Last weekend, I went to the Ecomentors Beyond Green Youth Summit, where I had the pleasure of hearing many different interesting workshops and met tons of cool people! While scanning the list of workshops of the day, one in particular caught my eye. It was called Toxic Beauty. The workshop was facilitated by Jenise Lee, the founder of Clean Care.

What is Clean Care you may ask? Well, it’s a seal of approval which monitors body and hair care products to make sure that they are safe for us as consumers to use. However, in order to get this seal, the beauty company’s products have to be completely free of any nasty harmful chemicals. Inspired by the David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen list, Clean Care is growing and is beginning to put their stamp of approval on various personal care companies that are toxic free.



The one thing that the workshop really opened my eyes to, is about taking the initiative to read the backs of product packages. As a teenage girl, I use quite a slew of beauty and hair care products without even stopping to question what I’m putting on. I never stop to wonder what’s in my tube of lip gloss or whether or not, my favourite body butter is doing me more harm than good. And as I found out last weekend, the truth is, most of the times the products we use to enhance our appearances, aren’t actually doing us any good in the long run or on the inside. I was surprised to learn that even something seemingly harmless like parfum (a.k.a. fragrance), even in products marked as unscented cause a lot of harm to you and to wildlife. Also, how products with the words natural, organic or non-toxic aren’t always true. It turns out that the majority of beauty products that we use are filled with various types of harmful chemicals, that make you look great now but are known to disrupt your endocrine system (such as parabens) and are even carcinogenic (such as BHT and BHA)!

The great thing is, that there are beauty and hair care companies, that making a difference and are offering whole lines of natural products, that will make you look good and make you feel good! ( Not to mention, they give you a piece of mind!) Also there are online suzukitools to help you make better decisions when you go shopping, like David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen shoppers guide and EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database (a great site which allows you to check how safe your favourite beauty products actually are). As well, there are organizations our there trying to make a difference and spread the news about reading between the lines on the backs of packages and  educating consumers about what they are really putting on and eventually in their bodies. For example, Wtf. (Wannabe Toxic Free) and WHEN (Women’s Healthy Environments Network). So the next time you go on a a beauty shopping spree, try to check the ingredients list and find the meaning in between the lines.