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I’m a cosmetic chemist. While I’ve never made lipstick or concealer, I have made my living creating therapeutic skin care like lotions, creams, hair care and bar soaps…and dog shampoo for pups with itchy skin, because (let’s be honest!) dog’s rock.

When I decided to sell my products to health food stores—let me just say, whoa…that was a whole new world. Before that, no one I knew read ingredient labels: they smelled products and put them on their skin or in their hair to see the results. They didn’t check to see if the preservatives were formaldehyde donors or endocrine disruptors. They didn’t check to see if there were petroleum by-products or surfactants that were used to degrease automobile engines, or tons of alcohol or ethanol to dry out their skin. They didn’t check to see if the sunscreen actives negatively affected coral and the environment, or contained propellants that may cause respiratory disorders.

Read that again if you need to: Approved ingredients that are known to harm (kill) coral, cause respiratory disorders, and are used to degrease automobile engines.

I promise you I’m not an extremist. I take antibiotics when I need them.  I buy organic milk and free-range chicken eggs, but I also like the occasional cheeseburger. And I eat sushi, even though I have issues with commercial fishing and the toxins I know are in them. I don’t believe in scare tactics or negative marketing. What I do believe, however, is that consumers have the right and the responsibility to make informed decisions. It excites me when I see consumers reading ingredient labels in the grocery aisles now.

Okay, maybe that’s the chemist nerd in me getting excited, but it’s encouraging to see that people are taking the time to understand what’s in the products they’re using despite the fact that reading labels can be a hairy business. Do me a favor when you take your next shower…read the ingredients in the shampoo or conditioner you are using, then ask yourself if you know what any of those are. If you are already purchasing products with “eco-conscious” ingredients, you should be able to trust that the companies are doing their due diligence and using good ingredients, and those companies should be making an effort to offer you the necessary information you’re looking for.  I don’t think you should need a degree in chemistry to understand what is in the products you use.

Thank you for joining me on this journey…because we DO have a choice and we WILL chose to do better. It is my hope that as time goes on and we prepare these products, I can show you exactly why we have hand-picked the ingredients we’re using, and what they mean for your body. I appreciate your comments, concerns and questions that will help to ensure that I share information that is important to you along the way.

 

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