Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mineral Makeup | An Interview With Katherine Corkill of Sterling Minerals

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fabulous day! Have you tried mineral makeup? Do you currently use mineral makeup? What are your thoughts about mineral makeup?

Today I have the pleasure of posting an email interview with Katherine Corkill, owner of
Sterling Minerals. Katherine is one smart cookie and a wealth of information. I'm very pleased to introduce you to her and her company, Sterling Minerals!

What is your background?
For over 25 years through extensive research I have incorporated holistic and homeopathic remedies into my family's lifestyle, including providing holistic health care for pets for 13 of those years. Other studies include chemistry, aesthetics and color theory and I have been the master formulator for our cosmetics for the past 4 years not including research and development of an additional 2 years.

How did you get started in the cosmetic industry?

Basically, I have dealt with skin issues off and on for many years and only recently due to the onset of peri-menopause have had dry and itchy skin frequently. I discovered the benefits of mineral makeup, however, many were consistent in ingredients that continued to cause problems for my skin. Bismuth Oxychloride and Mica based products caused irritation and ongoing itchiness and I knew there had to be a better way since overall I believed in the less is more philosophy to skincare. So I began my journey of trial and error in creating my own line of mineral makeup and other skincare products. Sterling Minerals Cosmetics was born!

What is minera
l makeup?
It is comprised of what I consider to be the main minerals of an excellent mineral powder: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and we only use untreated USP Grade in all of our mineral cosmetics. Minerals offer sun protection benefits as well. In ours we use a perfect balanced blend of the main minerals and combine them with kaolin clay and surface treated mica encapsulated in Methicone which prevents moisture loss to the skin, and then to create a cooling effect with Boron Nitride which reflects light and heat away from the face while also giving excellent performance to the different formulas we offer for different skin types. To enhance our mineral makeup, we then combine botanical ingredients with the minerals for an overall holistic benefit for keeping skin looking and feeling its best. Rice powder has been used for centuries in the Art of Ayurveda for healing skin ulcerations and bleeding pimples. And of course Jojoba and Allantoin for the benefits they offer for keeping skin healthy and healed. Women have raved about how they are able to wear our products when no others would work. I believe we have captured the perfect formulas for the best overall performance of water resistance, natural SPF and healing properties rolled neatly into a fantastic mineral makeup. Mineral Makeup can be more than just minerals with a caveat: those with preservatives and other chemicals are unnecessary and only expose the skin to other possible irritants. With ours we try to keep it as simple as possible only using those ingredients which truly show a benefit to the user.

Is mineral makeup better for your skin?

I believe it is, based on what I stated in the last question. To elaborate, it allows the skin to breathe, is cleaner application overall, and provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. In cases with ours we have had many women suffering from acne, rosacea and psoriasis proclaim great results. Our natural SPF is perfect too. Although we cannot make a particular claim as to how much SPF without FDA testing, we have shown in our own field testing of us achieving with moderate coverage, up to SPF 25. Also we always advise women that darker colors will have less Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide so SPF will drop. And it is always subjective to how much is applied including with other brands that have received an SPF rating.

Is there a difference between natural and organic ingredients?

Well again this is subjective and often causes confusion to the consumer. There can be natural ingredients used in a skincare lines considered a botanical or mineral, and then there is organic which is typically certified as organically grown botanical. However nothing natural can be added to a cosmetic or skincare product without going through a chemical process to make them safe for cosmetic use. There are processes which are gentler than others minimizing the need for chemical extraction such as cold pressed oils and steam distilled. Organic is a botanical grown free of pesticides and is certified as such, and is overseen by the USDA and their
National Organic Program (NOP) Examples of being able to make a claim for organic are:

100% Organic
: The product contains only organically produced ingredients. It may bear the USDA Organic seal.

The product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The USDA Organic seal may be used.

Made with Organic Ingredients:
Contains at least 70% organic ingredients. The product does not qualify to carry the USDA organic seal.

Are there ingredients for mineral makeup that aren't good for your skin?

Basically anything which can be occlusive. Silicone oils for example have been added to some other lines of minerals and these can block pores, and for some can be a potential skin irritant along with the use of parabens. Also commercially prepared blends are actually loaded with nothing but chemicals and possess a dash of titanium and/or zinc and call it mineral makeup....this is why it is essential for consumers to always read labels to know exactly what they are getting and not go by face value of a title on a box.

What are your thoughts on essential oils vs fragrance oils used in cosmetics?

