Clean. Gorgeous. Conscious. Welcome to the cosmetic revolution.

Truth Beauty

Would you take a bite out of your body soap? Drink your moisturizer? Cook with your shaving cream? Odds are, you wouldn’t, but not everyone thinks that’s right. “Skincare products should be good enough to eat,” says BeautyLiesTruth.com cofounder (and lead singer of noise-pop band Sleigh Bells) Alexis Krauss, who, along with Jessica Assaf, also a cofounder who’s currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School, is determined to make over the face of the cosmetics and skincare industry.

Krauss and Assaf are deeply concerned about mainstream personal care products laden with ingredients such as toxins, synthetic chemicals, pollutants, carcinogens, and preservatives, among others. They also believe that the FDA should hold manufacturers to more stringent regulations to wipe out the bevy of controversial issues currently plaguing the industry, from the inclusion of harmful substances and unfriendly eco-practices to animal testing and (mis)labeling.

“People feel better when they make smarter, safer, and more sustainable choices,” Krauss says. “Both women and men have thanked us for exposing the lies encircling the beauty industry and now take pride in spreading the word themselves and supporting alternative companies that champion safety, health and transparency.”

A New York Times article first alerted Krauss—a fervent environmentalist—about the ecological cost of plastic microbeads, which are commonly used in toothpastes and exfoliants. (Due to their miniscule size, they go down drains and pass unfiltered through wastewater plants into oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water, causing pollution.) “I realized that on a daily basis I was exposing my body and our planet to a host of unsafe, synthetic ingredients and chemicals,” she explains. “I became determined to rid my bathroom of hazardous products.”

Alexis And Jessica

BeautyLiesTruth.com highlights companies that adhere to the site’s core standards, which declare products should:

Be cruelty-free by not being tested on humans or animals.
Be formulated without any of the 1,373 substances prohibited by the European Union.
Be labeled with every ingredient.
Come from companies that are fully transparent about their sources.
Contain safe and effective ingredients.
Be packaged sustainably.

Krauss and Assaf vehemently believe, “consumers shouldn’t have to compromise health for beauty and have a right to safe, effective, sustainable, and affordable beauty and skincare products.” The two launched their truth-telling website in 2014 to help educate the public about the dangers lurking in many personal care products. The site is a cornucopia of information where users can access BLT’s “Dirty List” glossary of substances to avoid, a compilation of companies who craft products with consumers’ and Earth’s best interests in mind, and links to other resources to learn more and get involved in the movement.

“We support companies that engage in ethical and sustainable practices,” Krauss says. “When a company spends extra time and money to seek out ingredients certified as Organic, Fair Trade and Cruelty-Free, it is a testament to their commitment to both the health of their customer and the planet.”

With a mission to empower these smaller, revolutionary companies and make their products accessible to a larger audience, Krauss and Assaf created a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for the #TRUTHBEAUTY platform, an e-commerce web site offering what BLT deems the safest, highest-performing, and most affordable beauty products on the market; the items will be sold in curated collections less expensively than if purchased individually. “#TRUTHBEAUTY is more than a business,” Krauss says. “It is a movement. We want to give women and men the opportunity to try safe products that really work, and we want to help our favorite companies grow.”

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