When it comes to the beauty industry, anything goes…
Money reigns supreme. Which means that it’s – “buyer beware”.
Do you think the FDA is watching out for you? Did you know they let the cosmetic industry, including skin care products, police itself (your tax dollars notwithstanding). The list of people trying to help you out is surprisingly small -- almost non-existent.
Currently, there are estimated to be more than 10,500 cosmetic and personal care products on the North American market alone. Of those products, the Environmental Working Group estimates that 99% of the products contain one or more ingredients that have never been evaluated for safety.
Cosmetic industry loopholes:
"Hypoallergenic" -- No actual testing is necessary to claim that a product is "hypoallergenic", "allergy-free" or "safe for sensitive skin". Neither the FDA nor any other regulating body even requires the companies to prove these claims.
"For Professional Use Only" -- This phrase allows cosmetic companies to remove harmful chemicals from their labels.
Harmful Chemicals -- Unless they are intentionally placed in the product, harmful chemicals are not required to be listed. It's no shocker that you never see these.
The cosmetics industry is a multi-billion dollar a year business (in the US alone). They spend a remarkable $2 billion plus a year on advertising.
Why Do So Many Skin Care Products Use These Potentially Hazardous Ingredients?
Simple answer: because they’re cheap, readily available, and easy to dilute.
Are they in the products you currently use? It’s time to check. Go grab your containers of skin care products and check them against the following …
Parabens - Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry; used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products. Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.
Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum - These petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. They’re implicated as a suspected cause of cancer. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin…
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - Over 90% of personal care products! They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature aging. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access.
Propylene glycol - Common cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils. May cause dermatitis and skin irritation. May inhibit skin cell growth. Linked to kidney and liver problems.
Lanolin - A yellow, semi-solid, fatty secretion from sheep's wool is widely used in skin and beauty care products. It can cause an allergic reaction in some people, as well as enlarged pores.
Acetone - Used in nail polish and nail polish removers, this colorless, volatile liquid is often used in astringents, fresheners, or clarifying lotions. It is extremely toxic and will dehydrate the skin, while speeding up the aging process.
Borax - (Sodium Borate, Boric acid) Used in baby powders, bath powders, eye creams, skin fresheners, and protective creams as a preservative, borax is rapidly absorbed by the skin. Despite repeated warnings from the American Medical Association, it is still widely used in many products.
Alcohols - such as Isopropyl Alcohol, SD Alcohol 40, Ethyl Alcohol, Alcohols dissolve the body's natural moisturizers and strip the skin of its protection, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Alcohols destroy skins pH balance, and since they absorb water, they speed up wrinkling.
FD&C - When this abbreviation precedes the name of a color, it means that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has certified it as safe for use in drugs and cosmetics, but not food. D&C colors are usually synthetic, coal tar colors. They're toxic and should be avoided when at all possible.