Essential oils are by far the better choice for skincare products as they are the oil which is derived from the plant extract and provide holistic properties. Fragrance oils are artificially reproduced to capture a certain scent and are full of synthetics and typically don't offer any healing properties.

In your o
pinion, what do you think is the biggest misconception in regards to cosmetic ingredients?
That natural is always better than synthetic or otherwise described as chemical. Everything in nature is a chemical. Water is a chemical. Also those that wish to cast aspersions against the chemical (synthetic industry) due to our skin absorbing these supposedly harmful chemicals, the same can be said for natural chemicals. They too will absorb into our skin and some can have similar potential risk of complications as a synthetic chemical. What has not been determined or proven is whether or not anything through the skin will actually cross into the blood brain barrier. Believe me, there is more harm coming to our bodies through breathing our air, drinking our water and the food we eat. The use of cosmetics to date has not been shown to cause any disease, cancer or illness in any way, shape or form....just a lot of speculation and marketing ploys brought on by the those that wish to disparage the use of certain ingredients just to sell their own products. Also the consumer wishing to use primarily organic ingredients should pay close attention to what is known as "green washing". This is basically where a touch of organics are used and the rest are synthetic ingredients....only the manufacturer calls it organic on the label and its in violation of FDA regulations.

Educating consumers on cosmetic ingredients is important to me. What are your thoughts on how the consumer is being educated?

Unfortunately, the consumer is being fed a whole lot of recycled garbage brought about by the
Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Many compact signers (most of which are in non-compliance to some degree) use the CFSC entity to market their products and by doing so in essence, give an illusion that theirs are in some way better than the competitor who doesn't sign. This is not the case as we were once a signer until we requested they remove us after learning how they were hurting the industry as a whole with disinformation. Our products are exceptional, but I refused to use bad information to promote Sterling Minerals Cosmetics.

The EWG and CFSC currently use the
Skin Deep database for their profiles on ingredients and claim this is actual educational information and is accurate and up to date. This couldn't be farther from the truth or accurate in the least....most data is attributed to MSDS (material safety Data Sheets) and possess significant data gaps. To the trained eye like you and I and other chemists we can sift through the info, but to the average consumer who lacks the basic knowledge of how formulations are designed become fearful and paranoid based on scare mongering tactics by these two entities. Percentages in terms of ratios are not even addressed and are based on full strength contact of an individual ingredient. So instead of actually educating the consumer they are being fed "hazard" info instead of "risk", which there is none in regard to the consumer since their exposure is extremely diminished. The actual analysis is compared to those within a manufacturing facility or taking a full dose injection under the skin as they do to rats and claim "possibility" of illness. To my knowledge no one is eating their cosmetics or injecting them under the skin.....and again to date, there is no unequivocal proof that any of these claims are accurate. No one has ever died or gotten cancer from using cosmetics or skincare products.

Any closing statements you'd like to make?

I feel that it is our jobs to always educate and inform consumers of the facts in terms of all ingredients within the industry and show pros and cons with reliable information and promote our products based on merit rather than disparaging others with false claims. I am constantly debunking information put out by others in the cosmetic and skincare industry that go beyond rationale....I further believe there are many in our industry creating a disservice to the consumer by regurgitating speculative research with incomplete data and only continues to do more harm to their own businesses in the long for those that continue the undying research and only deal in facts and not scare tactics or use bogus claims to sell their products, we will eventually come out on top of those that wish to use this type of marketing ploy. Consumers crave the information, but they want accurate information, something I continue to strive toward. As long as I keep it safe, real and fun, my customers will continue to seek us out and use our products because of those 3 factors I employ in my business model. And bottom line..... truth and integrity will always rise above the fear's tough at times, but we can do it together as industry leaders bringing the best we can in safe cosmetics and skincare products to our loyal customers.

I'd like thank Katherine for taking the time to respond to my interview questions via email. What did you think about this interview? Is there a topic you would like to learn more about?

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a wonderful day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Got Questions About Personal Care Products?

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Do you have questions of who, what, when, where, why and how of personal care products/cosmetics, ingredients, the industry and more?

{care of}

As I mentioned on Friday, I will have more informative and educating posts that also promote discussion. If you have a question you'd like to see covered here then please leave it below.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a fabulous day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, March 26, 2010

Preservatives in Personal Care Products | An Interview With Dene Godfrey

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. LinkedIn is a social networking site where I have been introduced to a wealth of great minds in many areas of expertise, including cosmetics and personal care products. Recent discussions in several groups I belong to prompted me to contact Dene Godfrey, who I interviewed via email for this post.
What is your background?
I have been involved with preservatives for cosmetics since 1981, from both technical and commercial angles. I have a degree in chemistry. I worked for one of the largest manufacturers of parabens from 1992 - 2002, and I currently work for a UK company involved in the distribution of ingredients for cosmetics, health care and food. I am responsible for developing and selling preservation systems.

