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Toxic Makeup Best & Worst: Revlon review

How toxic are Revlon products?  Pic by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

How toxic are Revlon products? Pic by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Since my last toxic makeup review was on a high-end brand (Urban Decay-to read it, click here), I thought I would review a popular drugstore brand next.  Below is a quick rundown of some of Revlon’s best and worst rated makeup products.  The ratings were obtained from the Skin Deep database by the Environmental Working Group (which can be found at www.ewg.org/skindeep).  The rating scale is simple, ranging from 0-10 with 10 being the most toxic product score.  As always, please keep in mind that formulations in cosmetics are constantly changing.  Consequently, I encourage looking up product ratings before you buy them either on Skin Deep or www.goodguide.com (which also includes the company’s eco and social responsibility ratings).  While Revlon has quite a few low-toxin products (168 out of the 1022 current products rated), overall most of their products were in the moderate or high toxin range.  For the sake of brevity I did not list all 1022 products, but here are various examples of Revlon’s products and their ratings, starting from the worst scores.

10: Hair color.  Do you really want this absorbed into your head?

9: Colorstay Mineral Blush in Roseberry, Colorstay Blemish Concealer, Silky Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed Bronze, Age Defying Makeup Foundation with Botafirm for Dry Skin

8: Certain Moondrops crème lipsticks

7: Some Super Lustrous Lip Glosses (ex. shade Nude Lustre 040), Photoready Powder, ColorStay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin

6: New Complexion One-Step Compact Makeup, Nail Care Liquid Quick Dry, Cream Blush in certain shades (ex. shade Rosy Glow)

5: Nearly Naked Makeup (ex. shade Warm Beige), PhotoReady BB Cream Skin Perfector, Illuminance Creme Eye Shadow (ex. shade 725 Va Va Va Bloom), Just Bitten Lip Stain & Balm (ex. shade Dawn),  ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick (ex. shade Flashing Lights), Colorstay for Normal/Dry Skin Makeup with SoftFlex (ex. shade Sand Beige), ColorStay Liner For Lips

4: Matte Eye Shadow (ex. shade Vintage Lace), Colorstay 12-Hour Eye Shadow quads in certain shades, Luxurious Color Eye Line (ex. shade Black Velvet), Lip Butters (many hearts may be breaking over this, these are so popular!)

3: Certain shades of  PhotoReady Concealer Makeup, PhotoReady Cream Blush (ex. shade Coral Reef), PhotoReady Mousse Makeup in certain shades, ColorStay Whipped Creme Makeup in certain shades, Colorstay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder-Translucent,  ColorStay 16-Hour Eye Shadow Quad (ex. shade Bombshell), Age Defying with DNA Advantage Cream Makeup, and nail polishes scored at least 3, at most 9

2: Super Lustrous Lipstick in many but not all shades, here’s a few: Sky Pink, Wine with Everything, Violet Frenzy, Peach Me, Smoky Rose, Coffee Bean, Apricot Fantasy, Sassy Mauve, Just Enough Buff, Cherries in the Snow; Photoready Kajal Intense Eye Liner & Brightener (ex. shade Purple Reign), Grow Luscious Waterproof Mascara, Custom Eyes Duo Shadow & Liner Palette (ex. shade Naturally Glamorous 020), Custom Eyes Mascara (ex. shade Blackened Brown 003), ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in many but not all shades, here’s a few: Nude, Perfect Peony, Premier Pink, Prized Plum, Stellar Sunrise, and more; PhotoReady Eye Primer & Brightener, PhotoReady Makeup foundation (all shades)

1: ColorBurst Lipstick in the following shades: True Red 090, Rosy Nude 065, Fuschia 030

0: Remover for Lash Adhesive, Color Allure Nails, Medium nail glue

Please note I did not include products considered by Skin Deep to have an old formula (more than 3 years old), and also that not all shades of the same product will have the same score.  Approx. 16.4% of the products I viewed were low toxin, which is honestly more than I thought there would be.  But Revlon can certainly do better!  Poor scores resulted from toxic ingredients such as multiple parabens (linked to reproductive toxicity, hormone disruption), BHA (linked to cancer, organ toxicity, hormone disruption), methyl methacrylate (linked to developmental toxicity, for example, fetal exposure in utero, breastfeeding infants, direct application exposure while still developing), and many more.  Good Guide (www.goodguide.com), which rates product health, social, and environmental responsibility 0-10 (but with 10 being the best, no-toxin score) gives Revlon the following overall ratings: Health 1.9 (extremely poor), Environmental 3.9 (poor), and Social 3.9 (poor).  Visit their website for more information.

