, natural, or botanical ingredients without being regulated by any governmental agency.

Despite my criticism, I do appreciate products that don't contain nasty chemicals, that are packaged in an environmentally friendly way, and that are made by companies that give back to environmental causes.

Being a tree-hugger doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of hairy armpits and no makeup. There are so many companies making eco-friendly products out there that it's going to be hard to mention them all. That said, I am going to highlight a few companies, products, or other environmental trends in beauty this week.

I'll start off the week with a list of nasty ingredients you don't want to see in your beauty products...and why:

PARABENS
Found in: Almost everything, used as a preservative (esp. shampoos, shave gels, moisturizers)
Why it's bad: Potentially cancer-causing--since parabens are everywhere, there is a lot of research currently going on to better examine their negative effects

MERCURY

Found in: Eye drops, deodorant, and ointments, labeled as "thimerosal"
Why it's bad: Potentially cancer-causing and toxic to the human reproductive system

LEAD ACETATE
Found in: Hair dye and cleaners
Why it's bad: Human reproductive and development toxin; currently prohibited in Europe

FORMALDEHYDE and TOLUENE
Found in: Nail polish and nail products
Why they're bad: Formaldehyde an cause allergies and irritation, currently banned in Sweden and Japan for cosmetic use; Toluene can cause you to get high if you inhale it and is potentially toxic

PETROCHEMICALS
Found in: Some hair relaxers, shampoos, mascara, perfume, foundation, lipstick and lip balm
Why it's bad: As byproducts of crude oil they can contain carcinogens

PHYHALATES
Found in: some nail polish, fragrances and hair spray
Why it's bad: Human reproductive and development toxin--also banned in Europe. This stuff is everywhere and is seriously bad, bad, bad. Be especially careful because there are tons of phyhalates in jelly style sex toys. Sounds stupid, but still...you should know this stuff.

PLACENTA

Found in: Some hair relaxers, moisturizers, and toners
Why it's bad: Can interfere with normal hormone function and can lead to serious health problems like breast cancer

For more information, please visit The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics at www.safecosmetics.org.

Be sure to come by this blog all week for info on how to reduce your risk of exposure to potentially toxic ingredients while still looking beautiful!

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