Cosmetic Science Lies from a Harvard student

edited November 2014 in General
I was recently reading an Instagram post by a British blogger who cited a letter written by a Harvard business student to l'oreal. L'oreal had offered an internship to her, but she wrote a rebuttal email in reply. The problem I have with the letter is she is spreading lies about cosmetic science. She mentions parabens as being unsafe, but even I, a high school student (well one who is interested in cosmetic science), knows that parabens are safe. She cites the EWG, which we know isn't the best source for information. It is quite the shame in my opinion that she is doing this since she is spreading it via her blog and social media, even though she doesn't really have the knowledge or authority to be doing so. She is after all a Harvard business student, not a Harvard science student. Since she is a Harvard student, people are more likely to believe what she has to say (like the blogger), even though she doesn't have any real knowledge (it appears) about cosmetic science. 
Here's a link to the site (which in my opinion has the tinge of not being knowledgable about cosmetic science):

I noticed on twitter that she was contacting a lot of news outlets, which clearly shows her true intentions: to get viral fame and push her message further, which can't be good. The post has somewhat succeeded by it becoming semi-viral which can't be good, since it might brain wash more people into believing what she said. Here's a link to a different site:

There is a post on the blog that states: "For natural hair in particular, any amount of sulfates are the devil" , which clearly shows they need to do more research.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


  • edited November 2014
    *Sigh* You're right, Ling, the way this blogger is spreading misinformation is a shame! Despite facts to the contrary, people really want to believe that the cosmetic industry is unregulated and that certain ingredients are bad (like parabens.)  
  • Reading that post, I think she's angling for an EWG internship so she can master the use of scare tactics ^_^
  • LOL. Yes, she'd fit right in at the EWG!
  • Although, reporting from the ground floor of the cosmetics industry, the average consumer is not as scared of parabens as she was a few years ago. I'm experiencing approximately 1 in 100.
    I wonder what the new fear ingredient will be, feels like the beginning of a new cycle.
  • Idk, I disagree. She's a collage student in the ivy's. To me I see her being hungover at least 30% of the time, and relying on wikki waaaay too much for her papers. When I think of an ivy student, or anyone for that matter, except for very few.  -_- Regardless of my opinion, there are some people left in this world that question everything. And I encourage everyone to have not a healthy, but an obsessive-compulsive appetite for questions. Or.... If for whatever reason, that sounds like a drag, to learn to identify properly, and trust the word of individuals that do. 

    With that being said, now I'm googling her source, and judging for myself what I think based on what I've researched. ..... Lets see if I agree with DrunkyHarvardGirlBusinessinTwitting Or BrainyBimbo. =))

    I don't her reffing that site right off the bat because, I'm still compiling my own list from actual studies. I don't like how they make claims with data listed as none. That's a huge discredit, and also, they have no links to studies, (that I noticed, I was kind of hoping for more.) I think enhanced skin absorption is a good thing in some applications, it delivers ingredients in the case of serums and night creams into the skin deeper which is always better, right??? And I feel like allergies and irritants should be less of a red flag then they are listed, I mean compared to internal organ compromising, and carcinogens, and DATA GAPS. (Data gaps are a HUGE pet peeve to me!). I will personally slap a scientist with a shitty report! I will! With that said, this site seems full of them. As far as the hazard key. What I am trying to get more of in my list, is reliable data on, not just how toxic a chemical is, but how long it lasts until break down, of the chemical, what happens to the trace breakdown of the chemical, and what effect that has, and how long it lasts, or if the initial chemical has staying power, if humans can metabolize it, completely or ... pass it. Oh, an long term exposure in varied quantities and it's effects. I consider this gaps in data if I cannot find any of this. I feel worried that I cannot find most of this information... Like WTF, right? I wasn't going to include studies of offspring or pregnant women using cosmetic, because I thought that'd be overkill, but even if I thought of it, I doubt there would be.

    Anyways, I would have to side with BrainyBimbo I believe the site referenced is incomplete, however what little information I have found that I have secured, does happen to match up with what they have, even if they have more then what I have confirmed. I believe her intention was to reference one general data base to inform them of exactly why she disagrees of their practice. I would assume since she has been read up since she was 15, for safety in cosmetics, she has had the time to research, and confirm each chemical used in cosmetics under the sun. So even though I feel as though she may be inclined to know what chemicals for sure are hazardous from a myriad of studies, I wouldn't trust that for fact. And because she didn't cite them, and L'oreal's products containing them, instead that shitty site with little fact based information, I have to go with brainy. Idk, I might email Drunky, she might surprise me by having some links.

  • Thanks for the thoughtful analysis!
  • From a very honest perspective, I had the same perspective as her when I was little radical hippie 16 year old but I have somewhat matured and educated myself in the last 10 years (not via the Ivy League alas, ^_^).

    The fact of the matter is that people like this, who I like to refer to as "Church of google" devotees, are the sorts of people who believe things that they find which SEEM credible and scientific, but they have very little doubt or skeptical filter which helps them use Google more intelligently.

    For that girl in particular, I think she isn't as stupid as she seems. I think she actually understands what she's doing an she's using the scientific illiteracy of the general public to her own marketing benefit, similar to many "natural product" cosmetic companies. I think she's angling for a different way into the industry where she gets a bigger piece of the pie.
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