I have spent the last four days getting my house ready for visitors from California and Utah (for my birthday). Lots of dusting and furniture moving and reorganizing and more laundry than you can shake a stick at. During my breaks from extreme housecleaning, I have been researching cosmetic ingredients and terms for a series that Seth and I will be doing on The Thinnest Skin called Breaking Down Beauty.
Breaking Down Beauty: Introduction
There is a glut of misinformation out there about beauty products and cosmetic ingredients. It can be very hard to figure out what is true and what is misunderstood. Misinterpretation of scientific findings can lead to erroneous and alarmist statements. Having worked in the natural foods industry (which includes beauty products), I heard a lot of different things from supposedly reliable sources and I never thought to question the accuracy of the information or do my own research.
These days it is also becoming more difficult to separate fact from fiction because certain key words appear to have been redefined by the industry. Seth, PhD in Chemistry from MIT, has volunteered/been coerced into exploring the different meanings of toxic, organic, synthetic, natural and chemical. Are these terms just savvy advertising? A way for one cosmetic company to slam another? Or are there real reasons to worry about what companies are adding to their products? I imagine it may be a mix of all three.
The aim of this series is to try to help you (and me, because I want to know too) sort through all the marketing, hype and misconceptions. [read more...]