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For today’s post, I have a really interesting, informative and eye-opening read from Mindy from the ‘I Blame Your Dad‘ blog.

Prior to reading this post, I didn’t have a clue about whether my cosmetic products are harmful to the environment. I could hazard a guess that they’d be bad for the environment, but I didn’t realise to what extent or what I could do to help prevent the damaging effects.

I’ve learned a lot from Mindy’s post and she certainly knows her stuff! She sent over her guest post in the fastest time EVER. Plus, it was super comprehensive and detailed, so I’m really impressed.

This is a topic I could never have written about for my blog, so I want to say a massive thank you to Mindy for writing a great, educational post for my site.

I’ve linked Mindy’s blog and social media handles down below, so please give her a follow.

I hope you enjoy the post and learn just as much as I did.


About Mindy and I Blame Your Dad

Mindy is a scrap metal dealer, a mum to two boys and the owner of I Blame Your Dad.

Aiming to teach the world how to be environmentally responsible and how to turn metal into cash, Mindy is certainly very determined, ambitious and interesting. She’s even travelling the world to give seminars on recycling, which is awesome.

I Blame Your Dad covers a wide range of topics, from ‘Environmental Benefits of Recycling Metal’ to ‘Marriage Advice To The Newlyweds;’ Mindy’s blog offers something new, different and inspiring.


Your favourite cosmetic products are rapidly destroying our planet image

Do your favorite products damage the environment?

Short answer. Yes!

And more must be done to raise the awareness of the dangerous chemicals in your morning routine. They not only affect you but also our environment. Hear me out for the long answer as to why.

The chemicals in products such as your eyeshadow, foundation, blushes, nail polishes and even your body washes are polluting our planet at an alarming rate. But exactly what dangerous chemicals do your products contain? How do they harm the planet?

Women use approximately 12 beauty products daily that contain 168 different ingredients and some of these ingredients may be linked to cancer, hormonal disruption, or reproductive toxicity. Researchers in the US have identified 10,500 industrial chemicals that are used as ingredients in cosmetic products.

In comparison, the EU Cosmetic Regulation has identified 12,086 industrial chemicals and has also set more regulations than the US to better control the ingredients used in their products.

One of the biggest problems found in your products are tiny plastic particles called “microbeads”. Microbeads are made up of the chemical polyethylene. It is advertised as new technology designed to provide gentle exfoliation. However, they fail to mention the damage they have on our environment.

Did you know the microbeads contain more plastic in the gel than that of the entire container it is bottled in? Your daily routine sums up to throwing an entire plastic bottle into the ocean itself.

Those are not the only harmful chemical pollutants found in your cosmetic products, though. Other toxic ingredients include:

Paraben — a chemical preservative found in most cosmetics to stifle the growth of bacteria. There is some evidence that paraben is partially at fault for killing off coral and more than a few scientists believe that this chemical is a hormone disruptor in dolphins and other marine wildlife. What is particularly worrying about paraben is that there is a swelling stack of scientific evidence that parabens have been accumulating in the tissues of marine organisms, bears, and birds, which shows us that this environmental contaminant actually works its way from our sink water into the bodies of animals.

Triclosan — it’s another anti-microbial agent used in makeup powders and skincare products. It also happens to be an endocrine disruptor that has been found in alarming quantities in the Great Lakes and reduces the lifespan of freshwater organisms.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) — usually comes in the form of nanoparticles; you’ll find this chemical in skin tints, mineral-based makeups and a wide range of other cosmetic products like sunscreens. Titanium dioxide causes DNA damage to freshwater snails and stops phytoplankton from growing. Given that phytoplankton is responsible for producing roughly two-thirds of the Earth’s atmospheric oxygen, the decreased growth of phytoplankton means much fish — and other ocean life — will suffocate and die. And it’s not just marine wildlife that will suffer, humans and animals, too, will find it more difficult to breathe as atmospheric oxygen levels are depleted.

Other ingredients include pesticides, reproductive toxins, plasticizers, surfactants, degreasers, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, which are compounds that interfere or mimic the function of hormones in the body. Endocrine disruptors can cause reproductive and neurological damage and can lower immunity to diseases.

