Stop Chemophobia!

Posted on July 15th, by Helen in Skincare. 3 comments

Stop Chemophobia!

Nothing irks us more when we see greenwashing in the beauty industry. That’s why we’re excited to attend our go-to cosmetic chemist’s free (yes free!) beauty seminar in August. If you live in Toronto, be sure to come hear Dr. Louise Hidinger speak on a topic that we’re extremely passionate about here at The Skiny: Busting Chemophobia.  Here is the description of the event from Louise’s blog, Ingredients Of Style

The past few years have seen a positive explosion in the environmental movement and a corresponding exponential increase in the green beauty market. Everywhere you go, there are lists of “dirty” chemicals, and products being marketed as “chemical free” and “toxic free”.

The problem with all these supposedly helpful lists of chemicals from groups like The Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Working Group is the information is often highly distorted and in some cases entirely incorrect; none of the information is actually peer-reviewed by a panel of scientists who can present the information in a meaningful, objective way that is relevant to real life. As a result, people are always presented with the absolute worse case scenario, and it is made to look like all chemicals are toxic and bad for you. The end result is what I and other chemists call “chemophobia”.

I have to admit, when I first started this website, I was a new mother and just as paranoid as the next parent about toxic chemicals. I started off by being extremely strict about what I chose to expose myself and my kids to. However, this is where my chemist’s brain kicked in and kept me from going completely overboard: I started questioning why certain chemicals were believed to be toxic and did my own research in the scientific literature, rather than relying on the statements issued by environmental groups. Over the past couple years, I have been confronted again and again with misconceptions, information that is completely wrong, lack of understanding and rampant chemophobia. I figured the only way to fight back is to arm people with some basic science knowledge so they can shed the chemophobia and understand what is really in their beauty products. So, I am giving a seminar at the Toronto Public Library, starting next month.

INGREDIENTS: Understanding 
What’s In Your Beauty Products

by Louise Hidinger, Ph.D.

Date: Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time: 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Location: Brentwood Branch,

Toronto Public Library

36 Brentwood Road North,

Toronto, Ontario M8X 2B5

Admission: Free to the public

 I am going to cover basic concepts in chemistry and biology, and then I am going relate those concepts to basic rules to help you read an ingredient list.

RSVP through Helen Delaurier, Library Assistant at Brentwood Branch Phone:  416-394-5250 Email:



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