Heavy Metals + A SALE

Hi again.

If my brother-in-law, Mark, were to read this newsletter, I bet he’d be pretty excited at this title, thinking I was going to talk about the music of his high school years; Metallica, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden.

Sorry Mark! We’re here to talk about heavy metals in makeup….wait, did I lose some of you already? Stay with me, this stuff is important! I’m here to answer all the questions you never knew you had on this subject….

To start, what is a heavy metal?

A heavy metal is a naturally occuring element that becomes widely concentrated and distributed in the environment due to human activities like mining and manufacturing. Some of these metals are necessary (iron, for instance), while exposure to others (namely, lead, cadmium, mercury & arsenic) has been linked to serious health concerns, including cancer, reproductive and neurological harm, and developmental delays.

So how do these heavy metals end up in your makeup?

Well, first of all, our cosmetics laws are terrible. As in, the last meaningful cosmetics legislation was passed in the 1930s. The FDA has little to no oversight over the personal care industry, little authority to review chemicals in cosmetics, and no authority to recall tainted personal care products (you know all those lettuce recalls we’ve had lately? Yea, the FDA can’t do the same for body lotions or shampoos or that lipstick that they in fact, found to have lead in it. This really happened.)

Ok, but are companies purposefully adding things like mercury to our make-up?

Not exactly. The bigger issue here is contamination. To put this another way, these heavy metals tag along with the “good” ingredients (synthetic AND mineral, which means even your “mineral makeups” aren’t necessarily “safe”) that are used in your blushes, eyeshadows and lipsticks. And because the FDA has not set limits on lead and other heavy metals in cosmetics (like other countries have), and so companies aren’t required to test before putting products on the market, no one really knows.

So what can you do?

(1) First and foremost, educate yourself. Do a quick google search on “lead in lipstick” or “heavy metals in make-up.” (Sorry, if I just ruined your day.)

(2) Second, find out what, if anything, the makeup brand you’re currently using does to self-regulate in this area.

What do I mean by this? Well, as it turns out, some companies (like Beautycounter), have decided to self-regulate, in a largely unregulated industry. So, as it relates to heavy metals in makeup, Beautycounter has set its own allowable limits at or below the strictest international guidance (because guess what, other countries actually regulate this sheit). AND THEN, Beautycounter screens all of its color cosmetics before bringing them to the market. The goal is for every Beautycounter product to have “non-detectable” heavy metal limits; however, if this is not possible, then the products always remain within international standards.

I know this was a lot of info so early on the Friday before your children are likely out of school for the next 2 weeks. Questions? Let me know….

ALSO: my Amex is on life support right now, so trust me, I GET IT. But, if you’ve had your eye on anything Beautycounter, run don’t walk to check out the sale that started today and runs through January 13th. Up to 40% off holiday gift sets and select other products.

And most importantly, I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season with your loved ones. Carrie Underwood and her version of “Do You Hear What I Hear” has been making me belt out a tune and cry for the last few weeks. May we all find some goodness and light.