Do You Fear Cosmetics?

There is so much misinformation and fear in regards to cosmetics littering the information super highway. Just when you think there couldn’t be another article, quote or statement scaring consumers about the safety of their cosmetics, another one appears.

FEAR – Fear Everything and Run! Seriously? Quite frankly, I am tired of this mentality. I’m scared for the people that buy into the misinformation perpetuated by the likes of the EWG and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. I’ve heard many say, “don’t even give them the satisfaction of including their names in a post. It just gives them credibility”. In order to correct the fear mongers, they must be named. We speak the truth here and the truth of the matter is, these two organizations are helping to misguide consumers. Why? For the life of me, I can’t figure that one out. Some say it’s money. Others say it’s for political gain. I say my head hurts.

Here are just some of the misinformed titles, quotes or statements running rampant on the internet in regards to cosmetics:

  • Carcinogens in Cosmetics
  • The Toiletries and Cosmetics in Your Bathroom is a Toxic Pit
  • Getting Safe Cosmetics
  • Don’t Put Chemicals On Your Skin: Use Natural Skin Care Cosmetics
  • The body absorbs 5lbs of make up chemicals per year
  • If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be safe

And the list goes on and on and on.

After reading some of the articles that had the above titles, I thought my head would explode.  Instead of thinking my little voice couldn’t do anything to change the information circulating the globe, I reminded myself that Personal Care Truth is being read, and read by many! I decided it was high time to get some things off my chest.

Even though the titles, quotes or statements are different, the rhetoric is the same. Same old tired sound bite. The only thing missing from the posts I read, is the science proving the ingredients found in cosmetics are harming consumers. Without definitive proof that cosmetics are causing harm, I am not one to change the way I do things. I’m not against safe cosmetics. I’m against corporate bullies trying to change the cosmetic industry based on information they can’t back with scientific facts. While I’m at it, I’ll say it again….everything is a chemical, whether it be natural or synthetic.

The recent announcement of Weleda backing the Safe Cosmetics Act and teaming up with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wasn’t really a surprise.  What I’m actually wondering is what Weleda will do if they have to list all the essential oils that make up their “Fragrance (Parfum)”, as listed in their ingredient decks.

I realize I’m not supplying any science with this post. I didn’t have time to get a CT Scan to show what my brain looks like on misinformation overload. So, I guess it could be considered a rant. Or, just me supplying information that I’ve come across that is all about scaring you instead of providing you with the facts.

Before I go, here are a few more for your reading pleasure:

  • Mineral oil is a derivative of petroleum, which is gasoline. Would you go to the gas station and rub gasoline on your arms, legs, and face?
  • Toxic Burden: Women Put 515 Chemicals on Their Faces Every Day
  • Cancer Causing Cosmetics:: The Poisons in Your Bathroom

Do you fear cosmetics?

  • Katherine

    Hi Lisa, The last 3 suggested articles, are those suppose to be linked? Just wondering! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

    • Lisa M. Rodgers

      Hey Katherine –

      No, none of them were linked because some they represent a quote, statement and blog title. I am happy to supply links if you’d like to read the articles I referenced. Didn’t really want to direct traffic to the sites since their posts were full of junk science.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

      • Katherine

        Oh Thanks for clarifying, I had a feeling you were really being facetious. Bit early in the morning for me when I read this great post. As you can see my first attempt at a comment was off the mark. I couldn’t even recall how to sign back into disqus. Looking forward to the small break Thanksgiving provides. I think we all need some time away from this regurgitated rhetoric.


        • Lisa M. Rodgers

          Most welcome Katy and thanks for your comments!

  • Julie

    Lisa, I feel your pain! I get so incredibly frustrated with this every single day. The fact that there’s so much misinformation out there, mixed with the fact that very few people will step up and fight against that stupidity and tell consumers the truth about ingredients in a way that will make the masses listen…well, being a cosmetic scientist becomes less fun every day we have to deal with it. I’m so tired of everyone saying, “Well, the consumer already thinks XX is causing cancer and killing babies, so just get rid of it and move on.” Well, that’s stupid! For no good reason, we’re not able to use perfectly safe ingredients! Instead, what we’re “allowed” to make is an inferior product. I don’t know about you, but I think most of Burt’s Bees products are terrible! And that’s what the consumer wants?

    I know how you feel. Even just writing about it now makes my head want to explode too.

    • Bruce

      One could also look at this as a great challenge. Look how much innovation has come into the industry with new emulsifiers, preservatives, and packaging. I was pretty bored with making shampoo with SLS, Cocamide DEA, CapB, and preserving with parabens. Now the chemical suppliers are trying new ways to recreate some of these”bad” ingredients. It is changing the industry and making it much more exciting to work in, with new challenges every day. So you can also look at it as it keeps us employed, and busy. There is always a silver lining.

      • Dene Godfrey

        Bruce, there is nothing wrong in having a challenge when formulating, of course! But is it reasonable to be forced into taking out a good ingredient because some unelected “guardian of public safety” decides that they know better than the expert scientists who advise the industry? I don’t see unneccesary work as a silver lining – there is plenty of scope to look for innovating in other ways, rather than being forced to do this by lobby groups with ulterior motives. Not many of the formulators I talk too would agree with your stance, although I DO admire your attempt at a positive attitude! 😉

        • Bruce

          There are two types of formulators. Ones who do it because it is their job, and the ones who truly enjoy making new innovative products. I would think any that truly enjoy the art of formulation would welcome the plethora of new raw materials the “green” movement has introduced in the past 15 years. I have been wrong before, and may be again.

