Toxic Beauty

March 4, 2020


Earlier this week, I watched the documentary Toxic Beauty. This was not the first time I was exposed to information detailing the dangers of ingredients in cosmetics. I have heard all that before! But, it was the first time I felt compelled to scan the labels on all my shampoos, conditioners, dry shampoos, and deodorant. What I was I looking for? Parabens and phthalates. Also of particular worry was any product containing the words talc, and parfum or fragrance in the ingredients. 

I heard about Toxic Beauty through a Vogue article whose title includes the film’s main question: Are Skin-Care Products the New Cigarettes? As Jessica L. Yarborough explains in the article, skincare products seem to be positioned to be the next health scandal as cigarettes were in the 20th century. It’s a similar scenario, one in which we have toxicologists and corporations telling us that certain products and ingredients are safe, when in reality, the science of the compound effects of using multiple lotions, skincare and hair care products per day paint a very different picture. 

I found it horrifying to learn that the US has not updated cosmetics regulations since 1938 and that 1,300 cosmetic ingredients are banned in Europe while here in the US we only have 11 banned ingredients. Eleven! While it was very upsetting to watch, I highly recommend Toxic Beauty and I feel that it is especially relevant as our bodies and hormones change and become more susceptible to environmental factors as we age. 

Do you keep your beauty routine clean? Is it sort of clean, sort of filthy (I’m looking at you beloved Donna Karan deodorant), or do you not pay attention to ingredients at all? I would love to hear your take on this. 

(Image via Toxic Beauty)

Join the conversation!

  1. I started looking at the ingredients in my cosmetics when I was trying to get pregnant for the first time. I was on a special diet (no dairy, caffeine, sugar, gluten, or alcohol), eating organic as much as possible, taking Chinese herbs, and getting acupuncture. My acupuncturist encouraged me to think about switching to clean cosmetics and household cleaning products, and I haven't looked back since then! I have to admit nothing works like my old maybelline mascara, so I usually just skip mascara these days. Also, "green" dishwasher detergent sucks, so we use the "clean" one from Palmolive. And I am so glad my mom bought a bottle of Clorox last time she visited me or else I would have nothing effective to clean my house with during the early part of the pandemic!

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