Stay up to date with the latest news about toxic chemicals in cosmetics, and how you can find safer products…

2/1/12: News about beauty products for African American women: important article by Thandisizwe Chimurenga in the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper discusses the health risks posed by toxic ingredients in hair products marketed to African American women.

Also, Happy Black History Month! I highly recommend Isabel Wilkerson’s amazing book The Warmth of Other Suns. This book is powerfully written and so important and should be required reading in every school in the U.S.

1/30/12: Toxic dangerous hair straighteners: The California Attorney General settled its case this week with the makers of Brazilian Blowout. Kudos to the AG for doing what no other government agency has been able to do: force this crazy company to stop lying about the danger of its products. More info:

Calling all hair stylists: The National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance wants to hear about any health effects you’ve experienced from Brazilian Blowout products. Write to FDA through this website.

1/30/12: What you need to know about toxic products and safe choices: Two good pieces in Washington Post by Carolyn Butler: Soaps, makeup contain deadly ingredients, advocates say and expert advice for finding safe cosmetics.

11/30/12: The market is shifting to safer products! Check out the new Market Shift report from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics — great info about the growing market for natural personal care products, and the 322 Champions for Safe Cosmetics that are avoiding chemicals banned in other countries and fully disclosing their product ingredients – what all companies should be doing! Find the Champions here, and send them your love!

Associated Press: Campaign gets companies to make safer products.

11/1/12: Huge victory for safer baby products.  Under pressure from health groups, Johnson & Johnson agrees to globally reformulate hundreds of baby products to remove carcinogens. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report that prompted this action — Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic (written by yours truly) — received worldwide press coverage.

Follow up: Nov. 16, Johnson & Johnson delivered a letter to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics laying out their commitments and timelines for reformulating their products. Good step forward, but as Deirdre Imus points on out Fox News, J&J needs to provide more action and answers.

More must-read research by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and EWG.

Not So Sexy Fragrance Report: First comprehensive analysis of celebrity perfumes, colognes reveals multiple undisclosed toxins.

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Cord Blood Contaminants in Newborns: Synthetic fragrance chemicals are among 232 toxins found in umbilical cord blood of newborns.

No More Toxic Tub: Children’s bath products labeled “pure” and “gentle” are contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals — and it’s not just Johnson & Johnson!

Teen Girls’ Body Burden of Cosmetic Chemicals: EWG study finds 13 hormone-altering cosmetic chemicals inside the bodies of teenage girls.

Lead in Lipstick, a Poison Kiss: First-time product tests reveal that popular lipsticks are contaminated with lead.

Not Too Pretty: Chemicals linked to birth defects found in 72% of personal care products including shampoos, deodorants, hair gels and perfumes — 2002 report.

A Little Prettier: Under pressure from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, some beauty companies are quietly phasing out phthalates — 2008 update.

News about Stacy Malkan’s book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry”

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May 23, 2008 — Stacy Malkan’s groundbreaking expose’ about toxic cosmetics has won a top award from the independent publishing industry. Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry received a 2008 Silver IPPY Award from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

“This award is a tribute to the breakthrough work of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and I am honored to share the inspiring story of the women and men who are changing the face of the beauty industry, ” Malkan said.

NEW: “Not Just a Pretty Face” won a 2010 Best of Green Award from for Best Fashion/Beauty Book.


October 1, 2007 — Lead in lipstick? 1, 4 dioxane in baby shampoo? How is this possible? Simple. The $50 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful they’ve kept themselves unregulated for decades. Stacy Malkan’s first book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society 2007), follows a group of breast cancer activists as they go knocking on the door of the world’s largest cosmetics companies to ask them to stop using chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects.

As doors slammed in their faces, the beauty myth peeled away and the industry’s toxic secrets began to emerge. The good news is that while the multinational corporations fight for their right to use hazardous chemicals, a national movement is building to give the beauty industry a makeover!


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“The uplifting story of activism by women and teens who have been fighting for safe cosmetics against a billion-dollar industry.” — Kathy Gerwig, Wall Street Journal

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“An encouraging and empowering story!” — LA Times blog review Gift of Knowledge: Six Green Reads

San Francisco Library Green List of Recommended Eco Reads

“Read this book! It is educational, unsettling, and inspiring. Personally, I have made several changes in the products I use and the quantity.” Kaffeine Buzz

“A must read for anyone who uses any type of cosmetic/beauty/personal care product.” Threadbanger

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“This is an outside-the-box book that reads like a captivating novel and lands much to close for comfort… It is a must-read.” Alive Magazine, April 2008

“Great Reads of Winter 2008!” MS magazine

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“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.” Ralph Nader, consumer advocate

“A must-read for everyone! Thank you, Stacy, for this most important investigation into the hidden dangers of everyday personal care.” Horst Rechelbacher, founder/former owner of Aveda


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San Francisco Chronicle: “Activist, Author Challenges Cosmetics Industry”

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San Francisco Chronicle: “Makeup for Teens Getting a Green Makeover”

Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The Ugly Side of Beauty Products

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Washington Post: “Can Beauty be Dangerous?”

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Washington Post: Online chat with Stacy Malkan

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Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 275 user reviews.

3 Responses to “”

  1. Terry Stephens Says:

    I believe that God made us to be pure and we are beautiful just the way we are. When people start using the make-up continuously, they have a problem it becomes a addiction and everyone knows when you overdue something the out come can be nasty. Like women who just were make-up all the time eventually when you take it off you have dried out all the natural oils in your face that you just look pale and dry and now you NEED the make-up. Yes majority of the ingrediants in the cosmetics are harmul so abuseing them will eventually turn out the skin or even worse. To me its all about is it worth it?

  2. thoughts Says:

    Hey, im reading chapter11, so basically Dr.Li is telling me i’ts just to much toxic in our material economy?I feel the Green Chemistry that Dr.Li spoke about would be great to use.I mean who would of thought of Mussels from the beach, being scraped from a few rocks for adhesive substance which is non-toxic would be used for (glue) that works perfectly for making plywood for kitchen cabinets. now that’s nature for you!

  3. Stacy Malkan Says:

    Yes, it is a wonderful thing! Through billions of years of evolution, nature has already figured out many of our most vexing design problems. A great free resource on this topic is

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