          • Philippe Papadimitriou

            Hey Bruce,
            It’s been a long time. I hope you are well.

            I agree with you when you say everything should be backed up by references (maybe not everything, but you get my point). On a personal level, I’ll try my best to give full references in the future.

            Regarding your perception of formulating, I also agree. Formulating may be an art and formulators may be artists. The real formulator will always enjoy new challenges. The In-Cosmetic exhibition once (maybe more?) had a formulation contest. I think this was fantastic! But this was only for formulators and other cosmetics geeks (I am one myself, I guess and prefer to add this term should not be percieved badly). I agree with you that many novel ingredients were created, but ingredients are only tools. Tools to achieve a result. And this result is not for formulators, not for the inside geeks. Did you try to offer 4 different formulas to one client of yours and ask himn to select one? Did you ever show your trials to uninformed persons (maybe from the marketing department only! – lol)? It is my experience that the usual consumer does not feel the difference (it may as well be I am really bad at what I do, of course). I have quite recently offered at a meeting 3 different trials of a shower cream (with exfoliating agents) with differing low levels of Xanthan Gum. The differences that were noticed were in the fragrance (and the level + ingredient quality make this variation very limited if not totally absent – I personally didn’t smell any difference), and the duration of the existence of bubbles (may be true -rinse-off products are not my field-, but I thought it was surprising). I also remember a time when an old product of the brand was remarketed; a new name was given on the occasion and a new packaging design was created. The formula and its manufacture process remained unchanged. We recieved 4 or 5 complaints by (supposedly) devoted customers asking why the product didn’t penetrate as before or telling me it was less x or more y.
            Perry has started a LinkedIn discussion recently about changes in formula or progress in formulation ingredients that were real innovations, i.e. “noticeable to consumers”. He speaks about his experience of having different trials in the same packaging, same fragrance and same viscosity, but differing bases (I think he spoke about shampoos). Guess what? No noticeable difference.
            I love formulating, but admit I do it for my peers and myself. All these new ingredients (not speaking about additives like preservatives, because you know there is no fun in formulating them), are they really needed in terms of consumer perception?
            I do not say we do not need them and I am sincerely happy and grateful concepts such a sustainability or carbon footprint are addressed. Really. But it is time to admit formulation is a toy, eventually a game, not a consumer demand. The consumer demand the last past years were for greener products. For this reason, and for this reason only, raw material manufacturers started to work on this. We can speak about vested interests now. But who can blame some business of considering gain? Business is for gain. There probably is love somewhere, but not enough. At least not in the long term. No one business loosing money lasts. Or maybe only Paris Hilton singing…
            The cosmetic green movement is great. I admire it and I think we need it. I do not see any reason to claim Mineral Oil is bringing out toxins (sorry, I have no reference to this, unless you accept a LinkedIn discussion link where this and other quite absurd comments were posted – drinking too much water can make your stomach explode was one of them).
            Mineral Oil can be replaced, but there is, as you definitely know, no obvious reason to ban it (at least not the pharma grade that is being used in cosmetics).

            Take care,


            PS: Would you name the authors (or at least the month, volume or issue #) of the studies you mentioned on PG, please. I would love to read them. At least their abstract.

          • Bruce

            I replied to you a few hours ago, I guess my reply was censored (that’s a joke!! just kidding), I probably didn;t hit the right button too post it.

            The link in that first post has all the references at the bottom of the page. I didn’t read them, I was just showing that hey do in fact use peer reviewed sources for their data.

            Yeah I true understand your frustrations with marketers. I do not support banning materials unless there is huge health risks involved. Why don;t you like Paris H.? :) Thanks for the call out on the SCC group. interesting.. I may add a few thoughts there.

            I hope you are well


            and yeah formulation is not really understood or appreciated by the masses, their loss

          • Dene Godfrey

            If I may interject in this thread – I honestly think that the use of references can be overrated. It is better than not using references, but using references does not excuse poor interpretation of the content of the studies referred to. Using an MSDS as a reference, for example, and extrapolating the hazards identified to any cosmetic that contains the material is wrong. I would flatter myself that my parabens series on this site are also excellent examples of the misleading use of references – not the articles themselves (before you pick up on that!), but the studies on which each one is based. Anyone can do a search for studies, see the study title, and refer to it as though that’s the end of the matter, but these studies ARE often taken completely out of context. I am afraid that the EWG are very good at doing this – hence the negative comments in these articles and discussions. Another reason that Skin Deep is wrong (aside from the basic factual errors, which are endemic).

          • Bruce

            Two things I took away from my college education, besides a huge debt, were statements two different professors told me. One You don;t need to know everything in Chemistry, just know where to look it up. Two, a good scientist can design an experiment to prove what they set out to prove. So yeah I agree with you 100%. The references are to be supplied so you can go back to the original source read what was done, analyze the method(one of the most important part of any research paper), and see if the conclusion drawn is accurate. Without the references the statement is only as good as your level of trust in the person saying it. Trust is not in huge supply in these types of political/scientific debate.

            As far as the EWG is concerned. I’m not sure if the articles are taken out of context as much as they never really figured out how to deal with concentrations and necessity. I have been involved in standards for many years, and one thing I always try to take into consideration is alternatives. ALL PRESERVATIVES ARE TOXICS(sic :) ), if they were not they would not work. They are used at small %’s and required almost by law, they should be treated differently than emolients, which have many many safe renewable options, are not a necessity and are used at higher concentrations. I’ve had this discussion with Jane Houlihan for years, in my opinion they never figured out a good way to deal with this. I also in my opinion(I got lots of those) that is their biggest failure, besides taking on a project they had no where near the available resources to complete accurately. For all its faults, Skin Deep is still one of the easiest consumer friendly site I know of on the internet, hence its popularity. Nobody wants to sit in a dark college library pouring over scientific journals, except a select few of us. I don;t know what my point here is, except i think we agree on the methodolgy in which to reach a conclusion, but our conclusions may differ.

