Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Book Review: Not Just A Pretty Face

Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry by Stacy Malkan

This book focused mostly on phthalates (pronounced "thal- lates") in cosmetics.  It goes into detail on why the EU banned them and what has allowed the beauty industry in the US to keep pumping our products full of these "stabilizers" and "plasticizers".

Companies are not required to list phthalates in the ingredients and mask this by lumping different chemicals (including several different kinds of phthalates) under the word FRAGRANCE.  So many products have "fragrance" listed in them- cleaning products, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, all kinds of cosmetics, perfume, candles.

Some great quotes from the book:
"The majority of industrial chemicals were allowed onto the market with no safety testing to determine their health impacts"

"The way the system works in the US is that the cosmetics companies get to decide for themselves what's safe"

"... the CDC researchers reported that women age 20 to 40 appeared to have the highest levels of DBP in their bodies. This was a concern. Women in this group- childbearing age- were the ones who would most likely expose their developing babies to DBP, a chemical that causes birth defects and lifelong reproductive problems in male animals exposed in the womb."
* DBP is dibutyl phthalate

"For 25 years we've known that phthalates disrupt the production of testosterone critical for the masculinization of the male species, said Earl Gray, a top phthalate researcher at the US Environmental Protection Agency."

" (DBP) can block male hormones called androgens, which are responsible for making a male into a male."

No thank you Bath and Body Works. No thank you Yankee Candle. No thank you Suave.

I recommend this book especially if you are looking at becoming pregnant, are pregnant or have small kiddos. Based on reading I have done, I believe phthalates are risky. I know I would rather be safe than sorry, so I decided to kick them out of my house. This was SOOO hard for me to do because I love scented candles, fancy make-up, and perfumes.

I have been able to find some really yummy smelling alternatives that are fragranced with essential oils and/or phthalate-free fragrances. I have also come to love unscented/ fragrance-free products as well.

Some great alternatives:
Candles- Paddy Wax, Mrs. Meyer's Candles.  I also found a ETSY seller who makes organic soy candles and fragrances them with 100% organic essential oils.

Perfume- Pacifica (love Tahitian Gardenia, and Sandalwood), essential oils

Baby Toys- Phthalate-free & BPA-free, especially if the baby is at the age where they put the toy in their mouth & chew on it

Cleaning Products- Vinegar is the bomb.

Showering-  Broo shampoo, conditioner & body wash are fragranced, yet phthalate-free. Smell so good & made locally in Asheville, NC.  EveryDay Shea is another good product (especially price wise).

Some other common products that contain phthalates:
* certain plastics- vinyl shower curtains, rubber duckies, baby toys

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those times I'm loving my adopted country - thumbs up, France and the EU!!!

    BUT, I still only use essential oils and such. Barely use any makeup (which bums me out sometimes cause I was getting into it...), and gone as natural as possible while working in a posh office environment.