Ever wonder why some doctors give pregnant women a laundry list of cosmetics to avoid during pregnancy? Or stopped to think why technicians at nail salons are protecting themselves with face masks?
Between recent viral videos on the web and Whole Foods setting standards on organic skin care, the $50 billion dollar cosmetics industry has been getting a lot more scrutiny. Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt, authors of No More Dirty Looks have researched the safety, quality, and effectiveness of everything women put on our bodies from deodorant, to sunscreen, to mascara, to cellulite cream and more. Just like authors such as John Robbins, Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser (among others) helped influence a food revolution that made us more conscious of the food we eat, we are at a similar cross-roads with the cosmetics we put on our bodies.
Lucky for us, Siobhan and Alexandra have done the investigative leg-work, from understanding the ingredients to talking to top dermatologists and scientists, so that you can spend more time living your life and less time googling parabens and formaldehyde. Aware of the emotional attachment many of us have to our beauty products, their approach and advice is realistic, approachable, and affordable.
No More Dirty Looks has the page-turning wit and brutal honesty of Skinny Bitch -- who knew that reading about toxins, chemicals, and carcinogens could be fun? I followed their recommendations in the hair guide and was delighted by the results: my usually bland hair became shinier and more voluminous. If the rest of their product recommendations are just as effective, this book will be the best investment in my health (and vanity) I've made. It's a must-read for every daughter, girlfriend, wife, mother and grandmother who wants to cleanse their beauty routine.
Alexandra and Siobhan talk to MindBodyGreen about their "Why Bother" beauty mantra as well as their favorite products for your face, hair and lips.
MBG: How did you become interested in beauty?
Alexandra: I think we were both born with the beauty-junkie gene. As a kid, I used to mix my own beauty elixirs from whatever I could find in the bathroom and then try to sell them to my parents. Meanwhile Siobhan was having these spa sleepover parties with her friends, and the first time she snuck a beer it was to rinse her hair with it.
Siobhan: It's true. And since Alexandra lives in L.A., and I'm in New York, whenever we'd visit each other, we'd do fun kind of girlie things. One trip, that fun thing was the fated Brazilian blowout.
When did you decide to write No More Dirty Looks together?
Siobhan: The research for the book started because we were curious what was in that hair treatment we'd gotten—and then down the rabbit hole we went. We figured if we didn't know about this stuff, lots of other women probably didn't either, and that struck us as just nuts. So we decided to write the book we wished already existed.