Beauty is health. Beauty is wellness. Beauty is having a voice.
There are endless ways in which we can describe, feel and express beauty in this world – my focus as of late has been about having, finding and using one’s voice for change. To me that is beautiful.
Think about the role beauty products play in your day-to-day life. This isn’t just about makeup; this is about all of the products we use throughout our day. The toothpaste you use to brush your teeth, deodorant, a night cream you massage into your face before you head to bed, or washing your face first thing in the morning.
And all of these small rituals are about creating beautiful moments. Unbeknownst to most Americans, the $200 billion dollar cosmetics and personal care industry is virtually unregulated. The ingredients used in that night cream or body wash do not have to be proven safe for human health before they are put on to the market. Even worse, the last time Congress passed a law regulating the safety of cosmetic ingredients was in 1938.
You heard me right, cosmetic companies can use any ingredients they want in the products we put on our bodies every single day. Even worse, it’s legal and common for companies to use ingredients that have been linked to cancer, infertility and hormone-disruption. For example, a leading researcher at Mt. Sinai Hospital – Dr. Shanna Swan – was the first to connect the dots between a class of chemicals called phthalates (used in most beauty products and fragrances) and disrupting our hormone system.
So if beauty is health and wellness and radiance, what do we do when the products we use every day on ourselves and loved ones might be harmful? We learn more about the issue, we swap out our products, we speak out and we demand change.
My work over the last decade has been about removing harmful ingredients from the products we use in our homes and workplaces every day. I have been at the forefront of campaigns to move the market towards safer products. I have led advocacy campaigns to pass laws restricting harmful ingredients in consumer products. And I can say this with confidence: we’re winning.
There are safer skin care companies on the market than there were five years ago. The toxic chemical used in baby bottles – BPA – has been largely phased out, mainstream food companies are eliminating artificial ingredients and flavors, major retailers like Target and Walmart have started to restrict harmful chemicals from the products on their shelves. Change is happening, but more work needs to be done to clean up the beauty industry.
I am excited and honored to be a part of the Hollywood Beauty Detective project. Over the coming months I will share information on how to find safer products and ways to take action. I hope you’ll join me.
Safe is beautiful.