Thursday, January 5, 2012

Raising Awareness About The Cosmetic Industry in 2012

It's All In The Facts

For several years now, I have been diligent in keeping those that choose to read my blog, in the know on many factors surrounding the cosmetic industry. Proposed legislation, scientific studies, whether to the negative or the positive, or just plain debunking of many myths propagated by watchdog groups (non governmental organizations; NGO's) such as Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or even a false product or ingredient claim. These two entities, EWG being the parent group, would like nothing better than to control and dictate what is good or safe to use on our skin through over regulation based on nothing more than myth or fabrication of junk science or skewing of facts, and for the most part, it has been a deafening cry.....after all it is really the only way to justify their bloated salaries or to gain political power and it's keeping us scared. They must have us believe they are the unchallenged purveyors of "truth."

It has been an ongoing battle of trying to keep the true science in the forefront of those that are and have been confused about who and what to believe. But at the same time, I have been concerned about also letting my blog become a "bully pulpit" so to speak, to get the information out.

In 2011, I made a concerted effort to keep my readers informed, but to not have it monopolize my time or my blog articles, as I had done in the past in 2010 and before. It is a conundrum to be sure to walk that fine line of offering information before a reader rolls their eyes back into their heads. I hope I accomplished my task.

However, at the risk of eyes rolling, this is a refresher for long time readers or for those new to my blog, "Say Enough To Fear Tactics" written in summer of 2010, which provides the relevance of what I have been keeping readers informed about, can all be found in this particular article, including additional links within it to delve even deeper. It also emphasizes that EWG stands for just that, Environmental, and why they ever decided to leap into the personal care products industry and needlessly attack it.....well, I take that back, it is painfully obvious, it is all about the mighty dollar, the very thing we as an industry are accused of. And please note, that though this is a dated piece, the battle still rages on and is still very much in our face. Complacency would not be prudent, especially in this economic era we all live in.

One thing that I have strove to do during the onslaught of disinformation, was present the science, including findings that show the likelihood of a causal effect when using certain ingredients. I have provided the data and research through links back to the actual studies in every article I have written. This is something that EWG and CFSC and their loyal following have failed to provide.

Their views are and always have been based on supposition or how they would like things to be (ideology), despite the sound science and the continuing discoveries of safety and efficacy in otherwise, maligned ingredients born strictly out of an agenda or bias against all things chemical. Basically trying to lump cosmetic ingredients in with potentially more toxic, harmful environmental ones based on actual harm they do and can cause. These harms however, do not extrapolate to ingredients used in the beauty industry.

Despite this belief, the fact remains, they are mutually exclusive, especially when most ingredients claimed to be banned by the EU by these NGO's, have never even been used in cosmetics in the history of cosmetics and skincare. But the numbers certainly sound scary. And unless one is a sound fact checker, the majority will take what they say at face value, unfortunately.

This of course, is why I have shown in past articles, everything is chemical, whether synthetically or naturally derived....but the word chemical in the context that EWG and CFSC uses it for emotive purposes, connotes "poison" in the minds eye. It confuses consumers, therefore creates suspicion and fear in those less informed on what and how to review the science. That is also why I have created many of my articles, in hopes to convey things in a way that breaks things down and helps the general public understand what it all means.

Has It Been Worth It?

Sometimes, after writing the many articles to help disseminate the science, I have often wondered if I am helping others to balance the science, weigh the information and then decide for themselves of what is true and real. I have questioned myself many times if I should report the latest or create an article more for entertainment value. In the long run, I do believe the balance has been just right and though some may still disagree with me with eternal nay-saying despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, since perception is reality, that is fine, but if I can change one persons mind on some of these issues after reviewing the science, then "YES" it has been worth to me.

I have had feedback from many that pose excellent questions, and concerns are very real about our environmental status, but the reality is, cosmetics and skincare cannot, nor should not be lumped in with things like diesel fuel, arsenic, warfarin, creosote, strychnine, etc. These are just a few of the ingredients that the EWG and CFSC claim have been banned by the European Union. We must keep things in perspective, which includes not creating a fallacy of sorts to create an ugly picture, when there is no relation to a cosmetic ingredient based on an environmental condition.

Now.....I don't know if it is just me, or I have been under a rock of late, but I am pretty sure these ingredients and the vast majority in the directive, will never be found in your cosmetics or skincare...I mean, only an insane person would utilize such things. But of course don't take my word for it. Check for yourself in the EU list of the 1100+ ingredients, that the EWG arbitrarily shouts from the rooftops, have been banned from use in cosmetics and personal care products without ever an identifier of this claim. Council Directive of the European Union

Funny thing though, through all of their bloviating of expounding these half truths, they have never provided the actual paper as I have above, so the consumer can see for themselves the list of supposed toxic cosmetic ingredients. Nor have they disclaimed that within this list, was extensively based on environmental issues and for time and safety sake, was simply carried over into the cosmetics directive. Certainly not that any of these were used in the actual formulation of personal care products....but again it sure sounds scary and paints us, industry leaders, and the FDA as incompetents or just plain greedy at the expense of our customers.....after all they aren't really telling a lie now are they? No....but what they are doing is actually far worse, by deliberately manipulating the public through half baked information to accomplish this self serving task.

One article I found interesting, was published by the American Council on Science and Health after the President's cancer panel filed their report back in 2010. If this article provides nothing else, it certainly resonates with me, a common sense approach that should not be ignored in the wake of all these scare tactics. Crying Wolf About Chemicals and Cancer.

Another article written last month by Center for Consumer Freedom, was prompted due to the EWG releasing their market shift report at year end. The article you can read by Clicking Here, also contains links to take you within the Science of Toxicology and FDA for further review.

Thanks To A Reader / Customer

One such scenario that I would like to share with you, is a reader took the time to write to me, not only about our products, but also wished to convey her heartfelt thoughts on what my newsletters had done for her in wading through the muck and to get at the core of actual science. It is with this testimonial that informs me that I am changing minds, albeit one at a time, and how vital it is to keep accurate and scientific information out in front going forward in 2012.

So I will continue to do this, but I will also continue to keep it balanced with more fun and lighthearted pieces that I also enjoy writing about, despite the fact, it seems as though there is something new in the news everyday that revolves around our industry. It is a mine field of information, one that I will tread through carefully. I will close with her letter to me and I wish everyone a safe, happy and prosperous new year.

Dear Katherine,

This is my fourth attempt to write you, although I have lost count. I have started an email many times before and at the last minute, I canceled it. But this time I decided to actually finish it and get my thoughts across to you.

I have been your customer for years now although not on a regular basis. I just don't go through that much make-up in a year. While I am a modest user, I truly love your products. I still believe that you are the only one who offers products which are good for the mind and skin. No 'clogged' feeling, no drying and no caking. Truly the best out there.

I also meant to thank you for your emails. I am not a big facebook or twitter user. I own my own small business and to me, facebook is all but social. Therefore, I appreciate when companies still take their time to send out emails to their clients. Yours is always relevant, interesting and educating. I have learned from you and have changed my mind about things after reading your lines.

I am grateful when small businesses with something great survive. I have had my struggles and I also run a business with my husband. Congratulations to your anniversary (late is better than never) and thank you for being out there for us who are looking for something extraordinary.

I wish you a happy and successful new year.


Kinga K.
Bozeman, MT

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