What are preservatives and why are they needed?

Preservatives, in the cosmetics sense, are chemicals (and EVERYTHING is a chemical, whether natural or synthetic) that kill, or inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. Virtually all cosmetic products are able to support the growth of these bugs unless a preservative is added to prevent this. Bugs in your cosmetic can not only spoil the product (mold on the surface of your skin cream , for example) but they can be damaging to your health. One type of bacteria (called Pseudomonas aeruginosa) can cause permanent blindness if it gets in the eyes.

Is there such a thing as an "all natural" preservative? If yes, please elaborate. If not, why?

There IS such a thing as an all-natural preservative - nature is full of them. Most plants have some form of protection against microbial attack. The problem is that many of these systems are only stable when the plant is alive and flourishing. Once they are harvested, the chemical composition can change dramatically. Also, the components of the protective system in any one plant species can vary greatly and depend upon many different factors - the part of the plant being harvested; the time of year; the location of the plant (even plants of the same species situated a few miles apart can have very different compositions). This gives us a big problem for cosmetics, because the system would need to be the same every time and, if there is so much potential variation, this is just not possible. There are some preservatives that claim to be natural, but this claim can mean any one of many things as there is no absolute definition of "natural". Some people will accept a synthetic, and identical version of a naturally occurring chemical - this is sometimes referred to as "nature-identical". Some people accept a slight chemical modification to the chemical extracted from nature, known "nature-derived". There is no simple answer to this question!

What do you feel is the most common misconception in regards to preservatives?

The most common misconception about preservatives is that they are all dangerous! This is not the case. Whilst, as with any chemical, there are risks involved in their use, these risks are extremely low. Preservatives tend to be a special case because they are used to kill (microbial) cells. This mean that they have some potential to damage any living cell. For this reason, preservatives are very tightly regulated in the European Union, and there is a relatively short list of ones that are permitted for use in cosmetics. All these permitted preservatives have been very carefully evaluated for safety by a group of independent experts appointed by the EU Commission. These preservatives are also the ones most frequently used in the USA. Only a very tiny proportion of the population are unfortunate enough to develop any sort of skin reaction to preservatives.

Are parabens re
lated to breast cancer?
There is absolutely no evidence of any connection between parabens and breast cancer. I could give an extremely long and boring explanation in excessive detail as to why this is the case, but it is much easier just to state that none of the leading breast cancer research organizations accept any link - and you can check this out, as they all have statements about parabens on their web sites! And you are unlikely to accuse these organizations of bias!

Are there scientific data/facts to back up parabens are unsafe in cosmetics/personal care products?

As I said in an earlier answer, preservatives are assessed for safety in the EU by a very rigorous process. At the time of writing, these experts are completely convinced that methylparaben and ethylparaben are safe for use in cosmetics. These experts were a little concerned that there was not quite enough data to enable them to give the same unequivocal clean bill of health for propylparaben or butylparaben, and they asked that further work be carried out. This does NOT mean that they consider these two parabens to be unsafe - just that they need a little more information to make sure of this. These studies will soon be complete, and most people within the industry expect them to be judged as safe for continued use in cosmetics.

Absorption rates of cosmetics/personal care products vary based on a variety of factors. Are there studies that prove parabens are absorbed by the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis and then into the bloodstream?

There is no doubt that parabens can be absorbed through the skin, The main area of disagreement is about the quantity. The most recent study on butylparaben showed that only very small amounts actually were absorbed. You must bear`in mind that absorption through skin is not necessarily a bad thing - it all depends on what the chemical gets up to whilst it is inside the body! There are many studies that show parabens to be excreted in urine, which reduces the likelihood of them ending up hanging around in our tissues and being able to cause any ill effects.

A common statement found on the internet, "Parabens are oestrogenic" - What does this mean?

When something is described as being "oestrogenic", it means that it can bind to oestrogen receptors in the body in a similar manner to that of natural oestrogen. However, it is very important to understand that this ability to bind to these receptors does not mean that the chemical behaves in exactly the same way as natural oestrogens, ie it is not necessarily an oestrogen mimic. It is misleading to state that parabens are oestrogenic, because most studies (all bar one, as far I know) have failed to find any measurable oestrogenic activity for either methylparaben or ethylparaben, and the oestrogenic activity detected for butylparaben was actually 100,000 times weaker than the natural oestrogen used for comparison. It may also help to put this in context when you find out that this extremely weak effect was obtained by using a dose of butylparaben around 20,000 times higher than anyone could come into contact with by using cosmetics! When I say "weak", I mean "WEAK"!

