The Holistic Chick Online

Heathy and Holistic Inside and Out…Don't Drink Coffee While Riding an Elliptical.

Thought I found a new line of healthy cosmetics. I really did.

on March 16, 2012
A sample of Prussian blue.

Sample of Prussian Blue, which is also known as Ferro Ammonium Ferrocyanide. Thanks Wikipedia.

I was in a search engine kind of mood tonight (in other words, procrastinating like you would not believe) and I came across a brand of cosmetics who had come out with a healthy line of products.

I must say the front page for this line of products (let me call them Exhibit A so I won’t overuse adjectives) was very nice.  I was sold simply by reading the description, “100% natural and packed with organic ingredients”.  There was mention of Eco-Cert Certification, the packaging was award winning because it was made of an everyday vegetable, the packaging was very attractive and boy, I really liked the color of the lipstick!  I dove into the two pages of products, all excited as to the bounty I was going to be faced with.

I am going to number my disappointments:

1. No lipstick.  There was lip-gloss, but no lipstick.  There was a picture of several shades of lipstick, in the same amazing packaging, but either the company is out, or not advertising it or whatever.  Regardless of the reason, it wasn’t available to purchase.  I can adapt, so I aimed for the lip-gloss.

2.  The Lip-gloss has nice colors, the price is a bit steep at $20 but the price doesn’t matter anymore because right smack dab in the middle of the ingredients is Fragrance (parfum).  Those two words are a deal breaker for me, because Fragrance (parfum) can be absolutely anything.  Now, Fragrance is known as a trade secret, so companies do NOT have to divulge what the Fragrance is made of.  The website tells us Exhibit A’s Lip Gloss is formulated with “natural and organic ingredients”.  That is well and good, but what are those ingredients?  Traditionally, Fragrance (parfum) is generally known as an umbrella term for synthetic or chemical compounds, so in this Lip Gloss am I to assume the same thing? The website says this line of cosmetics is made without synthetic fragrances, so do I believe it? As I said, seeing that one ingredient is an absolute deal breaker, so I moved on to another product in the line.

3.  Pressed Powder!  Yipee!  Wait…no ingredients listed.  NEXT.

4.  Loose powder!  Well, not too bad, pressed is more purse friendly but…oh wait, first ingredient is talc, which my skin hates.  Never mind.

5.  Eye Shadows!  Soft, muted colors and again first ingredient is talc.  Scratch that idea.  Even worse, at the end of the ingredient list there’s that phrase that make my eyes roll to the back of my head:  “May Contain”.  Then there’s a line of letters with numbers.  Whatever these letters and numbers mean, are they in the product or not?  May Contain?  So, if we get a batch that contains whatever it may or may not contain are we better off for it, or is it an accidental batch?

6.  Last but not least, in an attempt to find something that I absolutely had to have, I checked out the eyeliner.  This time instead of looking at the colors, I went straight to the ingredients, which were rather good save for this horrible mouthful of letters:  Ferro Ammonium Ferrocyanide.

All together now, say it five times fast.  Typing the word about made me dizzy.  To save myself from falling out of my desk chair I copied and pasted the words into my search engine and up popped several cosmetics websites that inform us of chemicals in our cosmetics and their possible toxicity levels, but I bypassed those websites in favor of the one that would prove my point without any sort of bias.

Heck yeah, I went to the FDA.  The Federal Drug Administration.  The Feds.  Their own website.  Because hey, if the government says it’s OK to use, why let’s just hop right on that train and ride it to the end of time (insert whatever level of sarcasm you see fit).  Seriously, I went to the FDA’s Color Additive Status List.  Looks like it was last updated in December 2009?  Huh.  You have to scroll down, or use the links across the top, to find the section where Ferro Ammonium Ferrocyanide lives.  Oh, and List 5?  List 5 are the colorants “exempt from certification and permanently listed for DRUG use.  (None of these color additives may be used in products that are for use in the area of the eye, unless otherwise indicated.).”  Copied and pasted from the List 5 Category.

Now, the list is in alphabetical order, so it’s not difficult to find what the Fed’s have to say about Ferro Ammonium Cyanide.  For those who aren’t intrigued by all this, let me quote what it written:  “Externally applied drugs, including those for eye area – GMP – 73.1298”.  So.  This colorant is exempt from certification, and we can use it on the eyes.  *raises eyebrows*

So then, I went to an independent website to see what they had to say about Ferro Ammonium Cyanide:

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Ferric Ferrocyanide and Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide as color additives exempt from certification. Ferric Ferrocyanide and Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide are safe for use in coloring externally applied cosmetics and personal care products, including products applied to the area of the eye, when these ingredients conform to FDA specifications. Ferric Ferrocyanide and Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide are also allowed to be used in externally applied drugs. These ingredients are not allowed to be used in products intended for use on the lips.

