Thursday, June 7, 2007

We Are Cruelty Free. Always.

There is a lot of talk now about cosmetic companies becoming Cruelty Free. That is great news! But what were they doing in the first place? Have you been to the PETA site? (If you have a weak stomach....) Skin care companies putting products in rabbits eyes, so they can call it an "eye irritant"? Shameful. Why don't they just put it in their own eye?

I'll tell you a short story. When I was a first time mom, back in 1997, before I washed my daughter's hair with "tear-free, no sting" shampoo, I washed my own hair with it and purposefully let the suds run into my eyes which, by the way, didn't hurt, sting or irritate them. I used it for my baby from then on. That method of testing is what we should be doing as producers of products. Taking responsibility.

I am outraged and stunned by this business sometimes. Who even thinks to test on animals!? As a product manufacturer, the first thing I did was research. Research, research. Then I chose vendors who could supply me with raw materials that were naturally processed or minimally processed and that DON'T test on animals. In addition, I don't test on animals. My practice is this. I first test on myself, then my friends, and then when it is deemed lovely and safe, I let my kids use them, who, by the way, just can't get enough of any of it! (Especially the Crush On You. They can go through a whole jar in one bath. I think it is just too fun to touch and squish.)

I continue on a slightly different topic. On labels, we expect to get real information and make educated, socially responsible choices as consumers, but it is getting harder and harder these days because the amounts of claims jammed onto the label. I've noticed cosmetic jars stating "Formaldehyde free!" Who DOES have formaldehyde in their products? So if there were enough room on our labels, I would list a whole slew of what we are not, but we simply don't have the room. We are: formaldehyde free, petroleum free, cruelty free, PABA free, mercury free, lead free, etc, etc. The list is huge. I might tackle that one day whan I have too much time on my hands (time?).

A website everyone should look at is Skin Deep. They have listings of cosmetics, scrubs, moisturizers...etc. on the market that are not toxic all the way to the ones that contain high levels of toxicity. A very informative read, but I warn you... be careful, you may want to toss some of your medicine cabinet in the trash after you look at the list. Also, there is an interesting article called "Beauty To Die For" that says, "Several studies have linked long-time hair dye use to bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma."

Ahhhh, there is so much to learn. I will continue to soak it all up, because I need to constantly improve on our company, the products we make and the things we share. I hope these articles are interesting for you, as they are for me. I am fascinated by the whole thing.


dM said...

I wonder if the reason the shampoo was "tear free" is because it or some of its ingredients had already been tested on animals to make sure it was in fact tear free. They couldn't test it on real babies, but then parents want tear free shampoo for their kids, so I wonder what was done to make sure it was tear free before purchase.

Thanks for raising this important issue.

Joanna Schmidt said...

Good are probably right, but then, I was totally uninformed about the ins and outs of products back then. Thanks for your comment!

health watch center said...

Hello Joanna,

Very insightful post, I agree with your point that one must test the product on them selves not an animal. And also liked skin deep site.

Skin Care Beauty Zone.
Skin Care Beauty Zone

Henna said...

Did you end up tossing any of your products? I try not to look at those lists because I know I don't want to part with any of mine!

Laura said...

Apparently, the formaldehyde in some shampoos and body washes are not an added ingredient, but a manufacturing by-product. So, to be sure you don't have formaldehyde in your products, I guess you would have to test them.

To Henna. You should change up the products sometime anyway. If you always stay with the same stuff, it builds up and doesn't work as well. Look at the lists.