I’m quite careful about what I put on my face. I don’t use a lot of stuff – but the stuff that I do use is good quality. My two can’t-live-without staples are Dove soap and Burts Bees lip gloss. Dove was my grandma’s soap, and she had beautiful skin. Burts Bees is sold at the health food store, so I’m assuming that it’s not going to kill me.
My third favorite thing is Keihls Marvelous Mineral Mascara. I like anything Keihls, and this is hypoallergenic, fragrance free and paraben free. Parabens, for those who don’t know, are a chemical widely found in cosmetics, that are also found in breast cancer tumours. Parabens have also displayed the ability to slightly mimic estrogen. Although the dosage found in tumours is very very low, parabens have now become quite controversial and I prefer to avoid them.
But avoiding them may be more difficult than you’d think, as they are found in lipstick, suntan lotion, moisturizers and toothpaste. Although they are listed among the ingredients, the font size is so teensy tiny that it would require Steve Austin’s bionic eye to decipher the letters.
So, yesterday I was doing a little shopping at the excellent drug store at Mt Sinai Hotel and Spa. Specifically, I was looking for a non-toxic eye make-up remover that I could carry in my bag. I asked the young clerk if she had such a product. ‘Yes,’ she chirped, ‘Would you like the non-stinging kind?’
Really?! Did I hear correctly? I stared at her in disbelief. I couldn’t even believe that this was a real question, and I wondered how many people said, ‘No thanks, give me the kind that burns my eyes’. So I just looked at her until I finally said, ‘Shouldn’t non-stinging be the standard?’ She laughed cheerfully, ‘I dunno!’
Sadly ‘I dunno’ seems to be the standard for what we put on our face. Most people – like me – are often more concerned with how yummy a product feels rather than what is actually is. So the result is, our teenage sun tanning years were spent under layers of dangerous chemicals and animal fat (except for my delicious sister Sue who only uses olive oil and lemon for anything skin related, which are the same ingredients she uses for roast chicken).
My mother Violet, who also takes a healthful approach to cosmetics sent me a link to an excellent website which I’m posting here. Because the US government are allowed to use almost any chemical they wish, and because they don’t review the safety of a product before it is sold, this website fills in where they negligently left off.
On a lighter note – it’s fun, easy (and safe) to use.