Not Just A Pretty Face is one of those books that I can't put down, but that I also have a hard time reading. Yet, it's one of those must reads.
I get annoyed and frustrated and angry at the depths in which I feel deceived by the beauty industry...but even more annoyed at how they keep getting away with it. And I'm sad at how their lack of safety regulations can affect the health of YOU without you even realizing it. That maybe when someone gets cancer, it has nothing to do with being an 'unlucky one'.
Arm yourself with the knowledge so you can make the healthiest decisions for your family.
The author (Stacy Malkan) explains how many of us feel (myself included):
"it's just a little bit of poison, right? What's the harm in that? After all, I am healthy, energetic, relatively intact..."
I feel that way too!
What's the big deal if some of my products have a couple ingredients that "MAY" be harmful to my health?
She goes on to say:
"There are plenty of other things to worry about as the newspaper reminds me: terrorism, war, global warming and murders..."
YES, exactly. Ugh...the stuff that keeps me up at nights. I often wonder why I'm worried about what's in my beauty products when I barely feel safe anywhere anymore.
And I wonder...IS ALL OF THIS REALLY WORTH IT? Is it worth switching my products to safer options? Is it worth the time I put into educating others? Is it worth the extra money I might spend on safer, well made products?
Malkan goes on
"But I also can't help wondering about the two benign lumps in my body that required surgical removal and my four-year struggle with infertility in my 20s.. - why I developed a lump on my thyroid (the size of a lemon, it turned out) and why so many other young women are getting them too."
THIS IS WHAT'S WORTH IT... OUR HEALTH
Something that we have some control over. I may not be able to stop terrorism or murders, but maybe, just maybe I can educate as many people as possible about things that YOU & I can control. It's about taking control of what we can do to protect ourselves and letting the rest go. It's balance....but it's not turning a blind eye just to not have to deal with something as important as our health.
What is the RISK?
What's interesting to me is that when the beauty industry (such as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel) does try to calculate the risk of a chemical, they still manage to get it completely wrong.
They calculate Risk = Hazard + Exposure. Sounds decent enough at first glance.
Many times their findings are "safe with qualifications". Okay, sounds harmless, right?
So, they ASSUME the company using that ingredient will stick to the concentration limits. (Who's making sure of this though?) But for fun, let's say they do stick to the concentration limits. Well then, if that is the limit for a 160lb man for the day (because they aren't clearly distinguishing between height/weight/gender/etc), yet you are then exposed to that same ingredient in other products during the day- from laundry detergent to cleaners to nail polish, soap, makeup and shampoo....well, now they didn't account for that in their safety calculation. Oh and did you hear me say 160lb man. Yeah, so your teenager...whose body is developing and is more easily harmed by these supposedly 'safe' ingredients...well, they didn't account for that impact either.
See my point? Next time you read studies or hear people say 'oh it's safe enough to use this one time' or 'studies show it is safe'....make sure you trust where that information is coming from.
Oh and my favorite...'I've lived this long'...Ahhhh...I need another whole blog post for that comment, but in short - Why wouldn't you want to enjoy this life for another year, decade longer by just paying attention to the ingredients you put in and on your body. The products you used 20 years ago aren't the same. There have been thousands and thousands of ingredients introduced into the market that have never been tested for safety...yet can be easily purchased at any store. Please, please. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
For me, it's hard to trust just any organization or company out there. Beautycounter has been a breath of fresh air for me so that I don't have to spend my time researching every product I buy. I know they do that for me. They look at as much data as possible and don't just take the word of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel or any one particular organization. They look at multiple resources. And I mean, it has to pass the Mia Davis test...which can't be easy.
Find a brand that you can trust to make safer products through & through...so you don't have to compromise your health.
It's Progress, Not Perfection.
IT IS WORTH IT.