That was until I had a certain encounter on the Beauty Heaven Forum. Someone was seeking advice on some good, cheap cleansing wipes and I replied that she should just use baby wipes - that you could get a pack of 80 for a couple of dollars and that I sometimes used them when I'd run out of my normal wipes. Another member then berated me, stating that baby wipes are one of the worst things that you could use on your skin, that they contained mineral oil which clogs your pores. It got me a bit worried - not so much that I was occasionally using them on myself but more the fact that I was using hundreds of these wipes on The Crazy Kid each week.
This then became my introduction into the confusing world of cosmetic chemicals, and trying to decided which ones to avoid. The more I researched, the more I found that the information out there tended to be incredibly emotive and very one-sided 'If you use this chemical you WILL get cancer'. A bit extreme, perhaps, but as soon as I come across a really strong and emotive opinion it almost becomes my mission to prove it wrong! As a scientist, we a trained never to just take one opinion - to read as many papers on a topic as possible to get a well rounded point of view. Often there will be conflicting information and opinions out there so it then becomes up to you to decide which side of the fence to sit on.
I found wading through all this conflicting information incredibly confusing and so gave up, sticking to my attitude that if a product is being sold then it must be safe. Then I discovered a brilliant book (thanks to an amazing review on the blog Moxie Reviews) that really helped me see through the conflicting views. It is called Can you get hooked on lip balm and is written by the authors of the beauty blog The Beauty Brains. These guys are a bunch of cosmetic scientists who answer questions people have in regards to cosmetics. This book is compiled from hundreds of these questions that they have answered. They will state why a beauty myth might exist then examine all research that has been conducted in the field and give a response based on this. Here is an example (that I have paraphrased) from book:
Parabens - the reason there is such fear about this ingredient is that a research paper on breast cancer analysed samples for parabens and every single sample contained parabens. However, the authors of the paper could not find out how the parabens got into the breast tissue. Parabens are used in cosmetics as a preservative. The Beauty Brains team examined all papers available and there is still no research available stating that parabens have any involvement in breast cancer. So they concluded, based on the research to date, that as there is no evidence that the parabens can cause cancer, the benefits they offer as a preservative means that as this stage they can still be regarded as safe.
This book literally answers any question that you have ever had about cosmetics plus questions you hadn't thought to ask yet! The information provided is straight foreword and easy to understand and, most importantly for me, it is well balanced and non-biased. If you have ever felt confused trying to navigate your way through which chemicals are safe and which ones to avoid, then this is the book for you.
Now, the bit you have all been waiting for. I am giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is follow me on GFC or by email. Let me know below how you are following me and also what beauty question you would most like answered? This competition will run for two weeks, from now until 8.00pm on Sunday November 27th and it is open worldwide. This seriously is a book that every beauty lover should own...so what are you waiting for?? Get cracking and enter!!
There will be plenty more giveaways in the lead up to Christmas so make sure that you are following me on Twitter and Facebook so that you don't miss out.
Finally, just a reminder, my 1st Christmas giveaway of a gorgeous handmade pack of Japanese skincare is open until 8.00pm on 20/11/2011 so if you haven't entered that one you might want to get onto it, quick sticks!!