Advocating Safer Beauty: Ms. Toth Goes to Washington on Behalf of Health Protective Laws for All

It’s been 4 years since we last descended on Washington, asking for health protective laws for all. But I am thrilled we are back advocating safer, clean, nontoxic beauty for all. And I am SO rejuvenating after returning from where my passion is! I had a career in Federal regulation. Yet I was SHOCKED to learn how unregulated the personal care and beauty industry is.

Library of Congress, overlooking the Capitol Building, On a Mission for Health Protective Laws for All

Why it Matters

Currently the laws that regulate cosmetics in the US were written in 1938 – we’ve had THOUSANDS of chemicals enter the market since then!

In fact, the FDA bans over 15,000 chemicals for “drugs,” which also require pre-market approval. But not supplements, or personal care. That’s how Benzene (a known carcinogen) ends up in the sunscreen intended to protect us from cancer. It’s how asbestos ends up in children’s makeup. Both of which consumers are breathing in ingredients “not safe at any levels.”

There are less than two pages of laws covering the $62 billion dollar beauty industry. Compared to Europe and Canada, the US has much looser regulations. Europe’s list of banned ingredients in personal care items totals 1,400. The US? We only ban 11. ELEVEN. And the FDA doesn’t even have the ability to mandate a recall if a known carcinogen (like Benzene or Asbestos) is found in products on shelves. While we’ve made progress passing 10 state laws for nontoxic beauty in the last 9 years with Beautycounter’s advocacy, we still have SO far to go.

Team Retreat

My week of training and advocacy began with a team event. Small business entrepreneurs, advocates, and educators joined me in our Nation’s Capital to learn and grow their ability to serve and help others. Of course, we also had fun! We took a tour around DC and the Capitol before heading to dinner and our 90s-themed party.

If you haven’t seen the reel I made in honor of the weekend yet, find it here

My Story

The team asked me why I originally joined Beautycounter. I told them that I loved the sample products but refused to partner with “one of those companies.” At the time, my perception was that any direct selling company was predatory.

When I ran out of the freebies a friend had generously sent me, I was looking for a way I could get a discount on reordering, and that’s when I learned more about Beautycounter as a company. They are a certified B Corp, meaning they are audited for transparency in being good for people and the planet. Like Wal-Mart and Patagonia both sell tents, there is a way to truly empower small woman-owned business entrepreneurs and educate consumers, the right way.

By partnering with them, I’d get the discount I wanted and I didn’t have much to lose in trying it out – I could choose to educate or not. Choose to share my link or not. I didn’t have to buy a bunch of product. There are no monthly minimums or inventory to keep. It was just like many of the other brands I worked with, so I became a Brand Advocate. I even said I’d never mentor anyone else who joined, and now it’s my favorite thing to do! Connecting with. leading, and empowering these women is so rewarding.

This work is making a truly impactful change. And in the process, I’ve learned how powerful community can be – especially when bonded over a mission we are passionate about. This is my tribe, and I had the best time (finally re)connecting in the real world!

BC Takes DC!

Finally, the real work – marching on DC to talk with our representatives about the importance of passing safer personal care bills (there are MANY pending and stuck in the Health committee of both the House and Senate). This is the only way we can ensure that all products are safe for everyone to have access to clean, nontoxic products.

all safer, clean products, FAQs on what I use here

Check out the whole highlight reel on Instagram!

Only 20 people earned a seat at the table with key decision-makers. And thanks to you all, I got to be one of them. We met with a representative to ask for support regarding these pending regulations:

  • Toxic Free Beauty Act
  • Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Eight to Know Act
  • Cosmetic Safety for Communities of Color and Professional Salon Workers Act
  • Ban of PFAS “Forever Chemicals” from Beauty Products
  • Cosmetic Supply Chain Transparency Act
  • PFAS Action Act of 2021

Lobbying for Safer Skin and Nontoxic Beauty

We held over 60 meetings with legislative representatives, and attended a Science Symposium with incredible information from doctors, professors, and researchers, such as:

  • using standard personal care products is measurable in both blood and urine, with a decrease after just 3 days of clean
  • the synthetic chemicals in most personal care products have been shown in studies to affect the brains of children,
  • PFAS, in most personal care products, make our body’s metabolism slow down
  • though testing and research on pregnancy and miscarriage is hard (we don’t ever want create risk) a study was done that showed high levels of BPA with early pregnancy tests led to higher levels of miscarriage
  • and, the one that got me: these endocrine disrupting chemicals (which were never made with our bodies in mind) effect our fertility – but it’s not just low sperm count in men affected, for example, low testosterone increases cardiovascular diseases – recent study linked 100,000 deaths to phthalates

Everyone Means Everyone

One thing that matters most is getting safer, nontoxic beauty products to everyone, especially those without the means to access “clean beauty.” All personal care products need to be safe, even those at the dollar store. And passing these acts and action plans will help get us there. 

People of color are disproportionately impacted. Consumers trust that what is on the shelf isn’t harming them, but many products contain toxic ingredients like formaldehyde and mercury! Only legislative change can protect not just vulnerable populations but us all.

Our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, not just those who have the means to access Beautycounter. ALL people deserve to trust the products they buy won’t harm their health. 

I appreciate that Beautycounter realizes this importance, wants more diversity and provides both education and advocacy opportunity to change this. They even offer hundreds of Impact Scholarships for qualifying individuals. If you are a member of a marginalized community (BIPOC, LGBTQ, disabled, etc.) I would love to help you apply. Reach out to me on any of my social channels or at Stacy@RealEverything.com

THANK YOU!!

I want to thank you each and every one of you for supporting me and my business. It means the world to me that I can be here for the health and wellness of us all. I could not have done all of this without you!

If you want to support our advocacy and switch to safer, nontoxic beauty products, you can shop with me at Beautycounter! 

If you’d like to take your voice a step further and advance health-protective laws in North America, text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 in the US and 18888867542 in Canada. Together, we can get safer products into the hands of everyone!

 

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