Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If Avon is calling, I am not home, unless...

One of the great things about a blog is whatever comes to mind, I can write about. My ideas on what to share on Wednesdays are always over-flowing my brain. It is hard for me to pick just one topic! Last week I promised to share the response a pal got from Avon. In essence, their response went like this, "Avon has a formal review process to evaluate the safety and integrity of all cosmetic ingredients and products. Every ingredient must undergo a thorough review of all available safety information by our toxicologists before it can be considered for use in a product formulation, and the safety of every product must be substantiated prior to product introduction." 

In an unregulated industry where only 8 chemicals are banned for use in cosmetic and personal care products in the United States (Europe bans over 1300), that comment sent chills down my spine, primarily because they are using internal, industry-only checks and balances.

The value to understanding the Environmental Working Group's website is huge. This is the same wonderful organization that reviewed bottled water safety recently and that also tells us which veggies to buy organic, which are OK to buy conventionally. Their "industry" is personal and environmental safety. And their toxicity evaluations are factual, not subjective. They use the cosmetic industry's safety panel's own Cosmetic Ingredient Review Compendium as a guide!!!

First, you can look up actual ingredients for the individual toxicity scores which range from 0 (non-toxic) to 10 (run). Then, you can look up actual products for their scores. Next, companies for their scores. Last night for The Hair Affair, I looked up Proctor and Gamble and found 72 pages...72...on the ingredients they use. Blew me away.

Perhaps the most important piece of the database is whether the company has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. That is key. If they are non-signers, what products may appear in the database for toxicity review could be old formulas and therefore the scores might not be true for current products. There could also be no products that appear at all!! Also, by not signing, they are not willing to be held publicly accountable by a third party, a non "industry insider" for the human and environmental safety of their ingredients.

It is not enough to not test on animals. Mother Nature and all of us should not be guinea pigs. Actually, in some cases, we would be better protected if we were. That is where we as women (primary consumers for almost everything) get smoked. "Well, the label says it is pure and safe!" And, if you read last week's Wednesday post, that is how this "chemical soup" gets served. With over 3000 wonderful companies that have signed this compact for public accountability, it seems very risky to support those that haven't. 

(Just so you know, too, the Compact for Safe Cosmetics was developed by several groups, including those who life's work is to eradicate cancer. Please read "Not Just a Pretty Face" listed under our store tab for a complete look at the who, why and how of this group or visit the website. Of particular interest to this post is the chapter "Tricks of the Trade". Also, watch the "Story of Cosmetics" video in the sidebar of this blog.

Please don't believe what a label shout-out or company trademark tell you. Be wary of companies, all non-signers, that say they have their own internal review board or only use a review board representing the cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance industry.  It is particularly sad that Avon falls into that category. They have such an opportunity to do incredible things for women and still lace their products with potential harm. Don't take my word for it either. Here is the link:

We gals are eager shoppers and it appears we pay only with our money. Not so...we pay first with our bodies, our loved ones future and the very skin off Mother Earth's back!

Our store tab lists a line that has scores of "0" and if you are ready to commit to safety that's truly and beautifully accountable, let me help you. We can always make a party of this information, too. Practicing "safe suds" is good, clean fun!


  1. Nice post! You should consider submitting some writing/articles/blogs for publication on on this topic.

  2. Thank you...that's nice of you to comment. I am fired up about this. Thank you again!