Wait up a second.  I can use this product on my eyes, but not on my lips?  Is this the reason why cosmetic companies, who have loose, colored powders you can use as either nail polish, eyeliner, eye shadow or lipstick have a disclaimer when certain colors are not to be used on the mouth?

In addition, this product is in a brand of cosmetics that is said as being “100% natural and packed with organic ingredients”.

This is why we need to educate ourselves.  The pretty packaging and claims sometimes do not tell us what we need to know before we use a beauty product…

What we should know.


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6 responses to “Thought I found a new line of healthy cosmetics. I really did.

  1. So happy to find someone else who actually researches the ingredients in their cosmetics instead of just falling for the marketing claims! Most consumers would be surprised how many companies are using illegal colorants in their cosmetics! I’ve reported two companies to the FDA – Ava Anderson Non Toxic and 100% Pure. Both companies identify ingredients in their products as colors – but the colors are not FDA approved for the products they use them in. When the lead in lipstick hysteria came out recently, I checked a few of these illegal colorants — Beet Power is allowed in foods but is not allowed in cosmetics — but there it is…right on the list of ingredients. Funny…Beet Power has lead…allowed by law. Our bodies effectively eliminate most lead so it really is nothing to worry about health wise. But if a company does not follow the few FDA regulations we have for colors, what other laws are they breaking — what other steps in safely formulating are they skipping? Illegal colorants are a red flag!

    • I cannot STAND Ava Anderson. CANNOT. Their reps are absolutely brainwashed, and honestly think the AA products are the best out there. 100%Pure and their Japanese Honeysuckle issue…not only that, but they were just like California Baby and treated their customers like absolute garbage. I don’t go near them, either.
      Marketing claims really, really bother me, which is why I wrote this post about this company. They use all the catch phrases and pretty colors and lie directly to our faces, not caring about their own integrity as a company, only their bottom line.

  2. Dana says:

    Excellent post, I completely agree with you! So many clever marketing tactics out there making people think they’re buying organic when in fact they might as well pick up something from a long standing commercial line as there isn’t much difference! It makes it hard for people starting out too. I don’t know how many products I bought when I started going organic said they were natural, so I thought it was OK. I later learned that I can ignore things that say 100% natural, it’s pretty meaningless. They may be 100% natural but only 40% organic or ‘plant based’ as they often put it! Again, pointless. I now stick to items that are verified 95-100% organic and labeled by the Soil Association etc. Sometimes I don’t buy certified products but then that’s because I now have a general idea of what’s OK and what’s not. False advertising is a massive bug bear of mine, where companies ‘pretend’ to care about individuals but ultimately just want to make money and couldn’t really give a hoot! Rant over lol 🙂

    • Dana, we’re in the same boat. I feel as you do. I can’t stand the vulgar misrepresentation of healthy products. Anything to make a buck!!!! Do you have decent products you can choose over on your side of the pond? I should check out what England has to offer, really…thanks for your comments! I love your blog, BTW.

      • Dana says:

        It’s funny when you say you’re from the UK & everyone assumes you live in England lol. I’ve only visited England three times in my life & still haven’t made it to London yet! I’d love to go & see it, although my Dad went & said he was disappointed that Big Ben (the famous clock tower) wasn’t actually all that big, but I’m not really sure what he was expecting lol! I live on an Island at the top of UK, it’s actually closer in mileage to Norway & Faroe Islands than mainland Scotland. We have a health shop up here that a really nice woman (with an open futuristic mind) opened so I tend to get my daily essentials from there. Otherwise I use the internet a lot, but I have to be careful of shipping charges as a lot of companies class us as overseas to bulk up the prices. This is slowly stopping though as we are petitioning against it for Royal Mail flat prices instead. We have quite a few good products over here that are 100% certified by the Soil Association & other’s that haven’t got that far yet but their ingredients are fantastic. If you want to try online Love Lula (Online organic beauty apothecary) & Feel Unique (Online beauty shop with large organic section) have very low shipping prices overseas, I use them regularly. Thank you btw, glad you’re enjoying my blog, I love reading yours too! Here are the links:

      • Oooops! I am such a yank…I think UK and I automatically think England, but to be honest, in my brain I know its England Scotland and the Isles…I just assume everyone lives on the main continent. Thanks for the links!

        I don’t know what I would do without the internet, I find the greatest things from small companies that way.

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