With a pH of about 12, similar to that of household ammonia or soap, chemical relaxers are among the most caustic cosmetic products on the market, says the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental organization that is behind the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Along with hair dyes, hair straighteners are the source of more complaints to the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors than almost any other product.
While I’ve never been one to use a chemical hair straightener, there have been many, many times when I’ve wished for a good solution to managing my wild tangle of curls and frizz. You should see the shelves of half-used hair products around my bathroom — if you’re not someone who has struggled to control their hair for decades, then you might think it was overkill. 🙂
Luckily, my sister introduced me to Ouidad products a few years ago, though it wasn’t until I made the trek into a Ouidad salon a few times that I got the right cut and the hang of how to style it. Now I can celebrate my curls instead of curse them. I’ve even entered the Ouidad curl contest — you can help me out by casting your vote below and passing it along.
Here’s to beautiful curls without toxic chemicals!
You may be surprised to learn this natural girl keeps her toenails prettily polished in fun magentas and reds. It’s a monthly ritual for my mother and I to steal an hour together at the nail salon while enjoying the decadent pleasure of a pedicure.
That’s why I was pleased to learn that OPI Products, the worlds’ largest nail polish manufacturer, responded to pressure brought on by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics by removing dibutyl phthalate and toluene from its nail polishes in 2006. These are petroleum byproducts (i.e., waste from refining) that are cancer-causing endocrine disruptors.
So when big companies whine that they couldn’t possibly find safer ingredients and still offer an effective product, we should remember the example of OPI and the millions of bottles of nail polish no longer emitting toxic fumes to sicken salon workers or leaching toxins through the nails of polish wearers.
Both of these chemicals cause cancer in animals, and formaldehyde is also known to cause skin rashes in people who are sensitive to the chemical.
Parents around the world were particularly infuriated that Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, the iconic brand that many hospitals send home with new babies, contained both of these contaminants – neither of which is listed on ingredient labels.
Of the report, J&J said, “The trace levels of certain compounds found by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics can result from processes that make our products gentle for babies and safe from bacteria growth,” and the Campaign should stop “alarming” parents.
The Campaign thinks parents have a right to know if the products they buy for their babies contain hazardous chemicals linked to cancer and skin rashes. Other companies are making safe and gentle baby products without hazardous chemicals. Instead of playing defense, J&J should live up to its promises of purity and be the safest, most responsible company it can be.
Whether you bathe your little ones using Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, you grew up with “No More Tears” in the tub, you’re a medical professional, or you’re just outraged that there are carcinogens in shampoo, you can take a minute to tell J&J that safe products are important to you by sending a letter to Johnson & Johnson from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Web site.