Did you know?

Your beauty regime has an immediate impact on your environment?

From bubble bath to lipstick, the majority of regular skincare and cosmetic products are laced with potentially dangerous ingredients that can cause pollution, kill plants and animals, and impact your health.

Something as small as Microbeads (yes those tiny spots in your care products) have a huge role to play in the destruction of our environment.

Also called “microspheres,” microbeads are the tiny plastic balls found in face scrubs, hand sanitizers, toothpaste and many more skincare products. Marketed extremely well for their ‘exfoliation benefits’ they have become such a hazard they were regulated by the US government in the Microbead-Free Waters Act in 2015 and are no longer allowed in California.

This is What Happens to the Environment… (heard of microplastic pollution?)

When you rinse your face, these tiny plastics are washed down the drain, but because the particles are so tiny they slip past the sewage treatment plants and wash into canals and rivers, causing plastic particle water pollution.

Like most plastics, these tiny particles remain in the environment for up to 50 years. Microbeads have reached concentrations big enough to pollute great lakes and rivers and have also threatened marine biodiversity and the health of the world’s oceans.

There are alternatives, and easy ones at that!

When it comes to the microbead crisis, there are numerous biodegradable exfoliants like sea salt, crushed shells, sugar, sand, clay and ground bark that can do the exact same thing. All much safer for you and the environment. Who wants to exfoliate their skin with plastic anyway?

Labels are intentionally misleading!

Adding a few natural substances to a product laden with other chemicals does not make it natural. But this is exactly what companies do. Remember that ‘paraben-free’ might refer to one ingredient and not the other 10+ on the back of the label.

Cosmetic Production Pollution is Excessive!

The chemical substances used in makeup and other cosmetics do not break down (i.e they are not biodegradable). They accumulate in the world’s ecosystems, slowly destroying our planet. When washed down our drains, personal care products are recycled into rivers, lakes, and public water systems.

Here are a few of the cosmetic industry’s most damaging chemicals (and ones you really should look out for!)

P-phenylenediamine is a dangerous chemical derived from coal tar.

  • Found in lipsticks and hair dye
  • Kills animal plankton and other aquatic species

BHA and BHT are synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives.

  • Found in moisturizers and lipsticks
  • Kills fish and shellfish
  • Causes mutations in amphibians

Dioxane is an endocrine disruptive chemical that contaminates other ingredients. There are ways to remove this carcinogenic chemical, but companies typically avoid doing so due to time and cost.

Found in creamy products like shampoo and bubble bath

  • Kills insects and animal plankton
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a plasticiser used in nail polish and PVC pipe.
  • Affects a variety of aquatic species
  • Causes mutations in amphibians
  • Alters fish behaviour and reproductive cycle
  • In large amounts, can decimate an entire ecosystem

Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical found in deodorant, hand-sanitisers, and laundry detergent.

  • Alters biochemistry of amphibians, aquatic plants, and fish
  • Causes mutations in amphibians
  • Alters fish behaviour and reproductive cycle
  • In large amounts, can decimate an entire ecosystem

Diethanolamine (DEA) is a pH adjuster found in nearly every personal care product.

  • Reacts with nitrates to create nitrosamines (which are highly carcinogenic to animals and humans)
  • Toxic to fish, amphibians, and other aquatic life

Words like ‘mutations’ and ‘decimate’ are scary. When these chemicals entire earth’s water cycle, everything (and everyone) is affected. The problem is, consumers are not really the ones who see it. Chemicals from cosmetics have been found not only in major water sources but in agricultural soil and households as well.

Part of Pure Beginnings’ vision is to educate people about these concerns and about how we can make better choices with the information we have available to us. We advocate reading ingredient lists and asking questions!

Consumers have the power to nudge large companies in the right direction. We encourage you to use your voice and bring about the change you’d like to see when it comes to these environmental factors.

 

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