Personal Care Products: What To Consider Before Application

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen. Welcome to Conscious Choice Podcast...episode four!!!!

I’m so excited that we are recording our fourth podcast about conscious living. I’ve learned so much since beginning my eco-conscious path. It feels good to make a positive impact on the environment and the planet.

It’s been super rewarding to collaborate with Jenny on the Conscious Choice Podcast. I feel like, since we are cheering each other on, it makes it more fun and I’m more inclined to be mindful about my daily choices.

Jenny: Hi, I’m Jenny. I am super excited about recording episode four!!

Karen: Conscious Choice Podcast provides listeners with practical nuggets of information to start taking action towards a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Each episode has one eco-conscious topic and then we share three thoughtful options that you, our listeners, can choose that work for where you are in your conscious/sustainable lifestyle journey. Taking tiny steps together will make a big impact. Let's show Mother Earth how much we love and appreciate her.

Jenny: Our podcast can be found on iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radio and on social channels - IG, FB, LinkedIn, go find us - Conscious Choice Podcast!

Jenny: This week’s episode is “Personal Care Products: What To Consider Before Application.”

To kick it off, here are our Three Conscious Choices:

  1. Marketing terminology isn’t regulated. Let congress know how you feel about the ambiguity of terms. Use your voice. Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886

  2. Safer Skincare Swaps - Inventory what you have, look it up on EWG (Environmental Working Group), and find a safer product for that category.

  3. Drop off your conventional/toxic personal care products at your local hazardous waste facility (instead of pouring it down the drain or putting it in your weekly trash).

1. Marketing terminology isn’t regulated.

Terms like green washing: Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company's products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly.

Reading the ingredients is the best way to really know what is in your products. Marketing labels like natural and green raise a concern. When we see the term safe, we also want to see that it’s tested and tested by a certified agency. There isn’t a catch-all term that products us from harmful chemicals in personal care products.

Look up ingredients on Pubchem - US National Library of Medicine

Let’s advocate for human health!

2. Personal care products is a $23M industry in 2020

Clean beauty products are a must for my family and me. It was around the time when my second child was born that I developed a gluten and dairy allergy. I shifted my mindset away from conventional food, and I moved into a more organic diet. Those changes helped me discover how important it was to reduce my family’s toxic load by choosing clean personal care and beauty products too.

That was fifteen years ago, and since then I’ve made it a priority to use toxin-free products for our health and home. It’s not always easy but so worth the effort. I appreciate that there are agencies, like EWG, who help the public stay safe by decoding ingredient labels. Also, consumers and advocacy groups are rightfully demanding more transparency with their consumer goods. There are so many more companies choosing to use organic, toxin-free ingredients in their products and are excited to tell us all about it!

One of those companies is Credo, the largest clean beauty store on the planet. They want to change the beauty industry for the better. They not only stock their shelves with the best, they are building a Clean Beauty Council. The industries best and brightest sit on the board and work together to bring us a better beauty industry.

The clean beauty industry has made strides in helping consumers navigate products, pioneer better ways to source ingredients, and most of all increase awareness through better transparency to help protect us from harmful chemicals in our personal care products. We still have a way to go, but together we will get there.

This is a short list of some of the toxic brands, and they’re national brands found easily in grocery stores and Targets:

  • Loreal Group

  • Procter and Gamble

  • Beiersdorf

  • Avon

  • Unilever

  • The Estée Lauder Companies

  • Kao Corporation

3. Drop off at your local hazardous waste facility

This is the best and most environmentally responsible way to dispose of toxic products. Most hazardous waste facilities will accept cosmetic and personal care products where they will be discarded properly. In fact, most cities have banned personal care and cosmetic products from being poured down the drain to prevent pollution in local waterways. Yes, that’s right, the conventional personal care items formulated for our bodies have to be disposed of at the same facility as paint thinner.

While some suggest at least recycling the plastic bottles, there’s still the dilemma of what to do with the contents that shouldn’t be rinsed out. And mixing in bottles which still contain product with other recyclables can contaminate the entire contents of the blue bin. Placing items in the trash is not a great option because landfills leach chemicals into nearby soil and waterways. This brings us back to the first, and best, option to treat conventional beauty products as hazardous waste.

Make the most out of your excursion to the town hazardous waste dump (no, just me?) by gathering up other hazardous items most households have lying around like batteries, bulbs, leftover paint from that cat condo DIY, cleaner, medications, electronics, etc. and drop them off, too. Some facilities have schedules for different materials or require appointments so make sure to call or check their website for the posted schedule.

TerraCycle is another recycling resource, and “offers free recycling programs funded by brands, manufacturers, and retailers around the world to help you collect and recycle your hard-to-recycle waste.” They have multiple programs, including recycling for:

  • Razors and blades Waste

  • Baby Food Pouches Waste

  • Oral Care Waste

  • Beauty Products and Packaging Waste

So in summary, our three options on the topic of “Personal Care Products: What To Consider Before Application,” are:

  1. Marketing terminology isn’t regulated. Let Congress know how you feel about the ambiguity of terms. Use your voice. Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886

  2. Safer Skincare Swaps - Inventory what you have, look it up on EWG (Environmental Working Group), and find a safer product for that category.

  3. Drop off your conventional/toxic personal care products at your local hazardous waste facility (instead of pouring it down the drain or putting it in your weekly trash).

So, Karen, what do you think you will incorporate into your sustainable lifestyle journey?

Karen: Oh, I’m definitely sending that text to Congress. If we can get accurate labels for our food, we need the same for our personal products. We need and deserve clarity.

I’ve spent an enormous amount of time researching the products I have used and have made many swaps, so having the EWG resource will save me a lot of time in the future.

And, I’ve always been good about my e-waste and paint leftovers after decorating, but I had no idea I could turn in my old beauty products - that’s amazing! I didn’t like the idea of dumping products down the drain, so I usually use it up and change buying habits moving forward, but this is an amazing resource.

It’s incredible that if you go looking, it’s amazing the things and resources you can find.

Thank you, Jenny, for sharing these with all of us.

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