What would you like to see happen to educate the consumer in regards to preservatives?

I don't have any desire specifically related to preservatives, because there are so many common statements and internet myths about many cosmetic ingredients in general that are anything between misleading and downright lies that I would like to see consumer being made aware of.

The major ones are:

"natural is safe" - this is not always true - snake venom, digitalis (foxglove), many species of mushrooms are just a few examples and natural is not automatically better than synthetic in any general sense.

"synthetic is dangerous" - again, not always true - we are in daily contact with hundreds of synthetic chemicals, most of which do us no harm at the levels to which we are exposed.

"your body is exposed to 515 chemicals every day" - whilst this may be true, it doesn't really mean anything. The implication is that this is bad but, in reality, numbers can't harm you - there is no difference in safety between 5 chemicals and 5 million chemicals. It all depends on exactly what those chemicals are. There may only be one harmful chemical present; there may be none. This is a very sneaky way to scare consumers with no scientific justification.

Any closing statements you'd like to make?

There is a lot of misinformation out there, especially on the internet. I can try to give a lot of advice on what to look out for, but there isn't the room here, so I will concentrate on a few things to look out for when visiting a cosmetics web site:

- If they use the term "toxic chemicals" more than 3 or 4 times, treat any information they give with great caution.

- If they imply that you can eat their products because they are so natural, please don't ever do this, as there is a strong possibility that they would make you ill.

- If they mention that their products have a low score on the Skin Deep database - This database is no guide to safety of ANY cosmetic, despite the claims to the contrary. Because they only take the hazard of the ingredients into consideration (with no assessment of the risk) the information is meaningless. I know that a lot of people believe in Skin Deep, but they are very clever at scaring people - that's how they get donations to keep them in business. It is a fact that it may be safer to be exposed to a low level of a product rated 10 on Skin Deep than to be exposed to high levels of a product rated 0! That is why risk has to be assessed in order to gauge the safety of a product.

I want to thank Dene for his time and sharing his knowledge on preservatives in cosmetics. What did you think about this interview? You know how much I love feedback. Dene noted he is happy to engage in any questions, feedback or comments, if you wish.

I'm a firm believer in complete transparency and it is more important to educate you, the savvy consumer, on ingredients as opposed to providing information that is not fact based. Y'all are smart cookies. It is my responsibility to make sure I am giving straight and honest as opposed to false and misleading information about the ingredients I incorporate into Cactus & Ivy products.
Isn't that what it's all about?

Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a fabulous day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nutrient Rich Pecan Oil in Bath & Body Products

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Yesterday's post highlighted that it was Chocolate Covered Raisin Day. Who doesn't love chocolate? It's not only delicious but is a wonderful ingredient to include in bath and body products, which brings me to today.

I grew up eating pecans on and in a variety of dishes cooked up by my southern Mom. To live in the south and not eat pecans is like not putting gravy on your biscuits. 'Pee-can' or 'peh-kahn', it's not just for pie anymore!

Pecan oil {Algooquian Pacaan (Pecan) Nut Oil} is extracted from the pecan nut, is rich in nutrients and oleic acid. It is a great oil to include in bath and body products, especially massage oils because it is light, highly moisturizing and perfect for dry or mature skin. Cactus & Ivy will be incorporating the fabulous ingredient of pecan oil in upcoming formulations.

Looking for an alternative to butter, corn oil or olive oil for cooking? Pecan oil has less saturated fat at 9.5% compared to olive oil with 13.5%, corn oil with 13.7% and butter with an astounding 66% of saturated fat! It's light and does not leave a nutty taste to your food.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Whimsical Wednesday | Did You Know?

Did you know that today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day? I had no clue but now I know why I woke up loving this day. The creator of National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day can't be located on the internet. Who cares? It's chocolate people!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is INCI?

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Spring is in the air and it's also part of a song that is now stuck in my head. Unfortunately, I am suffering from 'lyricosis' and all I can do is hum it.

What is INCI? It sounds like it could be a new show that is part of NCIS, CSI or a new Law & Order. No, it is none of those. It stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. INCI is a system of names for ingredients based on the scientific names and other English and Latin words and it is how ingredients are listed on labels as required by the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FD&C) and Cosmetics Regulations.

