The Next Thing In Makeup and Personal Hygiene Products
Makeup is perishable.
If nicotine patches actually work, putting the drug nicotine into your body through your skin, the same thing happens with whatever you put on your skin.
Many foundation makeups and body lotions have added ingredients to them to make the skin even more permeable to allow the product to sink into the skin, so they can deliver certain things into the skin that they are using to change the skin in some way. So when you apply these products your skin becomes vulnerable to penetration by other things, too.
We buy fresh food weekly or sometimes nearly every day because it tastes better, has less preservatives and is better for you. So why couldn't we purchase smaller amounts of makeup more often?
Makeup doesn't really need preservatives for its primary purpose. But it does need it for the convenience of how it is sold and kept at home and in our purses and pockets.
Refrigerators in the Makeup Isle?
There are many ways to keep perishable products fresh. You can dehydrate them -- remove all of the water -- which bacteria need in order to reproduce. This is the way that the mineral makeups work. They are gentler on the skin because they don't need to add preservatives, although I bet some of them do anyway.
You can refrigerate them, making the bacteria cold and inactive. Molds can still grow if you wait long enough, as everyone who has a vegetable bin knows.
You can use freezing, add salt, sugar, in great enough amounts to inhibit bacteria.
These are time-tested ways to preserve things that humans have been using for centuries. Too much salt and sugar isn't a good thing, though, and so these kinds of preserved foods can't be a big portion of our diet, but for use in small amounts for skin care products, hair care products and make up they might be OK.
Even with preservatives, makeup can be kept too long and become contaminated with sweat, tears, and bacteria from the user's skin and should be thrown away. All makeup that has any moisture in it has an expiration date beyond which it cannot be certain to be safe. If it is unopened, the lack of oxygen can prevent it from spoiling, but it will degrade with time in quality if it has any organic ingredients that can spoil like oils that can go rancid. By organic I mean made from living things like olives, seed oils, etc...
Petroleum products are unable to support life at all, because they are so different from their original source by the time we are using them. Mineral oils are similar.
Chemical Preservatives are Toxic to Life
They might seem safe in small amounts, but only because our bodies have an organ called the liver, devoted to removing them before they can cause too much harm. We keep adding stress to the liver when we add up all these "small" amounts and over the day we accumulate all kinds of things from the air, water, food and our living spaces. All this exposure is cumulative, even over weeks and years, depending on the functioning of our body's elimination systems. Preservatives function by preventing bacteria from digesting the food in the products we use. Makeup has significant parts that can be considered food by bacteria.
We have bacteria inside all our cells.
They are called the mitochondria. They take the food we eat, the water we drink, and the oxygen we breath, and turn it into energy. These mitochondria have their own DNA, different from ours. So when we test pesticides and preservatives on living cells, we need to consider that our mitochondira might be related to the very cells that we are trying to stop from digesting our food.
Some bacteria are good bacteria for us.
Bacteria digest all our food for us. We really need them to convert the components of food into things our human cells can use for growth, repair and energy. Yeast digest flours, acidolphus bifidus digest milk, creating yogurt, other bacteria which exist in the guts of the animals we eat, create all the vitamin B12 we eat. Our bodies cannot function without the good bacteria in our digestive systems to help us. Without them, the bad bacteria can overrun our immune systems and we would die.
Artificial preservatives prevent us from metabolizing anything correctly.
Unlike enzymes, which are in foods and help us to metabolize the food into energy, preservatives and some preservation methods work the opposite way. Some kinds change the enzymes, or some products remove all the active enzymes so that the products will not spoil. But if something cannot spoil it cannot be digested, either.
The definition of 'spoil' is really that some other living thing than us is digesting the food.
The world was made to automatically recycle everything on the planet; rocks, water, air, trees, food, all living things. The process of metabolism is really a variation of decomposition. One type of decomposition is healthy, and some are not. However, without decomposition our food would not, could not nourish us.
Makeup can be made to be like food, not in that it is the same as eating, but that it is made of things that will not inhibit the metabolism our bodies need to create energy for living.
If nicotine can get through our skin and affect our moods and our thinking, then preservatives and pesticides can do the same.... and to what end? Can it do any good, except to make it easier to store the products...
The methods for making personal care products were developed back when it was not as easy to assure that people could preserve things at the place they were sold and where they were kept at home.
Maybe some future makeups would simply be recipes, and we would make our own in small batches from a list of ingredients and keep them in the refrigerator.
Some other ingredients and blends might be better made by someone else, like a baker makes bread, and then put into creative containers and sold out of decorative refrigerated cases.
I think one of the reasons makeup manufacturers don't go in this direction is that it might be harder to have as high of a markup for products sold like foods. Americans are very contradictory in their attitudes; we try to spend as little as possible on foods we buy for eating in our homes, but spend as much as we can afford on personal care products.
Junk food cosmetics.
So now we have cosmetics laced with unhealthy chemicals just so we can buy them in department stores that have no food products and no license to sell food products. Yet products applied to the skin and scalp are absorbed into the body just like food is, but in smaller amounts. Just as junk food is bad for our bodies, no matter how convenient they are, junk cosmetics are bad for our bodies, no matter how expensive the label. You can take the most exotic ingredient and lace it with arsenic and it would not ever be better for you than the same ingredient without the arsenic if they are used before they spoiled.
