Dear Amina Leslie and the Safe Cosmetics Australia team,

I just wanted to write to you to tell you how pleased I am to not have to go to an American website now to get my propaganda.  Everyone here likes ‘Australian Made’ so I am sure that you will do well.  While I support the move to a greener, cleaner and more sustainable future (which by definition means less toxic) after checking out your website and documentation I was left confused and it’s mostly down to one thing.  Evidence.

There is no doubt in my mind (as a chemist, mother, tree-hugger and person who doesn’t want cancer- who does?) that we, as a cosmetics industry could do better. However, to make bold claims such as saying that “Chemicals have been known to trigger allergic reactions including skin rashes and asthma attacks”  is, absolute nonsense based on how you are communicating it.  Do you even know what a ‘chemical’ is?  I would be very interested to  hear how you are planning to rid the world of such filth but won’t ask you directly as I can’t imagine that you would give me much air time……..

Further I am concerned about the focus on heavy metals – yes I do know that the guys in the states have been running a highly successful ‘get the lead out’ campaign and I have to agree, if people were putting lead into my lipstick I would wish to grab them and shove it where the sun don’t shine (on them, not me of course)  but nobody DOES put lead in their lipsticks.   For just under $200 per sample my lovely friends at a local testing facility will run any of your ‘certified toxin free’ lipsticks through their machinery and show you the lead.  It would be present in pretty much all lipsticks using metal oxide colours (the natural ones usually contain more actually because they less highly refined) because it is natural.  OK too much lead is a bad thing and no lead would be amazing but it is practically impossible to do and the levels showing up are in the parts per million rather than bucketload that your responses allude to.  Still, there is no need to respond to this because I can already see it coming so I’ll go and say goodbye to my husband and kids now and then bury my (probably toxic) body underground so that your mission to rid the world of chemicals continues unimpeded.

I could go on but doubt that there is any point as hitting people over the head with common sense has the same effect as hitting them over the head with a big hammer. They don’t like it.  Therefore I will just carry on doing what I’ve been doing for the past fourteen years and that is learning day by day about how to make things better, safer, more effective and more economical by referring to real, solid scientific evidence.

Before I go I will say this. I am a fair, honest and open-minded person who works as an independent chemist in a world full of ego’s and fear-based prejudices (OK so that doesn’t sound very fair or open-minded but at least it is honest) and as such I would be the first to welcome the body of evidence that you have called upon to draw your conclusions.  In the meantime I will not be advising any of my customers to apply to your scheme, to pay money to have you ‘certify’ them or to help you ‘spread the word’.  I held off writing this for a good few months (I saw you pop up some time ago but you have been really quiet until the last few weeks) because I am acutely aware at how passionate your supporters can be and I haven’t really felt like starting a fight but now that you have got yourself into the media as an ‘expert’ and that my customers are asking my opinion I feel that a comment is necessary.

I am not against a toxin-free world but I am against any campaign, group or other activity that uses fear as it’s motivator, especially when it is unsubstantiated.

Most of all I am terribly sad about this whole thing because it gives me further evidence (as if I need any more, the stories I could tell you) that the newspapers, media and general public are so easily conned by all of this and rather than question the basis for your assumptions go ahead and give you a platform.

This isn’t a battle.  I do not want to ‘win’ but what I would like is to see people wake up.  However, I am under no illusion that is going to happen in my lifetime.

Oh, did you know that fear can also give you cancer?  No, thought not.

Amanda

PS: If you want to find out more about this group please google them. I am not posting a link as I don’t want to give them any more publicity. Thank you.