I don't necessarily read or research because I want to be a good writer. I just love to read and to learn. Recently I've been learning about cosmetics--anything from lipstick to shampoo to sunscreen--and how they're really bad for your body. And here's the short answer to why they're bad: your skin absorbs everything you put on it and takes it into your body; the materials things like sunscreen, shampoo, foundation, etc. are made of is basically nasty chemicals that are not the kinds of thing you'd eat--so why would you put it on your skin to be absorbed?!
I don't wear make-up. And I hardly ever wash my hair--I know it sounds gross, but it's actually better (health-wise) for your hair to not wash it so much. I don't use face washes or lotion (because lotion seems to give me rashes). But here's what I do...sometimes...: I put coconut oil (like the organic kind with nothing else extra added) on my hands when they're dry. I use bees wax chapstick. And I wash my hair (on the occasion that I wash) with organic, earth-friendly soap.
I don't know all there is to know (or even a smidgin of what there is to know) about cosmetics or even about organic products, but I"m reading this cool book called "No More Dirty Looks: the truth about your beauty products and the ultimate guide to safe and clean cosmetics"
This isn't because I'm interested in putting stuff on my face or in trying to make up a new face to show society, but because I find it fascinating to see what things are made of and what goes on in terms of products and people's lifestyles. And, of course, because I'm into organic/natural living and it's all got to start with research. Who knows, maybe one day I'll write a book called How to live, be, and feel NATURAL. (hopefully my publishers will come up with a better title than that... :)