Claiming our power as consumers means we need to challenge assumptions we have about these products, the companies that manufacture them and the government bodies that regulate them.
- I can trust in the safety of the products I use.
- The products I use do not affect my health.
- Labels are accurate and consistent and list all of the chemical ingredients in the products I use.
- The government adequately regulates these products and in the process protects me from chemicals known to harm my health.
- I can trust the companies making the products I use because they put my health before dollars and cents.
If you believe any of the above statements, it is time to arm yourself with new knowledge. Next time you shop, take your awakened awareness and your new consumer power with you.
- Just because products are sold over the counter doesn’t mean they won’t harm you.
- Just because these products aren’t making you sick right now doesn’t mean they aren’t affecting your health in the long term.
- If products don’t have all the ingredients listed, the manufacturer isn’t giving you information that could affect your decisions and your health.
- Current government legislation is incomplete and doesn’t protect you from a huge range of chemicals that are known to harm your health.
- The cosmetics and personal care industry is first and foremost a business. It is driven by the principle of maximising economic gain. History confirms that profit-driven interests are likely to take precedence over safety and health considerations.
We also need to ask ourselves an essential question: “Can we consume less, rather than more?” It is well recognised that when tested, the majority of cosmetics and personal care products do not have the correct molecular weights, potency, or combinations of ingredients required to benefit the consumer in a measurable way. The gains are psychological—we feel better, feel more attractive or think we have greater sex appeal.
Simplifying your lifestyle can bring a better quality of life. Using fewer personal care products is one of the easiest (and the most economical) ways to reduce your exposure to chemicals. If you must buy certain products, after reading this book you will at least be able to choose those with lesser or lowest toxicity. And, once you know the facts, there are some products that you will choose not to use at all.