After performing an organic apple cider vinegar/water rinse on my hair a couple weeks ago, and smelling the lingering effects of said rinse for a remarkable number of days afterwards (essentially, my hair smelled like wet dog), I couldn’t help but think man, how the times have changed. I used to be a woman who often slept in trace amounts of Clinique red lipstick (shade: Ginger Flower). A woman who wore so much LOREAL liquid eyeliner that my eyes, in a feeble attempt to cleanse themselves, would cry out whatever I hadn’t wiped off before going to sleep. But I jumped into all this hippie-dippy stuff so fast on the blog that I never actually told you how I got into it in the first place. Let me break it down. Three Reasons I’m Now A (Sort of) Hippie:
1. I suddenly realized that my makeup could damage my health much more than I ever imagined.
When my sister started drinking the KoolAid of green beauty, I thought it was utter craziness. C’mon, I thought. It’s not like you eat your makeup. Then I learned that your skin can absorb a whole lot of what’s put on it. And check out this sobering statistic from researchers Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt in their book No More Dirty Looks:
…only 11 percent of the 10,500 ingredients determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be in use by the cosmetics industry have been tested for safety by a publicly accountable agency. Of the ones we do know about, some are flat-out dangerous to our health, others are questionable at best, and most are doing almost nothing to improve the quality, feel, and health of our skin and hair.
And you mean to tell me that many of those mystery makeup ingredients are hitting my bloodstream? This troubled me. Especially when I considered that I must eat a lot of lipstick since it was on my lips all the time (because oh, how I loved my lipstick). I’m admittedly not the healthiest eater ever (my favorite food is pizza and my second favorite is cheese), but I do want to take good care of my body to the best of my ability. And if the makeup that I wear all day every day is putting my health at considerable risk, it’s enough reason for me to change my habits.
2. I don’t want my products tested on animals.
I’m going to take my tongue out of my cheek for just one second here and get totally serious. To be brutally honest, animal testing didn’t figure in at all to my initial decision to go green. I did it primarily for my own health. But I have grown to deeply respect the green beauty industry’s commitment to no animal cruelty. It features prominently in many of the brands’ packaging and is obviously something they make a high priority. See, I practically came out of the womb begging for a dog. When I was a child, my family thought I would be a veterinarian or a park ranger because I love animals. And the idea of any animal–even if it’s just a lab rat–suffering so that I can have the shade of blush I want doesn’t sit well with me. Actually, it makes me angry. I love makeup, but I don’t want any animals experiencing pain for it. To cement this point, I obviously can’t miss this opportunity to showcase my absurdly cute dog:
3. The green beauty industry just seems like a smart industry to me.
I know that’s a very unscientific and unspecific thing to say, but it’s true. Rubbing makeup with green tea extract in it makes more sense to me than rubbing unidentified chemicals on my face. Additionally, I love the heart behind many of these product lines. They’re smart and generous entrepreneurs. Mordecai Alvow of Yarok Hair is committed to protecting Amazonian rainforests. Tarte has given back to Sustainable Amazon Partnership, Habitat for Humanity, and St. Jude’s, to name a few. Rooted Beauty has a beautiful program for empowering women who are disadvantaged and poverty-stricken. I love this kind of vision.
Finally, because I am an English major with an obsession for story, I will leave you with the perspective of Rose-Marie Swift. She used to be neck-deep in the mainstream cosmetic industry until her health took a sudden turn…and the doctors gave her what I thought was a shocking and telling diagnosis. If you don’t read this whole page, just scroll down to the Q&A part.
So there you have it..how I became a makeup-loving, apple-cider-vinegar-hair-rinsing hippie. What about you? Are you all jazzed about green beauty or on the fence about it?