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Not Just a Pretty Face
The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry
Lead in lipstick? 1,4 dioxane in baby soap? Coal tar in shampoo? How is this possible?
Simple. The $35 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful that they've kept themselves unregulated for decades.
Not one cosmetic product has to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration before hitting the market. Incredible? Consider this:
- The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics. The United States has banned just 10.
- Only 11% of chemicals used in cosmetics in the US have been assessed for health and safety – leaving a staggering 89% with unknown or undisclosed effects.
- More than 70% of all personal care products may contain phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and infertility.
- Many baby soaps are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane.
It's not just women who are affected by this chemists' brew. Shampoo, deodorant, face lotion and other products used daily by men, women and children contain hazardous chemicals that the industry claims are "within acceptable limits." But there's nothing acceptable about daily multiple exposures to carcinogenic chemicals-from products that are supposed to make us feel healthy and beautiful.
Not Just a Pretty Face delves deeply into the dark side of the beauty industry, and looks to hopeful solutions for a healthier future. This scathing investigation peels away less-than-lovely layers to expose an industry in dire need of an extreme makeover.
15 percent of the purchase price of each book sold benefits the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, administered by the Breast Cancer Fund, through December 31, 2012.
Stacy Malkan is Communications Director of Health Care Without Harm and media strategist for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition working to eliminate hazardous chemicals from personal care products. Stacy is a former journalist and newspaper publisher who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"This is a gripping, personal book by a recovered cosmetics addict with a great factual range on the impact of an unregulated group of companies, which have chemicalized the commercialization of beauty. This book should be read by women and men who have trusted, for too long, the companies whose products get inside their bodies and their minds, to the detriment of their health. Governments should require pre-market testing for safety. Ms. Malkan provides them with the evidence to finally act on behalf of consumers."
Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, author of Unsafe at Any Speed
"A must read for everyone. Writing this book at this time is most important. If we as a human race are not waking up to the realities within our biological systems, we humans are next on the endangered species list. Thank you Stacy for this most important investigatio" into the hidden dangers of everyday personal care"
Horst Rechelbacher, founder and former owner of Aveda
"As a cancer survivor it is of great concern to me that the products I am using to make me beautiful on the outside are potentially making me ill on the inside. The skin is the largest organ in the body with the capability to absorb everything, so how is it possible that our skin products continue to go unregulated by the FDA? Shame on them for neglecting the American people in this way. Thank you Stacy for exposing the truth. The jig is up."
Fran Drescher, New York Times best-selling author and star of the Emmy award-winning series The Nanny ; visionary and president of the Cancer Schmancer Movement; uterine cancer survivor
"As Stacy Malkan writes, the jars and bottles may be exquisite, but the truth is sadly painful about the ingredients in cosmetics and the defensiveness of the cosmetic industry. Her book is a captivating and convincing call to women to take a second look at the cosmetics they are exposing themselves and their unborn children to — and to do something about it. This book should be required reading for all teenagers, including the young men."
Theo Colborn, PhD., leading scientist and expert on endocrine disruptors; president of TEDX (The Endocrine Disruptor Exchange); coauthor of Our Stolen Future
"If you've ever thought twice about what's in your shampoo bottle or a tube of lipstick, it's thanks to the fine work of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. In Not Just a Pretty Face, Stacy Malkan introduces us to the brilliant and dedicated women behind the campaign, who have dared to take on Big Beauty and managed to reinvent the environmental movement at the same time. It's an inspiring and provocative take on an industry-gone-wild and what must be done to protect our health and the planet. Read this important book — you'll never look inside your bathroom cabinet in the same way again."
Virginia Sole-Smith, environmental/women's health journalist
"Not Just a Pretty Face underscores why we need Moms Rising, why we need a massive number of citizens' voices reminding our leaders about what their priorities need to be: safe products for our children and for ourselves. Together we can give our government a makeover."
Joan Blades, cofounder of MoveOn.org and MomsRising.org; author of The Motherhood Manifesto
"The jig is up for the cosmetic industry. Stacy Malkan's powerful compelling story of the overuse of unhealthy petroleum products in the stuff we put in our hair, on our face and over our body is so very important for us to hear, especially teenagers. She's clearl" got the science down, but it is the fascinating stories of heroes and hope in the battle to "make over" the beauty industry that makes her book so readable."
Don Hazen, executive editor, AlterNet.org
"Not Just a Pretty Face is an entertaining and inspiring account of what we can all do to protect ourselves and our families from the toxic ingredients in our body care products and cosmetics. The well-researched and dramatic stories of the scientists and activists who are working to protects us, their recent successes, and the tragedies that ensue because our government fails to regulate toxins are unforgettable. A must read for anyone who cares about our health and environment."
Arlene Blum, PhD chemist; author of Annapurna: A Woman's Place and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life
"We are being exposed to toxins in personal care products without knowing it. Not Just a Pretty Face effectively conveys volumes of information while keeping us hanging page after page. Not only will you feel much more informed after you finish, you will also feel like you have just read a great mystery. Each and every American should read this book and take action."
Sabrina McCormick, PhD; film director, No Family History ; Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar, University of Pennsylvania
"Crucial reading for anyone who has ever been to a drugstore. By examining advertising and the "beauty" industry, this book calls into question terms like "herbal" and "natural," and the very brands we have been taught to trust. Be prepared for the urge to take ou" and investigate every product in your bathroom cabinet."
Jesse Epstein, documentary filmmaker, Wet Dreams and False Images (Distributed by New Day Films)
"Stacy Malkan strips back the layers of the powerful cosmetic industry and reveals the truth about the personal care products we use daily. Not Just a Pretty Face offers up shocking information backed up by powerful studies and quotes from experts – all packaged in an accessible style that doesn't alarm but informs. What's more, Malkan provides to necessary tools to help consumers make better choices — for themselves, their children and the planet."
Leslie Garrett, columnist and author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World
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