            BTW I did like your paraben articles, and I was not going to attack you or your methods. On that subject I think I may have met my match.


          • Dene Godfrey

            Bruce, it seems a shame that sometimes people think you are attacking them if you happen to disagree in public fora like this. I greatly appreciate your comments on my parabens articles, and your concession that you have met your match – I am smiling as I write this!
            To me, it really doesn’t matter a jot how consumer-friendly Skin Deep is – that does not take away the basic point that it offers no true indication of the relative safety of cosmetic products – it is, therefore, a sham, and lulls consumers into a false sense of belief. I can see no excusing this.
            To a certain extent, I agree that it is possible to skew a study by manipulating the methodology, which it is why it is a good idea to get references from 2 different sources wherever possible, but any skewing should be detectable from studying the method employed (but it is usually achieved simply by using extremely high concentrations to ensure some sort of measurable effect).
            I don’t see the EWG’s lack of resources as an acceptable excuse for the failing of Skin Deep. The basic principle is flawed, and safety can onnly truly be assessed on a product by product basis (this IS done in the EU prior to release to market). Even when the safety of the individual product has been assessed, it is a highly subjective judgement to then compare with other products. If a product is deemed to be safe for its intended use – it is safe. “More safe” is not really neccesasry, especially if this can’t be evaluated properly.

            Sorry – but there are no redeeming points to Skin Deep, other than it being useful to find out what ingredients are being used in any particular product. It doesn’t come within a million miles of being a useful tool to determine safety. There is no point in repeating all the points I made in my orginal article so, for “new readers”, I will refer them to the link:


            We DO agree on more than we disagree – but I do enjoy disputing the points where we don’t!

          • Dene Godfrey

            Wrong again, Bruce! You should not have left me that option lol) :-)

            Seriously, though, you are right, but this is not my main point. It’s great that new materials are being introduced, but this is not entirely down to the “green movement” – the industry has always been looking for new, more exciting raw materials. My issue is with the FORCED removal due to lobby group pressure, rather than the usual gradual evolution of new materials. Some people are so desperate to move away from parabens in particular and “official” preservatives in general that some dubious substances are being used. A classic case of this is grapefruit seed extract – touted as a “natural” preservative – it is by no means natural; it is highly processed, and many versions of this have been demonstrated to have little or no antimicrobial activity. I am happy to share the many references I have on this, as I have complied a summary document. Just let me know.

          • Guest

            Respectfully, Dean, if “forced” means that new innovations happen more quickly then I think that’s a good thing. Most people don’t like change, but once they embrace it they see that it was change for the good. When we become complacant and comfortable with “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” then innovation doesn’t happen and progress isn’t made.

          • Dene62

            Equally respectfully, “Guest”, I don’t see any valid justification in what you appear to be saying, – maybe I have misunderstood you, or perhaps I did not quite explain myself clearly. I object to scaremongering tactics based on bad science (or non-existant science) that results in previously-well-considered ingredients being given a bad press and forced out of usage. This has nothing to do with innovation. I don’t see that these sort of tactics can be justified on the basis that it leads to innovation. In the case of parabens, it has not really lead to true innovation, more a desparate attempt to use almost anything other than parabens. I use the specific case of parabens, partly because I am most familiar with the situation, and most interested in them as ingredients, but also because the preservative plays no direct part in the performance of the majority of cosmetics – so there is little or no “innovation” to be gained by replacing them.

            To summarise – unsubstantiated scare tactics are not a good way to force innovation, and the means are not justified by the end. You seem to be saying that it is perfectly acceptable to scare people, because they don’t know what’s good for them, and the formulators will embrace the change. I don’t know if you mean it quite as I interpret it, but this seems incredibly patronising. “We will put out these scare stories to force an innovative move away from using X, because we (whoever “we” are) know that this change is good”.

            The cosmetics industry is one of the most vibrant, and innovation is constantly being sought, and has been especially since the advent of modern marketing methods – most company’s technical departments are under constant pressure from their marketing colleagues to come up with new ideas. This is (or should be) the driver for innovation not, as I described them previously, the self-appointed guardians of public safety taking these decisions without the science to back up the claims. It is no use quoting the references given by EWG. Most of these references are quoted without any consideration of the true content or context. EWG sometimes use phrases from material safety data sheets to back up their scare stories – this is a misuse of information – see my article on this very subject on this site.

            I don’t have any problem with the increasing use of “green” ingredients and “green” technology – I have a problem in the way they are being sold in such a negative manner – not by all, but by far too many.

          • Bruce

            and just when I thought we agreed!!!

            I think there have been some positive changes out of the phasing out of parabens. Without the silver bullet parabens, and some other traditional preservatives (MCI/MI…) available, formulators have had to take a more holistic approach to preservation. Looking at what the real preservation issue is, and how to minimize risks. Airless packaging, Single dose, smaller sizes have all been tried and many work well. It has in general been a lot of work, but I like work.

            hope all is well


          • Dene Godfrey

            All is well thanks and I am pleased that you like work, Bruce! Some of the options you describe I recognise as “preservative free” options, but these are classic examples of how nothing is black and white when it comes to deciding what is best for the environment. Single dose and smaller sizes are less environmentally friendly as they both use significantly more packaging per unit weight of product. I am not entirely sure what constitutes airless packaging, but I suspect that you may mean collapsible tubes. This is a fairly effective approach, but it is not foolproof. The product will need to be virtually sterile during filling, but there is still some potential for microbial contamination arond the neck of the container – even with a preserved product, If there is NO preservation system, there is a genuine chance of contamination.

