|Cosmetics contain chemicals with confirmed links to cancer, organ damage, toxic contamination, allergies, and more... Make the switch to safe, natural cosmetics.|
Do you think that the FDA has your back when it comes to ensuring cosmetic safety? The unfortunate reality is that the government does not currently require health studies or pre-market testing for cosmetics before they are sold. According to the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, "FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing of their cosmetic products before manufacturing," and "...a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA." (FDA 1995).
The Cosmetics Ingredients Review (CIR), the industry's self-policing safety panel, falls far short of compensating for the lack of FDA oversight. In its 30-year history, the CIR has reviewed the safety of just 13% of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products. Since the FDA does no systematic reviews of safety that means that 87% of cosmetics ingredients have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.
Add to this lack of testing a key loophole in cosmetic law: to protect manufacturer's private recipes, manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients that contribute to a product's "fragrance." Thereby, unknown, untested, undisclosed ingredients are included in the majority of personal care products under the term "fragrance."
Still Not Worried?
The sad reality is that many companies choose to use known human carcinogens or developmental toxins in cosmetics. "Nearly all these chemicals can penetrate the skin, and some we ingest directly from our lips or hands. More than one-third of all personal care products contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer" according to Skin Deep's Cosmetic Database, a non-profit public service provided by the Environmental Working Group. Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs the products you use. Afterall, that is how topical medications work or patches for smoking and birth control. Lotions, serums, diaper creams, etc, are designed to soak into the skin. Come to think about it, it does make sense to use products that are safe enough to eat, whenever possible. If you care enough about ingesting pesticides to buy organic food, shouldn’t you care about using chemical-laden cosmetics too?
Check your Cosmetics!
It's easy to check the toxicity levels of your cosmetics. Go to Skin Deep's Cosmetic Database. You can type any ingredient and most product names into the database to receive a report on its toxicity or safety with plenty of information regarding specific risks, studies, and alternatives. Wow! So gather up your lotions, shampoos, sunscreens, facial care, etc. and start checking. You'll have to decide what toxicity level you are comfortable with. Personally, I have commited to buy only products that rate from zero to three on Skin Deep's toxicity scale. Why would I spend my hard earned money on products that might cause serious damage? As you're examining your cosmetics, keep in mind that even “natural” or “organic” skin care lines have some products that rate badly for toxicity. You really have to know your ingredients or use a resource like Skin Deep to be sure you’re making a healthy, safe choice.
Shop with a Clean Conscience
After doing a little research, you'll discover new products and companies that you can rely on to provide your family with safe, non-toxic cosmetics. I have come to love the Kiss My Face skin care line and Earth Mama Angel Baby's products for maternity, nursing, and baby. As an added benefit, safe plant-based cosmetics are manufactured with less polution and often packaged with eco-sensitivity. What's good for mama is good for the planet too!