Does it come as a surprise to you that the cosmetics that you use may be hazardous to your health? Believe it or not, not all cosmetics are safe. Safe cosmetics are, in fact, hard to find.
How can this be? Why in the world would the cosmetics that you use be dangerous? Surely the FDA regulates anything we use in or on our bodies to make sure that they are safe for us to use?
Sadly, no. Yes drugs are regulated and the drug companies need to conform to certain safety standards, but those standards don’t apply to either companies making cosmetics, or companies making skin care products or personal care products and health and beauty products.
Basically these companies can use any ingredient in their cosmetics, regardless of whether they’ve been shown to be safe for human use. And big multi nationals being what they are, if there is an ingredient that they can use in their products that is cheaper than a safe alternative they’ll use it.
Regardless of whether it results in some risks to users.
Here’s an example. A recent study found lead in over 50% of big brand lipsticks tested. Lead? Are you kidding? In our lipsticks? Sadly again it’s true. Some of the biggest names in lipsticks contain lead.
This prompted the California legislature to legislate against lead in lipsticks.
Regulation on safe cosmetics ingredients is sadly lacking in the US. Standards are much much stricter in Europe. So the cosmetics that you and maybe your daughters use can contain dangerous ingredients.
I have personal experience of this. My then 7 year old daughter was due for her first ballet concert and they used all the normal cosmetics on her and within half an hour she had a terrible rash all over her face. We removed the cosmetics, the rash disappeared and hasn’t reappeared.
We now use safe cosmetics for her ballet concerts.
The problem is so bad that there are now whole organizations set up to promote safe cosmetics and alert the public to the danger of the big brand cosmetics. And do the cosmetics companies change their behavior? Do they use safe ingredients in their cosmetics? Still no. They don’t.
One such organization is called the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. They attempt to expose as many of the risks of dangerous cosmetics as possible, to try and force our government to regulate the industry and the companies to produce safe cosmetics. And they run a Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Cosmetic companies that are prepared to dedicate themselves to produce only safe cosmetics can sign the compact to evidence their commitment to safe cosmetics.
And there is an organization called Teens Turning Green which helps direct teenagers towards safer cosmetics and other products, amongst their goals.
So how do you find out if the cosmetics you are using now are safe cosmetics or dangerous cosmetics. There is a way. There is a database called the cosmetic safety database, and you can use their database to search either the product that you’re worried about, or the name of the company that makes them.
I just searched the Avon Ultra Moisture Rich Lipstick by way of example. On a scale of hazard from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest hazard, it rates a 9. High hazard. I’m told the ingredients in this lipstick are linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity and a whole host of other hazards including neurotoxicity and more.
Scary isn’t it. However there are cosmetics companies dedicated to making safe cosmetics and personal care products. Dedicated to using such ingredients as certified organic ingredients and natural ingredients that are proven to be safe before they are used. That set their highest goal as producing high quality safe cosmetics and personal care and beauty products, rather than just focussing on profits.
There’s not many, but there is some. And if you’re worried about the safety of the cosmetics that you, or maybe your daughters uses, you need to find them. Now.