            Taking a holistic approach to preservation is not new – hurdle technology, as used in the food industry – has been touted for the past 30 years or so.

          • Bruce

            I am well aware of the grapefruit seed issue. I don’t see anyone being forced into the change. there is pressure to remove things people see as bad, and why they have these beliefs are not always for the right reasons.

          • Dene62

            Exactly my point, Bruce – not always for the right reasons! I think we basically agree on more things than not!

    • Lisa M. Rodgers

      Hey Julie –

      Many thanks for your comments. Hopefully we can put an end to the fear and agree it is more important to educate the consumer, who happen to be a very savvy bunch and are quite capable of making up their own minds.

      Have a great weekend!


  • Dene62

    Whilst Lisa knows that I completely agree with all she has written (I get the same headaches!), let’s not forget that, in reality, most consumers more or less ignore what the EWG/CFSC say. They must do, otherwise all those companies selling “toxic” products would have gone out of business. This includes L’Oreal, P&G, Avon etc. The EWG have proved in the past that they can’t take it when proper science is thrown at them. They have only one response – vested interest (anyone remember Alex from EWG commenting on my Skin Deep exposé). they are bullies who try to scare consumers. I agee with Lisa – name and shame! I don’t do this very often (it seems a little egotistical) but I have just had a trawl through my own Google hits, and I was amazed at how many bloggers are picking up, not only on my posts, but on PCT overall. The word is spreading, guys, we must keep up the pressure. You can’t expose truth, but you CAN expose lies! The more times EWG are caught out, the less credibility they retain. I would encourage any silent observers on PCT to pass on the information as widely as possible – if PCT goes viral, EWG credibility should nosedive. Yes, I know I am an optimist!

    • Lisa M. Rodgers

      Thanks Dene, I too am an optimist!

  • Bruce

    The truth is subjective. You can bash those that don’t agree with you as often as you like, it is your web site. However, when done like this without references or links it sounds very hollow. Just another person ranting abut unsupported beliefs on the internet. EWG has all of their sources referenced, I don’t see any here, and have seen very few references, if any, on this site. If you want to keep talking about the science, why don’t you use proper scientific etiquette and reference your facts. I would encourage you as the operator of this site to encourage your contributors to do the same. I do feel some valid points are made here, but slander to combat slander is not the solution.

    • Lisa M. Rodgers

      Hey Bruce –

      Thank you for your comments. You are right, this is my website and one of the reasons why I co-founded it was because of the numerous statements, claims and blog titles like the ones above. I also stated I did not have science in this post, just sharing the many misinformed quotes, claims, post titles, etc that litter the internet and serve as a virtual scare fest and cloud consumers ability to think for themselves.

      In case you missed my answer below to Katherine, I did not provide links to the above because I do not want to promote the sites that are helping to spread the fear. If you’re so inclined, you can put any of the above into a search and find them quite easily.

      As in past discussions we’ve had here and on LinkeIn, we’ve not seen eye to eye in regards to the EWG and CFSC. Even though we aren’t on the same page, we allow your comments to be published here. It is your 1st amendment right, as it is mine.

      PCT isn’t about changing peoples minds for them. We provide the information for consumers to decide for themselves. I won’t apologize for this post and for future reference, it’s only slander if it isn’t true. I have not written anything slanderous in the above post, nor would I. I believe in passing along information that is based on facts, not lies.

      As always, good talking with you. Have a great weekend!


      • Guest

        “I did not provide links to the above because I do not want to promote the sites that are helping to spread the fear.”

        Well … just by objecting to it your are, in fact, promoting it. By mentioning it, you are promoting it. The constant bashing of EWG and their “misinformation” is, in fact, promoting them.
        Because you disagree with them (as mentioned in Katherine’s post above) and are putting a certain “spin” on information, you also are taking the focus off of the subject. Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, and thank God we are allowed freedom of speech to express those thought and opinions. I just think that the constant bashing presented on this website is detrimental to your goals.

        • Lisa M. Rodgers


          Thank you for your comments. You are definitely entitled to your opinion and I appreciate you sharing it.

          The focus of the above subject was the fear of cosmetics. The post titles, quotes and statements I shared above can easily be located on the internet. All of which are part of posts that are peddling fear, in regards to cosmetics.

          While I can appreciate your passionate position, please know this, I am just as passionate. If providing truthful information happens to shed an unpopular light on organizations scaring consumers, than it is what it is.

          It appears that you only read the posts that are associated with the EWG to state there is a “constant bashing”. For that to be true, it would have to be non-stop. Out of the 193 posts on Personal Care Truth, only 32 posts mention the EWG. That’s 16%.

          Again, I make no apologies for my post. We will have to agree to disagree.

          Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Have a great day!


    • Katherine


      Unfortunately many of the references you refer to are primarily environmental issues which are deeply rooted by Environmental Health Sciences which was founded by Pete Myers who also owns a green lab, which by coincidence he is also on the board of EWG.

      Many of their studies are not peered reviewed and are funded by the Tides Organization which is founded by Mike Drummond, who also is a chair person with EWG.

      In so many ways the founders, board members and their privately funded organizations used to launder and funnel money from groups wishing to force an agenda on the rest of us, is so “in your face” it simply cannot be ignored. George Soros is a staunch supporter of Tides and contributes monies to them as well. The truth is never subjective when you have the historical documentation of these entities showing their true agenda and it is all about money, power and control over American Industries. If you wish to learn more about the facts an not be so quick to accuse a slanderous attack occurring here then I invite you to take a look at some of these articles.

