Fresh Face Forward launches a new campaign to raise awareness about the harmful ingredients in personal care products.
Founded by a group of female teachers and students at Mercyhurst, Fresh Face Forward was created to raise awareness about the toxic chemicals in personal care products and their damaging effect on bodies and the environment.
By targeting tiny synthetic plastic particles called microbeads, the team hopes to spark change in Erie.
“This campaign is important because people need to know what is in their products,” said Jade Gelsimino, senior communication major and campaign designer.
Microbeads, like other plastics, can absorb toxins commonly found in our waterways. Studies have shown that fish and wildlife of all sizes consume the plastic, raising serious concerns about the impact of microbeads on aquatic species. Microbeads are found in some products that people use daily, including toothpastes and body scrubs.
The campaign coordinators are Anne Zaphiris, faculty advisor; Trang Nguyen, junior Communication Major and social media editor and Gelsimino. This year, they are targeting microbeads and triclosan. From October to January, microbeads are the main focus and from Feb. to May is tricolsan.
“I think so far this year’s campaign is going well. We have a pretty steady rate of growing interest. The team’s effort is getting recognized,” Nguyen said.
The campaign’s goal is to influence students to change their current personal care products to safer alternatives. The group has held different events to bring awareness to students. On
Wednesday, Oct. 28, an event was held in Egan, where they distributed information about microbeads and gave away free samples of body exfoliator and organic lip balms. They also gave out a Fresh Face Forward cosmetic bag to a lucky winner. An upcoming event with the same theme will take place in Warde Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
“There are so many personal care companies that have no regard for the effects their products may have on us and our environment. It is time that we advocate for change and take action,” Gelsimino said.
In January, the campaign will focus in bringing awareness about triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in consumer products.
Several states and counties have already started banning microbeads in products.