Bellas – in my time here as a blogger, I haven’t featured many guest blogger posts. I blame that on my inner control freak. But every now and then we have to admit that we don’t know everything about everything – and the issues surrounding the new proposed bill called the “Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010” are a bit too complicated for me to be the best person to blog about it. However, this issue is TRULY important for anyone who’s a lover of niche beauty brands like me – or any entrepreneur who creates beauty products for a living.

Take for example my friend Jamyla Bennu, creator of Oyin Handmade. She’s written an impassioned and intelligent protest against this act and allowed me to share it with you! Take it away Jamyla!

“Did you know there’s a pending bill in congress that claims to be for safe cosmetics, but could gravely hurt small micro-biz’s like ours? Which is ironic, because many independent cosmetics companies are dedicated to safe, healthy cosmetics without the new Draconian regulations this bill would introduce.

Please visit to learn more & find the link to sign the petition protecting small businesses!

The idea of regulation toward safer cosmetics would not necessarily hurt our company, or any company like ours who is already committed to safe cosmetics, natural ingredients, and responsible practices! We’ve been working toward safer cosmetics for years, by MAKING safer cosmetics with natural ingredients, by educating our lovely customers to want and expect the best from their products, and by caring about the health of our customers and our environment.

But this bill as written contains an incredible increase in testing and labelling requirements that are simply out of reach of most small businesses, and are of extremely questionable use to the average consumer. For instance, the article I’ll link to below shows how a product with 5 natural ingredients (olive oil, blue chamomile extract, and 3 essential oils) would require a label with over 200 ingredients listed, if the bill as currently written is passed and we suddenly had to list every microscopic component of each of our ingredients. As a consumer, this list of 200 trace components would be difficult for me to interpret, and particularly since I was actually looking at a list of 5 things, might limit the usefulness of ingredients listings altogether.

This is particularly onerous to us because we thrive on educating our consumers about ingredients, and legislation like this would work against these efforts by making label-reading a difficult and confusing prospect for most of us.

In addition, the science the bill is supposedly built on is incompletely reported and at times misleadingly applied. There’s an absolutely incredible article that explains more specifics at this Aromatherapy Guild page.

You can visit Oppose SCA and click ‘take action’ to sign a petition that members of our independent beauty business guild will use in our organizing efforts against this bill. We are IN SUPPORT of safe cosmetics, but believe this act would cause more harm than good to the cause!

There’s another great post on the topic by Madame Koiteh, and by Therese Martin.

If you’re a supporter of small, independent beauty businesses (and if you are reading this blog, I’m sure you are!) please lend your support and leave your statement over at Oppose SCA .

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BlackBetty says:
September 8, 2010, 9:25 am
I signed it. I'm always amazed by the steps the government takes to make us feel "safe". Targeting small businesses while letting large multinationals run amok is irresponsible. I hope others will show their support for small businesses that strive to make healthy products.
Sun says:
September 9, 2010, 3:25 pm
God bless you!
savvy brown says:
September 11, 2010, 11:02 am
Thanks for posting this. I had no idea that that bill was going to make things more confusing. I actually thought it was going to help. - Savvy
Valerie says:
September 13, 2010, 11:49 am
Thanks so much for posting this and for your support of independent businesses.
Name (required) says:
September 17, 2010, 9:20 am
It's not the government pushing for this; I guarantee it's special interest groups and lobbyist pushing for this bill. And I'd be willing to bet $$$ that those special interest groups work in favor of those large multinational cosmetic companies. I'm an interior designer, and this is the same exact thing that the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) tried to pull with the profession. They tried to create a law that would prevent persons from being able to call themselves interior designers, unless they attended a university that had an interior design accreditation. They claimed it was for "safety" of the general public, but let's be real: Interior designers pick out fabrics, paint colors and design arrangements. They found one scenario, ONE, where an interior designer picked out a fabric that was highly flammable for carpeting in a hotel, and the hotel caught fire and the blaze traveled at an accelerated rate. They took that one instance, and used it for their "cause". However, what they fail to mention, is that manufacturers always include specifications on the back of any fabric swatch, or on their website, depicting the durability, water resistance, and FLAMMABILITY of the fabric, and you don't need 4 years of college education to read them. They claim it was for safety reasons, but in reality, a group of interior designers got together to create a way to shut out competition. Also, the universities that are accredited by these boards have interest in pushing the legislation, because they have to be able to justify making their students acquire thousands of dollars in debt just so they can compete with individuals who are just as talented but may not have attended university. After all, it's a hard pill to swallow when you've earned a degree in a field, only to realize that clients don't care about your education credentials. I have reason to believe that this is exactly what' s happening with the cosmetic companies. They're upset that people are willing to spend large amounts of $$$ for natural products, and that people don't believe their bathroom counters have to be filled with big name brands. They probably found 1 or 2 cases where someone had a bad reaction to a natural product, and are running with it. I'm definitely signing this petition, because soon, there will be a day where you can't become a part of any profession or trade without someone else regulating how you do it or get into it.
Isiah Mallacara says:
February 22, 2012, 1:36 pm
This actually answered my questions, thanks!


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