      I have many more such articles, but this is a good start for now!

      • Bruce

        ok lets look for science in the references. propylene glycol

        we have the CIR listed as a reference, are they being paid off by the green mafia?
        Journal of Pediatrics 1978
        Pathologica et Microbiologica Scandinavica,
        Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2004
        Food and Chemical Toxicology 1982
        Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 1978
        Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 1939
        Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology 1941
        Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2000
        Food and Chemical Toxicology 1984

        are all these people non-scientific? Is their research not applicable?

        and the links you provide? hardly a non-biased source. they say on their masthead they are against the political left.
        Once again hardly non-partisan.

        the truth is subjective to whose site you get facts from. The real money in this battle is and always will be in the hands of the cosmetics company. P&G has more money than all the environmental orgs. put together.

        you bring up Sorros, yes he is rich, but not spending anything near what the conservative side of this country is spending. look at Meg whitmans spending to try and be Govenor of CA, well over 100 million. The money in politics is absurd on both sides.
        I don;t want to get into politics. If what you call the left(i’d call them right of centrist) is truly trying to take over american industry, their lack of success if laughable.

        • Katherine

          Well Bruce it is clear that you show some anger on this issue, but you’re correct, I don’t wish to get into politics either, but the facts are facts despite the claim you surmise may or may not be from the right. Are you suggesting the facts presented are false?

          It seems that when those with an agenda are disagreed with they spin the information in a completely different direction taking the focus off of the subject here. All I can say is Meg Whitman at least understands capitalism and by spending her own money to try to win her seat, places her in a position of not being beholding to any outside interests. So that argument I find odd!

          Government is corrupt and George Soros is one of the leading contributors to EWG. Look it up! Do more research. Also the references you place above are meaningless by todays standards since most of it is extremely antiquated with later research coming to the forefront of the industry.

          Bottom Line, EWG’s main focus along with their supporters were originally based on the premise of environmental issues, and now they are involved in the cosmetic industry. Many of these studies are still not peered reviewed or repeated similar to the phthalate study performed by Shanna Swan who received a 5 million dollar grant from the EPA to perform this isolated study with no duplication of study provided by her peers.

          Also the Story of Cosmetics performed by Annie Leonard is a true story about anti capitalism and she believes in bigger government and more control over our choices. Just listen to the last 2 minutes of her video when she states how our choices will already be made for us….No Thanks!

          Now let’s take a closer look at your references beyond the stated obvious of the fear mongering we resent.

          Dose is rarely given, animal testing is highly subjective according to dosage, CIR rates it as safe when used in cosmetics, so not sure of your point there. And it may be an environmental concern according to Environmental Canada. But really what has always bothered me about these supposed references, in many instances CFSC references them back to the articles cataloged within Environmental Health Sciences.

          In doing my research, the articles are rarely complete and are always a summary. If we want facts then the actual reference should provide a link to the actual study, detailing in its entirety all aspects of the study, basically what you accused Lisa of not doing in PCT. You act like these references with no substantial data attached somehow are factual….really?

          I am curious however Bruce, you made a reference to “WE” have a reference to the CIR…can I now assume I am addressing someone affiliated with EWG or CFSC? Because based on this reference it makes more sense as to the response I received when presented with the facts of how these entities are trying to control our government and control others in the industry. This is not a conspiracy theory, but the facts indicate nothing else. Besides it would be quite the coup for those such as Pete Myers who were on the receiving end of government mandates leading us to the banning of otherwise safe ingredients, making way for their green (junk) science to fill the gap within the industry.

          So please forgive me if I find your response disingenuous and out of touch of the real issue which is being addressed. But at the same time your response has spoken volumes as to your viewpoint on these issues. Because everything green including green energy are job killers and only promote big government.

          Thanks for the exchange but I think I’ll remain unbiased and analyze all data not just antiquated data plastered all over EWG and CFSC and skin deep database sites.

          • Bruce

            WOW.. i don’t even know where to start. First, I have no idea why you perceive anger? When discussions on the internet cause me anger, I know it is time to shut the computer off. Trust me, there is no anger or hostility here.

            Secondly, I am not nor have ever been employed by the EWG or the CFSC. I did do some consulting for the CFSC indirectly, while they were drafting the contract, that many here seemed to have signed. That was a long time ago.

            The references I listed were a response to your comment about the studies being funded by the tides group or other similar groups, and published without peer review. I didn’t even read the references, but I hope you will agree all of these studies are not funded by associates of the EWG. Does EWG control the CIR now? As typical, you mention the new research, but yet no reference to any of it. Why no references?

            Your comment about Green Killing jobs really just shows your ignorance on the issue. If this view is widely held by others on this site, I think it might be time for me to move on. Many jobs have been created in the green sector. The NY times has an article backing this up.


            What does any of this have to do with big government? A lot of the jobs are in the private sector.

            I don’t think we will ever agree, and your comment about your unbiasedness is ridiculous, you have strong biases and show them with many of your posts. The truth is subjective, as a scientist I figured you might know this. We can all get to choose whose truths we want to believe, and a good scientist can design an experiment to get the desired result.

            I do agree with you that government is corrupt, not sure why you threw the second part of that sentence in there. It has no relationship t the first half. The left isn;t corrupting government, nor is the right. Greed and power by all of those in control are the corruptors in my opinion. That is politics though.

