The average woman uses 12 cosmetic and personal care products everyday, exposing her to 126 unique chemicals. Canada’s weak cosmetic regulations, and the influence of the powerful $5.4 billion Canadian cosmetic industry, allow compounds such as carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins, for example, to be used in our cosmetic products. It has reached a point where the financial costs of reformulating outweigh and undermine the impacts and concerns these chemical have on our health. Marketing schemes have been successful in skewing a woman’s perspective on true beauty. The small dose, long-term exposure from these cosmetic toxins accumulate and add to the body burden of women who have already been overloaded with other environmental contaminants that pollute our bodies. Did you know that over 200 unique chemicals have been found in the average person’s body? The sources of these chemicals have been traced back to our food, water, air, soil and other consumer products. As individuals we may not yet be able to control the chemicals used in the many areas of industry, but we should be able to control what we decide to put on our bodies..

In the spring of 2009, a passionate and dedicated committee from Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM) decided to develop a youth-oriented campaign for safe cosmetics. Soon to join the organization were several young women, coming from different backgrounds, who were alarmed by the current state of cosmetic regulations in Canada. FemmeToxic was created because of the strengths of this unique group of women and their desire for stronger legislation to make safer cosmetics the norm.

FemmeToxic is a campaign focusing on the toxins in the environment, particularly those found in cosmetic and personal care products, which are detrimental to human health and can increase the risk of cancer and other health-related disorders. The goal of FemmeToxic is to advocate for stronger cosmetic regulations. More specifically, the group wishes to change the ways in which Health Canada labels cosmetics and oversees the substitution and removal of toxins in personal care products. FemmeToxic seeks to empower women and increase their awareness of these toxins in products they use, their impact on health and the safer alternatives, while motivating them to join us in giving the beauty industry its long overdue makeover.

FemmeToxic also hopes to inspire all women of every age to adopt a lifestyle that is not as heavily reliant on cosmetic and personal care products and to have them re-evaluate the need of the products they use. For too long women have been led to believe that beauty comes from a tube of lipstick or in the wave of a mascara wand. In reality, true beauty is revealed through the development of confidence and character, not with the application of the latest shade of nail polish. FemmeToxic hopes to dilute the toxic message of the beauty industry through empowering women and to significantly reduce toxins in our bodies through changing Canadian legislation. Hopefully this change can be the first step in the detoxification of our environment.