Did you know in the United States there are thousands of harmful and even toxic ingredients in our skincare and beauty products?.
Some of these ingredients include phthalates, parabens, benzalkonium chloride, BHA, BHT, polyethylene glycol, formaldyehyde, the list goes on and on. Some of these ingredients are known to be hormone disruptors, cause liver damage, severe skin, eye and respiratory allergies, some can even cause cancer.
So, why are these toxic ingredients allowed to be in our products and is the FDA doing anything about it?
The answer isn’t very simple, cosmetic products are a $62 billion industry and the FDA doesn’t have the power to ask cosmetic companies for safety data or issue recalls of cosmetics that are unsafe like they can for our food. In the U.S there are 30 ingredients restricted or banned from cosmetics. In Europe there are about 1.400 banned ingredients, Canada has a less than 600 banned substances, however they don’t regularly test cosmetics products to verify the accuracy to check for these prohibited substances or heavy metals. There are some groups that are fighting for more ingredients to be banned. I believe this movement is helping to make more people aware of this information and now companies are putting things like “paraben free” on their labels.
Why are they using these ingredients in the first place?
Some of the toxic ingredients are used as a preservative and increase shelf life so the longer it can be kept on the shelf the longer retailers can sell them. Other ingredients are used to make products foam up or have a smooth texture or thicker. Another factor is that these ingredients are cheaper for companies to use than some other more “natural ingredients” and lets face it we all like to save money on skincare and beauty products and companies like to make higher profits.
I have a little trade secret to share with you…… companies can use the word “fragrances” to hide things they don’t want to put on their label and its completely legal. They can hide things like phthalates and other synthetic concoctions that can be hormone disruptors, cause allergies and some are even neurotoxins.
What can we do?
The only way to get more toxic ingredients out of our products is to be more educated consumers, not buy the ones that can harm us and join the movement and give support to groups that are trying to push congress to do more. Websites like EWG, https://www.ewg.org/ is a great resource to look up the products you are using now to see if they have harmful ingredients. Beautycounter is a company that I have used their products for years. They are transparent in their ingredients, have a “never list” of ingredients they won’t ever use in their products, and they go to congress to get more toxic and harmful ingredients out of our beauty and skincare products. And most of all I just love using their products and I am very particular about what I use on my skin.