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WHS senior advocates safe beauty products

Chelsea Frisch, Opinion Editor

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How often do you actually think about what you are putting on your skin? WHS senior Mia Melao has thought about that a lot. She’s thought about it so much that she’s chosen to take on the billion-dollar beauty industry and educate people about what they are actually putting on their skin every day.

Most people are unaware of the minimal regulations and testing on products in the beauty industry. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetics, it does not require FDA approval before a cosmetic product goes on the market.

This concerned Ms. Gregg Renfrew, so she founded Beautycounter  about five years ago. There are nearly 80,000 chemicals in cosmetics that are on the market today—many of which do not have any safety data, according to Beautycounter. The company refuses to use more than 1,500 potentially harmful chemicals, as Beautycounter states that the U.S. has not passed a major federal law to regulate these chemicals since 1938. Since its founding, the company has spread to the rest of the United States and into Canada.

Melao discovered Beautycounter after her mom, Ms. Mari Melao, started using and selling it. “My mom started selling Beautycounter before I did because she had a pre-cancerous spot on her face,” Melao said. “She wasn’t able to use the products she was using every day because her doctors told her she couldn’t. She was allowed to use Beautycounter because the products are safer and would not cause harm.”

Once Melao’s mom became a consultant, she would host and attend socials, and Melao  would help out at these events, while telling people more about the company. “My plan was to start selling it when I went to college, but then the more I was getting involved in it, the more I wanted to spread the mission before I went to college,” Melao said.

As a consultant, Melao does quick online trainings every day after school in order to continue learning about the company since it is constantly evolving. “It’s basically whatever you put into it, you get out of it,” Melao said. “For some people, this is their full-time job, and there are other people who do it a couple of hours per week.” She said that sometimes she prefers doing the trainings instead of other things like watching TV.

She explained that once you are a consultant, you get a mentor. Her mentor is her mom. “I gave her some online training guides and was at her launch party to encourage and help through the process,” said Mari Melao.

Thus far, Melao has hosted two socials. “I basically explain the mission, let people sample the products, and then sell them,” she said. Melao has not only spread the word to people in Westfield, but she has also gotten some of her friends who are already in college involved with Beautycounter.

“The social was really interesting because I learned that so many of the products I use every day are actually really bad for you,” said junior Sarah Hacker.

Melao will attend Fairfield University in the fall to study nursing. “I am hoping in college I will have more time to dedicate to Beautycounter,” she said. “Right now I am just doing research on my own, but since I am going to be in a school that is actually dedicated to wellness and to finding solutions for all of these problems that arise, I will be able to be more attached to the company.”

For more information about Melao’s work, visit her website at beautycounter.com/miamelao.

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