If there are safer options, why take the risk?
Refrigeration, freezing, salting, drying, canning, are options that don't involve toxins.
The obstacles to this might only be some changes in how products are transported, displayed and purchased, and the markup could still be the same, the glamour could still be there, but without the invisible toxins hiding inside them. We can do all this with the resources we already have, but we might have to do some advertising to change people's attitudes toward how they select and purchase personal care products.
The ingredients could be transported separately to the place where they are combined into makeup and personal care products like shampoo and body lotions, just like soda is made. The water can be added at the last moment, and water is available everywhere at almost every distribution point. If you separate the ingredients, they can be more efficient to store and transport.
The packaging can be added last, even at the moment of purchase. And the packaging can be made returnable and reusable. A liner, or inner container can be brought back, sterilized and re-used, and replaced into the decorative dispensers.
Colors and styles change, and so a single glamorous package could contain several shades over several seasons. But some things are classic, like silver and gold, rhinestones, and cedar, bamboo and oak. If you could re-use some parts of packaging, you could spend more on an inlaid polished oak lipstick case, and feel even more pampered than before.
We all vote with our dollars.
We get more of what we all spend our money on. The manufacturers follow the money, and the trends, often creating trends to then sell their products. If we all think about what we really want before spending our limited funds, and then spend it on products that are as safe as they are beautiful and fun, we will help this process to change even quicker.
People wear masks to prevent contagions like bird flu, but think nothing about using 6 month-old mascara laced with chemical preservatives in it and putting it right into their eyes.
Another way to make this transition would be to make new standards for personal care products, having a level playing field for manufacturers to base their product sales on.
Other Trends In Makeup and Personal Care Products
Already we have organic versions of makeup, but we can do much more to have Fair Trade options.
* We can have the ingredients available at the point of sale, in separated form, and they could be added together based on individual recipes for shade, skin type, sensitivities and even for treating problems like age spots, irritated skin, inflammation, scars and sun aging.
A person could have a daytime color and formula that might have a sunscreen component, and a night time shade and blend that might have some glitter and no sunscreen.
A lot of places have dozens of types of already-made products, laced with chemical preservatives.
* Why not use computers to create the perfect blend on a screen, and then make the blend on the spot? Then a consumer could have hundreds of options instead of dozens.
I love products made with Aloe, for instance. However, I have a friend who is allergic to it from having used it while her hands were irritated from multiple washings required of her in performing her job in a health care setting. My foundation makeup formula would definitely have Aloe in it, and hers definitely couldn't.
I myself became allergic to the antibacterial soaps from having to wash my hands over 8 extra times per day because I needed to perform medical cares for my son. I had several years of cracked, bleeding hands, so bad it made it very painful for me to wash the dishes, and interrupted my sleep at night because of the pain. I had to wear special goo-ey creams on my hands at night with gloves on. How un-romantic! When I went to a dermatologist, I was told to switch to plain mild soap, and I was told mild soap cleans as good as anti-bacterial soap if you wash your hands correctly. Within two weeks, my hands healed and I never had that problem again. I discovered that for me, anti-bacterial means anti-skin! The cells in my skin felt the same way as the bacteria...both died.
Locally grown, locally manufactured.
To save on transportation burdens on the environment, and on transportation costs, have the Executive do the travelling and check on the way a local manufacturer is making a product to patented specifications.
Have as many of the components of the products produced locally as possible. Already we have local water, power (which could then be solar or wind power) labour and many types of minerals and manufacturing materials, many of which can come from recycled local sources. Food is the best example of this; we have the franchise, which combines advertising and business plans, with local labour, local food products, water, local energy, etc., to create a business that people like because it has a uniformity and label that is trusted by the consumer. How much can be done locally?
More transparency with personal care products.
* A complete list of ingredients, including those not required by law (there are thousands of ingredients that do not have to be listed.)
* Along with where they came from, perhaps available online.
* I would like customers to be able to trace the source of everything they buy from its origins to its ultimate destination.
* Any product should be produced in a Fair Trade way if it is made in another country than where it is sold.
* And the entire lifespan of the product, starting with its ingredients, should be transparent, trackable and influence-able.
* Manufacturers could voluntarily take responsibility for researching their ingredients, their manufacuring and production methods, and transportation methods.
* They could accept all of their unused products back, accept all of their packaging back, and hold themselves accountable for the ultimate destination of their products at the landfill, in the ocean, and whether or not they biodegrade there or interfere with the wildlife and fishing there.
Some manufacturers will list on their label what the product doesn't have, but don't say what the product does have, as preservatives. You can't possibly list every toxic thing you don't add to your product... How do you ask, even? Does this product use aluminum as a preservative? Who would know what to ask? Everything should be listed somewhere that is easy for the customer to access.
The world recycled everything before we started making our own things.
Perhaps we should hold ourselves to the same standards that the world has automatically --
that what we create can enhance our lives --
while going easily back to replenish the earth instead of poisoning it.