Lindsay Dahl is the beauty hero we all need. She is the VP of Social + Environmental Responsibility at Beautycounter, a soon-to-be mama, and the ultimate mover + shaker for promoting safer cosmetics for all. She’s been in the advocacy game since 2004, pushing for government regulation of toxins and harmful chemicals found in your everyday products.
She also helped build the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign, which is the largest campaign in the US to push for healthier, safer consumer products.
Lindsay built her career working tirelessly to push for environmental policy and hold the consumer product and cosmetic industries accountable for the ingredients they put into their products (and effectively into your bodies).
Read below to get Lindsay’s take on everything cosmetic regulation and advocacy work in the Wild West of the beauty industry.
What is the current status of cosmetic regulation and legislation in the US government?
Beauty is a $62 billion dollar business here in the United States. Yet, only two and a half pages of legislation governs this growing industry. Compared with the EU which bans or restricts over 1,400 ingredients and Canada tackling 600 ingredients, the US has only moved to remove 30 ingredients from personal care products.
In recent years, more and more lawmakers are hearing from people like you that clean beauty and safer skin care matters to them, and as a result there has been movement in Congress to advance better beauty legislation (with expected action in 2019).
Why is government oversight important for safer cosmetics?
Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into any store and know the beauty product you buy is safe for your health? This simple concept is why government oversight is important, it shouldn’t be up to the consumer to do extensive research before purchasing sunscreen, face cream or lipstick.
What are you doing in your personal and professional lives to push for safer cosmetics?
I live and breathe this work and the line between professional and personal is blurred! At Beautycounter, in additional to overseeing sustainability and giving, I direct all of our federal and state advocacy efforts which includes our lobbying presence in DC and asking friends of the brand to contact their members of Congress! Just this last spring, we trained nearly 1,500 Beautycounter Consultants to meet with their Members of Parliament and Congress in their hometowns, putting democracy in action.
On a personal level, I continue to educate my friends and family about the need to leverage their voices and why every phone call, vote and email counts when it comes to the political process. I think people are so turned off by the politics of today, that we sometimes forget that there are really important issues where our voices can make a difference.
How would you encourage others to stand up for or get involved with the cosmetic regulation fight?
It takes less than two minutes to have a significant impact. All you need to do is text the word BETTERBEAUTY to 52886, and you’ll receive a link in your text message to email your Members of Congress!
Second, support businesses like Clary and Beautycounter, who are creating products that are good for your health. By voting with your wallet, you show lawmakers that companies succeed when they place the health of their customers first.
What achievements have you made with lobbying since you started?
In the nearly six years since Beautycounter began fighting for cosmetic reform, we have made significant impact in the personal care industry. At the state level, we have lent our business voice to efforts to pass consumer health-protective legislation in Oregon, Hawaii and California – and succeeded. These state laws have a ripple effect and over the past five years, the conversation has shifted in DC as cosmetic reform has become an issue of not ifbut when.
This past July, we held a Congressional briefing focused on examining the disparate impact of harmful ingredients in personal care products for women of color. I believe that lasting and meaningful change in our cosmetic laws can only come about when it is felt by everyone, regardless of their race, gender or socio-economic background.
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