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Beauty Addicts: how toxic are you?

By Aisling | October 12 2007 | 17 Comments

Sarah Beeny introduced us to Emma and Charlotte on Channel 4 last night. These two sisters were beauty product obsessed, spending over £1000 a month on products. During their daily routine they used over 70 products between them – over 40 on their morning ablutions and makeup application alone.

But these two weren’t just obsessed with beauty products. They were hygiene freaks, spending hours a day cleaning the house, washing their hands and brushing their teeth. Emma brushed her teeth around six times a day and also ate the equivalent of a whole tube of toothpaste a week.

The girls were analysed for levels of toxicity. Numbers were mentioned. What did they mean? Who knew? I didn’t. We weren’t given a safe, or benchmark level – only gasps whenever numbers were revealed. At the end of the eight day trial some numbers had gone down – and some had gone up. Who knew why? The expert didn’t anyway.

We learned that products labelled Simple, Natural and Aveda are not pure and natural at all, but loaded with chemicals.

The best bit was when Sarah stood outside Mamas and Papas smoking a dirty big faaag with a cushion shoved up her tshirt. Potentially dangerous chemicals were also identified in baby products – brands that promoted themselves as pure and natural – Johnsons, Huggies and Avent.

On the whole though the program covered too much ground. It tried to analyse the chemical danger present in everything you do. From the moment of conception (cue Sarah showing distressing embryo pics), through breastfeeding to doing your washing in a hilarious* laundrette sequence, chemicals are everywhere. Emma’s cycle to work exposed her to a ton of chemicals, as did her clothes washing.

And at the end of it all what was the verdict? Well eh, kind of neither here nor there really. The girls ditched their products for natural alternative for eight days. Eight days! What a commitment! Unsurprisingly enough, some things worked, some things didn’t. Some of the natural substitutes just didn’t do as good a job. The hairspray was rubbish, the clothes powder substitutes either smelled like cats pee or didn’t take out stains. Or both. The cleansers, the blusher and the mascara were good though. And totally ripping off Dr Reagan’s Beauty Parlour we were offered a glimpse of the unnamed mascara at the end. Remember the Protect and Perfect brohaha anyone?

Beauty Addicts was like an unsuccessful cross between How Clean Is Your House/ You Are What You Eat/ Professor Regan’s Beauty Parlour. It smacked of media types sitting round a table and coming up with a concept by robbing bits and pieces from the successful programs that went before it.

But this program failed to convince or shock on any level – because there was nothing new shown here. It raised many questions and answered none. It was all a bit meh.

Let me know what you thought, cos I’ve seen you’ve been blathering about this – as it happened! Feel free to disagree with me!

*not hilarious at all

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