          • Katherine

            Well Bruce, you make a valid point about us never agreeing, especially when there is still no links to the actual articles of which the antiquated data is being shown, and this is the point I was trying to make, something you chose to ignore. Basically, anyone can post anything and make it sound as though it is the absolute truth.

            In terms of posting ongoing references, if you don’t even read the references I posted then why would I take the time to post more?

            Despite the argument you make, it is clear you wished to not address how much of this funding is accrued, and maybe you should read the articles, you may learn something apart from the influence of EWG. Shanna Swan for instance would be out of a job if her study did not conform to scare mongering she pursued with her isolated study on phthalates, on the backs of taxpayers I might add. 5 million dollars certainly buys a lifestyle anyone of us could enjoy and is quite the incentive to essentially fabricate any science she so chooses, something which the CFSC and EWG constantly accuse the cosmetic industry of doing. There is big money to be made from government subsidies, so don’t kid yourself if you don’t think EWG of CFSC are not making money off of the fear they perpetuate. Salaries of these founders have been posted throughout PCT.

            As far as Green Jobs, yes some have been produced in the private sector, but with Cap And Trade, many jobs will also be lost.


            There are two sides to ever story and the a link to a single article hardly makes for a sound argument Bruce. All to often the mainstream media placates those on the left but doesn’t really look at things in terms of what over regulation actually does to jobs. China’s economy will certainly grow as labor is cheaper and they are not over regulated or taxed to death. Plus their environmental standards are far below many others in the world. But now to appease the energy police we are once again going to mandate fluorescents which contain mercury so if one should break or is not recycled, we are once again polluting our environment for sake of supposedly conserving energy, which again can be debated with pros and cons of other ramifications caused by this legislation.

            Such would be the case as well in terms of cosmetics. Over regulation does not spur innovation but stifles it when we are forced to comply to standards founded on the premise of fiction and not scientific facts, and though I may disagree with you, does not make my opinion biased but I try to look at both sides. I am for an organic and holistic lifestyle as a whole, but at the same time, I don’t believe most of what I read about synthetic chemicals and how they are solely the cause for cancer outbreaks as reported by CFSC….nor do I buy into the legislation proposed in the SCA as something this country needed. It would definitely have destroyed jobs…period. We are not talking about the multi million dollar companies here, but mom and pops trying to cut out a niche for themselves…small businesses…you certainly understand that, I hope?

            Example of the latest study to appease your skepticism, on phthalates for instance:


            So now Shanna Swans study isn’t so cut and dry is it?

            As far as one has to do with other on government corruption, is George Soros wants big government, again I ask you to take a look at all the affiliations Tides foundation funds and much of it is grow the size of government and essentially step all over the constitution by forcing their agendas on the American People.

            Although you may not be affiliated with CFSC and EWG, nevertheless you certainly are in a sister organization working toward much of what is equal to their theories and proposed mandates.


            And along with your collaborations at the bottom. Hardly leaves room for doubt as to your agenda.

            But thanks the exchange it certainly has be eye opening, forcing me yet again to continue my research…it is amazing what you can learn when others point things out as to a shortcoming I might have….so I am appreciative for the input since I had no idea about the job killing creation of banning incandescent light bulbs….and this is an atrocity perpetuated on consumers everywhere….I say very sad and government needs to be reigned in.

          • Bruce

            I’m not sure if my writing is unclear, but you seen to miss every point I make. I read your links. I did not read the links listed on Skin Deep. I was merely pointing out that they do use actual scientific references. Although they might not be linked they are adequately referenced on the site to easily find the articles.

            The argument of constitutional rights is one I hear often, but I wonder what right you feel is being trampled? Are you one of those who believe socialism is unconstitutional too?

            Your reference to male reproductivity is a perfect example of what people are concerned with. We do not know what the long term effects of many chemicals are. Asprin was first synthesized in the 1850’s. 150 years after it is in use we find it may have potential to disrupt reproductive health. Does that concern you at all? If the health effects of asprin are not even well researched, imagine how little we know about the rest of the chemicals out there(natural and synthetic).

            You reference the Heartland Institue? Why are they any better than the tides foundation? They and the heritage foundation do exactly the same thing, just on the otherside. They have way more influence over public policy, and work with corrupt people like Jack Abramoff. As far as my associations, I have worked with TTG for a few years. They are an amazing group of girls and the sense of empowerment the young ladies get from doing this work they believe in , I feel, is very important in building their self-esteem. I don’t always support their agenda, but certainly support their rights to pursue it.

            If you worry about mercury in fluorescents, do you also worry about mercury from coal burning power generation? It truly seems like you have no love for the environment, and support polluting it at will, even if it only saves 200 jobs(the # of employees who lost their jobs when the bulb plant shut). I support all the life on this planet, not just the human ones in America. If trying to save the rest of the life on this planet kills your job, I truly believe you should be looking for a new job.

            This all has really nothing to do with cosmetics, and your “unbiased” agenda is quite clear. I will certainly read your reply, if you post one. I will also read the references if you post them, but I probably will not reply. Seems this conversation has gone as far as it can, and is not a productive use of my time.

          • Katherine

            Wow Bruce I am really disappointed at your viewpoint in terms of looking at the very small picture of GE, this was just a small portion of what Cap and Trade will do to jobs. It can affect every private sector right down to the food we eat. Did you even read the other articles? This goes so much deeper than the few examples I placed here….never mind!

            I am all about the environment as well and to accuse me otherwise is ridiculous just because I provide you with further information in one area. This has been an exercise in futility in trying to explain the damage this can create for small businesses with too much government control. I could be here all day providing you with links showing the ongoing problems brought about by attitudes such as yours.

