Can you believe we are in the final stretch of February!? We just had the most beautiful 50+ degree weekend in Chicago, and I feel like spring is so close I can taste it!
So, I have some exciting news. Speaking of things so close I can taste them— I’m in the running to participate in Beautycounter’s Spring 2020 trip to Washington to lobby for cosmetic safety reform! They are choosing the top two sales reps from each state (measured by sales), and right now, I’m in the top two from Illinois, but it’s a very close race! Their social justice and advocacy team (yes, they have one of those) will host meetings with each state to advocate for legislative change. (More on that below!)
How can you help me get there:
Absolutely ZERO pressure, as always, to buy anything you link to or review on this blog, but IF you had been considering making a Beautycounter purchase anytime soon anyway, it would be a huge help if you did so by voting with your dollars this week (now until on February 29) to help secure my spot on the DC lobby trip. There is no cost to you (but I do get a commission on any purchases made through my links or at beautycounter.com/jesskeys). Any purchases I make through the end of the month will count toward my trip qualifying total!
More background and why this is important to me:
About a year and a half ago, I published my first clean beauty blog post, sharing my personal philosophy and experience navigating the entire industry. Since then, I have continued to learn more about the US personal care industry and its (lack of) regulations. While I’m always on the hunt for more information about the Wild West of personal care product safety, Beautycounter continues to lead the way in research, education, and advocacy more than any other brand.
Not only do they offer such a wide range of clean and effective products, but they are also taking important steps to reform our country’s cosmetic and personal care industry, truly walking the walk!
Whether you’re new to clean beauty, in the process of converting your favorite beauty and personal care products to safer alternatives, or consider yourself an informed consumer on the subject, I encourage you to check out Beautycounter’s resources. They do an amazing job of breaking down topics, from their glossary of ingredients to their documentary on transparency in the mica industry (a common ingredient in cosmetics) to their partnership with Tufts University School of Medicine to test safety. and efficacy of controversial cosmetic ingredients. They also have a blog where they constantly delve into specific facets of the industry.
To sum it up, Beautycounter is a huge part of the personal care product reform mission, and you can’t talk about one without discussing the other. So why we’re here today: I want to share a quick overview of where the industry is today, how I want to get more involved in affecting change, and how you can too. Because we all deserve transparency, security knowledge and effectiveness with each product that we are putting in our body!
5 scary facts about the US cosmetics industry today:
I think the biggest misconception about beauty products in our country today is that we don’t have to worry about it, because the government would regulate anything that was TRULY terrible for us, right? I mean, that’s what I thought too! But that is not the case.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very limited oversight of the cosmetic industry.
As our laws currently stand, the FDA cannot require companies to submit safety data before they market a product or adhere to basic manufacturing standards once they do. Of the tens of thousands of ingredients used in cosmetics in the US today, only a small fraction have ever been tested for safety, because they don’t have to.
We are VERY picky about what we put IN our body, but we have no regulations about what we put IN our body. Can you imagine going to a restaurant, blindly ordering something off the menu, and knowing there was a good chance it contained toxic ingredients?
The FDA also cannot guarantee the safety of imported cosmetics.
In fact, they inspect less than 1 percent of the roughly 3 million cosmetic shipments each year. According to a New York Times article, among those it reviews, about 15 percent are contaminated or contain hazardous ingredients.
The United States has not passed a major federal law governing the cosmetics industry since 1938.
That’s over 80 years! How is this possible? Think of all the scientific advances that have occurred in the last eight decades…and there hasn’t been a single need/drive to update the cosmetic industry? 🤔
The United States has banned or restricted 30 ingredients in personal care products, while the European Union has banned or restricted 1,400 ingredients.
That’s more than 1,000 ingredients that have been found to be harmful in other countries and are allowed in personal care products in the US.
The Fragrance Loophole: The industry standard of non-disclosure of fragrance ingredients allows companies to hide harmful ingredients under the guise of “trade secrets.”
The fragrance is controversial. (And personally, I LOVE fragrance, so fragrance disclosure is something I’m REALLY pushing!) Why is it important? Because even if consumers were doing their due diligence to figure out whether or not a product was safe by reading the ingredient label, it might not matter, because ingredients added to a product to create a scent or mask a bad one just need to be listed. under the general generic term “fragrance”.
