It's a fair assessment to say that the average teenager today is more concerned with texting, Facebook, and the Twilight saga than with most other things in life. But Ava Anderson is not your average teenager. Last December, at the tender age of fifteen, she launched her own line of skin care products. Ava Anderson Non Toxic is the world's first line of skin care products in which every ingredient scores a zero on the Cosmetics Database toxicity scale.
Everything that we put on our body ends up in our body, absorbed by the bloodstream. The Cosmetics Database scores the toxicity of every ingredient used in skin care and makeup on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being non-toxic and 10 being extremely toxic. Ava was inspired in her quest to create a completely non-toxic skin care line after seeing a news report about the health risks associated with chemicals used in cosmetics. The study was performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It focused on twenty teenaged girls, and traced the amounts of hazardous chemicals in their bloodstreams - chemicals commonly found in cosmetics and skin care products. All of the teens tested positive for every single hazardous chemical traced in the study.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it," the Rhode Island high-school sophomore said, "and I was frustrated when I discovered that despite claims of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ ingredients, most products sold as healthy alternatives still contained hazardous ingredients.” Anderson’s quest to find an answer led to a meeting in New York with a cosmetics manufacturer who took up the challenge to create a truly non-toxic skin care and cosmetics line. One, as Anderson insisted, that would pass the Cosmetics Database tests with all ZEROS. “Not only women, but men also risk their health by applying these toxic chemicals to their body day after day, year after year,” Anderson said. “Developing an alternative became an obsession for me. With my parents’ help I have been able to do something about this. At the very least, I hope Ava Anderson Non-Toxic will make people more aware of hidden dangers and encourage them to make safer choices.”
Ava Anderson Non-Toxic consists of a complete regimen of cleansing, toning and moisturizing, as well as a lip scrub, an eye makeup remover, and an exfoliator. A six-piece set containing the entire line is also available. I was recently sent the Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Cleanser ($19.95), Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Moisturizer ($18.95), and Ava Anderson Sugar Lip Scrub ($12.95) to try.
The Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Cleanser is an alpha-hydroxy-acid based cleanser that uses sugar cane to gently exfoliate. It creates a gentle lather which surprised me. I was expecting a lotion cleanser, since it doesn't contain sulfates or harsh detergents. Instead it uses sodium cocoyl glutamate, a surfectant and cleansing agent derived from coconut oil. The press release says to apply it to a wet face. I tried using it on both wet and dry skin, and it lathers much better on wet skin. And the pleasant fragrance is all-natural. One of Ava's concerns with many so-called organic or natural skin care lines is that they contain artificial fragrance. These companies aren't required to list all of the ingredients in these fragrances, which can contain ingredients high on the toxicity scale, and hidden under the blanket term "fragrance" or "parfum." The fresh lemon fragrance of Ava's cleanser is derived from lemon fruit oil.
The Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Moisturizer is a lightweight lotion that is easily absorbed into the skin. It leaves the skin slightly mattified, which is great for oily or combination skin, but I felt like I could have used a little more moisture. It contains shea butter, and has a pleasant citrus fragrance from lemon fruit oil and orange fruit water.
The Ava Anderson Sugar Lip Scrub also contains shea butter to moisturize, along with sugar to exfoliate and pistacia seed, which forms a barrier to protect the lips. I applied it to dry lips and rinsed it off, since wiping off sugar lip scrubs always leaves some sugar crystals behind. It tastes great, like spearmint chewing gum, due to natural spearmint oil. After removing it my lips felt soft, and my lip gloss went on smoothly.
Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products come in attractive plastic packaging with cheery orange and pink labeling. The ingredients list is printed in larger letters than most ingredients labels (which usually require a lot of squinting), so you can see exactly what you're putting on your face. Their motto is also easy to read: "No parabens - no toxins - no lies." Ava Anderson has succeeded in creating a line of skin care products that are sophisticated, effective, and completely safe for your body, both inside and out. And her cosmetics line will launch soon, including foundation, blush, lip gloss and lipstick, all of which are non-toxic. Not bad for someone who doesn't have her driver's license yet! Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products are available online from www.AvaAndersonNonToxic.com.