            It is all or nothing with you clearly based on your last response. Save the environment at all costs no matter how it affects others, innocently in most cases…casualties of war. Personally I am about compromise, of which there is none in regard to CFSC or EWG. To date there has been no common ground met when others in my industry have extended an invitation for open dialogue. They want it one way, their way….no compromising.

            CPSIA is a prime example of the havoc it wreaked on small toy and clothing manufacturers when it was passed into law. Shanna Swan’s study was science run amok. I am glad we can agree on this in terms of not being sure of actual causes, however, you have missed the point entirely. Congress passed the new legislation based on this study using the precautionary principle, literally shutting down many small businesses due to the expense of testing for lead and phthalates….in some cases, closing their doors literally overnight. Some of these articles also have referenced links taking the story in to more detail for those that are interested in all facts of this conundrum.


            I also along with others on here now fully understand your true agenda, and it is futile for me to engage in an exchange when one is so blinded by a personal agenda. You have made yours abundantly clear since you feel I should find a new career if I’m unwilling to save the environment. This shows spite, yet you don’t seem to understand, environmental issues do not necessarily extrapolate to cosmetic ones as EWG and CFSC would have the poor confused consumer believe.

            Now we have government wanting to over regulate our natural growers and farmers. When does it stop? And this is being scrutinized from the other side of big industry lobbying for this. This is not about safety, but about money, power on both sides and I believe we can agree on this. But you simply can’t allow any one side to mandate and control others. It is unconstitutional and removes my right to free enterprise, choice and my right to pursue my dream of small business ownership responsibly.


            Do you wish to see your farmers markets shut down? I don’t personally, but this is what is facing us if we don’t stop the over regulation brought about on the premise of “SAFETY”! It is an excuse.

            Since I choose to continue what I love, I will continue to be a strong voice and advocate against non science and precautionary principle since it is the undoing of innovation.

            This is the premise we are fighting! And to state that this has nothing to do with cosmetics, is naive, since it has everything to do with our industry. With the SCA written in it’s current form, it will do irreparable harm to our industry and destroy our way of life including any future entrepreneurial up and comers, similar to what the CPSIA did to that industry.

            But as you stated, you want to save all life and don’t care about the 200 employees who lost their jobs with GE and were shipped overseas…hmm…maybe if you had read the article you would have seen GE’s explanation basing it on federal regulations and taxation.

            But I will say this, I am sure the 200 unemployed will not be so inclined to agree with you along with the thousands we have lost and will lose in the future if we allow special interest groups to continue their onslaught of trying to change the very fabric of America and of the principles she was founded on….OKAY off of my soapbox now!

            You have a lovely day Bruce and I’ll continue to do what I do and I am sure you will continue to do what you do.


          • Bruce

            what part f the constitution are we talking about again? was it an amendment or a supreme court ruling? Now you want to start talking about food? I know for a fact that if you tried you could meet with the EWG or the CFSC . I told Lisa I would be more than happy to help set it up. She said she had no interest in it, this was all on the SCC linked in conversation.

            Economics is not a exact science. “what cap and trade will do” is based on models, and whoever’s model you chose to believe. I have no idea why you have this belief that I support legislating stricter controls on all these things. I stated months ago I dont support change through legislation, and didn’t support the 2010 cosmetics act. It was badly written and unenforceable, but this site went crazy with scare tactics trying to show how it will ruin the world as we know it. I just called out the hypocrisy, and I guess I sort of got stuck continuing to do that here.

            My big problem is peopel constantly saying there is no science when someone points out something you don;t agree with, Then never backing it up with science. This whole conversation started there.

            You have posted a lot of links, I read them. They are mostly opinions and conjecture with a few facts thrown in, and from sources that are neither intellectual or bound by anything resembling real journalistic ethics.

            back to the real question.. The EWG does use facts and science when evaluating products. If you have newer data, post the studies, I’d love to see them. You are using the exact same scare tactics you vilify when used for something you disagree with.

            It is unfortunate when people lose their jobs, I have compassion. I also have belief that almost always there is a better alternative right around the corner. It truly is better to lose a few jobs than to lose the planet.

            We do not inherit the planet form out fathers, we borrow it from our children.


            If you’re not part of the solution you are part of the precipitate.

            this truly is my last post here, but I will look back to see what part of the constitution you keep referring to.

            Have a great day

          • Lisa M. Rodgers

            Hey Bruce –

            Thanks again for continuing a dialogue. I’m only interjecting because you failed to state the entire truth of our conversation on LinkedIn. It does sound pretty scary that I find absolutely no interest in common ground though. Pardon me for saying but it’s right out of a CFSC/EWG playbook.

            Here is the conversation between us that pertains to finding common ground while discussing The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010:

            “You: @lisa. I have always found the EWG and Stacy very easy to approach. If you are serious about a face to face, and willing to travel to northern CA. Email me and I will try to facilitate such a thing.

            Me: I appreciate your offer to facilitate a meeting. That would have been nice back in March when we actually believed Stacy wanted to find common ground. Now, it’s too late for that for the simple fact she continues to promote the fear based method of informing consumers, whereas, we promote educating consumers.

            You: @lisa Perhaps for the sake of honesty you should stop saying the CFSC will not talk to you, and instead say that you have no interest in having constructive dialogue with them. This seems to be more of the case at this point, or at least your reply to my offer would lead me to believe that.

            There is no reason there cannot be common ground found on this issue if both sides are willing to drop the accusations and actually try to communicate about the issues. Like I’ve said I know people on both sides, and it would not be too hard to have constructive dialogue.

            Me: Where in my above comment or comments prior do you read me to keep saying the CFSC will not talk to me?

