Sally's Reviews > Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal-Care Products Endanger Your Health... and What You Can Do About It

Toxic Beauty by Samuel S. Epstein
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's review
Aug 02, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: health, social-justice-action, self-help

Valuable information about the many harmful substances in personal care products, and the lack of any meaningful regulation of these products by the FDA. This book helps by allowing self-education about the most harmful substances; explaining the ingredients/chemicals to look for on the label, what they are, and why they are harmful; telling about substances that are not required to appear on ingredient lists; and providing convenient charts and a list one can take shopping to help decipher product labels. The relationship between the FDA and industry, and the power of large manufacturers and marketers, is truly disturbing.

Two interesting points: (1) no sunscreen blocks out the type of UV light (UVA) that causes skin cancer, but rather the type of UV light (UVB or short wavelength) that causes sunburn. Therefore, by encouraging people to stay out in the sun longer because they don't burn, it actually increases the risk of skin cancer by increasing exposure. Only sunblocks block both types of UV. (2) Substances absorbed through the skin are more harmful than those eaten, because they go directly into the bloodstream whereas ingested matter goes from the the intestines through the veins to the liver where it can be at least partially detoxified. Thus, products applied to the skin should be particularly harmless (but in fact many of them contain carcinogens, hormone disrupters, and allergens, all helped along by penetration enhancers).
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
August 2, 2009 – Shelved
August 2, 2009 – Shelved as: health
August 2, 2009 – Shelved as: social-justice-action
August 2, 2009 – Shelved as: self-help

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