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_ beauty detox: the premise

January 23, 2011

My badass little sister made me aware of the potential ugliness lurking within cosmetic and personal care products several months ago.  She had just bought a bar of soap on the internet. One bar of soap she would use for her body, face, and hair.  Being prejudiced against bar soap for its pedstrian, residuey, non-luxuriousness for my entire adult life, I thought the girl was crazy.  (I mean, she doesn’t like ketchup.  Seriously?)

Well, she was onto something.  She had learned about sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (SLS), a chemical found in practically everything we put on our bodies that foams.  Go ahead, check some labels.  Now I’m not a scientist and I’m not writing a research paper, but word on the street is that SLS could potentially cause organ damage, hormonal changes, and skin irritation.  Some say it’s okay in small doses.  But is shampoo, body wash, face wash, hand soap, toothpaste, et al. multiple times daily a small dose?  For 70 years?  So my li’l sis stopped using it.  And she’s sworn off toxic deodorant, carcinogenic mascara, and all kinds of nasty things over the last several months.

Her natural beauty endeavor sparked my interest.  I mean, the girl has been claiming for years that sunscreen is giving us skin cancer, and I found out not too long ago that her impulse might have been right on.  And then I read that an ingredient I have been putting on my face and for the last 15 years is banned in Europe (!). 

Long story short, WTF?

I’m reading No More Dirty Looks, by the writers of the above-linked Good Magazine posts.  It opens your eyes to the essentially unregulated cosmetics and personal care industry, details the bad ingredients, and recommends some good clean replacements. 

Ladies, Must. Read.

My goal is to make the nontox switch over the course of the next year.  Why not tomorrow?  I hate waste about as much as I hate the idea of toxins seeping into my bloodstream.  My main rule: Switch to a clean version (or cleaner) when one of my dirty products runs out.  My second rule: Don’t spend a fortune.  Eek.


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