Earlier today, CNN reported the results of a test on 17 perfumes by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The results are fairly terrifying, as many of the perfumes contained ingredients that caused “reactions such as asthma, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis when they are breathed in or absorbed into the skin.” Sean Gray, senior analyst for the Environmental Working Group, conducted the study, insisting “consumers have a right to know what [they’re] putting on [their] bodies”.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ava Anderson, who shares Sean Gray’s concerns. At only 15 years old, Anderson has successfully launched her own line of completely non-toxic cosmetics, including cleansers, lip balms, and moisturizers. What were you doing at 15? As the first non-toxic cosmetic line in the country, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic is making headway in the beauty industry.
Now, we know what you are thinking: what about my organic products? The EWG’s cosmetic database lists toxins and chemicals found in all skin care products; we dare you to look up your organic/natural/pure products on the site (cosmeticdadabase.com). On a scale from 0-10 (0 being completely toxin free and 10 containing the most harmful and abundant chemicals), your organic products probably fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. While that’s not on the worst end of the scale, it’s still pretty scary considering that many organic products are advertised as being chemical-free. Reality check: even organic products may contain toxins that are known to cause cancer, developmental disorders, allergies, reproductive problems, and neurotoxicity defects.
Both Anderson and Gray agree that the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 needs to be altered. Too many companies are able to hide harmful ingredients under the term “fragrance” without actually being required to divulge the actual chemical make-up of the product. “Most people skip over the word when they read the ingredients because it seems normal, but it’s a loophole,” Anderson states.
Unfortunately, companies can hide up to 600 chemicals that are known to cause a plethora of neurotoxin damage in just that one word. Scared? We were. While we may not have tested any of Ava’s products first hand, the 15 year old gets major props for taking a stand. We’re confident her products will live up to their hype.
Interested in her non-toxic products? Visit avaandersonnontoxic.com.