Do what you wish with this material.  Perhaps it will spur you on to changing your Revlon purchasing habits.  If you feel inclined to take further action, there is a form letter on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website that you cane-mail to Revlon asking them to remove harmful chemicals from their products.  They also have more information on the kinds of toxic ingredients in Revlon products as well as their linked health concerns (and much more).  Here is the page: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5500/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=15670

What did you think of Revlon’s ratings?  Were you surprised?  Please leave a comment below with your thoughts, questions, and requests for other brand reviews.  Be good to one another and thanks for reading.

Resources/For More Information:

www.ewg.org/skindeep

www.goodguide.com

www.safecosmetics.org

Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan

“Be kind and compassionate to one another,” Ephesians 4:32

The video featuring some of the products mentioned:

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Am I Seriously Considering Cloth Diapering?

My Cloth and Biodegradable Diapering System

My Cloth and Biodegradable Diapering System (Photo credit: po1yester)

Amazingly I find myself sitting here, very pregnant and contemplating cloth diapers for my soon-to-be newborn.  This is something I have given only the briefest consideration in the past.  Sure I was aware of some pros to going cloth.  But there was one factor I just could not get over: dealing with the poop.  So here is my story of how I came to consider this seriously.

First of all I should let you know that my dad worked in environmental safety as his professional career.   Why is this important?  Let’s just say I was raised with a heavy awareness on how we as people affect the environment and the importance to taking care of the planet (to put it mildly).  My father is very passionate about this, and I was fortunate enough to have this passed on to me.  Obviously, using disposable diapers and wipes takes a nasty toll on the ecosystem.  It is estimated that a child will contribute 8,000-10,000 disposable diapers into the landfill before becoming potty trained.  This does not include the use of swim diapers or disposable potty training pants (which, let’s face it, are basically just diapers that go on like underwear).  And then it takes hundreds and hundreds of years for these diapers to decompose.  But this is something I have known for years, and while it gave me an occasional twinge of guilt, did not sway me to use cloth diapers.  Next is the issue of cost.

It costs roughly $2000 to diaper one child for 2 years with disposable diapers.  This is not including disposable wipes.  It costs approximately $300-400 to diaper a child for 2 years with cloth diapers (of course this number can be much higher or lower depending on the type and material of cloth diapers you wish to use).  Again, this is something I was aware of, no surprise there.  This still wasn’t enough to sway me.  But here are some things I did not know previously.

Have you ever read the directions on a package of disposable diapers?  If you are shaking your head thinking that is the dumbest question you have ever been asked, I understand completely.  I never had either until recently.  But if you check it out, the disposable diapers give the direction to dump fecal matter into the toilet before disposing of the diaper.  What?!  I thought I was using these to avoid dealing with the poop as much as possible?  It turns out I was supposed to be dealing with it all along.  There goes my main reason for avoiding cloth diapering.  But that is not the factor that tilted the scale for me.

Now maybe you are much smarter and up on things than I am and this will be no surprise to you.  I was completely shocked to learn what chemicals are in disposable diapers.  Some such chemicals are dioxin, sodium polyacrylate, Tributyl-tin or TBT, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and fragrance which contain phthalates.  While the threat of each chemical differs, some are carcinogenic known cancer causers, known to disturb hormones, known to disrupt the endocrine system, known respiratory irritants, and known for potentially causing skin irritation.  These are products that are sitting on our children’s most private body parts for hours at a time.  Once I learned this, it was a done deal.  My aversion to inconvenience could in no way trump the health of my child.  Then I began the long process of researching different kinds of cloth diapers and alternatives to disposable wipes.

While I was tempted to beat myself up for not going cloth sooner, at least I am doing it now.  And I am not alone.  More people seem to be considering cloth than have in decades.  I must admit, when the initial box of cloth diapers came and I actually took them out and looked them over, the reality of choosing cloth sank in deeper.  This is no longer a great idea on principle.  I am actually going to have to deal with the poop and the washing of the diapers.  But when it comes to my child’s best interest, it’s a no brainer.

Are you a terrible parent if you choose to use disposable diapers?  Of course not; it takes much more time and up-front cost to use cloth.  I hope you will at least consider it.  Do some research, using the references listed below and others (there are many) before you come to a conclusion.  Thanks for reading.  Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts on this topic.

References:

Lehrburger, C. (1988). Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The disposable diaper myth. In Library of Awareness. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from http://libaware.economads.com/ddiapermyth.php

Sharratt, A. (2010). Disposable Diapers: Are they dangerous?. In CBC News. Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2010/05/28/f-disposable-diapers.html

Why Choose Cloth Diapers?. (2012). In Real Diaper Association. Retrieved February 8, 2013, from http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php