Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Top 20 Cosmetics Brands of Concern

When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

— Wingspread Statement

on the Precautionary Principle

January 1998.
All my adult life, I have been plagued by a streak of the girly-girl in myself. I was trained and love to apply makeup, use hair care product, and love to pamper myself in spa like products.
I loved going to Macy's cosmetic counters, especially Lancome, to get creamy foundations, wonderful lip shades, and spicy and floral fragrances. The more I read about what is in those products, especially Lancome, I feel betrayed. It would be one thing if the chemicals that went into these products were the only way to accomplish beauty and they were upfront as to the risks/benefits, but they aren't and there are products out there who accomplish beauty without all the junk. Lancome is owned by L'Oreal, which also owns Garnier, Ralph Lauren, Redkin, Maybelline, Biolage by Matrix, Giorgio Armani, Biotherm, Dermablend, and Amplify by Matrix, all have moderate to strong concerns in regards to their ingredients.
Just this last Saturday night, I went to a Spa Night held by our local mother's group. There were two companies their doing facials and makeovers, Mary Kay and Beauticontrol. These are companies that depend on women who sell from out of their homes. Mary Kay and Beauticontrol are like Avon in that respect, and do a lot of work trying to convey how empowering they are to women. Mary Kay unfortunately doesn't make their ingredients public and have fought legislation in California that would make public ingredients they use for the benefit of women consumers. A lot of Avon products are full of questionable chemicals and do not rate well on EWG.ORG. According to Avon, they are phasing out dibutyl phthalates from its product line, but still they are still using parabens.
80% of Revlon products have been tested and recieved a 7.2 out of 10 in carcinogenic ingredients. Their permanent haircolor rated a 9.6 and contains both known and suspected carcinogens.
Estee Lauder has announced that they will reformulate its Clinique and MAC nail polishes to remove phthlates, but their products still contain parabens in their makeup and mascara.
Beauticontrol doesn't make their ingredients public on their website, and you have to go through a representative to be able to look at the ingredients on the label.
The Body Shop uses Polycyclic Musks or PCMs, which are fragrance components that they will phase out by 2010. They should have phased out phthalates in existing products last year in 2006. The Body Shop uses parabens.
Top Ingredients of concern include: Mercury, Thimerosal, Lead Acetate, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Petroleum Distellates, Ethylacrylate, Coal Tar, Dibutyl Phthalate, Selenium Sulfide, Dimethylamine, Zirconium Silicate, Acrylamide, Phenylphenol, D&C Blue 6, Ext D&C Green 1, Ext D&C Red 1, FD&C Red 3, Lidocaine, Hydroxyanisole, BHA, Lithium Carbonate, Dimethyl Sulfoxide, Iodine, Phenacetin, Phenolphthalein, Progesterone, Aluminum Zirconium tetraclorohydrex complex, anhydrous, Ferric Ammonium citrate, 2 Amino 4 nitrophenol, Brucine, Acid Blue 3, Acid Yellow 3, Pigment Blue 15, Naphazoline hydrochloride, Diphenhydamine HCL, Lidocaine HDL, Litsea Citrata (Verbana) oil, HC Blue 2.
Then there are the parabens: Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, and Proplyparaben. They have been long thought to be safe because of their low toxicity profile and their supposedly long history of safe use. Parabens are thought to be rapidly absorbed, metabolized, and excreted. People do worry that parabens can have estrogenic activity and have been found in samples of breast tumors.
Phthalates are in more than 70% of health and beauty products. They are found in Chanel, Christain Dior, L'Oreal, Wella, and many other brands. Products that have tested positive for phthalates may not be labelled to that effect. Phthlate exposure is pervasive and comes from many sources.
The list below comes from EWG.ORG list of Top 20 Brands of Concern in regards of how much ingredients of concern are in these products. It is disturbing that the worst of the worst is a product that is targeting women of color, Dark & Lovely from L'Oreal.
Dark & Lovely L’Oreal




