Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kissing Kermit?

Wow, I never thought I'd say this, but maybe we should let the states handle matters once and for all. While the FDA's basically letting beauty product companies do what they will (forget the bunnies; let's not test for safety at all), Minnesota's going to ban mercury in cosmetics (thanks Grist for the link) and California, via its Safe Cosmetics Act, requires companies to disclose carcinogens in beauty products.

You'd think that banning mercury in cosmetics and forcing companies to reveal their cancer-causing ingredients might be, um, unnecessary, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

EWG's Skin Deep cosmetics database is a great resource for figuring out what's in your current stash (you can search by brand or just enter ingredients). But I haven't spent time scoping out much more than my baby's bubble bath and soap so far, so this topic is timely for me. We already avoid parabens in shampoo/conditioner/lotions, don't use air freshener (ick) and avoid perfume/fragrances (pthalates). But it seems I need to delve further. For a quick list of ingredients to avoid, check out this Q & A - Are Your Beauty Products Safe? from Care2. I plan to check out the product recommendations in this National Geographic Green Guide lowdown on organic makeup, and to print out/carry their Dirty Dozen guide to unsafe personal care ingredients and Smart Shopper's Non-Food Labels Guide.

Fake Plastic Fish's musings about makeup include a link to this article from Common Ground about the dangers of synthetic chemicals:

"It’s your story and mine because all of us alive on the planet today share something in common that was unshared by countless generations of humans who lived before us: we carry man-made pollutants inside our blood, urine and breast milk."
This makes me want to get serious about figuring out safer makeup for that holiday event: lead in lipstick?? (Echoes of Sandra Steingraber, who initially inspired me to start paying attention to persistent organic pollutants in breastmilk.) Fake Plastic Fish's blog comments are interesting; her readers have recs for specific brands of eco/safe cosmetics and one woman even recommends beet juice! My SIL makes her own lip balm; this seems attainable.

Word of mouth may be in order, though. I've been meaning to ask and see what green makeup other folks wear (and not the Halloween kind). I don't go the Tammi Bakker route but it would be nice not to have to worry about kissing my kids when I do toss on a little lipstick. I would love practical advice from anyone who's thought this through.

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