Monday, March 10, 2008

Lather it up, Little Darlin'

I have recently become involved with Teens for Safe Cosmetics, an organization of bright and precocious teenagers who besides from being much more poised and together than I was in high school, are also working to change the face of a 20 + billion dollar industry. The cosmetic industry caters to and targets an already self conscious population of young women with their creams, lotions, toners, gels, makeups, shampoos, conditioners, anti-frizz serums, promising unattainable coiffed perfection. In actuality, these seemingly delightful scented products are made with nasty toxic chemicals including coal tar, formaldehyde, phthalates, and many other unpronounceable and unhealthy additives (which Travis thinks sound like Smurf names), which serve to further exacerbate acne, degrade hair and skin quality and cause skin irritation (at best) and can lead to skin diseases and cancer.

After speaking with these seriously driven and hip young women (think Gossip Girl sassy but with an activist chic twist) as they prepare for their April 4th "Turning Green" Runway event, I decided it was time to join them and in doing so, ween myself from a beauty regimen consisting of mostly traditional cosmetic products. So, I bought Alba Pineapple Enzyme Face Scrub and Lotion, Kiss My Face Lavender Deodorant, and Avalon Organics Awapuhi Mango Shampoo and Conditioner. Also, I am wearing Priti Organics nail polish in a deep red/blackish, because I got a manicure on Saturday at the Priti Organic Spa here in NYC.

With zesty new organic products being absorbed by my largest organ (epidermis), I checked out L'Occitane, a favorite skin care brand, to see what goodies I could add to the cosmetic arsenal; only to be disappointed in their very limited organic product selection. In fact, the woman working at this particular store on New York's Upper West Side assured me the heavy chemicals used in their products were merely to preserve them and extend the shelf life. This obviously made me think to myself, then how the heck are organic beauty products preserved? As it turns out, semi-synthetic ingredients are used to extend a shelf-life for most cosmetics, but natural components like Tea-tree oil, Vitamin E, and Rosemary can also do the trick. This is how organic products achieve the preservation effect. Soap Kitchen is a great website to read more about the specifics.

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