Dear Cover Girl: We Want Non-Toxic Products
I love to wear makeup, feel sexy and look my best—I just want to do it without rubbing cancer-causing chemicals on my body.
Does that make me a stick in the mud? Am I anti-beauty?
Cover Girl (by Procter & Gamble) seems to think so. The mega makeup brand has launched a new “Dare to be Beautiful” ad campaign, complete with $50,000 cash prize and a host of celebrities led by Drew Barrymore (see my Love Letter to Drew) who will “defend beauty’s honor” – apparently from environmentalists and feminists like me.
“Some people have tried to make beauty an ugly word. They say it’s cold, false, intimidating. We say: stand up to that! Stand up for beauty that makes you LAUGH, that makes you THINK, that makes you get out there and create some beauty of your own!” states the Cover Girl “Declaration Cloud.” (via Virginia’s beauty-schooled blog)
Instead, how about this: stand up for beauty that ISN’T TOXIC to our bodies and our souls; for beauty that is HONEST about what people really look like, and contains SAFE INGREDIENTS that won’t damage our health and our children.
Is that too much to ask of beauty?
Is it too much to ask Procter & Gamble to give it a rest with the patronizing ad campaigns, and take a look in the mirror? They might notice a few flaws that need fixing. For example:
P&G recently agreed to reformulate Herbal Essences shampoo to reduce 1,4 dioxane, a cancer-causing petrochemical. Good first step, but new product tests also found high levels of 1,4 dioxane in P&G laundry soaps Tide, Ivory Snow and Cheer.
Tests by the FDA and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found higher levels of lead in Cover Girl lipsticks than many other brands.
Cover Girl makeup is a leading user of quaternium 15, a known allergen and skin sensitizer that can release formaldehyde (a carcinogen) into products.
Considering the mind-boggling volume of P&G products—and their plans to add a billion new customers in the developing world—cleaning up these problems would go a long way toward reducing the planet’s toxic load.
It would go a long way toward protecting our health and defending beauty in the world. So what do you say, Cover Girl? Let’s rock it with some non-toxic products!
UPDATE: In my last blog, I wrote about the Axe craze and the lame NYT story that failed to mention concerns about hazardous chemicals in male body sprays. Well, the state of California is certainly concerned. Last month, they slapped Axe’s parent company, Unilever, with a $1.3 million fine for polluting the air with volatile organic compounds.