In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, active campaigns against toxic chemicals in skincare and household products have been running for several years. In a large beauty consumer market as Asia however, these campaigns are few and far between.
Greenpeace International has been running a Detox campaign against fashion brands that pollute water with chemicals for just over two years, and as part of its campaign in Beijing, there is at least a mention of toxins in skincare through a printed brochure. In Manila, there is an interest group known as EcoWaste Coalition which works to raise awareness on toxic products, ranging from skincare to toys.
So why does Asia seem less concerned about health issues as compared to western countries, even when we have seen a few health scares in the last couple of years, take Kanebo, for instance, also there are numerous online reports warning of lead in popular lipstick brands, and chemicals in popular brands of beauty products.
Singapore’s skincare market is undoubtedly experiencing growth. According to a relatively recent Channel NewsAsia report, Singapore’s beauty and personal care market is worth $1.46bn, and this RNCOS report shares that the cosmetics market here is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of around 4 per cent between 2013 and 2017. Last year, a Euromonitor report communicated that the men’s grooming market in Singapore had grown 5 per cent in 2012.
So what would it take for Singaporeans to sit up and take notice of toxic chemicals in personal care products for their children and other family members, for their pets and themselves? Often times, it takes an allergy or health condition before people do something about it, but why don’t we do something about it now?
Very soon we will be launching a campaign called #maketheswitch, where we would like to inspire others to move away from products with commonly documented toxins like parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, coal tar, sodium laureth sulfate, and unnatural fragrance. We will also be naming and shaming some popular brands, stay tuned!
Here are the lovely people who have agreed to be part of our campaign, people who have already made the switch. Watch out for it, and I hope you will help us spread the word also.