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Tagged : cosmetics


Naked Face Project — challenging the need to ‘make up’

March 28th, 2012

(This winter, Molly Barker and Caitlyn Boyle embarked on an experiment in going au naturel. Their Naked Face Project challenged other women to join them and explore life without having to put on a special face — or shave their legs or tint their hair — to win the world’s approval. In this blog Barker, the founder of Girls on the Run, considers her personal reactions and the implications for women of stepping back from societal expectations. We see this endeavor as having a green bonus, freedom from the toxic chemicals found in many cosmetics.)


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Safer cosmetics bill addresses harmful ingredients in personal products

June 24th, 2011

Here's a mind-boggling figure: The cosmetics industry uses 12,500 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products. That could leave you thinking, "Wow, what a wonderful world of wrinkle-abating, skin-smoothing, eye-enhancing stuff we have at our fingertips." But there's another view: That such a vast pool of ingredients has left the door open to many that are harmful to human health. The Campaighn for Safe Cosmetics notes that many ingredients in personal products have been linked to cancer, fertility issues and other health effects. The CSC has fought against lead in lipstick and formaldehyde in hair straighteners, two obvious chemicals of concern. But the group has pointed out that there are many additional risky chemicals hiding out in everyday products, and that the U.S. should install stricter regulation.

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Cosmetic maker Mary Kay adds green to its palette

January 27th, 2010

By Harriet Blake

Mary Kay – home of the pink Cadillac and many things pink, — is going green.

Mary Kay headquarters in Addison, near Dallas

Mary Kay headquarters in Addison, near Dallas

Turns out the skin care and cosmetics mega sales business that was born in 1963 and elevated and launched the career of the at-home beauty consultant has an environmental bent.

The company recycles compacts, builds nature classrooms at domestic violence shelters and for the past 20 years has been moving the culture at MK towards a greener future.


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EPA to study nanoparticles’ potential for good and evil

October 1st, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Squint and you can’t see them. Try a standard microscope. They’re still not there.

And yet, they’re everywhere. Nanoparticles are in hundreds, if not thousands, of consumer products, from sunscreen to child car seats to sports socks.

So the EPA has decided to take a closer look at these eensy particles, to investigate their potential to harm humans and the environment.

Nanos, which are about 1/100,000 of the width of a human hair and have been aggregating in consumer goods faster than E coli at a feed lot, have raised concerns among environmentalists, public health officials and others. These guardians of the environment want to know more about how nanos act in water. air and soil, and also whether they can invade and damage human tissue.


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Best in Beauty, a guide for careful cosmetics consumption

June 3rd, 2009

By Laura Elizabeth May
Green Right Now

BestinBeauty.com is an information site and store all rolled into one. Co-founder Tara Lee founded the site after spending twelve years in the entertainment business, where she was shocked by the levels of toxic chemicals in make-up and beauty products.

The company recently launched a campaign Labels for Life, in order to raise awareness about toxic chemicals in makeup. The campaign’s slogan is a phrase designed to help you read labels when shopping for make-up. “Pretty products for healthy people minus


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Studies show nanoparticles used in sunscreens and makeup can harm the environment

March 26th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Nanoparticles used in sunscreens and cosmetics may be harmful to the environment, according to U.S. scientists who have been studying the effects of nanos on living organisms.

Two separate studies, by researchers at the University of Toledo and at Utah State University and the University of Utah, found that the nanoparticles had powerful harmful effects on bacteria and a certain type of beneficial soil microbes.

The findings, released this week, were reported at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City. They are likely to fuel debate over the safe use of nanoparticles and concerns that consumers lack important information about the nano-engineering behind hundreds of personal care products already on the market.

“We have no assurance that they’re effective and we have no assurance that they’re safe either,” said Ian Illuminato, an advocate with Friends of the Earth, which wants the U.S. to require disclosure on products using nanoparticles.


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For teens, this smells like trouble

October 17th, 2008

My tweener daughter has often patiently explained to me that there are “girly girls” and “Tom Boys” and variations in between. I guess she figures that in the century when I grew up that wasn’t the case, or possibly that my girlhood is so far gone, it can’t even be imagined! I need to be brought up to speed.

As her tutorial goes, “girly girls” – like her – need to dress girlishly and primp with lip gloss, cologne and smell-nice body lotions. Tom Boys, not so much.

As her mom, I want her to be a Shiny Happy Female, but my green side ends up questioning all this girlish goop-la.

Scientists have been sounding alarms about suspicious ingredients in shampoo, lotions and cosmetics for many years and being an obsessive label reader, I’ve tended to agree that it might be worthwhile to deconstruct these labels with their gazillion unpronounceable preservatives, sudsing agents, flavorings and fragrances.

Can a product containing PPG-2 hydroxyethlcoco/isostearmide be completely safe? Not being a chemist, I really don’t know, and I imagine that’s where a lot of us land: wary of this onslaught of chemicals, but without sufficient knowledge to sort it out.

The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based watchdog organization concerned with toxins in our everyday lives, can help. You can gather info on the products you use by consulting the EWG database Skin Deep. The online tool – which includes some 25,000 products — can show you whether your body lotion, mascara or hair conditioner is rated as low, medium or high toxicity. It identifies the chemicals that are noxious; tells how they are potentially dangerous (carcinogen vs. skin irritant, say) and shows the level of research that’s been done.


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Sugar and spice and toxins: teen girls exposed to chemicals in beauty products

September 25th, 2008

By Barbara Kessler

Some not so pretty news out about cosmetics this week shows that teen girls tested for chemical exposure from beauty products had become human repositories of parabens, phthalates, triclosan and musks.

These chemicals, some of which are hormone disruptors or have been linked to cancer, turned up in the blood and urine of 20 teenage girls tested by the Environmental Working Group.

On average, the girls, ages 14-19, tested positive for 13 hormone-disrupting chemicals each. Parabens, commonly used as cosmetic preservatives, were detected in every girl tested.


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