The chemical components that are found in many cosmetic products do not break down, but instead accumulate. Phthalates, in particular, have shown to accumulate in fish and can change enzyme expression and activity in mammals. Microbeads found in products like toothpaste and face scrubs are small enough to not be caught by sewage treatment plants and often end up in rivers and canals where they can cause water pollution. Microbeads are able to stay in the environment for up to 50 years and threaten oceans and marine diversity.

Why is it important to recycle?

As the demand for natural products increases, companies need natural ingredients cheap, quickly and in large quantities. This demand increases the amount of farming and mining needed, which leads to the use of more pesticides and problematic labour practices. Unsustainable methods of requiring non-renewable natural resources can also deplete and disrupt ecosystems.

More than 3 million tons of personal care products are dumped into our waterways worldwide, each year. If you wish to reduce the chemical imprint and residue you leave behind, one beneficial way is to properly recycle the packaging encasing your beauty products so they do not end up in our landfills or oceans.

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Awesome recycling programs you should know about

Companies like TerraCycle and Garnier have partnered to create a free recycling program for haircare, skincare and cosmetic product packaging, as well as a fundraising opportunity for participants. To date, 11,669,123 pounds of waste have been recycled with their program.

Several more awesome cosmetics companies, including M.A.C., Origins, and Aveda, have recycling programs. For M.A.C., you can return 6 M.A.C. product containers to get a free lipstick. Origins accept any brand’s cosmetics packaging and containers (usually you’ll get a free sample in exchange). Lastly, Aveda takes caps from any brand’s cosmetics, too.

As you’re restocking your makeup bag, consider purchasing from brands that offer refillable makeup pans like Tarte, Smashbox, Mary Kay, and Sephora to prevent waste.

The science of recycling is focused on recovering the materials that an object is made of. For example, recycling a used cosmetics bottle involves shredding it, separating the materials that it was made from, then melting those materials into raw materials that can be then used to make new recycled products. Therefore, reducing the need for damaging our environment by lowering the emissions that are needed to produce the product from new materials.

What about government regulations?

In the United States, both cosmetics and drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For drugs, the FDA requires that new products be shown to be safe and effective before they are allowed to be sold. This is not the case for cosmetics. Although the FDA requires that cosmetics be safe, it does not have the authority to require companies to test their cosmetic products (except some color additives) before they are put on the market. The FDA holds cosmetic firms responsible for confirming the safety of their products and ingredients prior to marketing. Products that have not been tested must carry the label, “Warning — The safety of this product has not been determined.”

In the UK, the EU Cosmetic Regulation have taken steps even further to confirm the safety of their products. In order to demonstrate that a cosmetic product complies with all articles of code, the responsible person shall, prior to placing a cos­metic product on the market, ensure that the cosmetic product has undergone a safety assessment on the basis of the relevant information and that a cosmetic product safety report is set up in accordance with all regulations. All documentation must be presented before reaching the market.

For the purpose of assessing the safety of a cosmetic prod­uct, each company shall comply with Community legislation on the principles of good laboratory practice, as applicable at the time of performance of the study, or with other international standards recognized as being equivalent by the Commission or the ECHA.

Fact: One third of brand-name lipsticks contain lead in levels exceeding the federal limit for safety and that improper disposal of those lipsticks contaminates landfills and groundwater.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about the possible effects of cosmetics, you may wish to visit their company websites to learn more about the products and what may be in them. Concerned individuals may choose to minimise, or avoid, cosmetic use altogether. You should be aware that there is no evidence that cosmetic products labeled as “natural,” “organic,” or “green” are in fact safer than products that do not carry these labels.

Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) digs deep into the nature and use of materials to provide a much richer, deeper measure of environmental sustainability. SMM seeks to establish an overarching materials management approach to help us make more informed choices that can reduce the environmental impact of materials.

Fortunately, today more and more plastics are living another life in a variety of items such as resilient fleece jackets, fun playground equipment, blankets, or even gorgeous backyard decks. Also new packaging, durable kitchen utensils, creative toys, colorful home décor, and even tough car parts. The options are endless and so useful!

So … now that you know what to do, please pitch in and do your part to reduce waste, and recycle more plastics!

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Have you learned something new and are you going to be more environmentally responsible from reading this post? I know I am!

Thank you again Mindy

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