October is breast cancer awareness month and it’s amazing to see the number of organizations, foundations, and companies that are doing their part to raise awareness and money for this cause.
There is no doubt that many of these campaigns are effective, since breast cancer is one of the most funded and well researched types of cancers. Unfortunately, some of these campaigns may be counterproductive. Some companies and organizations use the pink ribbon to get support, but have minimal or no effects on the realities of breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Action Organization has coined the term ‘pink washer’, to describe a “company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.”
Currently, advocates are targeting the Look Good Feel Better campaign, run by the Personal Care Products Council and the American Cancer Society. We all know that taking time to beautify ourselves can make a huge difference in the way we feel and improve our quality of life, regardless of our health situation. With that in mind, this well-intentioned campaign provides free makeup kits and beauty advice to women who are battling cancer. However, many of the packages they provide contain products with ingredients that are linked to breast cancer and some of them may even interfere with treatment. Chemicals found in these packages include hormone disrupters; formaldehyde releasers; and even Polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly known as Teflon. Call me crazy, but I’m not sure that ‘looking good’ will help patients feel better when these chemicals are known to cause the same disease that they’re trying to fight.
The ACS says that the benefits of the program outweigh the risks and to be honest I don’t blame them; the program has helped many people and there is no evidence that clearly links these products to cancer. But here’s the thing: human studies on the long-term effects of cosmetics don’t exist! Yet, chemicals that are known to cause cancer are being absorbed through our skin, which is one of the major ways that these chemicals enter our blood stream. On top of that, these products are being applied regularly over a long period of time. So, why is the onus on consumers’ to prove that these products are actually dangerous? Shouldn’t these companies be the ones that have to prove that their products are safe?
A recent report on working women and breast cancer states that the breast cancer risk for cosmetologists and hair dressers is five times higher than the general population. Eliminating or reducing exposure to environmental toxins is not trivial; after reducing exposure to hormone therapy the rate of breast cancer dropped by 7% within five years. That’s over 15 000 women in America alone who didn’t have to fight that grueling battle, and that should be our ultimate goal. Let’s rally together and encourage organizations and companies take prevention seriously, because no amount of makeup can change the ugly reality of breast cancer. At Go-Nayked.com we only support companies who sell beauty products that won’t put you at risk. You can reward these companies for making the right choice by shopping at our market place.
To see which products Go-Nayked.com approves see our Marketplace.