The Making of Organic Diva...
Each holiday, my sisters and I escape to a crowded bathroom in my parent's home to pilfer through each other's make-up bags and test out "our latest and greatest finds." Whether it's a way to escape the mayhem of kids, find "the fountain of youth" or catch up on each other's lives, some of my most favorite times have been connecting over cosmetics in that little bathroom.
Several years ago, I feared our tradition was a thing of the past. A health issue led me to an East Coast physician who said, "Get rid of every lotion, every soap, every cosmetic you put on your body. You have too much estrogen in your system." A diagnosis of too much woman? Not a surprise to anyone who knows me, but as a granddaughter and daughter of breast cancer survivors, I was motivated to listen up. It was the first time it occurred to me that what I put on my body could impact my health. It started me on a three year journey of studying everything-cosmetics and what I found disturbed me. Why did European women have access to healthier personal care products? Why was the U.S. cosmetic industry allowed to "regulate" itself? How could cosmetic companies put labels of "pure" and "clean" on products containing petro-chemicals?
The process made me an "Organic Diva." I began sharing toxic cosmetic ingredient information with my mom, sisters and girlfriends. But over and over again I heard the same thing. "Annie, I have kids. I don't have time to read product ingredients. Just tell me what to use." I received similar reactions from my mom's friends in their mid-seventies, "I can't read product labels. Just tell me what to buy." As a result, Organic Diva was born.
Organic Diva standards for personal care products are high. We buy only from companies who have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. (The pledge to not use cancer-causing or hormone disrupting ingredients in products). Second, we only use products that earn a rating between 0-3 on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Report. (The report rates products on a 0-10 scale. 0 being least hazardous, 10 being the most hazardous). Lastly, the products must be effective. Being back on the market means I'm in no position to sacrifice product efficacy. It's a jungle out there!
As life would have it, I was never fortunate enough to have children. Still, I've been blessed with the presence of children in my life I love like my own. Darling girls who range in life experience from potty training to driver's ed training: Bug, Mia and Baby C; Casey and Rowie; the Close-3 and "the wild ones" from Chicago. My hope is that this online community provides the forum to teach each other and ultimately "our daughters" to be discerning, well-informed consumers able to make healthy choices for themselves and their loved ones-to positively contribute to the next generation of Organic Divas.