Twice a year, Variety highlights five prominent women who are using their clout and influence to bring attention to worthy causes—and for fall 2017, Dermstore is a proud sponsor of this event. Michelle Pfeiffer will be honored for her work with Environmental Working Group, along with fellow honorees “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, singer Kelly Clarkson and actresses Priyanka Chopra and Octavia Spencer.
Who knew Michelle Pfeiffer is also a badass in real life? “One thing you don’t know about me is that I love power tools,” she muses. “I’m very handy around the house. I like to build things.”
But it’s not only that. Two decades after her scene-stealing portrayal of “Catwoman,” this 59-year-old actress is still a force of nature. From earning an Emmy nomination for her role in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies, to playing the creepy houseguest in Mother!, to playing the original Wasp in the soon-to-be-released Ant-Man and the Wasp, Michelle is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s almost hard to believe that there was in fact a time when she left Hollywood to play the most important role of all, that of a mother. It was during this time that she discovered how many toxins there really are in the food that we eat and the products we use on our body. And that is when she decided she wanted to dedicate herself to protecting our health and the environment.
“The Environmental Working Group (EWG) does research and rating on the toxins in the environment, whether it’s food that you’re eating or the products that you’re putting on your body,” explains Michelle. “I discovered them almost 20 years ago, when I was a new mother and I was looking for ways to protect my children and my family. I just stumbled upon their website and I’ve been relying on them for nearly 20 years.”
Twenty years later, EWG’s work is finally coming to fruition. Consumers are now more conscious and informed than ever about what they eat and the companies they support. And Michelle remains committed to using its database and encouraging everyone she knows to make safer and more informed decisions about the products they buy. “I don’t use anything in question without checking EWG’s database first. It has thousands of products listed and it breaks it down for you ingredient by ingredient. It gives you the toxicity of each ingredient. It’s still surprising to me that people don’t know about this incredible resource,” she says.
Asked what lessons she learned from being in the industry for more than two decades, Michelle’s advice is simple: “Don’t gossip; it always gets back to people. And save your money. You’ll need it for those dry periods when you think you’re never going to work again.”
Watch the rest of her interview below.