Would you eat your product?


5:46 Tuesday Hygiene Hand Soap Softsoap Shea Butter
10:45 Tuesday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
10:47 Tuesday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
10:48 Tuesday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
10:50 Tuesday Beauty Skin Crème Mederma Scar Crème
9:45 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap
9:46 Wednesday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
9:50 Wednesday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
9:51 Wednesday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
12:30 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap
12:35 Wednesday Hygiene Shampoo John Frieda Brunette Shampoo
12:37 Wednesday Hygiene Conditioner John Frieda Brunette Conditioner
12:40 Wednesday Hygiene Soap Handmade Tea tree Soap
12:43 Wednesday Hygiene Deodorant Dove
12:50 Wednesday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
12:51 Wednesday Beauty Hair Spray Moroccan Oil
12:52 Wednesday Beauty Skin Crème Mederma Scar Crème
12:53 Wednesday Beauty Mascara Maybelline Lash Stiletto
1:15 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
3:47 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
5:45 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
7:32 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
9:54 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
10:55 Wednesday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
10:58 Wednesday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
10:59 Wednesday Hygiene Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
11:00 Wednesday Beauty Skin Crème Mederma Scar Crème
11:36 Wednesday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
10:00 Thursday Hygiene Hand soap Softsoap Shea Butter
10:02 Thursday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
10:05 Thursday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
10:06 Thursday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
10:07 Thursday Hygiene Deodorant Dove
10:07 Thursday Beauty Mascara Maybelline Lash Stiletto
12:05 Thursday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
3:45 Thursday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
6:00 Thursday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
9:12 Thursday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
10:00 Thursday Hygiene Soap Handmade Tea Tree Soap
10:02 Thursday Hygiene Shampoo John Frieda Brunette
10:04 Thursday Hygiene Conditioner John Frieda Brunette
10:05 Thursday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
10:15 Thursday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
10:16 Thursday Beauty Hair Spray Moroccan Oil
10:18 Thursday Beauty Skin Crème Mederma Scar Crème
11:45 Thursday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
9:12 Friday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
9:15 Friday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
9:18 Friday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
9:19 Friday Hygiene Deodorant Dove
9:22 Friday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
9:26 Friday Beauty Skin Crème Merderma Skin Crème
12:20 Friday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
12:25 Friday Beauty Mascara Maybelline Lash Stiletto
3:15 Friday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
5:00 Friday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
8:12 Friday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
10:40 Friday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
10:42 Friday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
10:43 Friday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
11:00 Saturday Hygiene Shampoo John Frieda Brunette
11:03 Saturday Hygiene Conditioner John Frieda Brunette
11:06 Saturday Hygiene Soap Handmade Tea Tree
11:06 Saturday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
11:10 Saturday Beauty Face lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
11:12 Saturday Hygiene Deodorant Dove
11:14 Saturday Beauty Hair Spray Morrocan Oil
11:15 Saturday Beauty Mascara Maybelline Lash Stiletto
1:00 Saturday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
5:15 Saturday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
8:00 Saturday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
8:05 Saturday Hygiene Face lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
8:07 Saturday Beauty Eyeshadow mac crème
8:08 Saturday Beauty Eyeshadow mac pink
8:09 Saturday Beauty Eyeliner Bobbi Brown Black
8:10 Saturday Beauty Mascara Maybelline Lash Stiletto
8:12 Saturday Beauty Blush Bobbi Brown Bronzer
8:13 Saturday Beauty Perfume Miss Dior Cherie
9:15 Saturday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
10:10 Saturday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
12:30 Saturday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
9:00 Sunday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
9:05 Sunday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
9:06 Sunday Hygiene Face Wash Jason’s Rosewater
9:07 Sunday Hygiene Deodorant Dove
9:08 Sunday Beauty Face Lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin
9:10 Sunday Beauty Skin Crème Mederma scar crème
9:15 Sunday Beauty Mascara Maybelline Lash Stiletto
10:00 Sunday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
1:46 Sunday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
6:05 Sunday Hygiene Hand Wash Softsoap Shea Butter
7:00 Saturday Hygiene Shampoo John Frieda Brunette
7:03 Saturday Hygiene Conditioner John Frieda Brunette
7:06 Saturday Hygiene Soap Handmade Tea Tree
7:06 Saturday Hygiene Toothpaste Tom’s of Maine Peppermint
7:10 Saturday Beauty Face lotion Neutrogena Sensitive Skin

A friend once told me, “If you wouldn’t eat the product, then I wouldn’t put it on your face.” After that statement, I stopped and thought, “How cautious am I about my cosmetic and hygiene products I use everyday?”. As one can see from my cosmetic toxicity chart above, even though I wouldn’t eat my products, I am very cautious about what ingredients I put on my face and what chemicals I put on my body. I feel very happy about the products and ingredients I use. I try to buy a product  line of safe and organic products that are fragrance and alcohol free. I bought homemade body soap from my local farmer’s market, Jason’s products (coined to be pure, natural and organic), and Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. In my observation, I realized my weekend schedule is much different then my week schedule. While I shower every other day during the week and apply little makeup, I shower more often, and apply more makeup during the weekend. I apply different amounts of makeup depending on my environment. During the week, I went to class and wasn’t concerned with makeup, however on the weekend I applied makeup for a special event or dinner. When I was living in Africa for a few months, applying makeup never even crossed my mind. It wasn’t a necessity in that environment because of the hot climate and working outside.  Through my experience, many women in Africa because of their socio-economic situation was concerned with hygiene, more than beauty unless for cultural and special events.

