Behind the Lather and the Tap

The original Story of Stuff has appeared on WaterNotes previously, and now the same folks have taken aim at the cosmetics and personal care industry. I’ve been following EWG and their Cosmetics Safety campaign for nearly four years.   Included in that span of time are many hours spent obsessively logging into the Skin Deep database and checking up on products before (and sometimes after) purchasing them to see their toxicity scores.  (Buyer’s remorse is a strong theme for me if I check it after, this much I will confess.  Thank goodness for the very understanding return policies of such places as Walgreens.)

The problem for me is that organic and low-scoring products just don’t feel the same as the lovely high-lathering super-scented and dreamy concoctions that are loaded with all the tomfoolery.  I invariably go through phases of being extra super good and being incredibly toxically bad.  One week of, “I am never wearing mascara again!” is followed later by: “I am so smoking hot in this brand new mascara!  I should get a ‘script for Latisse and grow a fringe of lashes worthy of a giraffe!”

I’m sure if I were a mother or a wife I’d stick more towards the good end of this scale but as a single girl, I still enjoy experimenting with miracle products that increase my.. erm.. allure. Ok, perceived allure. It’s all very silly, I realize fully; and yet I cannot seem to say no.

At least I’ve been able to eschew the high-scoring likes of my old shampoos, face washes, sunscreens, moisturizers, and especially.. antiperspirants, by replacing them with lower-scoring-if-still-toxic choices.  My goal is to one day only use products that score a 2 or less, but on my budget, such a dream remains quite fully in the pipe.  (That’s the other side problem with the organic and natural and effective products, they’re relative luxuries.)

It’s a good thing my motivation for getting rid of these limitless chemicals (like triclosan which seems to be in absolutely everything) is linked to my love of the water. Contamination with these compounds isn’t unknown in waterways and wells and can, at times, be found in the drinking water supply. Speaking of the water supply, interested to know what sorts of weebeasties are showing up in yours? The EWG has a database for that too.

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