Some examples of INCI found in Cactus & Ivy spa, bath and body products are below. To see a full list of ingredients found in Cactus & Ivy products, visit our ingredients page.

Avocado Oil - INCI: Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil
Cranberry Seed Oil - INCI: Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil
Pink Grapefruit Oil - INCI: Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit) Oil

Shea Butter - INCI: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit

Need help finding out what a particular ingredient is? Visit
Cosmetics Info for more information.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a fabulous day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring Fever | It's Compost, Not Dirt!

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Spring time is approaching and I felt it would be right on time to post "It's Compost, Not Dirt" from April, 2009 again. Here ya go.......

I was complaining a few days ago about all the rain we've had and now I want it back! It's the pollen that's gonna do me in now! Ugh!!!

I was trying to figure out what to write and then it hit me! I consider my dad to be an expert on a plethora of subjects but especially in the ways of compost. I just love the word plethora and how it rolls off the tongue!

Any who, when he's not in the yard, he's in the yard. Unfortunately, I did not inherit his green thumb but I did inherit his work ethic. Since he is so good at churning out what I call dirt or black gold, (he's quick to remind me, "It's compost, not dirt"), I thought it would be a neat post! The following is how to start and maintain a compost pile from the resident "compost" maker in the dad! The picture below is of a new pile.

Choose an area where nothing is growing and is out the way. Place a square of black plastic on the ground and begin by placing ground up leaves and grass clippings. Add kitchen scraps from all fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and tea bags to the mix.

Choose a sunny location so the sun can help break down the pile. Adding cheap regular beer and cheap cola help the process along due to the yeast and sugar in the products. Grass clipping have a natural nitrogen content so adding fertilizer to the pile is not necessary.

Turn the pile with a pitchfork without puncturing the black plastic on the ground. If you puncture the black plastic, the "tea" formed in the break-down process will leak out the bottom and encourage invasive roots to sneak in for the great meal. Turning the pile allows oxygen to reach all parts of the pile to facilitate the breakdown process. It is also important not to let the pile dry out so you must spray it with water to keep it moist.

Normal decomposition occurs within six weeks, however, the larger the pile the longer it will take as you continue to add to the pile. Generally, it is better to work on a compost pile this year for next years planting, giving the pile sufficient time to cook and destroy unwanted seeds from growing.

A normal indication the pile is finished cooking is when you no longer feel the heat from the pile when working the pile. Covering the pile with black plastic will intensify the cooking process because of heat retention. Some folks add "dirt" from the local outdoors place to weigh the pile down. It is not necessary. Everyone develops their own style once they see the benefits of composting.

So, there ya have it. I've got 3 piles that need major work and I'm hoping my dad will put his magic touch on them the next time he visits. I know what you're thinking but my dad isn't a 'sit still' kind of person. He'd rather be turning a pile, whether at my house or his! Woo-hoo for me!!

Last year while turning one of my piles, I uncovered something that scared me to first. I had worms that were approximately 1/2" in diameter and 7" long. The first time I laid eyes on them I thought they were baby snakes. I dropped my pitchfork, did my best 'snake holler' and ran from the pile. Luckily my dad was standing there and informed me they were not baby snakes, just really big worms...whew! Worms are great for compost piles!!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a fantabulous day! "He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love."

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordful Wednesday | The Dash

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date
with tears. But he said what mattered most of all, was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents, all the time that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own; the cars...the house...the cash...
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real...
And always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,

And love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more ofter wear a smile...
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to rehash...

Would you be proud of the things they say...about how you spent your dash?

By Linda Ellis}

Monday, March 8, 2010

Safe Personal Care Products In South Carolina The Right Way

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. The indie personal care industry is blazing a trail. Each state is launching a fan page on Facebook for 'Safe Personal Care Products The Right Way'. The pages are created by indie business owners in the cosmetic/personal care industry. We are keeping up with legislation that could affect our industry without any benefit to you, the consumer.

The fan pages were started because of the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act that failed to pass last week. We support safe personal care products - the right way! We are telling lawmakers that we support legislation that protects consumers without unnecessarily burdening small businesses.

What would you like to know about personal care products? Are there ingredients you have questions about?
What information do you need to make an informed decision about personal care products? Do you have questions but have been afraid to ask? How may I help you? I'd love to hear from you!

There are a total of 5 states with fan pages on Facebook at the moment. Even if your state is not listed, become a fan. You may have a favorite product that is manufactured in that state. I know they will appreciate your support and you will receive current information about the personal care industry as it relates to that state.