You can see this on the labels of your lotions, serums, hair products, cosmetics, dryer sheets, candles, deodorants, soaps, sunscreens and more, as well as perfumes and sprays. The EU, on the other hand, requires brands to disclose a list of allergens in fragrance ingredients. Once again, knowledge is power––I I want to be the one to decide if my favorite perfume is worth the toxicity, or if it isn’t!
How personal care products are affecting our health
I’m sure there’s been a news story or (10!) recently that has stuck with you about the correlation between beauty ingredients and health, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s really hard to decipher what’s true and what’s scaremongering. . (Yes, there’s a fair amount of that, too.)
But what can’t be argued: Independent researchers have found asbestos in shiny products marketed to girls, traced reproductive health problems and mercury poisoning in hair and skin products used by many women of color, and nearly 12,000 people have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that asbestos in the company’s baby powder caused them ovarian cancer. Last month, a scientist discovered significant levels of toxic chemicals in Thinx menstrual underwear.
Obviously, there is some real validity to this growing consumer concern. This is where cosmetic reform comes in again. Which brings me to…
How Beautycounter makes a difference + Why I want to go to DC
In 2017, Beautycounter founded the Counteract Coalition: like-minded businesses in the skincare and beauty industries who want more health protection laws in DC and use their collective voices to effect meaningful change. And thanks in large part to her advocacy work, there are also two bipartisan comprehensive cosmetic reform bills that have been introduced in the House: The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act and the Cosmetic Safety Improvement Act. We need Congress to act on this, which is why it’s more important than ever that our voices be heard.
Why do I care about this?
Because the fact that I have this platform and that I have the eyes of millions of women is an opportunity that does not escape me. Of course, the bread and butter of this blog will ALWAYS be helpful tips and tricks to brighten up your day-to-day: style, beauty, tips, you name it. That’s great, but if I did NOT take advantage of the voice I have to put something good in the world, for me, that would be a tragedy, and safer beauty laws are something that we ALL benefit from. on both sides of the hall.
When I first became a Beautycounter Consultant, THIS was the opportunity I was most excited about: the opportunity to go to Washington. Not only would I have the opportunity to make my voice heard in person, but I believe that having the unique ability to bring you along on my trip will go a long way in spreading awareness of how much this reform is needed in our country. This trip is an opportunity to build momentum and continue to educate members of Congress AND women across the country, like you and me, on this important issue!
How can you help me get there:
If you have wanted to make a purchase at Beautycounter in the near future in any case And you’d like to help contribute to getting it to DC; you can make a purchase from now until February 29 through any of the links on my blog or directly from Beautycounter.com/JessKeys and it will count towards my total! (The company brings the top two consultants by state with the highest sales to DC!)
Again, this works like any other affiliate link, so there is no charge to you, it just helps me out! Of course even taking a second or two to read up on the topics I mentioned above is a huge win in my book and WHY I do what I do; that’s the most important thing, so don’t feel pressured to do it. spend money in any way, only if you WANT to.
(Here’s a video of the 2018 trip to give you an idea of what I’d be doing!)
How YOU can take action:
Vote with your dollars:
The biggest drawback to cosmetic reform is that these legislative changes would “hamper business.” As you can probably imagine, this argument is becoming invalid very quickly. Clean beauty is the fastest growing sector of the beauty industry today. Brands are improving their ingredients themselves (thanks to our voices and consumer demand!) and the immense growth of cleaner brands year over year is proof that stricter regulations protecting consumers DO NOT negatively affect business! When you buy from ANY clean brand, you vote with your money and show that transparency and security are better for everyone.
Take two seconds to contact your representatives!
Whether or not you plan on buying Beautycounter (and that’s TOTALLY fine if you don’t!), they’ve created an easy way to make your voice heard. Send a message to Congress that you care about the FDA’s lack of oversight of the products they use every day by texting BETTER BEAUTY to 52886 and tell your representatives that 81 years is too long to wait for better beauty laws. beauty. 👊