Banana Boat

Te Tao

Back to Basics

Ultima II

Estee Lauder


Sally Hansen/Cornsilk

B. Kamins





Elizabeth Arden



Color Me Beautiful
The Cosmetics industry is dominated by 10 large companies, which accounts for the use of nearly one in seven of the 75,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States. The FDA bans or restricts only nine of those substances. Many ingredients are exempt from labelling requirements because the product formulas are protected as proprietary. In 2005, the European Union banned more than 1000 chemicals for use in cosmetics.
500 Companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Companies that sign promise to replace hazardous materials with safer alternatives within three years. They do this by conducting an inventory of potential chemicals of concern to determine toxicity to living things, their persistance in the environment, their ability to increase in concentration in the food chain, their contamination of our bodies, or qualities they possess that pose hazards including carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, sensitizers, mutagens, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins, and neurotoxins. The goal is to develop an aggressive substitution plan and timeline to move to safer materials, prioritizing for substitution those compounds internationally recognized as most toxic. In addition, they will provide for an ongoing review of safer materials and chemicals as effective, cost-competitive alternatives availability and work with upstream suppliers to provide toxicity data on chemicals in products.
Avon, Mary Kay, Estee Lauder, Proctor & Gamble are companies who have not signed on. Some of the 500 companies who have signed on and provide products of less concern are: Burt's Bees, Keys Soap, Perfect Organics, GratefulBody, Suki Pure Skin Care, Garden of Eve, Terressentials, Trillium Organics, J.P Durga, Lily Organics, Terra Firma Organics, Aubrey Organics, California Baby, Dr. Bronner's, Giovanni Hair Care Products, Telbari, A Wild Soap Bar Soaps, Weleda, Osea, Aromababy, and Clearly Natural Soaps.
Products of least concern that are made by companies who have signed the compact include: Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap , Crystal Body Stick Deodorant , Simplers Botanical Company Acne Aid, Aunt Ann's Garden Soap, Natural by Nature Bar Soap - Lavender with Aloe, Lover's Choice Amazing Hot Massage Kit, Cocoon Organic Body and Hair Wash, Marie Veronique Serumdipity, Aroma Rx Lavender Hydrosol, Peacekeeper Lip Paint and Nail Paint, Viva-Drops Lubricant Eye Drops, Farah D Lip Balms, UV Natural Chemical Free sunscreen-fragrance free-nontint, Gifts of the Goddess Body Butters, Scenter of the Mind Soaps, Honeybee Gardens,Aura Cacia Organic Skin Oils, Pangea Organics hand & body lotions, Theratears eye lubricants, Pomegranate Body Shea and Salt Body Glow Lavender Calm, and Farmaesthetics Deep Lavender Rub and Nourishing Herbal Cream.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Re-Education Friday, Comrade!


Did you know that Wikipedia hates Jesus and America? Did you know if you use or read spellings of the British Isles, you are anti-American? Not using A.D. is a rejection of Christ? You would think that the defenders of Christ and America would not have such a slow server. How else are we to get all these truthy-like morsels?


Language alert! Intelligent design is morphing to Origins Science. Take note, comrades!


The FDA approves of a vaccine to protect young girls from getting the virus that causes cervical cancer. Focus on the Family argues against blanket availability to girls because they believe that abstinence is the best way to avoid the HPV and STDs. Who cares if studies show that abstinence education at best delays sexual behavior by 18 months and then when those kids do have sex they have unprotected sex.


If you read The Austrailian article on this story, they appear to speculate from this incident that early women may have invented weapons. Of course, you would have to be anti-God and believe that we evolved from primates to even go there. Me, I think the chimps just watch too much violent teevee.

Anna Nicole Smith -- isn't it just time to let the poor girl rest in peace? We turn on FoxNews for my dad and it is wall-to-wall Anna Nicole. Gee, there are people dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, global warming, Nuclear proliferation issues, and all sorts of really pressing issues -- so glad FoxNews has its priorities straight.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Smothered in Unfunny Sauce

and garnished with desperate lameness...

Democrats as well as Republicans do some rather funny things. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are so successful because they understand funny is funny no matter what side of the aisle it comes from. This new show from Fox News Channel called the 1/2 Hour News Show is all about unfunny. The "anchors" are stiff and just throw away lines. They are clearly not comedians, nor are they come off as being very smart. Jon Stewart and Colbert are comedians who are very smart. Even though they may have an off night (heck they at least have the excuse of having to come up with material every night while this faux-faux news program is once a week).

