Buckle up, you’re about to learn some formulation facts and watch me go through ingredient lists! I’m gonna do two different products today. One has Dirty 13 ingredients, the other doesn’t, but is made of lies. I want you to see that even if a company avoids dangerous ingredients, their marketing team earns its bonus by convincing you that a slickly packaged product with zero redeeming qualities is good for your skin.

Okay! First we’re going to look at Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple face wash. First, notice that the minimalist font and words such as ‘purity’ and ‘simple’ make you think this company and their products are healthy and good. Manipulation. Next, read the description: ‘The #1 facial cleanser in America!’ This makes you feel like loads of other people are buying this, and human nature will make you feel like you should too. Let’s look at the ingredients, shall we? Scanning through the list, we find methyl- and propylparaben, which have a decent breast cancer link. We also find imidazolidinyl urea, which is a formaldehyde-releaser, meaning that over time, it breaks down, releasing formaldehyde into the product. Triethanolamine makes an appearance too. It’s a pH adjuster, and is a known immune system toxicant and possible carcinogen. While this isn’t the worst set of ingredients I’ve seen (Ben Nye’s Faire Powder wins that award. Every single ingredient is dangerous.), it’s not great, especially for a product like face wash, which is used frequently. Critics will say that the exposure is minimal, so the presence of these ingredients is fine. That may be true for exposure to one product one time, but we apply 10-17 products to our skin multiple times a day, every day, for our entire lifetime. It adds up.

I’m not singling Philosophy out and saying not to use their products. Philosophy is just one of many companies putting out products with these ingredients in them. Philosophy isn’t evil. The result of zero regulation on this industry is that companies are motivated by profit alone. These ingredients are cheap and stable, so they get used instead of more expensive, but less dangerous ones. Companies know you’ll fall for slick ads and packaging, so they know they can formulate an actual turd, and you’ll buy it cause it looks fancy. Companies spend fractions of pennies on the product itself, and millions on packaging and ads. Priorities.

You may be angry, wondering what can be done about this. The chances of the industry allowing regulatory laws to be passed by Congress are slim to none. There has not been a cosmetics regulatory law passed since 1938, and every time someone tries, the cosmetics lobbyists come out in full force to stop it. Your best bet is to hit them where it hurts-their bottom line. Vote with your dollars. If you refuse to purchase products with questionable ingredients, eventually, these companies will see the hit to their profits, and will switch to more safe ingredients. In the meantime, however, you all will need to become label readers, and pay attention to what’s going on your skin. That’s why I send out my Dirty 13 cards with every order, and why I post a photo of it for you to save. That’s why I write posts like this. That’s why I make products without these questionable ingredients, and help you to find other companies that do as well. The industry giants won’t change until we force them to change. Knowledge is power. #themoreyouknow

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