confessions of a modern mom

Beauty and the Beast

What You Put on Your Family’s Skin

May Be Hazardous To Their Health
By: Michelle Nadel

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It’s a Tale as Old as Time. But I’m not talking about the classic Disney movie about beautiful Belle, although Belle’s beauty may have something to do with it.
We all want to look better. We use face creams and body lotion to make our skin feel softer and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. We use shampoo and conditioner to make our hair straighter, curlier, to have more body, less frizz. We even buy products for our kids to help get out knots and tangles and that have delicious fragrance. But have you ever thought about what ingredients are in these products to obtain the desired results?  Our skin is our largest organ, absorbing 60% of what we put on it, so naturally our products should be safe. Recent discoveries reveal, however, that this tale does not have a happy ending. Ingredients in many common products, brands we know and love, are linked to hormone disruptors, reproductive disorders and carcinogens. These ingredients truly are the Beast, wreaking havoc on our bodies. Yet, we keep slathering them on. Why? Because we are under the false belief that if a product is sitting on the shelf of a drug store, supermarket or department store in the United States, it must be safe. Sadly, that premise is just not true. Here are some scary facts:

  • The United States has not passed a Federal Law regulating the beauty industry since 1938.
  • The European Union has banned or restricted 1300 harmful chemicals. The United States has banned 11.
  • 80% of cosmetic ingredients have never been tested for safety by a public agency.
  • 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
So do we just give up and resign ourselves to the fact that we all won’t live happily ever after? Not at all! Many advocacy groups are working hard to bring this to the forefront of American politics so that significant changes will occur. The Environmental Working Group has created a database for consumers to find out exactly how toxic their favorite products are. It’s an app called Skin Deep. When I first discovered it, I literally ran around my house zapping everything with the built-in scanner. Toxic shampoo? Get rid of it! Acne remedy? Ugh, garbage! Spray sunscreen? The worst!! Some products fared better than others, but I was definitely surprised at what was lurking in my everyday essentials.

Another company leading the mission to get safe products into the hands of everyone is Beautycounter, a new and welcome addition to the marketplace, which formulates personal care products that are chic and high-performing, but are also safe by eliminating over 1500 toxic chemicals. (Check Beautycounter out on Skin Deep and you’ll be quite happy!) I hope, for the sake of my children, that this is what our beauty industry will look like in 10 years. But Beautycounter is ahead of the curve doing what is safe for us today.
So where does that leave our beautiful Belle? She can still be beautiful. She can be beautiful AND healthy. And we can all make small changes to conquer the Beast and live happily ever after.


About The Author

Michelle Nadel lives with her husband and two children in Woodcliff Lake. She formerly practiced law in New York City before moving to Bergen County to start a family. A few years ago she started her own professional organizing business and, after being introduced to Beautycounter’s products and learning more about their mission to educate on the current state of the beauty industry, she joined as a consultant. If you have any questions about Beautycounter products or the business opportunity, please visit her website at www.michellenadel.beautycounter.comemail or call Michelle directly at 201-562-2231.


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