Pink Ribbon products…that cause Cancer?!

Via elephant journal
on Nov 6, 2009
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Pink Ribbon products create Good Press for Revlon (etc.), Cancer for You?

We’ve devoted covers of elephant magazine (which went online a year ago) to the subject: the use of toxins in our everyday foods, cosmetics etc has almost directly paralelled the rise of cancer in the 20th century.It brings a sense of personal urgency to the rationale for eating organic or using only (truly) organic bodycare products. And since the FDA doesn’t regulate the use of the word “natural,” or even “organic” in bodycare—a painful forfeiture of responsibility—it’s up to moms, daughters and sisters, and dads, sons and brothers to read the labels to your shampoo, moisturizer, blush, lipstick and eye creams.

This morning, I tripped upon the below succinct explication (good Scrabble word) of the hypocrisy behind the beauty industry:

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Before you Kiss for the Cause: What’s in that pink ribbon product?

by Stacy Malkan

It’s that time of year again, when you can’t walk five steps without finding some new opportunity to spend money for breast cancer. We can “Kiss for the Cause” with Revlon lipstick, “shower for the cure” with Philosophy Pink Ribbon Gel, dust our cheeks with “Hint of a Cure” blush by Ramy, and “Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer” with Avon products.

Before I rush out for a pink-ribbon makeover, I have some questions for these companies: How much money are they actually contributing to breast cancer charities, and what is the money being used for? And most importantly, are they willing to stop using chemicals linked to cancer?

The big beauty companies don’t want such questions raining on their pink parade. After all, Revlon reaps a lot of good will and positive press from its pink-branded products and efforts to raise money for breast cancer charities through the Revlon 5K Run/Walk.

Yet ironically – outrageously – many Revlon products contain chemicals linked to cancer. In fact, Revlon’s Colorsilk brand is ranked as the most toxic brand of all in the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, with an average toxicity score of 8.6 (with 10 being the worst).

Pink ribbon giants Avon and Estee Lauder don’t fare much better; each company makes more than 100 products with a toxicity of score of 8 or above…for the rest, and for resources of where to look for safe products, click over to


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5 Responses to “Pink Ribbon products…that cause Cancer?!”

  1. Liz the Aunt says:

    Thanks for the info. Very disturbing.

  2. swati jr* says:

    thank you. exactly.

  3. Lin Ossum says:

    who knows of effective, natural products?

  4. […] then mumbled something about pink for breast cancer. Nice try, I’m not Revlon. I don’t market dangerous products in pretty pink packaging, then pat myself on the back about how I advance the fight against breast […]

  5. […] all the chemicals, there are so many different and beautiful colors for lips to be, why fake it? If you do like to […]