We had a fantastic first shoot at Colby College in Waterville, Maine last month! Thanks to the amazing Dr. Gail Carlson, we went up to the college to speak with students about their thoughts on cosmetic ingredient safety, and we also sat down for an incredibly informative interview with Dr. Carlson.
As the Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Colby, Dr. Carlson had so much to share about personal care product ingredients, regulation and who is ultimately responsible for consumer safety. Her interview challenged me to consider how the lack of government regulation of products allows potentially hazardous ingredients to make their way onto the shelves and ultimately into our bodies. She also helped us to breakdown the chemistry behind the ingredients and provide a clear explanation to the somewhat complex science behind personal care product ingredients.
Her students were also very knowledgeable and passionate about the issue, and I had the privilege of speaking with a few further. They expressed that they didn’t want to stress out about product safety but wanted to be empowered with the knowledge of which items contained non-toxic ingredients and the ability to choose those products. They shared some of their methods for research, like the EWG’s Skin Deep database and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic’s Think Dirty App.
They expressed their frustration and disappointment that some companies would use ingredients in their products that hadn’t been tested for safety in humans, or worse yet, that were tested and had shown to generate adverse health effects in animals and/ or higher doses in humans.
These young ladies were impressive and inspiring! I was only further spurred on to bring this story to life looking at the next generation of young women rise up as thoughtful consumers and critical thinkers. One great shoot down. . . twenty more to go. . . !