Monday, May 11, 2009

overheard on walnut street...

On Saturday, Walnut Street, one of Philadelphia's busiest shopping avenues, was closed to traffic for a festival. The weather was picture-perfect, so everyone emerged to soak up the sun. As I passed Lush, I overheard a girl behind me, reading their sign aloud...


"Fresh, handmade cosmetics," she commented to her boyfriend. "Now that's scary."

What's really scary is that she didn't seem to think that "machine-made, synthetic cosmetics" were scary. What this girl doesn't know could hurt her. Most mass-produced cosmetics contain carcinogenic and/or toxic dyes and preservatives. And if that's not bad enough, many major cosmetic firms still test on animals.

How do your cosmetics rate? The Environmental Working Group analyzed countless cosmetics and put together this handy database. Search by brand, ingredient or company on SkinDeep.


Rewind to the street fair. At 18th and Walnut, Rittenhouse Square swarmed with sun-hungry people. Couples picnicked on the grass, sipping on wine and feeding each other strawberries. Kids walked their dogs. Moms strolled with their babies. The azaleas smiled approvingly in their full, technicolor glory. A few months ago, I wondered if spring would ever come. But the rebirth arrived, right on schedule.

25 comments:

doggybloggy said...

yesterday was artificially beautiful in NYC

Sally said...

How did I miss hearing about this event?? What was the festival for?

Bianca said...

Man, that girl is crazy. She'll think "scary" when her crappy chemical-laden makeup makes her skin all nasty one day. I'm so thankful we have a Lush store in Memphis! Lush is the best thing ever!

Eating Consciously said...

it's always so tempting to say something when you hear snarky little remarks like that.

Anonymous said...

I love lush so much... It makes me happy to buy bath bombs there. I'm a new reader, and curious about your book. Will you be posting recipes on here? I'm posting a link to your site on my fave site http://www.rawpeople.com/?utm_source=A&utm_medium=B&utm_campaign=C

KristieS said...

I never buy anything without checking it on Skin Deep first! I recently had to give up my favorite brand because of some scary ingredients, and Skin Deep has been a life saver in helping me find new, safer products.

buffalodick said...

Funny how Spring "springs" upon you..!

Theresa said...

Those hotpink flowers are gorgeous. I'll take my "hippy" vegan cosmetics over her chemical garbage any day!

Veganista said...

Now, you're making me miss Philly even more. I left 8 years ago and there wasn't a Lush store in sight. Also, that girl was insane. Since when did "handmade" become a bad thing?

Catherine said...

I love that website! I was surprised to find out that several "natural" products didn't receive that high of a rating! I try and stick to a couple of lines that have helped sponsor Skin Deep, knowing that they put the best into their stuff!

Chaz said...

This was a total eye opener. Urban, what facial cleanser would you suggest? I have looked around your blog, but have not come across a post that talks about natural skin care.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

Scary indeed. It's so bizarre to hear some peoples beliefs and ideas..

What a beautiful day in the city!

urban vegan said...

Chaz: I did a post ages ago on beauty products but you're right; I'm due for another one.

For cleansing, I alternate between Lush's Angels on Bare Skin and Herbalism. They're not on the list, but I'm fairly confident the ingredients are safe. The Skin Deep site lists tons of facial cleaners that are in the safe range. You can search by product "genre" using the horizontal navigation at the top.

earthmother said...

I love the Skin Deep site. It really woke me up to the fact that some products billed as "natural" and "eco-friendly" (and that I was using!) really are not.

Hannah said...

It really is disturbing how few people think about the ingredients in their cosmetics... There are so many ingredients that I definitely wouldn't want on MY face!

mamapasta said...

hand made, yes I trust in that, hand made is better than industrial made,
hands are just the active part of the thinking brain....
that's why I eat hand made food, ( mostly my hands )

Vegetation said...

Wow! How could anyone think handmade cosmetics are scary?!?! Like you said, the alternative is what's scary!

Looks like you have some beautiful weather going on :)

Fred Smilek said...

Looks like a really good turn out for a good cause. Wish i could have made the trip out there.
http://www.fredjsmilek.com

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I love Lush precisely for the same reasons that girl was scared by it! I too favor Angels on Bare Skin and was planning on writing a post about my love of Lush soon. Looking forward to reading yours.

Sara said...

I LOVED Lush products until I started reading about safe cosmetics and realized that my Lush "Big" shampoo, and some other items, had ingredients like parabens. Parabens are some of the WORST offenders on the Skin Deep list and exposure has been linked to breast cancer, which runs in my family. I also noticed sodium sulfates (also problematic according to Skin Deep) in some of my other Lush products. I was in shocked to find these things in my natural, handmade products.
I decided to inquire with Lush's customer service about it, since it didn't seem right. I figured they might be phasing these things out. Also, to have people HANDMAKING beauty products and having to come in contact with these chemicals on a daily basis in the workplace...
I expressed my concerns and received a pretty nasty response basically letting me know that they had no plans to phase out their "safe" synthetics, such as parabens and sulfates and that there has been no conclusive research linking them to health issues, only quackery.
It pains me to do so, and I know they have certain products that are "safe", but, based on my experience, I am no longer able to support this "natural" company and urge others to rethink it as well.

Alaska said...

Wow, I really would love to try these products ! beauty salons..Thanks for the giveaway :)

Boats said...

yeah, i agree with u, overheard on walnut street, everyday so much of traffic and noise there,
especially, it's true in the boating industry. i run a used pwc for sale site and use this service.

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