1.16.2009

IT'S SO EASY TO BE FOOLED

I've been reading and researching again. Uh-oh, you know what that means: untangling the truth from the slippery great-sounding trash. Where to start?

Well, you remember the post back in December 2007? The one about exposé books? Most recently I've had my nose in Not Just a Pretty Face, the Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, collecting ammunition for an upcoming trip that will include short stays with friends who could use a little re-education. Hey, I understand that everyone has her own agenda, her own issues that are important. Toxic chemicals are my issue, my priority. And, like any good self-important egotist, I know that my issues are the most critical and everyone needs to be aware of them. Therefore, I need to know what I'm talking about when I suggest to them that they're killing me with their perfume, dryer sheets, hairspray, etc.

Chapter Ten in Not Just a Pretty Face starts with: "Cosmetics should be safe enough to eat," says Horst Rechelbacher, who founded Aveda ....

That's him in the picture. I've been reading everything I can find about him -- what a fascinating individual! If you look at the very first result of that Google search, you'll see it's Aveda's main site. BUT HIS NAME IS NOT MENTIONED ANYWHERE ON AVEDA'S SITE -- NOT EVEN IN THE HISTORY SECTION! So, long story short, he's a famous hairdresser from Austria, makes a boatload of money in Minneapolis, formulates a new hairspray, sells it and makes boatloads more money, talks to his mom who is an herbalist about making healthy/safe/botanical beauty products. He starts Aveda, which is Sanskrit for "all knowledge", in 1978. Aveda grows and grows and grows and everybody loves it because the philosophy behind everything they make and everything they do is "take care -- of the customers, the planet and each other." Horst is very Eastern and mystical that way. He eventually got burned out, I guess, because he sold Aveda to Estée Lauder for $300 million in 1997. He stayed on for a few years, partly to use the facilities and partly because he couldn't start a new company for a certain amount of time (couldn't be in competition with Lauder).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 11, 2008—New York, NY—Horst Rechelbacher announced the launch of his new certified organic health and beauty brand, Intelligent Nutrients, at a press event in New York City. The health and beauty lifestyle brand, Intelligent Nutrients, was unveiled to the press and beauty industry and includes more than twenty SKUs for launch. The launch collection includes certified organic aromatics, certified organic scalp and hair care, certified organic hair styling, certified organic total body cleanser, certified organic lip delivery nutrition™, and the heart of the line—Intellimune™—an internal/external certified organic super antioxidant seed oil blend and tablets. This is the first phase of an entire lifestyle brand with future products to include skin care, body care, maternal/baby care, love therapy, pet care and INvironmental products for the home.

This new company of his looks and sounds almost too good to be true, but his history and track record say he means it. He's one very smart and caring and alive human being. I hope this current venture is hugely successful.

NOW FOR THE POINT OF ALL THIS:
Before Estée Lauder purchased Aveda, a customer could feel safe using those products. A tiny bit of research, just a wee little look at SkinDeep, reveals that Aveda no longer enjoys it's previous reputation. No, they do not test on animals. That's a good thing. But NO, they have NOT signed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics -- neither has Estée Lauder, but that doesn't come as a surprise. AVEDA'S PRODUCTS ARE NO LONGER SAFE TO USE (without checking the ingredients carefully). They are full of "fragrance" and we all know how dangerous that is: phthalates and other neuro-toxins abound.

Do your homework people! Burt's Bees is owned by Clorox, did you know that? And maybe Clorox hasn't dumped crap into the products (I'm not putting any money on that bet), but as far as I'm concerned, I will not give one red cent to the Clorox Company. They are part of the problem and they're busy back-pedaling and green-washing like crazy.

What say you?

13 comments:

linda said...

And Burt's Bees has fragrance in it. Had it in there even before Clorox bought them out.

I haven't seen the charts in a while, but almost all the health food store brands were bought up by the regular big name industrial crap producers. Unfortunately that info isn't on the labels.

It's really important to do homework on everything these days, because caring is important.

When we care, things change.

Susie Collins said...

It's great to see you back blogging!

I had no idea Aveda had sold but it's great to see Rechelbacher launch a new brand. I love his line, "Cosmetics should be safe enough to eat." Skin Deep Database is such a great resource, I wish every cosmetics consumer would use it to guide their purchases!

I'm looking forward to following your blog. You really do your homework! Aloha.

Susie Collins said...

Where are you?

Someone said recently they had a horrible experience at the Aveda store at Ala Moana. I don't remember hearing things like that before it sold to Estee Lauder. Too bad.

I'd love to try the products from Intelligent Nutrients, I wonder if they would pass the canary test.

Aloha and hope to see you posting more soon!

Alice said...

It seems like every brand I like gets bought out by someone, and I have to keep reading the ingredients label every time I buy something. I've given up on using shampoo.

Truly natural products are hard to find. I was buying Pangea products at Whole Foods, but they stopped carrying the brand.

I am thinking it's time to learn how to make my own products. The basic ingredients are actually available.

self-righteous said...

Alice,
perhaps one of the companies on the sidebar will help. I know how awful it is to not have something nice for your hair or your skin. What shall we do to get these companies to stop putting garbage in our stuff??

Susie Collins said...

Just checking in and wishing you were still blogging... Hope you are well.

kim said...

Thank you for doing the hard work and sounding the alarm. you will be happy to know we are hearing it. Check out this story - 15 year old girl creates the first ever full line of cosmetics and skincare to score all ZEROS on the cosmetics database. www.AvaAndersonNonToxic.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Self Righteous,

Are you on Facebook? We have a pretty active group raising awareness over there and would enjoy your blog posts.

Awareness is like peeling away layers until you get to better and better solutions. I'm just able to think clearly about what I put on my skin, after 10 yrs of illness! And I want it to be edible! It is easy to be fooled. And many of our beliefs have to be challenged. It goes pretty deep sometimes and can be uncomfortable learning the reality behind products.

Great blog. I'll be back.

Lynn from Living in a Chemical Soup

Kevin said...

Great blog!

Just wanted to note that I haven't been able to stop LMAO at Aveda's name for years. They claim that AVEDA means "all knowledge" in Sanskrit.

VEDA does mean knowledge, yes, but adding the "A" prefix to it makes it "without knowledge" or "lacking knowledge".

How fitting!

Woodduck said...

Keep it up. Let's spread the word. Perfume/fragrance is ruining my life! Help!

Lisa said...

Some of your links are broken like the Aubry(sp.) Organics one. Also Seventh Generation uses SLS.

Self-righteous said...

Hi all,

Thanks for your comments and for visiting. I'm not here much, but I'm hoping to change that.

I'm a cult survivor and have been dealing with altogether different issues than toxic ingredients.

@Linda, I fixed the Aubrey Organics link and cannot find a problem with the Seventh Generation link. Hmmm...

bantamchicken said...

you should check out this great site about cosmetics:
http://storyofstuff.org/cosmetics/
fun and informative!