            I said, “That would have been nice back in March when we actually believed Stacy wanted to find common ground. Now, it’s too late for that for the simple fact she continues to promote the fear based method of informing consumers, whereas, we promote educating consumers”.

            Again, while I appreciate you offering to ride in on your white horse, there is no common ground with CFSC and EWG. I can count numerous times in the past where the indie beauty community has reached out to Stacy to discuss the concerns we had as small cosmetic manufacturers and there wasn’t an interest.

            The one thing that keeps nagging me is if you are so sure the CFSC and EWG are interested in common ground then why didn’t they agree to a meeting in March? Why didn’t they reach out to the small cosmetic community to ask what our thoughts were on changing the cosmetic legislation? In my opinion, they didn’t want our take because they knew we would have issues with what they have proposed in SCA and we would have done nothing more than stand in their way.”

            Thanks again for the dialogue. Have a great night and Happy Thanksgiving!


          • Katherine

            My apologies to you Bruce if I have missed your past comments in terms of “against” with regard to legislation. I do not monitor this site or all of it’s conversations. If you are for reform but not to the level of how the SCA bill was written, then we mutually agree, and please forgive any past comments which may have been misdirected or misinterpreted based on this exchange here.

            However, I don’t use scare tactics at all. The actual bills of these problems with over regulation which are occurring, were attached to each link somewhere within the article. I am not validating the articles as actual news sources but to simply show there is a movement of more control over how we live, eat and breathe, something you are ignoring for some reason.

            In terms of the constitution, allow me to clarify since “no” they are not currently violating my rights under the constitution…I should have stated “creating laws which may go against the very fiber of freedom of choice and to have my business free from government intrusion….When you remove choice by over regulation, it chips away at what we cherish and turns into oppression…..this is not constitutional by definition of the premise of a free America which I was trying to convey, although not accurately enough it seems.

            And I actually wasn’t referring to Lisa since there have been many times that myself and others have posted comments to Stacy’s blog and they were censored. When we showed the science, they were deleted. When we invited dialogue, it never happened. This goes beyond Lisa, something you may not be aware of.

            I guess I could ask you the same question however, please show me the science other than the cherry picked articles recycled by Environmental Health Sciences. Why are they anymore credible than the one source I provided in regard to analgesics. EWG and CFSC simply make arbitrary references, much of which is data stemming from MSDS, something Dene Godfrey makes many references to. In my articles I have written both sides of the coin and have yet to see this from EWG. Talk about hypocrisy, EWG selling Sunscreens on their site to raise funds so they can continue to lambaste the very ingredients found in sunscreens they are offering for sale….Now that’s no JOKE!

            My only wish is that you were able to broaden your viewpoint because out of everything you have been shown, the only real thing you could focus on were my remarks to the constitution. And to ignore your hypocrisy is also sad since the point of one of the articles is GE ships jobs overseas to China whereby the very regulations that GE supports, they use to excuse their actions for closure of the plant when in fact they are proponents to the regulation of which they complain.

            So in your analogy, ship the jobs to China, get the pollutants out of our country, but give it to one of the worlds worse abusers of environmental damage, to create green energy and then ship the pollutants back to our country for us to use and dispose of in our landfills. There is also the study showing that we actually will consume more energy when using the new bulbs. Sorry but I just don’t get it!

            (shakes head)

      • Guest

        Wow … you really should be careful when accusing someone of “laundering and funnelling money” !! Where’s your proof of that? Where’s your documentation of “money laundering” and if it’s true, why have no charges been brought. You discredit yourself by using those accusations, and open yourself to libel.

        • Katherine

          I am not accusing someone, but a foundation created by Drummond Pike. Perhaps you should read the articles since these are not my theories, but are well published throughout many reputable sources. Maybe you should read the articles before making an arbitrary accusation toward toward me, because my statements hardly discredit me with the information to back it up, but then again, posting as an anonymous person, you hardly lend credibility to your comment, now don’t you?

  • Fatin Khawarizmi

    First impression it deos remind me Guru Pikka hehe
    I like your articles, yes most of us fear cosmetics, specially if oneof us or more get a sensitive skin or even being sesitive of some products smell !

  • Philippe Papadimitriou

    I had a short e-mail exchange by mail with two college classmates today.
    It was about an article published in a wide audience regional journal about a new Swiss company whose name in Nanotion ( The article didn’t say once this company did work in nanotechnologies or what it offers as service (and it was supposedly the aim of the article).
    Our debate, brought by one of my friends, was on the problems of journalists when they deal about science. Most if not all journalists do not understand the topic and can not really inform readers. My first answer did end the debate. I did write something like: whatever the qualities of the journalist and the article, the obstacle is that the audience simply does not understand science when it goes further than the basic concepts (and I should remind everyone that the Bore model for the atom is wrong; Schrödinger’s model is accurate, but we all ahve seen the Bore model before college – this to say the basic concepts might still be missing).

    I thus think references should be picked wisely. It is important to mention references that you have read and to share them with people who will read them (at least their abstract) with enough competences to understand them in their context and with their real conclusions.
    Do not throw any reference on wide audience media for wide audience readers.

    References to secondary source are simply useless (unless they are meta-analysis and these are somehow primary sources as well).
    References to misleading-entitled or wrongly-entitled articles are not relevant – whoever has ever published anything here should know the issue about finding the best title to really expain shortly about the nature of the whole study is more than complicated. Polemical titles are not for scientists (every scientist informed enough should be able to see the problem behind a study).

    In my opinion, references to web site/blog articles, to government web pages, to pseudo-scientific books should have nothing to do on any serious contribution.

    Just my opinion.