Clean, Clear and Toxic

Rick Bowie

Professor Bartlow


March 20st, 2012


Cosmetics and Toxicology Report


            The first think I noticed though this report was how I use the same products multiple times but rarely do I mix it up. I knew I was a creature of habit but I didn’t not realize how much so until it is on paper. It’s interesting to me to see that I constantly wash with the same products in almost the same order every day. Also, I see that although I do not use multiple different products I do shower pretty often which makes me think about the amount of water I use which affects the environment and also if any of the products that I use are highly toxic I am going to have a very high exposure to them. I have no information on the type of hand sanitizer that is used when people walk into the cafeteria at Dickinson however, I find that I use that from time to time out of instinct and as a quick fix to not washing my hands. Also I found that sometimes I did forget some of the stuff that I used, for example soap when I get done using the bathroom. This is one of the examples I came up with that I had forgotten to chart and I am sure I missed more than that. I also noticed that in the routines that we do every day for cleanliness as much as we don’t notice what we’re using I also don’t realize that I am using as many products as I thought I would. I figured I was a simple guy with only a couple products I used, when in reality the list was a lot longer than I thought and that is not even including the things that I inevitably forgot.



I wanted to examine the most popular of all of the products that I used which was my face wash. I use the product Clean and Clear Acne Cleanser. There are much more short term impacts on the body rather than long term. It warns to keep away from eyes and mouth and can cause skin irritation. The long term affects mention a small chance for cancer though the ingredient Benzoyl-Peroxide. Overall the product got a rating of a six and was deemed moderately dangerous. Benzoyl-Peroxide was also listed as an endocrine disruptor but looking through that was the main ingredient that has toxins in it. That being said it is also the main ingredient that fights the acne bacteria.

I like so many Americans have become very self-conscious about my skin and growing up I struggled with controlling my acne so I was willing to try anything. Now since I have grown up it has gotten more in control but the ideals of beauty in our society have left scars worse than the acne its self. Even though I read how this product may eventually be harmful to my body it has done a decent job of preventing the acne to show up therefore I want to continue to use it despite the known toxins inside of it. This product was produced by Clean and Clear which is a Johnson and Johnson product. Although Johnson and Johnson has its headquarters in New Jersey it has 250 operating headquarters in 60 countries. Looking at the air quality around the New Jersey area you can see that it is one or the worst air quality areas in the entire country and the production of beauty products like this one defiantly a contributor to the poor air quality.




Although this Clean and Clear product is only slightly toxic there have been many different acne products that have been more toxic and have been very destructive to the reproductive organs of men and women. The pursuit of clear skin has driven many men and women to put extremely dangerous toxins in their body for the need to conform to societal ideals on beauty. That’s what drives all of these beauty products to be used because the short term success of beauty is more important than the long term destruction of the body.

  1. #1 by Jessica Hardyman on April 4, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Great blog post! I love the fact that you have shared your diary of treatments. I have now bookmarked your site so that I can easily check back for more great tips.

    Thanks alot


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