In part two of the Experts on Call broadcast, while everyone remained very professional, some obvious differences in analysis of information became apparent. Of course all good panel discussions need to have every side of a topic properly discussed and this debate proved that to be true.
Yesterday I wrote about the points where the experts agreed, in relation to the topic of natural cosmetics, and today I am highlighting where we disagreed.
1. Allergy vs. Toxicity:
Many people confuse these two forms of reactions. The experts, on the show, were no exception to this rule either. The terms were used interchangeably and it is rather incorrect to do so. An allergic reaction can be life threatening, that is true, but this type of reaction does not indicate if the compound causing the reaction is toxic. Here is the difference: allergic reactions are easily observed and can be easily treated — yes some require immediate treatment and can be very serious — but an allergic reaction can be arrested. An allergic reaction happens quickly, and symptoms can easily be identified. A toxic reaction is systemic — usually neurological and is very slow acting. Often the symptoms are vague and are usually very hard to observe. Toxic reactions are usually due to exposure to a poison not an allergen. Put another way: allergens do not effect everyone, toxins do. Comparing an allergic reaction, caused by a cosmetic, to a toxic reaction is completely incorrect.
2. Increased Illness Caused by Toxins in Cosmetics:
There was much discussion about this topic. And lots of disagreement. At one point in the show, I indicated that research shows there has never been a cancer linked to a finished cosmetic product and the rise of cancer rates is more relevant because cancer is a disease of the aged. Human beings are living longer than they ever have in history and simple probability indicates there will be an increase in all illness effecting an aged population. This was countered with the example that testicular cancer is the most rapidly rising cancer of young men. Truth is the actual occurrences of testicular cancer in young men has not risen rather the diagnosis statistics have. This is an important distinction: while diagnosis of testicular cancer, in men aged 19-35, has risen 162% since 1975 this does not mean the actual number of cases has. What this indicates is early detection has become more reliable. Medical science can now find the illness sooner, than in previous decades, thus dropping the diagnosis rates of older men and increasing those of younger men — the actual cases of cancer, over all age groups, remains extremely low. 1 in 270 have the risk of diagnosis while only 1 in 5000 diagnosed will actually die from this cancer. Why? Because early detection has an almost 100% cure rate. Medical research has been focused on developing early detection methods for young men. Thus, the cases of diagnosis in young men increases. The overall number of cases has actually remained virtually unchanged.
What does all this mean?: there is no "environmental" cancer causing smoking gun when it comes to exposure to chemicals. Cosmetics least of all. However, it is more accurate that a combination of variables effect the over all health of any individual.
For consumers the world of cosmetics can be extremely challenging to navigate — and even the experts don't agree on how do to so. My advice: get educated about cosmetic ingredients and make an informed choice as to which ones you want to use and which you don't.
Next week: Greenwashing - Part 3 of the broadcast.
Over the course of the one-hour taping the debate was, to say the least, lively. Many different points of view and many opinions—some of which with I agreed, some of which I openly challenged.
The panel was comprised of some of the most expert people in the field and I was very honoured to be included amongst the very knowledgeable people assembled for the discussion.
Participating in the debate was me, Adrian Vasil, Meg Sears, and Julie Harrison, all of whom offered some great insight for consumers and certainly helped clarify the incredibly complex world of cosmetics.
In part one of the broadcast, I walked away with three points where the experts agreed:
1. "Natural" is not a terminology that should be applied to cosmetics. There is neither a legal nor regulatory standard for the term "natural" when applied to a cosmetic product. In fact, any cosmetic can be marketed as "natural" without any specific formula requirements.
2. Preservatives are confusing. Remove one and another takes its place. So is the new preservative any more safe than the older one? The answer is "not always." While preservatives are required to maintain the integrity of the products, most of them operate under the same principles. Simply removing one that is objectionable does not always mean the remaining ones are better or more safe.
3. Consensus amongst the experts does not exist. The research about the safety or non-safety of cosmetics is far from conclusive. Even this esteemed panel of experts could not agree on all the data and what it actually meant for consumers.
The experts did agree there is a need to create safer products with easier to understand labeling.
Five years ago, I launched Daniel Thompson Beauty.
When I started DTB, I only had one goal in mind: to create luxury cosmetics fashioned from nature's purest elements. I could not have imagined the response from women all over the country. The more I travel and meet DTB users, the more I am encouraged to keep creating new formulas and unique colour stories. For me, the most rewarding part of my job is seeing how much joy and pleasure my creations bring to everyday women.
This November 14th marks exactly five years since we had our official launch party in Toronto. A lot has changed at DTB since then, and I am so proud of all the work the DTB team has done to ensure we are always offering the most amazing products to the public.
With all that said, I am extending this very special invitation to all YMC readers:
This Thursday night, you can join a host of Toronto celebs, the entire DTB team, the amazing staff at Andrews, and of course Yours Truly for our private 5 Year Anniversary Celebration.
To be part of this celebration, please RSVP according to the invitation. The evening plans to be quite amazing with some very special guest companies joining me by invitation and some amazing catering by Toronto's newest bespoke supper club, 13:thirty.
Guests will be admitted only if they have RSVP'd.
I am looking forward to seeing you there!