Beauty Maven Meets Eco Beauty
July 3, 2010 by The Dove
What Rachel Avalons seminar taught me about the beauty industry…
Whether its dipping into latest Sephora finds or scanning through celebrity looks, my heart has always fluttered just that much more when it comes to beauty. And with being an eco writer, I figured I pretty much knew all there was to about eco beauty.
Thats why when I heard about holistic nutritionist and eco expert, Rachel Avalons Lecture on Eco Beauty, I was curious to see what the green “it” girl would be discussing. Knowing there is at least one natural makeup product that meets my approval, and often putting pestle and mortar to use in my kitchen for new facial concoctions, I wondered what the eco industrys freshest face would have to say about beauty that I didnt already know.
I walked into the lecture room, paper and pen in hand and ready to soak up what I thought would be new beauty tips. I also got a chance to have a quick meet and greet with Rachel, who was absolutely charming and a natural host. With people pouring in, we quickly took our seats and the presentation set sail to what was going to be a revealing look at the beauty industry.
Moments in, I was capsized by own limited perceptions of beauty. Rachel began with where our beauty products are coming from, whats in them, and how detrimental they are to our health. The virtually self-regulated cosmetic industry is saturated by politics and hazards, even though one could argue the two were never really mutually exclusive anyway. Though we all know about lobby groups, Rachels knowledge of what exactly comprises the beauty industry which policies so easily saunter past the red-tape (and why), and how they affect us, is absolutely horrifying. In short, I learned that just like the IRS, we should never really trust the so-called “safety” regulations.
But to learn what was actually in all those lovely pressed powders, tubes and jars left me thoroughly disgusted. So whats in it exactly?
Think Gemma Artertons scene in Quantum of Solace, where shes covered head to toe in oil, and then youve got a very small picture of what youre actually spackling on yourself everyday. The trauma of what Gemmas character goes through varies disfiguringly with our own experience – after all, with that much toxic waste on her she inevitably died. On the other hand, we go about our day with ten fold more and think were glamorous. Put on, rinse, and repeat.
Considering we toss ourselves into a daily beauty gauntlet with questionable (and sometimes cancer-causing agents), you can only imagine how much damage were doing to ourselves in the long run.
If you consider the basics, (like shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc), its easy to see how the average American uses about 10 products a day – which exposes them to about 125 chemicals!
If you factor in that our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it, and with the average girl wearing makeup at 14, by the time youre 85 youve been exposing your body to harsh chemicals and toxins for over 70 years! Its no wonder that we have such a high rate of cancer in society, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men now being diagnosed with it. The role of cancer in beauty was another interesting component of Rachels lecture, and got me questioning about how many chemicals I expose myself to daily without even thinking about it – all in the name of beauty.
And beauty isnt just for women. Conscious care is definitely something both men and women need to think about (because almost everyone uses shampoo, soap, deodorant, etc.). I brought my fiancĂ