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Beauty or the Beast? Cosmetics and Personal Care Products ¾ “A cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval by the FDA.” ¾ Evidence shows that cumulative use of these products may be contributing to asthma, the onset of puberty in girls and the feminization of baby boys. ¾ The majority of personal care products will be washed down the drain. Wastewater treatment centers are unable to remove many of the chemicals shampoos, lotions, soaps, deodorant and make-up contain. ¾ Fragrances have been shown to cause headaches and are the most common cause of skin problems. ¾ Ways to use your Big Green Purse: o Give your body a break ƒ Cut back on the sheer number of products you use. ƒ Pick one weekend a month to “go au naturel”. ƒ Prioritize your regime and buy green for products that stay on your skin like deodorant, lotions and cosmetics. o Focus on ingredients ƒ Buy products with the fewest ingredients. ƒ Beware the misuse of words like “natural” and “hypo-allergenic”. o Shop for safer products ƒ Avoid antibacterials (triclosan), parabens, phthalates, and fragrances. ƒ Safest companies include: Tom’s of Maine, Burt’s Bees and more. o Send companies a message ƒ Many small companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics; but multi-nationals like Revlon and L’Oreal have not. o Choose less packaging ƒ Some cosmetics are simply sealed rather than packaged. ƒ Aveda packaging is made from 80% post-consumer recycled materials. ¾ Chapter contains further information on earth-friendly cosmetics and personal care products for men and women, as well as sunscreens, tampons and other feminine hygiene options, and “green” birth control choices.


Big Green Purse Fact Page