The ugly truth of toxins going in, toxins coming out? That would describe the ‘Story of Stuff’ project called “The Story of Cosmetics“. In our current day society, a large percentage of what we consume and utilize on this planet has been over-processed, under-tested and mis-handled. The closer we get to natural, the better it is for us. Period. But petroleum products, plastics and chemicals have ‘simplified’ our life, compromising the health of our planet and our bodies. Any personal care product that we use is absorbed by our body’s largest organ, our skin! Whether we wash our hair, brush our teeth, launder our clothes, moisturize our skin or consume as a food / liquid source, the skin will absorb it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people are finding themselves suddenly with chemical sensitivities (myself included in that one), and question why? Perhaps it’s due to the onslaught of continued product usage, and the body saying “enough already”? Or maybe it has to do with the fact that chemicals can stay in the body for a lifetime, so past exposures might be responsible for current vulnerabilities and symptoms.
The term cosmetics goes beyond the visage of ‘makeup’.
* a product applied to the body, esp. the face, to improve its appearance.
* Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and gels
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which regulates cosmetics in the United States defines cosmetics as: “intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions”. Soap is not included in this classification, by the FDA.
I think the true difficulty behind the issues of cosmetics is that North American Federal Agencies are not regulating or labelling many toxic ingredients (substances which may cause cancer or fetal, hormonal or reproductive toxicity), leaving the public at risk, confused and misinformed. I personally try to source natural ingredients with the basic cleansing functions in my skincare products necessary to achieve the results I’m going after (i.e. toothpaste, shampoo, face & body cleanser / moisturizer, etc). I strayed a long time ago from the use of makeup as I prefer au naturel. And Essential Oils fill my sensory needs for fragrance. Plant based authentic 100% aromatherapy. Simple joys, small pleasures. Let’s just hope that essential oils never come under the gun of federal regulation. Don’t get me wrong, quality control of any publicly offered substance is vital. Knowing the quality, grade and authenticity of our cosmetics is necessary, as I personally believe in making educated and qualified self-decisions. However, there’s a fine line between managing for quality vs controlling because of vested interests and misinformation / miscalculation of what constitutes afforded protection.
But that’s another post in the making :).
Check out the shockumentary “The Story of Cosmetics” … well worth your time, for the sake of your health, your family’s safety and our environment.
There are different ways that we can make a difference.
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