Not Just a Pretty Face – The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, by Stacy Malkan


Reviewed By Fran Maclure The Compact for Safe Cosmetics has been around for a few years now, writes author Stacy Malkan. This voluntary Compact simply asks cosmetic and personal care product companies to sign a pledge to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives within a span of three years. Yet unknown to many consumers, the multinationals L’Oreal, Revlon, Estee Lauder and Avon whose products contain carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants refuse to do the right thing and sign the Compact.

There are hundreds of studies showing that the epidemic of breast cancer in North America is linked to these toxins by their very presence in our everyday lives. What does this mean for consumers and how can we fight back? One way is through the power of purchasing – read labels, choose safer products by going to and becoming an informed consumer.

In August this year, Stacy Malkan also hosted a coast-to-coast webinar on the issues she writes about in her book. She stressed that the $250 billion dollar cosmetic industry should own up to their responsibility to consumers. In the meantime, there are many things we can do differently. Stacy urged activist groups to connect the dots using the power of politics and activism. In other words, push our elected representatives to do the right thing! As she put it so aptly, we deserve safe products in every store, in every salon, and in every community. “Cosmetics should be safe enough to eat,” says Horst Rechelbacher, creator of a company called Intelligent Nutrients. His motto? If you wouldn’t put it in your body, why would you put it on your body.  Amen!