Even though I tried to buy safe and organic products,  one can see from my cosmetic toxicity chart, I couldn’t let go of my John Frieda color-treated shampoo. Even though I could have bought organic shampoo, I wanted a shampoo that wouldn’t dry out my hair and  would keep its color and shine. I knew when we began the cosmetic toxicity test, I would eventually have to pick up my shampoo and look at the list of ingredients. I use John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shine Release with technology enriched moisturizers. It sounded great when I bought it, but as I researched the “technology enriched” ingredients, I couldn’t believe how I could be applying this to my body. As I researched on Cosmetic Database, the John Frieda’s Brilliant Brunette Shampoo it overall ranked 6 on a 1-10 scale(10 being the most toxic) in toxicity. Throughout the Cosmetic Toxicology Report, I researched the four top toxic ingredients. The highest toxic chemicals included Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Diazolidinyl and Laureth-16.

www.johnfrieda.com

The most surprising toxic chemical in my shampoo was fragrance. In the Cosmetic Database they refer to fragrance as “an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such diethyl phthalate”(Chemical Database, 2010). Fragrance rated 8 on the 1-10 scale with 100% data gap, and has side effects of neurotoxicity and allergies and immunotoxicity. The second highest toxic chemical is Benzyl Alcohol rating 6 out of 10 with a 66% data gap. Benzyl Alcohol has many side effects including neurotoxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), irritation to the skin, eyes, or lungs. The third toxic chemical is Diazolidinyl Urea rated 6 out of 10 with a 59% of data gap with side effects of allergies/immunotoxicity and also has links to cancer. Laureth-16 is the fourth toxic chemical with a toxic level of 5 out of 10 with a 85% data gap. Laureth-16 is in many shampoos and facial cleansers and side effects include contamination with ethylene oxide, 1,4-Dioxane and concerns with neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity and irritation with the skin, eyes or lungs. It is also linked to cancer.

John Frieda, part of Kao Brands Company,  mission statement states, “Our brands instill confidence in women to help them achieve their dreams of self expression. Our people possess an entrepreneurial spirit, with a passion for beauty, style and excellence. We commit to act with integrity, directness and transparency in all our relationships.” However, many of John Frieda’s practices in term of the environmental impact or working conditions is far from “integrity, directness and transparency”. The environmental impact of Kao Brands rates 6.7 out of 10, with a large percentage of its negative impact resulting in air pollution and toxic waste. However, the biggest problem Kao Brands Company faces is working conditions and employee justice.  Working conditions and benefits were a low 3.8 out of 10. Kao Brands Company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, but holds offices in Cincinnati, Ohio. Even though, I do not know Kao Brands Company’s direct effect on the community where the production takes place, employees and working conditions are very haphazard because of the harsh toxic chemicals the employees are directly in contact with. Employees exposure to the harshest chemicals in the Kao Brand production site include DMDM Hydantion which rates 9 out of 10 for toxicity. Also, the chemical Oxybenzone with rates 8 out of 10 with side effects of development and reproductive toxicity, allergies and biochemical and cellular level changes. These chemicals can have short term effects such as allergies, but also long term effects such infertility in women and men.

After Tuesday’s Cosmetic Toxicity Report Lab, I researched that even my favorite organic product, Jason’s Natural Cosmetics have many harmful chemicals and unethical environmental habits even though coined “pure, natural and organic”. Throughout this research, I realized that one must be careful with words such as “natural”, “pure” or “organic”, because even if the ingredients are moderately toxic the conditions behind the scenes such as environmental and working conditions could be not ethical.

I believe in order for policy and behaviors to change, we must be individually accountable for the products we buy and use. We can promote worker’s justice and be environmentally friendly, by learning about what products to use and what not to use. Educating one another on the safest cosmetic products is the best solution. We can use websites such as www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep or www.safecosmetics.org and read books like Kim Erickson’s Drop Dead Gorgeous or Makeup Goes Organic by Rose Marie Williams. One can even make their safe and organic products in their home in a way that is environmentally friendly . Through word of mouth, one can create a positive change. Even last weekend, a fellow ecofeminist stated how much she loved Dr. Bronner’s organic products. I went and purchased Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Lavender Castile Soap; it is environmentally friendly and has great working conditions and benefits for their employees with the lowest chemical toxicity ratings at Chemical Database. This product has cleared my conscience. It is something I feel great about.

www.drbronner.com

Work Cited

Cosmetics Database. 2010. Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep. John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shampoo. Accessed: 25 November 2010.<http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/product/101635/John_Frieda_Brilliant_Brunette_Shine_Release_Moisturizing_Shampoo_Chestnut_To_Espresso_(2007_formulation)/?prod_id=101635>.

Kao Brand Mission Statement. 2010. Accessed 25 November 2010. <http://www.linkedin.com/companies/kao-brands>.

Wikipedia. 2010. Kao Corporation.  Accessed 25 November 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kao_Corporation>.

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