Toxins In, Toxins Out: The Story of Cosmetics

In 2008, filmmaker and activist Annie Leonard launched The Story of Stuff – an ambitious animated web film aimed at raising awareness about the various systems of consumption and creating an enlightened public discourse around ecological sustainability through a new kind of storytelling. Since then, the project has sprouted a number of animated films, focusing on various sub-components of the ecological equation ranging from bottled water to economics.

This month, Leonard is back with a compelling new film, The Story of Cosmetics, exploring the ugly truths of the beauty industry and its toxic ingredients.

The film peels away at the most basic principle of our materials economy – "toxins in, toxins out" – and exposes the unsettling reality of our daily habits, with all of the known neurotoxins, carcinogens and reproductive toxins they treat us to. (The average US woman uses 12 beauty products per day, the average man 6.)

You can support the effort by making a donation to help extend its uncomfortable but important message even further than the 10 million people it has already reached and join the Safe Cosmetics Act to attack a broken system at the root: government regulation.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
  • Prejudice is typically perpetrated against 'the other', i.e. a group outside our own.
  • But ageism is prejudice against ourselves — at least, the people we will (hopefully!) become.
  • Different generations needs to cooperate now more than ever to solve global problems.

Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less