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Stacy Malkan,"Not Just a Pretty Face, the Ugly Side of the Cosmetic Industry"





Not Just a Pretty Face

The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry

By Stacy Malkan

Lead in lipstick? 1,4 dioxane in baby soap? Coal tar in shampoo? How is this possible?

Simple. The $35 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful that they've kept themselves unregulated for decades.

Not one cosmetic product has to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration before hitting the market. Incredible? Consider this:

  • The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics. The United States has banned just 10.

  • Only 11% of chemicals used in cosmetics in the US have been assessed for health and safety – leaving a staggering 89% with unknown or undisclosed effects.

  • More than 70% of all personal care products may contain phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and infertility.

  • Many baby soaps are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane.

It's not just women who are affected by this chemists' brew. Shampoo, deodorant, face lotion and other products used daily by men, women and children contain hazardous chemicals that the industry claims are "within acceptable limits." But there's nothing acceptable about daily multiple exposures to carcinogenic chemicals — from products that are supposed to make us feel healthy and beautiful.

IPPY Award Silver 2008 - HealthNot Just a Pretty Face delves deeply into the dark side of the beauty industry, and looks to hopeful solutions for a healthier future. This scathing investigation peels away less-than-lovely layers to expose an industry in dire need of an extreme makeover.

About the Contributor(s)


Stacy Malkan is Communications Director of Health Care Without Harm and media strategist for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition working to eliminate hazardous chemicals from personal care products. Stacy is a former journalist and newspaper publisher who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.




May 23, 2008 — Stacy Malkan’s groundbreaking expose’ about toxic chemicals in personal care products has won a top award from the independent publishing industry. “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry”

(New Society Publishers 2007) received a 2008 Silver IPPY from the Independent Publisher Book Awards Dead & Breakfast film in the category of Health/Medicine/Nutrition.

The contest honors the best independently published books of the year in 64 categories. “We were impressed with the in-depth research in our non-fiction and current events entries, (and) the important breakthroughs in our science and health entries,” wrote the contest judges. “We’ve tried to highlight the best of the best.”

“This award is a tribute to the breakthrough work of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and I am honored to share the inspiring story of the women and men who are changing the face of the beauty industry,” said author Stacy Malkan. “I’m so pleased people are using my book as an organizing tool to spread the word about safer products.”

Reviews of “Not Just a Pretty Face”

“An encouraging and empowering story!” — LA Times blog review

“Read this book! It is educational, unsettling, and inspiring. Personally, I have made several changes in the products I use and the quantity.” Kaffeine Buzz

Check out this book!” Laid to Rest release

“A must read for anyone who uses any type of cosmetic/beauty/personal care product.” Threadbanger

“This is an outside-the-box book that reads like a captivating novel and lands much to close for comfort… It is a must-read.” Alive Magazine, April 2008.

MS Magazine “Great Reads of Winter 2008!”

Dr. Samuel Esptein's 2009 Book "Toxic Beauty"

Hot Off the Presses: Book Wins Top Indy Awardd

silver medal! “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” by Stacy Malkan has won a top award in independent publishing. The book received a Silver Medal in the category of Health/Medicine from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. More details… The Human Stain psp



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