The ugly side of the beauty industry

I was going to work, holding the book with gloves while words were flowing fast. I couldn’t stop reading those stories of people getting sick because of chemicals in cosmetics. Then, I stopped and realized I had those all over my face.

My post My natural 2011 resolution – which started my journey into body care without chemicals – got a comment form a reader – Greyt Vegan Life – who suggested a book about this topic:

“Have you read “Not Just A Pretty Face: The Ugly Side Of The Beauty Industry”? It’s a real eye-opener.”

As I wrote replying to the comment, I didn’t know of this book. I Googled it and read a bit about it. It really didn’t  take much for me to understand that it was a book that I needed to own.

I started reading it right away, and I couldn’t stop. The more the stories were terrible, the more I was freaking out, the more I wanted to know more. Cosmetics are scary, but more than that we are, we are scary.

The base concept is really simple: we have in our bodies lots of substance that don’t even exist in nature. We live longer but we are more sick.
Think about it: we all know somebody who has, had or died, for example, of cancer.

It’s true, we are what we eat, what we breath, and yes, what we put on our skin.

On the website you can check millions of body care products (by brand or type of product), see how dangerous they are, and check every single ingredient to learn about the good and the bad.

I bet you will find yours (all the more common brands are on the database). Be prepared, it’s pretty terrible! Especially if you think that, because of these chemicals, mothers can infect their babies – even through breast milk – and even fathers (actually a pretty high percentage) can be the cause of future babies problems.

That day I came back from work and told my husband “I am throwing everything in the garbage”. He laughed.

I know, maybe I am overreacting.
Fine, I’m going to breath. I’m breathing.

Sorry. I know there are lots of things I can not control, and I know we do not live in a perfect world.  But I can’t really get over the idea that one day my child could pay for my make up choice. That is really too much.

If I have to pay, getting sick, because this is the world we builded, the world we live in, that’s fine. How many bad things are we in without even knowing it? But it’s really hard to know there is the chance that somebody else will pay for you.

Thinking about it, somebody else will pay if I waste water, if I produce pollution, if I buy the wrong clothes (find out more about Water footprint: how the fashion industry and your shopping impact the Planet).

What to do then?

Well, now that I know it’s really difficult to look away and just come back to my life. Now that I know I have the power to make a choice, and I will. At the end of the day reading the tag before buying make up it’s something that I can live with, and is really worth while.

At this point going back is not even an option.


I will be posting soon natural body care recipes you can make easily at home. Subscribe to my blog and you won’t miss a post.

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7 responses to “The ugly side of the beauty industry”

  1. Aidyl says :

    Thanks for opening my eyes all the way about this…I’m planning to move over to natural stuff as soon as possible. I’m trying not to panic either. :-)
    PS: Neutrogena has just come out with a group of natural skin-care products. They’re supposed to work really good!

    • ElenaSC says :

      You are very welcome! Please share the post if you think is worthy.
      I don’t want people to stop buying this products, but I really think is important for people to be aware. We need and deserve to know. Only in this way we can choose what to do.

  2. Greyt Vegan Life says :

    While I am glad that you found the book useful, I just wish that such a book wasn’t necessary in the first place! The bottom line: it is up to consumers to be proactive about their health and know what they put into (and on) their bodies. I’m always amazed (as a former government employee, by the way) that so many Americans simply assume that the government is watching out for them and that if a food or cosmetic is available for sale, then it must be safe. Right?! In the words of Rory Freedman (Skinny Bitch): “Trust no one.” :) Keep spreading the word!


    P.S. I am still running, thank you!

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