Half of my cosmetics and body care items are going out the door. And no, there isn’t some cosmetic-stealing cat burglar running around Louisville, CO.
Did you know that the cosmetics industry is not regulated by the FDA? I didn’t. As it turns out, most cosmetics companies do not have to hold themselves to the standards of the Food and Drug Administration because their products are not intended to treat any disease, and we don’t eat them. Well, maybe just a taste of that brown sugar scrub since it smells so much like cookies.
Does FDA approve cosmetics before they go on the market?
“FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives. However, FDA may pursue enforcement action against violative products, or against firms or individuals who violate the law.” -FDA.gov
Now, I’ll admit to being something of a product junkie. I love makeup. I love soap. I love face creams. I love lamp. But while I was at Planned Parenthood today, I picked up their new GreenChoices brochure. They talked about some fairly sketchy stuff (You mean that my toilet bowl cleaner might be aeorsoled by flushing and I might breathe in the hormone-disrupting chemicals?!). I figured that it would be a good idea to look up some of the things I’m putting on my skin, and how they might affect my body.
I found an online database of over 65,000 cosmetic and household products, and got to
First up: Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 30
|Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Multiple, additive exposure sources, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns, Occupational hazards|
Wait, that only scores a 4 out of 10?! “Neurotoxicity” and “Endocrine disruption” don’t earn it at least an 8? Oh yes, and you test on animals. Ok, you’re going into the basket.
Next: Pond’s Dry Skin Cream
And here’s what I saw on the scale of how hazardous this product is. Overall…moderate. But allergies and immunotoxicity risk is off the charts! Plus, you animal test. Guess you’re going into the basket, too.
Next: Garnier Fructis Fiber Gum
An eight?! Oh sweet Jeebuz, what have I been putting in my hair to make it all beachy and curly? It’s all concerning and crazy. Endocrine disruption continues to be a theme. Maybe there is something to the idea that girls are reaching puberty earlier than ever because of shampoo…
Next: St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub
Well, so much for “natural” meaning “healthy” and “not-going-to-mess-with-your-hormones.” Harmful ones in yellow to red on the This Might Hurt a Little to RUN FOR THE HILLS scale.
Ingredients: WATER (AQUA), GLYCERYL STEARATE SE, GLYCERIN, CETYL ALCOHOL, ZEA MAYS KERNEL MEAL (CORN), COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, GLYCOL STEARATE, HYDROGENATED JOJOBA OIL, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, CETEARETH 20, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PEG 100 STEARATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, JUGLANS MANDSCHURICA SHELL POWDER (WALNUT), PRUNUS ARMENIACA KERNEL OIL (APRICOT), SAMBUCUS NIGRA FLOWER EXTRACT, PRIMULA VERIS EXTRACT, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA EXTRACT (MATRICARIA), HELIANTHUS ANNUUS EXTRACT (SUNFLOWER), DIMETHICONE, PETROLATUM, STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, STEARIC ACID, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, ACETYLATED LANOLIN ALCOHOL, CETYL ACETATE, PEG 12 DIMETHICONE, UREA (<==That’s bird poop, folks!), POLYSORBATE 60, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, TRIETHANOLAMINE, CARBOMER, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, METHYLPARABEN, ETHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 778891), IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, DI 77492, CI 77499), RED 30 LAKE (CI 77360), YELLOW 5 LAKE (CI 19140)<==This is the only part the FDA regulates.
After all was said and done, about half of my bath, face, body, and makeup products had to go the way of the recycling bin due to unethical practices and gross things I don’t really feel like absorbing, thank you very much. Good thing is…
…I get to keep all of that. Which is about half my original product load.
The best part about an afternoon spent researching my beauty resources? I now have the knowledge to make good decisions about what to buy from whom in the future, and how to reduce my potential toxic load. One more step in a greener direction!
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