September 15, 2009 | By

Thanks to Stacey Malkan, co-founder of Campaign For Safe Cosmetics and author of the book, Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, we get an inside look into the toxic evils of the everyday make-up products we apply to our face. It's not a huge shock that these products are more pernicious than a Belmont filter, but it's also important to know the facts. Here is what Stacey revealed on Tree Hugger:

1. MANY SKIN CARE PRODUCTS CONTAIN CHEMICALS TOXIC TO THE SKIN - Stacey notes that most products (designed to aid the skin in a quest for blemish-free beauty) actually sensitize skin and trigger harsh skin problems such as rashes, acne and other symptoms of contact dermatitis. In fact, most health professional misdiagnose these problems as eczema and then prescribe unnecessary steroids or immunosuppressants. Long-term health problems are also a risk.

2. COMPANIES THAT DONATE TO BREAST-CANCER RESEARCH STILL USE CARCINOGENS IN THEIR PRODUCTS - Products created with the objective of aiding a feminized disease also contribute to it's deadly spread. Top offenders? Estée Lauder, Revlon, and Avon. Oh, awesome.

3. THERE ARE NO SAFETY ASSESSMENTS REQUIRED FOR COSMETIC PRODUCTS SOLD IN THE U.S - Compared to Europe and Canada, the U.S is a toxic playhouse for personal care products. Um, I guess this is what happens when Capitalism allows the beauty industry to police itself. According to Stacey, a mere 11% of cosmetics ingredients are assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel (which is a self-regulating body that is the ONLY accountable institution testing the safety of cosmetics in the U.S.). America may get better radio stations and beer after 11pm, but at least Canadians known their mascara isn't made from the revolting after-math of pencil shavings and radio active glue.

4. LABELS LIE - Stacey confirms that most beauty products lie on their labels. Really? Wait a second... you mean this conditioner won't make my hair 78% shinier or give me a killer new take-notice look? Nope. Stacey is referring to the fine print. The most harmful of ingredients are often masquerading under loose terms such as "fragrance" or simply hidden as trace contaminants or the byproducts of chemical processing. Loopholes in the ingredient naming laws allow companies to smuggle these chemicals, undetected.

5. NOT ONE OF THE MAINSTREAM BEAUTY GIANTS HAS SIGNED TO THE COMPACT FOR SAFE COSMETICS PLEDGE - According to Stacey over 1000 beauty product companies have joined up in the quest for toxic free products, except for the following big names: L'Oréal, Revlon, Estée Lauder, Avon, Mary Kay, and Procter & Gamble. (I wonder if Michael Moore has a wife who wants to make documentaries?)

For more information on beauty products and toxins, check out the plethora of information at

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