Women and Aging Chemicals: Opting out of Make-up and Redefining Normal

Why Does Normal=Ignorance and Apathy Surrounding Cosmetics?

Today I read this headline “The average British woman “hosts” 515 chemicals on her body every day, according to a new study.” In a poll of 2,016 women, it was determined that most of the products contain tens or even hundreds of “chemicals”. Fragrance alone can contain hundreds of synthetic chemicals.
Full article.

Let’s not quibble about the word “chemical”, as everything is made from chemicals. And let’s not look at the fact that a deodorant maker did the poll. Let’s look at some lifestyle choices and what is considered normal today. And why.

1. Do you know what is in the products you put on your skin? Most of us have to say, “No”.

More than a third of the women who took part in the study were unaware of the key ingredients in their toiletries, with only nine percent aware of most of the ingredients in the cosmetics they put on each day.

Is it a matter of trust? It’s on the shelves, therefore it must be safe?

2. Does the majority of women care about what’s in their cosmetics? No.

More than 70 percent of the women polled said they were not concerned about the number of chemicals they put on their skin and only one in 10 opted for chemical-free toiletries when shopping.

So normal= Being ignorant about what is in products and not caring.

Why? Many reasons. Marketing campaigns “teach” us how to use products without highlighting their harmful effects. Entire TV shows educate us on how to apply products but never tell us what’s in them. Another reason is we use what our mothers or friends use. Habit.

I was shopping for my MIL’s birthday yesterday. As I combed the cosmetics counter, I realized how free I felt no longer wearing the stuff. And I sympathized with how confusing the process now is, thanks to greenwashing. I grabbed a very expensive bar of soap from a shelf, thinking it would be a lovely gift. Because it said “Natural” on it. It wasn’t until I got it home that I realize I’d made a bad choice. Confusion is key in the public making bad choices. The only remedy is education-knowing what ingredients are in products, knowing their health effects and finding products that are truly non-toxic.

I now feel freed from the pressures to wear make-up, get my hair dyed and cover my skin with who the heck knows what. Free from the habit. If I want to, I will but I don’t feel I need to. In my teens and twenties, I loved putting on make-up. Now, I prefer healthy-looking skin and shiny hair instead of being covered up. Heck, a few days ago, I was asked to show my ID at the liquor store!! I couldn’t help but wonder something. In today’s obsessive search for youth and beauty, as prescribed by cosmetic companies and their so-called anti-aging remedies, is the real answer something much simpler?

What if instead of using more and more “anti-aging products”, we chose to go natural? What if we didn’t use anything but food-grade oils and pure, unscented soaps? Would our skin, hair, nails, eye-lashes, armpits, feet and hands look younger? Take it from someone who’s “gone naked” for ten years, it’s worth trying.

I realize my opting out is not the norm, nor would I try to impose my decision on other women. What I do hope is that the women who hate wearing make-up and want to go natural will not be bound by tradition or pressure to wear it.

What do you think? Do you like wearing all the products that are just considered “normal”? Would you like to cut down? Do you feel pressure to wear “too many” products?

And finally, do you ever wonder if the products that are supposed to be helping us look younger are really aging us? Perhaps putting nothing at all would be better than putting irritating synthetic chemicals on our skin and hair.

For more on what’s in cosmetics, go to my podcast interview with Stacy Malkan, author of “Not Just a Pretty Face.”

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About Lynn

Blogger, talkcaster and teacher.
This entry was posted in green home, healthy home, Non-Toxic Living, non-toxic podcast and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Women and Aging Chemicals: Opting out of Make-up and Redefining Normal

  1. deb says:

    A positive w/ developing mcs is being forced to find freedom from make up and hair products and find my way back to my natural self and beauty – it has actually been quite soothing and comforting to redefine what ‘me looking good’ means to me.

  2. Elaine says:

    Another positive of developing mcs is that the products I buy are vegan and bio-degradable. Also, regarding the whole aging process, how is skin supposed to ‘breathe’ when it is covered in make-up? I haven’t worn make-up in many years, and I think I look younger than my age of 37. I’ve never intended to colour my hair as I’ve always been quite curious to see what Mother Nature will do with it. 🙂

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