Because every preschooler needs insecurity-boosting, sexualizing, toxic cosmetics to slather on their beautiful little faces!
Each year the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood offers a distinguished award: The TOADY, which singles out Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children. And good golly there is no shortage of depressing contenders. From thousands of toys that “stifle creativity, lionize brands, and promote screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play,” CCFC selected six exceptional finalists for 2016.
Now that the votes are in, however, there is a clear winner: Lulu's Pink Fizz Beauty Essentials Little Bow Chic Collection 11 piece makeup set – which is aimed at the ages-3-and-up crowd. With copy that promises that this collection is “the ultimate glam makeup collection in a box” – perhaps a more accurate tagline would read something like, “the ultimate collection of toxic ingredients to start your life-long journey of not thinking you’re pretty enough naturally.”
As TOADY award commenter Kaylan Crowther writes: "Pink Fizz Lulu's Makeup Set deserves the 2016 TOADY. Ages 3 - 20? Hey, you know what your beautiful toddler face needs? MAKEUP. Start having insecurities about your looks already! Need to sexualize your preschooler? Look no further! But wait, there's more! Because this makeup set doesn't just contain subtle misogyny, it also has flammable and carcinogenic ingredients!"
Right? And really, it’s not just the emotional implications at play here. Beneath the ingredient list the box clearly states: “Keep out of reach of children” … what? Well actually, yes. Really, keep this out of reach of children. Nancy Gruver, founder of New Moon Girls, points out what’s in the Pink Fizz catastrophe-waiting-to-happen. The label lists eight ingredients known to be toxic or carcinogenic, as per the Breast Cancer Fund’s report:
1. Talc: Talc may be contaminated with asbestos. Contaminated talc has been classified as carcinogenic by IARC. Inhalation of talc may cause respiratory distress, mesothelioma, and inflammation. Application of talc near the pelvic area can lead to irritation, infection, and inflammation. Talc may also be associated with ovarian cancer.
2. Mineral Oil: Mineral oils are used in personal care products as skin conditioners, hair conditioners, and solvents. Mineral oils are derived from crude oil, and mildly refined mineral oils always contain significant amounts of polycyclic aromatic carbons (PAHs), which are likely carcinogenic. The NTP considers PAHs as a class to contain reasonably anticipated carcinogens. Untreated and mildly treated mineral oils are classified as known carcinogens by IARC and the NTP.
3. Titanium Dioxide: A suspected or known carcinogen.
4. Propylparaben: Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors due to their ability to mimic estrogen. In cell studies, parabens have been found to weakly bind to estrogen receptors. Studies demonstrate that at sufficient concentrations, parabens can increase cell proliferation in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells, which are often used as a sensitive measure of estrogenic activity. Propylparaben is also a reproductive toxin as it affects the male reproduction system and reduces sperm production and testosterone levels.
5. Fragrance (Parfum): The constituent ingredients in fragrance are not listed on product labels or disclosed to consumers by companies and manufacturers. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists almost 3,000 chemicals that have been used in fragrance. Ingredients like acetaldehyde, benzophenone, dichloromethane, styrene and titanium dioxide are suspected or known carcinogens. Chemicals like benzyl salicylate, diethyl phthalate, and propyl paraben are endocrine disruptors. Others are allergens, skin irritants, and toxic to the liver, lungs, and kidneys, among other organs.
6. Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer: The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption classifies styrene as a Category 1 endocrine disruptor. Furthermore, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classify it as a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen. If ingested, styrene can be toxic to red blood cells and the liver and if inhaled, it is toxic to the central nervous system. Exposure to solvents including styrene can result in an increased risk of breast cancer.
7. Silica Dimethyl Silylate: Silica may be toxic to the liver, respiratory system, and kidneys.
8. Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin: Epoxy resin is most commonly made with bisphenol A (BPA). This can result in some residual BPA contaminating the product but not being listed on the label. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that is recognized as an endocrine-disrupting chemical because of its effects on hormone systems. Studies raise concerns that exposure to even low doses of the chemical can cause adverse health effects. These include abnormalities in breast development that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer, and harmful effects on reproductive development, prostate weight, testis weight, puberty onset, body weight, metabolic and immune system functions, and gender-related behaviors including aggression and some social behaviors.
Meanwhile, if you've been inadvertently poisoning your daughter by allowing toxic makeup, take solace in this: Teen girls’ chemical exposure plummets after switching to better beauty products.
And if makeup is a must, at the very least consider non-toxic brands like these: 10 gorgeous green makeup products worth buying.