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Award-Winning Book Exposes the Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry

Stacy Malkan  |  New Society Publishers 


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Lead in lipstick? Carcinogens in baby shampoo? How is this possible? Simple. The $60 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful they’ve kept themselves unregulated for decades.

Stacy Malkan’s award-winning book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society 2007), follows a group of breast cancer activists as they go knocking on the door of the world’s largest cosmetics companies to ask them to stop using chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects.

As doors slammed in their faces, the beauty myth peeled away and the industry’s toxic secrets began to emerge. The good news is that while the big corporations fight for their right to use hazardous chemicals, new companies are innovating safer products and a national movement is building to give the beauty industry a makeover!

Not Just a Pretty Face has sold more than 30,000 copies and been translated into Korean, Mandarin and Czech. The book is a 2008 Silver Medal IPPY Winner and 2010 Best of Green Fashion/Beauty Book.


“The uplifting story of activism by women and teens who have been fighting for safe cosmetics against a billion-dollar industry.” — Kathy Gerwig, Wall Street Journal

“An encouraging and empowering story!” — LA Times blog review Gift of Knowledge: Six Green Reads

San Francisco Library Green List of Recommended Eco Reads

“Read this book! It is educational, unsettling, and inspiring. Personally, I have made several changes in the products I use and the quantity.” — Kaffeine Buzz

“A must read for anyone who uses any type of cosmetic/beauty/personal care product.” Threadbanger

“This is an outside-the-box book that reads like a captivating novel and lands much to close for comfort… It is a must-read.” — Alive Magazine, April 2008

“Great Reads of Winter 2008!” — MS magazine

“This is a gripping, personal book by a recovered cosmetics addict with a great factual range on the impact of an unregulated group of companies.” — Ralph Nader, consumer advocate

“A must-read for everyone! Thank you, Stacy, for this most important investigation into the hidden dangers of everyday personal care.” Horst Rechelbacher, founder/former owner of Aveda

More Press Coverage

San Francisco Chronicle: “Activist, Author Challenges Cosmetics Industry”

San Jose Mercury News: "Women's Consumer Avocates Take on Cosmetics Industry"

Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The Ugly Side of Beauty Products"

Washington Post: “Can Beauty be Dangerous?”

Washington Post: Online chat with Stacy Malkan