Left Brain is livid…
Here at the Beauty Brains, we get contacted by lots of PR firms giving us the latest press release for all the new beauty products coming on the market. It’s really a great perk of writing a beauty blog. Of course, we get many silly press releases which border on being funny, but sometimes we get ones that are so outrageous we can’t ignore them. Here’s one that really boiled my blood.
Chemical Fear – Chemicals Be Afraid
First the subject line:
“Carcinogens in baby shampoos”
Talk about scary! You can’t help but open up the message.
Then the press release goes on with the following headline…
LIL RINSER SIMPLIFIES CHILD BATHING AND PROTECTS AGAINST HARMFUL SHAMPOOS
Rinse and Run Technology Keeps Dangerous Carcinogens Found in Children’s Shampoos Away from Face
They go on to quote the chemical fear-mongering Campaign for Safe Cosmetics explaining that CSC found “…many children’s bath products contain chemicals that may cause cancer and skin allergies.”
Finally, they pitch their product (the Lil Rinser) by saying “For parents concerned about the potential risk, Lil Rinser,…can help further prevent exposure to toxins in shampoos.”
Before I get into what’s irked me, I’d like to say that this sounds and
looks like a great idea. I don’t have kids myself, but I’ve helped my sisters with their kids enough to know that some kids don’t like soap to get in their face. Tear-free shampoos can help however, they aren’t always effective.
The Lil Rinser looks like it would do a great job of keeping soap out of their eyes, water out of their ears and doesn’t look too hard to use. I LOVE the fact that it was created by small-time inventors who had the gumption to take their ideas and do something with it. Too many people have great ideas then never do anything about them. But I digress…
Awful marketing campaign
There are two big problems I have with the way that Lil Rinser has decided to market their product. First, they spread distorted information about personal care products to scare people and second, their message is hypocritical. If they focused more on the real benefits of the product, like the ones mentioned above, I’d be a much bigger supporter.
Are baby shampoos filled with toxins?
The suggestion that baby products contain carcinogens comes from a recent report that shows 1,4 Dioxane and Formaldehyde were both detected in a variety of baby products tested. Both of these compounds have been characterized as “probable carcinogens” by the EPA.
While we have no reason to doubt the test results, the implication that the presence of tiny amounts of carcinogens makes the product harmful is unfounded. All of the best research maintains that the levels are not dangerous. The dose of exposure matters just as much as the chemical. Pure water will kill you at a high enough dose.
The idea that you should be afraid of the chemicals in baby shampoos is nonsense. Indeed, selling products without preservatives (as formaldehyde is a preservative) is much more dangerous.
Shame on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for trying to scare people with distorted science, and shame on Lil Rinser for trying to exploit people’s fear and chemical ignorance for economic gain.
What about toxins in Lil Rinser?
Perhaps the most appalling things about Lil Rinser’s marketing campaign is their own hypocrisy. If you take a look at their lab reports, you might be aghast to find that the Lil Rinser is proven to contain the following toxins
1. Arsenic – a potent human poison
2. Barium – extremely poisonous
3. Cadmium – known to cause cancer
4. Mercury – extremely toxic
5. Antimony – toxic
6. Selenium – toxic
Why are these toxins and carcinogens in the Lil Rinser?
Because they are an unavoidable part of the rubber and plastic making process. And you know over time, these toxins and carcinogens will be leached out into the water that’s your child is soaking in.
Fortunately, these toxins are also in the product at levels that have been determined by reliable, governmental agencies to be safe.
This is also true of the carcinogens that can be detected in your personal care products!
The cosmetic industry has no interest in poisoning people. They do not produce or sell products that are unsafe.
Beauty Brains Bottom Line
Lil Rinser will not make children more safe from their already safe baby shampoos. In our environment we are surrounded by all kinds of chemicals and compounds that are toxic and carcinogenic at high enough doses. Our ability to detect these compounds keeps getting better and better so it’s understandable we’ll find them in more and more every day products. However, presence of a nasty chemical is both unavoidable and should be of little concern if the amount is tiny enough.
It’s impossible to avoid all traces of toxic/carcinogenic compounds. Fear-mongering consumer groups & marketing people who suggest it is are wrong.
If you’re interested in trying the Lil Rinser because it’s a cool gadget (not because it will protect you from cancer) you can see more about it by clicking here.