There are over 13,000 chemicals found in cosmetics beauty products, and 90% have never been cleared by the FDA. Some of these chemicals have been proven to cause serious health risks, including cancer and infertility.
After decades of ignoring the warning signs, some of the top makeup brands are finally making the switch to natural beauty products. This shift is not the result of a “change of heart” by the big brands. Consumers have simply become more aware of the risks and the demand for organic beauty products has soared.
Consumers have learned the significant health, moral, and environmental dangers of conventional makeup products. As a result, we are seeing a massive shift towards vegan or eco-friendly ingredients, and a tsunami of organic cosmetics hitting the market.
Here are the top 3 reasons for the transition from harmful chemicals to all-natural beauty products.
1. Organic Makeup Products Don’t Contain Harmful Ingredients
As stated earlier, the cosmetic industry is extremely unregulated. Over 80 percent of makeup products have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, and both men and women are exposing themselves to harmful chemicals.
Environmental Defense tested 49 different makeup items including concealers, powders, blushes, foundations, mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows, lipsticks, and lip glosses.
Their testing revealed serious heavy metal contamination in virtually all of the products:
- 96 percent contained lead
- 90 percent contained beryllium
- 61 percent contained thallium
- 51 percent contained cadmium
According to a study, the average woman uses 12 personal care products a day, containing 168 different chemicals. While most men use fewer products, they’re still exposed to about 85 such chemicals daily.
The toxic chemicals in beauty products are potential carcinogens and hormone disruptors and have been linked to cancer, infertility, Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other diseases. This harmful truth has caused controversy within the cosmetic industry. Consumers are now aware of hazards that they might be exposing themselves to and are opting for products that contain cleaner and healthier ingredients.
2. FDA Is Cracking Down on Toxic Makeup
In the past, the FDA didn’t have the resources to “routinely” test products or even to take regulatory action unless under extreme circumstances.
However, a new bill, coined the Personal Care Products Safety Act, could change that. As reported by ABC News :
“Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced an amendment to the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that would give the Food and Drug Administration more power and oversight to regulate the chemicals men and women slather on their bodies every day.”
The bill involves a system that requires product manufacturers to register their products and ingredients. It would also require the FDA to review five chemicals in cosmetic products each year in order to access their safety. The first set of chemicals recommended for testing include:
- Diazolidinyl Urea
- Lead acetate
Now that the FDA is routinely testing cosmetic ingredients and taking action against companies that are not in compliance with the law, more makeup brands are abiding by this law and are implementing healthier ingredients in their products.
3. Traditional Beauty Products Can Destroy the Environment
Toxic makeup products contribute to toxic pollution. The disposal of cosmetics is one of the primary causes of the contamination of fresh and ocean waters in developed nations.
For example, a chemical called P-phenylenediamine is a dangerous, coal tar-derived chemical most often found in lipsticks but also in dark hair coloring.
This chemical, along with many others, has a long-term effect on aquatic ecosystems. It destroys the animal plankton population, alters fish behavior, and can even cause death to a large number of aquatic species.
Cosmetics-related chemicals have been found in our public water supply, rivers, oceans, streams, lakes, agricultural soil, and even household dust particles. Livestock can also be exposed to these chemicals and suffer from reproductive, genetic, and developmental changes as well as many types of cancer.
Because of these reasons, makeup brands are catering to the needs of their consumers and providing them with organic makeup products that are as good for their skin as it is for the environment. Make sure you read the labels! And remember, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients that are listed, then it might not be safe to use.
Photo: Diana Kadreva via Unsplash