Toxic Beauty Sheds Light On Toxins In The Cosmetic Industry

Toxic Beauty sheds light on the dangers of the cosmetic industryAs the Food and Drug Administration finally catches up and suggests it need to regulate cosmetic products ingredients, a new documentary sheds light on the toxins in the beauty industry.

It looks like the FDA may finally be catching up to what so many natural-minded mamas already know: the ingredients in leading cosmetics may not be safe.

A new documentary from filmmaker Phyllis Ellis—Toxic Beauty—adds fuel to this fire, as  it reveals that even cosmetic industry insiders realize that cosmetics may be destroying our bodies.

According to an article in Vogue, a chemist for a huge designer cosmetic brand told Rose-Marie Swift, the founder of RMS Beauty, that they loved what RMS Beauty was doing. The industry insider went on to say that the cosmetic industry was destroying women’s cells, and Swift couldn’t believe that he was sharing that news with her, considering it was his bread and butter.

Related: New Studies Indicate Asbestos Contamination in Claire’s Makeup

This concern is highlighted in Toxic Beauty, which is a condensation of a three-year investigation of the chemicals that go into personal-care and beauty products. Swift herself launched BeautyTruth.com in 2004 after finding out that her health was affected by the chemicals found in her urine, hair and blood. She found that the cosmetic industry was overwhelmingly littered with ingredients that were carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, irritants, allergens and more.

As is often the case when big money is involved, the conventional beauty industry accused her and peers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Greg Renfew (BeautyCounter) and Tiffany Masterson (Drunk Elephant) of inciting unnecessary fear in women.

But just take a look at where this is going. What do you think of when you hear “Johnson & Johnson”? Do you think cute baby products committed to the safety of babies or do you hear “asbestos in the baby powder”? Toxic Beauty alleges that Johnson & Johnson knowingly sold products they believed had risk, and lab results that date back to 1957 show that asbestos was detected in their talc supply used for baby powder.

The article shares how many doctors now liken the beauty industry to the tobacco industry, with companies claiming safety as they did for cigarettes back in the day. Beauty products as the ‘new cigarette’ of the day is a trending issue, and scientists, doctors and lawyers who are interviewed in Toxic Beauty believe that in a few decades, we’ll be saying the same things about beauty ingredients that we now say about the dangers of cigarettes.

 Dr. Rick Smith is an environmentalist and author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck. In Toxic Beauty, he says that the thousands of chemicals that have not been safely tested leads him to believe that cosmetic ingredient dangers will be even bigger than the dangers of the tobacco industry.
The United States hasn’t updated cosmetic legislation since 1938. Yes, almost 100 years ago. Current safety data doesn’t necessarily reflect the recent danger findings of chemicals like parabens, phthalates, breast cancer, hormone disruption and more. Additionally, the carcinogenic factor of heavy metals in personal-care products has been overlooked by the government.

Toxic Beauty brings truth to light with research on all of those cosmetic ingredients. Dr. Philipa Darbre is an oncology professor and says that parabens and phthalates are proven to infiltrate the body and may lead to hormone-related cancers (among other things like infertility, early puberty and more).

And because many of the beauty products we use contain the ingredients, you’re getting multiple exposures to these dangers. You may use a shampoo, a conditioner, a soap, a lotion and a moisturizer that all contain toxins, and are simply adding the exposure up.

In Toxic Beauty, a young woman gives blood tests over the course of three days. On one day, she uses her usual 27-step beauty product regimen. On another day, she used no products at all and on the third day, she used ‘clean’ beauty ingredients that didn’t carry those chemicals. On the day that she used her products? Her phthalate levels were five times higher and her paraben levels were 35 times higher than when she used nontoxic products.

That’s powerful evidence.  

And, even more a testament to the power of marketing, as the young woman doesn’t believe the products are meant to harm, but to empower and make women feel good about themselves. The problem is, they’re poisoning in the process.

Now, the FDA says they’re going to possibly look into asbestos in cosmetic products, and while we applaud that move, it’s not enough.

We have to take a stand and demand our beauty products are made of clean ingredients that won’t poison us. We have to stand against traditional marketing that says we’re ugly unless we’re using chemical-laden products.

Related: Are These 10 Common Toxins Lurking in Your Bedrooms?

We have to put our money where our mouths are and not opt for the cheap beauty product because it’s cheap. The more we demand cleaner alternatives, the more they’ll become an industry norm and pricing will reflect that.

And maybe, just maybe…we’ll tell the big name cosmetic companies that love to lure us into the makeup aisle at Target that we don’t want their trash. We want clean ingredients that won’t damage our bodies, and if they won’t make it, we’ll find companies that will.

The list of companies doing so is growing by the day!

Toxic Beauty is available for streaming or renting on iTunes and Amazon. Watch it. Then share what you learn!

Photo: Junjira Limcharoen/Shutterstock


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