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Join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

May 15, 2011 11:46AM

Womens Voices for the Environment co-founded the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2004 as a coalition of organizations working to protect the health of consumers and workers by securing the corporate, regulatory, and legislative reforms needed to eliminate harmful chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products.

Loopholes in federal law make it legal for manufacturers to use chemicals that may be linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other illnesses in the products we use on our bodies every day. 89 percent of the more than 10,000 chemical ingredients found in personal care products from shampoo to nail polish to aftershave have not undergone extensive safety evaluation.

Researchers think that many of these chemicals may now be showing up in our bodies, our breast milk and in our children. With breast cancer, infertility and other chronic health problems on the rise, we can no longer afford to test the safety of these chemicals on our bodies.

To counter this trend, we can make our own cosmetics and host a Safe Cosmetics party. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has compiled some of their favorite safe cosmetics recipes to test at your party. If you have a favorite recipe, email it to CampaignForSafeCosmetics.org. It will be tested and possibly shared with others.

The necessary ingredients are usually affordable and not hard to find in organic or natural form. The benefits of making your own cosmetics will be immediately evident: your new products will smell and feel good, and so will your skin.

There are no preservatives in these recipes, so take a few precautions to avoid contamination by bacteria. Avoid touching products like lip gloss with your fingers. Instead, use a cotton swab to apply. Use products within two weeks, and consider storing them in your refrigerator. Also, exercise caution if you think you might be allergic to ingredients like nuts, avocados or other common food ingredients.

Beet Red Lip Gloss

¼ cup beeswax
¼ cup castor oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
beet juice

Melt beeswax, remove from heat and add oils. Add as much beet juice as desired for color. Store in jar.

Lip Balm

3 Tbsp grated unbleached beeswax
5 tsp carrier oil (sunflower, castor or jojoba)
6 or 7 drops essential oil (lime, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit or peppermint)
1 tsp honey, for flavor

Melt the beeswax and carrier oil together in the top of a double boiler, stirring to combine. Remove from heat; add honey and essential oil. Mix thoroughly so the honey does not clump. To add a little color, stir in a tiny dab of lipstick with a coffee stirrer. Pour the mixture into containers; let sit 20 minutes before covering or moving. For glossier lip balm, use 2 tsp wax and 8 tsp carrier oil.

Chocolate Facial Mask

This decadent mask is actually an excellent moisturizer; it leaves your skin baby soft ans is recommended for normal skin.

1/3 cup cocoa
3 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp cottage cheese
¼ cup honey
3 tsp oatmeal powder

Mix all ingredients together and smooth onto face. Relax for 10 minutes, wash off with warm water.

Cucumber Eye Gel

¼ large cucumber
1 ounce aloe vera gel

1. Puree the cucumber in a blender (leave a little pulp), then strain the mixture into a glass bowl until you have at least 2 ounces. Spoon in just a tad of the pulp from the strainer. Add the aloe vera to the cucumber puree in the bowl and mix lightly. Pour into a clean, sterilized container.
2. After cleansing face, stir mixture gently and apply with a cotton ball to under eye area. Avoid the eyeball. The shelf life of this product is very limited by the fresh cucumber. It should be used within a few days, and kept refrigerated between uses.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of more than 100 nonprofit organizations working to protect the health of consumers and workers by eliminating dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products. Core members include: Breast Cancer Fund, Clean Water Action, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition and Women’s Voices for the Earth.

For more information, visit SafeCosmetics.org.
 

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