Contributing Monkie Juli Novotny
Published on August 11, 2008
Does it ever feel like this organic obsession has gone overboard? It seems everything is going organic these days — even clothes and makeup. I certainly didn’t see that coming. I mean… MAKEUP? Come on. Cosmetics are only used on a portion of the skin, right? And how toxic could they be?
The answer is very. After doing some serious research, I came across a cosmetics safety database that allows you to search a company and find out its “toxicity” scoring. Not only was it fun to peruse, it also made me realize how misinformed I was…
Ordinary cosmetics are highly toxic — more so than even some foods.
Hypochondriacs, feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph. Skin care products contain ingredients that have been linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as cancer, allergies, immunotoxicity and other concerns like endocrine disruption, irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, and biochemical and cellular level changes. And on a toxicity scale from 1 to 10, many common companies (like, say, L’Oréal, CoverGirl and Revlon) get 9s and 10s. No kidding.
We may only put makeup on a small portion of our skin, but don’t forget that our skin is our body’s largest organ. And for many, makeup is a daily routine.
It is for Josie Maran. The model and actress essentially puts on makeup for a living. And she believed so strongly that this important issue was getting too little recognition in the organic arena that in October of last year she started her own toxin-free makeup line called Josie Maran Cosmetics. She encourage makeup artists and other models to toss out their M.A.C in favor of cleaner products. And the word has spread fast. Barneys has caught on, and so has a large portion of Hollywood.
What sounds like an easy sell is not, according to Josie, who graciously agreed to talk with me. “The toughest part of my business,” she said, “has been educating people on the subject and convincing them to buy it.”
Her website is full of information, and her new blog has also been a great tool in helping to educate the public. But one of her most powerful forms of advertising is — of course — herself. One of the most naturally beautiful women I’ve ever met, Josie wears her makeup daily and swears by it. She also spent time getting it right. “It took me three years to formulate. It’s light, but works really well. I take it with me to all of my photo shoots.”
No testing on animals, of course. Unless you want to call Josie the guinea pig. (And I dare you.) “I tested each batch of product on myself,” she admits. “The packaging is also green, made from all sustainable PLA [made from corn] recyclable material.”
As far as organic makeup goes, consider me sold! The palate is gorgeous with stunning neutrals and soft pinks. I also have a newfound appreciation for the organic industry as a whole. And thanks to green celebrity activists like Josie, it’s not only up and coming, it’s thriving!