There is little that frustrates me more than ignorance masquerading as authority. It is particularly galling when the fake authority is making claims about cosmetics, a subject of which I have a good deal of knowledge. While there are a number of reasons that this troubles me, the main reason is because I know how long I’ve studied, how much I’ve read, and how complicated the topic can be. It is not something that a person with limited or no science background can just research on Google and automatically become an expert. It offends me when someone does that. Knowledge requires work and effort to obtain!
Usually, the people who do this are well-meaning and sincerely believe they are helping people. They are not. They are unnecessarily scaring people and spreading ignorance. They are also causing people to waste money on cosmetics that are NOT more safe.
Despite my personal indignation, I do appreciate the Toxic Makeup Patrol‘s enthusiasm. So perhaps they would be interested to learn the truth and stop spreading lies and misinformation. Here are a number of claims that the Toxic Makeup Patrol makes that are just mistaken.
10 Myths about Toxic Makeup
1. “Lead in lipstick is dangerous.” It is not. There is no evidence that if people use lipstick that contains trace levels of lead, it will have any impact on their health. Read more truth about lead in lipstick. Incidentally, in the video the interviewer also says that their is Mercury in lipstick. This is just wrong.
2. “Cancer rates are increasing.” – The author begins with an interesting question, “Did you know that 100 years ago only one in 800 people got cancer and today one in three women will get cancer?” She then goes on to say that is because of poor diets, lack of exercise and our toxic environment. This is wrong. The number one reason that more people get cancer today is because people live longer! Cancer is mostly a disease of older adults. The average life expectancy of people 100 years ago was about 51 years. The truth is cancer rates are decreasing.
3. “One-third of personal hygiene products contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer.” – No, they don’t.
4. “We absorb 5 lbs. of chemicals in our bodies from the make-up and products we apply every year.” No, we don’t.
5. “Go to the Skin Deep Database to run a check before you shop” – No you shouldn’t. The Skin Deep database is filled with unreliable, non-scientific information.
6. “Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLS)*” – SLS is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s a different chemical.
7. “Germall plus is not a synthetic preservative.” – Yes it is. It is actually a formaldehyde donor compound. Perfectly safe but completely synthetic.
8. “Aloe increases shelf life.” No, it doesn’t. Aloe actually decreases shelf life and is one reason you have to include preservatives in your formulation.
9. “Parabens are associated with cancer.” No, they are not. The safety of parabens was reviewed by an independent scientific organization in the EU and declared safe. Read more here.
10. “Putting cosmetics on your body over years leads to cancer.” There is no evidence of this at all.
Toxins on the brain
Somewhere along the line the Internet convinced people that all they had to do was spend a little time searching for things on Google and they can be an expert. Well, the thing about the Internet is that
Anyone can write anything about anything
This does not make it true.
If you are not an expert in the subject, you really should not go around harassing and scaring people with your misinformed opinions. Even though you are well-meaning, please make it a point to be informed about a topic. Read what scientists and people who actually do research have to say. Avoid bloggers and especially the PR group that is the EWG.