Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pretty Ugly

You'll be pleased to know that in the course of the day's greening I've found yet more stuff to worry about.

Today's topic is beauty products.

I have nightmare skin. My face is sensitive but quite greasy and prone to zits (at 33. I ask you...); meanwhile my body is very dry, flaky and rashy, especially at this time of year. I've spent much of my life using prescription skincare of one sort or another - spot creams that make your face red, itchy and very sensitive to sunlight, and thick, goopy body lotions that ex-boyfriends have told me make me smell like wee (do you fancy me yet? I thought so).

Anyway, I never really gave all of this much thought until I got pregnant and my dermatologist told me to stop using the salicylic acid and Tri-luma, and my hippie yoga guru books (Gurmukh and Gowri Motha) told me to ditch the products containing petroleum derivatives (I'd never really notice they were in there) and parabens. I did all of the above, switching to health food store products, not really knowing why, other than I didn't really like the idea of putting petroleum products on my skin, someone recently told me lotions were only made out of petroleum derivatives for the convenience of the oil industry (which we all know is a Bad Thing) and because I always do everything it says to do in those hippy guru books because I'm a sheep.

Anyway, so this morning as I was applying my completely delicious new Avalon Organics Lavender Ultimate Moisture Cream to my face and my Nature's Gate Skin Therapy Colloidal Oatmeal Lotion to the rest of me I was thinking to myself I must tell you that after several rounds of experimenting with really crap natural products, I'd finally found some that, as well as using organic ingredients, being packaged in recyclable materials and not helping Mr. Bush and his oil buddies out, were lovely to use and really effective. No more scaly wee-scented skin for me - just refreshing, light, whippy face cream and rich, soothing body lotion. Yum.

And I thought that while I was at it, I might as well Google 'reasons to use organic skincare products' for your edification and mine.

Well, talk about a Pandora's Box. This goes a bit beyond just being eco-friendly because it turns out there's thought to be a massive link between skincare products and breast cancer. Apparently breast cancer rates have gone up 80% in the last 30 years or so, about 60% of skincare products are absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin (the body's largest organ) and are found in large concentrations in the bloodstream (parabens found in high concentrations in cancerous breast tissue, for example) and the vast majority of ingredients in skincare products aren't approved by the FDA or indeed anyone else. And apparently there are ingredients which, while entirely legal in the US, are banned in Europe because they're thought to be so dangerous. Not only this but because Parabens have a link to oestrogen (I think I wrote about this in the deo entry) they are also thought to be responsible for the early onset of puberty in some, possiby most, young girls these days (see this site, and this one).


Then I found this website where you can enter your beauty product and brand, and it'll spit out a safety rating based on the known danger of ingredients in a product, where one is safest, five is most concerning.

So you can guess what I've been doing for the last three hours.

I just discovered their 'highest concern brands' list. This was designed expressly for hysterical women like me. Up there near right the top with scores of 4.7: Marvis toothpaste, which I used throughout my pregnancy and Jo Malone products, which I use and have bought for most of my female relatives and friends at one time or another (though to be fair it's the red roses fragrance they flag, which is not really my thing), plus the Kerastase shampoo I'm still working through gets a 3.something ('moderate concern'). Oh dear.

Luckily the Nature's gate lotion is only a 2 and the face cream is just 1.3. Oh, and all Tom's of Maine stuff is 1 or less.

I'm warning you, once you start trying this out, it's pretty addictive. But I guess I'd rather know. Or would I?

Ahem, anyway, that's a bit off the green topic. I'm sure tomorrow I'll have another comment from Anonymous telling me I need to 'BREATH' (sic). For now I'm off to get my now much less polluted beauty sleep. If I can sleep, that is, for worrying.

Labels: ,


At 7:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

natural does not always mean safe! lavender and tea tree oil are thought to be enochrine disrupters and have have caused young five year old boys to grow breasts..

At 10:00 PM , Anonymous Michelle said...

Love the site. How divine is Dot!!!!
Thanks for the info about the web site re cosmetic content, i have forwarded it to a friend who is starting a business
Love Michelle Newton

At 9:43 PM , Blogger Sara said...

I just posted some of the same stuff on my blog...have you tried the oil cleansing method for your face? I gave details how to do it in my last post...I LOVE it! :)

At 2:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I am sorry to bother you, but I was just wondering if you would like to exchange links with my green site
If you have time, can you please take a look and if it is to your liking, you can contact me at
Thank you very much for your time


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home