Small, easy "eco steps" we can all take to live better, be happier, save money and help the environment.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Ugly Truth: The Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics with Annie Leonard
Whatever you may think, have heard, or otherwise believe about Annie Leonard, she makes some very important points about the safety or lack thereof of mainstream cosmetics that we use every day. Her basic premise is "Toxics in, Toxics out." In the U.S., in particular, there are all sorts of bad nasties in the cosmetics and personal care products that most of us use every day. Back in February, I wrote about the benefits of using natural products vs. the overly preservative and chemical-laden products in About Face! Lookin' Good the Natural Way. And it seems that thanks to Ms. Leonard's work along with the tireless efforts of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and many others, consumers are waking up to the hidden dangers in everyday products we buy and use.
This is important. Why? Because our bodies absorb what we put in them, as well as what we put on them! Not only do we harm the environment through the production and disposal of these products, but we harm ourselves.
Consider this: A woman who wears makeup every day can absorb up to 4 pounds, 6 ounces of cosmetics through her skin over the course of one year! And that doesn't even count the chemicals, preservatives and compounds that exist in shampoos, conditioners, fragrances, deodorants, powders, etc. Do we really need plasticizers in our shampoo or lead in our lipstick? Scary stuff.
As always, in the spirit of eco-steps (taking small steps to help ourselves and our environment), I encourage you to read up on the ingredients in your makeup and personal care products. Check the Safe Cosmetics Database for what's in your stuff and seek out natural, less harmful alternatives.
Additionally, tell people. Spread the word. Take action and ask Congress to support the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. It is through raising awareness and taking actions, however small, that we can influence companies to make safer products-- for us, for our environment, and for future generations to come.