There is even a sketch where it is 2009 and Rush Limbaugh is president and Ann Coulter is Vice-president. While it did finally have the two in the same room, debunking my belief that Ann was just an anorexic Limbaugh in high heels and a blond wig, the sketch was pretty flat. A druggie and a nutcake running our country, what a thought.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Strange Girl-Thing

As a fifteen year-old girl, I took a class for modeling and poise. The teacher, Larysa Plawan, was a Joan Collins look-a-like who used my hair as the example of dull color in front of the entire class. Nothing is more mortifying to a young teen girl than to have a personal feature held to that level of critique. That was the beginning of my "chemical dependency" or my relationship with the clairol bottle. I was so scarred by that event I have this adversion to my naturally dark, dirty blond hair.

I started with the ultimate gateway -- the beach blonde spray that you leave on to get highlights. Then after I got my first real adult job, I started with the "hard stuff" -- bleach and toner. I was platinum blond, copper red, strawberry blond, brunette, and everything in between. I never did black, blue, or any other primary color.

As I got older, my hair started feeling the strain of my chemical abuse, and I decided to get professional help -- a trained and experienced salon colorist. These trips are not cheap, but you get undeniable results for plunking down $150 bucks.

Now, I just cannot justify those trips anymore or justify why I put those chemicals in my hair. I have decided to give pure body art quality henna a try, since you can use it on chemically treated hair. This way I can color my hair myself and save money.

The only thing is I will have to forgo my flaxen tresses for red hair or if I get bored with red, go brunette or black.

When I was younger, changing my hair color became a sociological experiment. When I was blond, it was like I was casting this wide net of all kinds of males. Blondness attracts across socio-economic boundaries and all personality types. Having red hair attracted men with the red hair fetish. Dig deep enough into their background, and most if not all of their girlfriends had red hair. It seemed to me that they were not really dating me, but dating my hair.

Brunette hair always got interesting responses. When I met my husband I was coloring my hair dark brown. When I lived in Boston, a guy who was a neighbor and a friend when I was blond, became completely amorous when I turned my tresses to brown. It was weird.

I will probably get my hair professionally cut as I cannot cut my son's hair much less my own.

Right now, I am going to make myself some rag curlers from some old sheets to curl and add body to my hair without the chemicals of a perm.

After discovering the Environmental Working Group Report Skin Deep, I have been switching to the least toxic brands of beauty treatments. I use Aubrey Organics cleanser,

toner, and moisturizer. Neutragena healthy skin makeup rates really well with EWG and has the all important sunscreen. I use Crystal Stick deoderant which lasts a long time and has less

toxicity than other deoderants. I am also a big fan of Trillium Organics body polish.

Eventually, I will allow myself to get gray since I think my gray will actually look nice. I just think that I am too young to cultivate the silver tresses. I want to wait until I can get senior discounts.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Entry for February 03, 2007

In a Past Life...
You Were: A Genius Spice Trader.

Where You Lived: North Canada.

How You Died: Natural causes.
Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

You Are More Yin











Friday, February 2, 2007

Maven Poem: Hideous Unattainable

The coats marked my body
gouging out the curves
Morphing my form
void of individuality
Struggle for perfection
breeds grotesque
Dig past my sutures
that hold me together
to gag up
urges of unique being
Can't speak
My thoughts
stitch up sagging breasts
maternal belly that gave life
by tugs of flesh
Gaping wounds see through me
One eye remains to take in
the warmth of acceptance
my assimilation and others' envy
That remain unattainable

Blogging for Charity is hosting a literature challenge every week. Bloggers contribute their offerings and readers vote for their favourite. The most popular will decide where charity funds will go. This week the challenge was to write a poem that was inspired by a posted picture.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Goodbye Molly

I named my cat after her, since I was reading her book, "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" at the time.

Molly was unapologetically liberal. She was funny, brutally honest, folksy, and had a lot of heart. She was a woman and a political pundit/reporter. It was a joy to read what was on her mind. It makes me sad that she passed away -- that her wonderfully gutsy voice is forever silenced.

I will always remember her hilarious Ross Perot stories from when she covered him in her home state. When I read "Shrub : The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush" she really did sum up the man who was to become our president as a man whose life was checkered with failure only to have his father and his friends bail him out time after time. We were warned.

Molly, you will be missed.