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Personal Care Safety is a Women’s Rights Issue

Fly Feet SW Basics

Guest blog from Adina Grigore - Founder of SW Basics:

Face wash. BB cream. Mascara. Lipstick. Foundation. Perfume. Conditioner. Curling cream. Deodorant. Hair spray. Leave-in conditioner. Dry Shampoo. Tampons. Condoms. Bath bombs. Nail polish. Shaving cream. Sounds like a list of generic personal care products right? But look again. How many of the products on the list are the men in your life using and how many are you using? How often do you use each of them? Do you know what’s in any of them? Do you know where they come from?


The safety of personal care products is a women’s health issue and it’s time for all of us to care about it. At S.W. Basics, we’re part of an initiative led by Beauty Counter to bring more attention to the dark corners of personal care ingredients and labeling. This month, Senator Dianne Feinstein tweeted about it, which I think is a pretty big deal. When I went to stalk her, I noticed how many people were up in arms about how there are “more important things to worry about” and who even cares.


Here is what the Personal Care Products Safety Act does: it requires manufacturers to register their facilities with the FDA, and to submit to the FDA ingredient statements that include the amount of each ingredient in a formulation. It requires the FDA to review five ingredients per year for safety. Here’s how you should read all of that: currently there is nothing—no one has to register with the FDA, no one has to disclose formulations to anyone, no one has to get their ingredients tested for safety... The Safety Act would simply give the FDA the same power over cosmetics that they have over food and drugs. They would finally be allowed to keep you safe.


Of course you should care about this! Your health is the result of your lifestyle. That includes what your environment is like, what you consume, and the state of your mental health. Hurt one and you hurt the rest. Ignore one part and you can never fix the whole. And, just in case you haven’t thought of it this way, personal care affects everything in your life: your pores consume what you put on your skin, some products go literally inside your body, all products go into the environment eventually, and you’d better believe huge unregulated corporations are all up in your mental health. (How’s it feel when a product burns your skin so badly you feel like you can’t leave the house? What about when a commercial tells you that the burn is good for you, because it will make you beautiful?) There is no need to pick and choose what you care about, just shop with awareness and support the people that are working hard to improve your life. That’s it!


Still not convinced? Here’s another list you may care about more. Diapers. Diaper cream. Baby oil. Baby soap. Kids’ shampoo and conditioner. Bubble bath. Baby lotion. Baby powder. Also completely unregulated.


All Hail the Treadmighty,


Intrigued?  Come to our Skincare Workshop Happy Hour on Wednesday, 2/21 at 6:30 p.m. in Wayzata where Adina Grigore will discuss this and a myriad of other interesting topics on skincare, product and policy.  Drinks, swag bags, and an incredible discussion.  Sign up online!