Slight pause between element posts for an enviro-reality check.
What is most frustrating is certain companies who have a massive, fraudulent block on creating products that are safe for our health and our water ways.
Case in point: Aveda.
As we've chatted about before, Aveda is a nice example of a whole slew of beauty companies that mislead and misinform the consumer into thinking they're making the safest and greenest choice with regards to their products. Other offenders include "The Body Shop" and Lush. Sure Aveda has some fabulous sustainable energy initiatives, like wind power and supposedly sustainably sourced herbs and flowers, but their ingredients leave something to be desired.
From phtalates to hormone disrupting chemicals each and every Aveda product is filled to the brim with unpronounceable ingredients. Why does it matter if beauty products use synthetic chemicals?
Firstly, women in our western society typical use an average of 11 products on our bodies every single day. Out of about 10,500 chemicals in beauty products only about 11% have been tested for safety in Canada and the US (Ecoholic, 2006). What's scarier, virtually none of these products have been tested together, so we have no idea how they interact. These chemicals are a recent invention in the beauty industry, with about one or two generations of women using them from birth to adulthood. We are only starting to figure out the longterm affects of slathering our skin with chemicals shown to be possibly carcinogenic, hormone disrupting and birth defects in animals. (check out skin deep for more info)
Not only do we have our health to think about, but where do all these chemicals go every time you wash your face or take a shower? Our sewage treatment plants were not created to filter all 10,500 chemicals and our waterways are testing positive with hormone disrupting chemicals, affecting our water-ecosystems, the water we drink and ultimately come back for a double dosage to ourselves.
So it matters a whole heck of a lot.
You'd think with a company like Aveda, who's mission is I quote: "...to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda we strive to set an example in environmental leadership and responsibility- not just in the world of beauty, but around the world" would invest the money into products that were actually 100% chemical free.
What I find frustrating is the argument from beauty-hair professionals that Aveda is doing the best they can and that 100% chemical-free products is a) unattainable, b) takes time and research to develop or is c) unnecessary.
To which all three I call bullsh*t.
There are many products and companies out there who are doing a hell of a job producing quality beauty products sans nasty toxic chemicals and charge LESS for them. Don't believe me? Let's take a recent example.
(sorry for the crappy photo, our camera is out of commission- computer photoshot)
I caved recently and bought a Rosemary Mint body lotion from Aveda prior to our trip to NYC. I love the way it smells and the minty feel afterwards. Strangely, it didn't really seem to alleviate my hives (actually, my hives got BETTER after I stopped using the lotion) nor did it actually moisturize very well.
I went out and bought Green Beaver's Après Ski moisturizer. Although it smells more like rosemary in chicken (Andrew loves that I now smell like chicken all the time "Why can't they make a bacon lotion??" bahaha), it is 500% better at keeping my skin smooth and hydrated. Also, no flare up of hives as a result.
Green Beaver Après Ski ingredient list:
Aqua, Glycerin, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, glyceryl stearate SE, Stearic Acid, cocoa seed butter, oat kernel flour, rhus verniciflua peel wax, origanum vulgaris leaf extract, thyme extract, cinnamonum zeylanium bark extract, rosemary leaf extract, lavender flower extract, golden seal root extract, grapefruit seed extract, cetearyl glucoside potassium sorbate, citric acid.
Aveda Rosemary Mint ingredient list:
Water extracts, rosemary leaf powder, peppermint leaf, aloe leaf, polyglyceryl-10 oleate, glyceryl stearate, coco-caprylate, isopropyl palmitate, dicaprulul maleate, cetyl alcohol, corn starch modified, hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, glycerin, dimethicone, panthenol, retinyl palmitate, alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, tocopherol, capryloyl glycine, PEG-100 stearate, xanthan gum, glyceryl laurate, polysorbate 60, sucrose distearate, guar, hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, methol, fragrance, linalool, limonene, citric acid, sodium gluconate, phenoxyethanol, sodium benzoate.
If we compare the ingredient list it's pretty darn obvious that Green Beaver truly doesn't use nasty toxic chemicals to make their product work or last on the shelves. Green Beaver also is a much smaller company than Aveda and one would assume has much less funding for research and technological advances. So what gives?
It's time we voice our concerns about the chemicals we put into our bodies and into our waterways and not let ourselves be bullied or made to feel like we're overreacting. Caring about what chemicals we put into our bodies is valid and I'm sorry, but I call bullsh*t on Aveda and other similar companies claiming that it's just not possible to produce quality products otherwise.
Plus, I can't even recycle their bottles! It says right on the bottle 'recycling is limited'. What's the point?
article and photograph copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com