When Ovie Marshall, an esthetician at The Spa at Aestique in Hempfield, decided to use natural beauty and skin care products, she says she found valuable information in Stacy Malkan’s 2007 book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry.”
The book asserts that (as of the book’s publication date):
• The European Union had banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics, while the United States had banned 10.
• Only 11% of chemicals used in cosmetics in the U.S. had been assessed for health and safety.
• More than 70% of all personal care products may have contained phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and infertility.
• Many baby soaps contained the cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane.
For consumers interested in knowing what’s really in the products they buy, Marshall suggests downloading the Think Dirty app. Users can scan a product’s bar code and receive “easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, safecos metics.org, lists information including product ingredients, chemicals of concern, safe cosmetic tips and safer cosmetic companies. The CSC is a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.
Another helpful resource, Marshall says, is ewg.com — the website of the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit activist group that does research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants and corporate accountability.
The EWG’s “Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics” rates more than 70,000 personal care products.
Marshall also lists health and product safety information on her “Passion4Prevention” Facebook page.