South Carolina

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Fails

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Very good news to report this morning. Yesterday, the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act HB 10-1248 failed in a vote 7 - 4. I listened live via my computer and man was it exciting. I've never been privy to a formal legislative action related to the cosmetic industry. Can I just say, WOW! This is a huge victory but there is still more that needs to be done.

I won't do a play by play of the 3.5hr long session, I'll just provide a brief paragraph from both sides of the isle.

For the bill

Susan Roll, Vice Chair of the
Women's Lobby of Colorado, and a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Ms. Roll was asked by Representative Daniel Kagan where the independent scientific studies are and why they had not been brought to their attention in the course of lobbying this bill. Ms. Roll replied, "I am not a scientist, I'm a social worker. I am reading what you are reading, also just trying to make some educated guesses about it, honestly".

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CFSC), which I use to be a member, is a dangerous organization. Their claims are based on "guess" and "think". They did not bring scientific claims to the table that would justify their position on
HB 10-1248.

Against the bill

Speaking of facts, Dr. Richard Adamson, a former cancer researcher who is now a representative of the
Personal Care Products Council, spoke of facts. I was mesmerized by his testimony. Dr. Adamson received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Drake University and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Iowa and his doctorate at 23. He also holds a M.A. in International Law and International Affairs from the George Washington University and has further graduate training in science, operational research and government and management.

During Dr. Adamson's testimony, he indicated that any ingredient that is from the soil, meaning, if it grew, would contain trace amounts of lead. Lead is not knowingly added to lipstick, however, trace amounts of lead may appear if it contains ingredients from the soil. "You would have to consume 3 to 4 tubes of lipstick per day for 70 years to reach toxic lead exposure".

So, do you think consumers deserve educated guesses or facts? If you would like to read posts from others on this, please check out the following links:

Soap Leaves - Colorado votes for sound research and good science

Essential U - Colorado House Committee is Told "We Don't Have the Science" & Votes No

Indie Business Blog - Bad Science and Bad Public Policy Combine to Defeat Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act

Thanks for stopping by and I hope y'all have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cosmetic Ingredients | What's In Your Bath & Body Product?

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. I felt compelled to write this after reading so many posts that are aimed at scaring the consumer in reference to toxic chemicals in their personal care products.

You, the consumer, are a very savvy bunch of smart cookies. Read the labels on your cosmetic products and while on a company's website, read their ingredient listings. If a company doesn't list all the ingredients for a product on their website or only tout the "natural" or "organic" ingredients then I have to wonder what they have to hide.

I belong to the Cosmetics and Beauty Network group on LinkedIn that had a discussion posted that was titled "Did You Know The Average Consumer Puts 515 Chemicals On Their Face/Body Everyday?". I had to respond because statements like this are very alarming. Donna Maria, CEO of Indie Beauty posted a reply as well and in part said "Would you rather use a facial cream with a tiny amount of chemical preservative that has been proven safe, or would you rather use a facial cream with no preservative that will grow bacteria and mold that could blind you or a family member?"

What concerned me the most about the person who started this discussion was she represents a company that says they produce products with premium botanical ingredients and a commitment to pure, safe and beneficial products. The only problem I see with this statement is that they do not list the ingredients on their website, as far as I can see. If they are listed then I must need to be a psychic to find them.

Cactus & Ivy proudly lists the ingredients for every product on our website. We list the ingredients on a product label as required by the FDA Labeling Guidelines. There are a wealth of sites that provide information without using "scare tactics" to make you believe the current lotion or soap you are using will cause cancer.

As I've stated in the past, let me say this again. Cactus & Ivy is and always will be for providing safe cosmetics and personal care products. If you ever have a question about an ingredient used in our products, my door is wide open. I welcome your questions and/or feedback.

For more information on cosmetics, ingredients and regulations, check out the links below:

Cosmetics Info - "Your source for safety information about cosmetic and personal care products, their ingredients and how they are tested and regulated."

Personal Care Products Council - "is the leading national trade association for the cosmetic and personal care products industry and represents the most innovative names in beauty today."

Cosmetic Ingredient Review - "Mission: The Cosmetic Ingredient Review thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Truth In Aging - Organic vs Natural Cosmetic Standards

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) - "an association of manufacturers of cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery products, founded in 1945 to promote the interests of members, primarily with government. That remit has now extended to include the European Commission and many other regulatory bodies, national and international groups.

Confidence in Cosmetics

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy