Friday, May 3, 2013

Weekend Project - Skin Care Product Purge

One day the sun was streaming through the windows in my bedroom.  My adorable son walks in and initiates a game that consists of tickling, hugging, pretending to run away, and  making silly faces.  My favorite kind of game!  

After one particularly hilarious round of tickling and making Burgermeister Meisterburger faces at each other, he stops and peers at me intently.
"Mama, you have holes on your nose."
"You mean IN my nose, those are nostrils."
 "Nope, I already learn-ded about  nostrils, I mean on your skin!"

Oh right...I had forgotten about my huge pores for about 30 seconds.  Thanks kid.
I told this story to my husband.  The reason I love this man is because he even thinks I'm lovely first thing in the morning with a hangover. (Or he's a great actor, and that's good enough for me.)  He looked confused.
"Daisy, I had no idea that pores were a 'thing'.  I had no idea people were even ALLOWED to analyze something so insignificant and feel bad about it!"
Oh trust me honey, women can feel bad about almost anything related to their bodies!  I told him a story about when I was in Jr. High and first noticed the large pores on my nose.  I tried to bargain with God.  I promised that I would ...oh wait... I have no recollection of what I promised but I wanted HIM to work some magic on the pores on my nose.  Invisible please!!  No pores at all!!
I have tried toners, washes, peels, exfoliating scrubs, masks, prescription AND herbal medicines.  Nothing.  This is my fate.  ( isn't! Check back next Friday!)

After my Mr. Yuk rampage, I decided to take a look at the labels of my personal care items as well.  It is extremely difficult to know what is safe and what is not when it comes to cosmetics.  What are pthalates, sodium lareth sulfate, EDTA?  Is aluminum in deodorant safe?  Are parabens safe?  When you look at the label of a personal care item like make-up, shampoo, deodorant, it is all but impossible to know what you are putting on your body.  I had assumed for a long time that the FDA would be regulating personal care products and their safety.  But that's wrong. 

The following three statements are quoted directly from the FDA's website regarding the regulation of cosmetics.  In regards to who approves cosmetics for sale - The cosmetic company itself!

 "FDA's legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives." 

In regards to who is responsible for making sure the product is safe - The cosmetic company again!  "Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing."

In regards to who is responsible to recalling a product if it is hazardous - well that's voluntary and is regulated by, yep, the cosmetic company.  "Recalls of cosmetics are voluntary actions taken by manufacturers or distributors"

I gathered all of the things on my shelves that I had never thrown away: old lotion, failed skin care products, bottles of what-not left over from hotel stays, Palmer's lotion from my pregnancy years ago...

Then I made it a game.  "Hey kiddo...want to make a stinky stew in the tub?"

I said "stinky" and implied "mess".  My son was on board.  We spent at least 40 minutes squirting a rainbow of goo down the tub drain.  There were bubbles.  It was slippery.  Some bottles "tooted".  Good stuff.  

Once again - I had taken a first step to rid myself of unnecessary chemicals.  But man, I was still going to need to wash my face and use deodorant!  I'm trying to decide which is a more serious concern: possible breast cancer in the future from parabens in deodorant (read about that here and here) OR smelling so bad right now that college students at my library won't come near me.  They already think librarians are weird.  I'll let you know next Friday what research I've done to find non-toxic items, and what has been working for me.

Make a stinky stew - 

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