The Beauty Industry – Unregulated, Unstoppable?

Would you be surprised to learn that the FDA requires absolutely no testing, health studies of any kind in relation to the creams, toners, and cosmetics that you rub into your skin?

About 10,500 different cosmetic ingredients and a similar number of fragrance ingredients are being used by the cosmetic industry.

In a systematic comparison of ingredients in 7,500 personal care products against government lists of cancer-causing chemicals, the Environmental Working Group has found that one of every 100 products on the market lists on the label a known or probable human carcinogen, and an astonishing one-third of all products contain one or more ingredients with at least some evidence of carcinogencity in laboratory studies or investigations of human populations.

One out of every 100 products

Take a walk through the department store. How many products do they stock promising the fountain of youth and happiness ever after? Hundreds.

Now get this, the average woman probably uses between 9 and 15 products a day, comprising of over 126 chemicals on average, that we rub, wash, and dab onto our skin. So what is the probability that you might have a carcinogenic (cancer causing) ingredient in one of your products? I don’t know, but if I am like many women, I happen to try on a ton of different products as I am browsing through the store.

Recently I learned two things:

  1. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cosmetic products or how they are advertised
  2. Manufacturers and companies do not have to prove claims of scientific testing.

Now doesn’t this concern you even just a little bit? It really concerns me. Commonly used marketing terms such as “natural,” “revolutionary,” “dermatologist tested,” “clinically tested” and “hypo-allergenic” are all suspect. If you don’t know your ingredients, you just don’t really know what you are putting on your hair, around your eyes, on your face.

And we wonder why women are suffering from breast cancer and skin cancer at an all time high.

“Most of the chemical ingredients in cosmetics have never been assessed for safety. Despite industry claims that the products are fully tested, that’s just not the case,” says Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. According to the campaign, 89 percent of the 10,500 ingredients the FDA has determined is used in personal-care products “have never been evaluated for safety by the FDA, the industry-funded Cosmetics Industry Review panel or any other publicly accountable institution.”

An interesting statistic, and you can look at additional research conducted by the EWG (you can view their Skin Deep report, including an ingredient database that will tell you what ingredients have actually not been tested).

In this day and age, I am surprised to learn that such an industry could go on for so many years self-regulated, and completely unchecked. It’s time to stop this industry from ravaging our bodies, destroying our self esteem, killing our self image, and it’s time to stand up and take action.