It was about time for people to realize how harmful beauty products can be
We know for sure that there are many cosmetic companies producing millions of products yearly. Not many of us, however, know that the cosmetic industry in the USA has not been regulated for nearly a century and a lot of leading manufacturers use chemicals that are proven to be harmful. The European Union has banned over 1,400 chemicals to be used in the making of beauty products while the US has banned only 30. This is some food for thought.
“No pain, no gain” gone wrong.
It’s one thing to go through that Brazilian waxing procedure but it’s a whole other story to poison your skin with the harmful ingredients in most of the beauty products out there. Your good looks shouldn’t hurt… that much.
The most common harmful ingredients in beauty products
There are many products that are used in the skincare industry that are chemical carcinogens. Here’s a list of the most common ingredients that are 100% harmful to you and your body. Check your current cosmetic products for the listed ingredients and if they include any of the following, throw them away.
- Sodium lauryl sulphate/ sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Coal tar
- Drying alcohol (SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol)
There are many substitutes of these ingredients but most of them are still chemicals. What’s wrong with that?
Chemicals do not necessarily mean harm for you. BUT, in order for us to find out if those chemicals are bad or not, we need to test them. And how do we do that? That’s right, we always start with animal testing and this is not ethical! So what’s the alternative?
Natural Beauty Products
Well, you guessed it. Even though the cosmetic regulation laws in the United States haven’t been updated since 1938 (yes, a lot has changed since then), many companies start regulating the ingredients they use and start shifting towards natural production.
How do we find those natural and possibly safer cosmetics?
A health food store and farmers’ markets are a good start. However, there are many brands that are going green and list themselves as “cleaner”. A good example of such a brand is Beautycounter and if you are interested, there are many beauty counter reviews online.
What’s so special about Beautycounter?
Founded in 2013 and releasing only 9 products, Beautycounter’s founder Gregg Renfrew hired public health and environmental professionals to lead the company’s advocacy and lobbying efforts to reduce toxic chemicals used in the cosmetic industry. This resulted in hosting a Congressional Briefing in D.C. in 2015 and spreading awareness about the hidden dangers of the under-regulated beauty products on the market. By 2016, the brand had gathered 100 women willing to represent all 50 states to discuss this matter.
Beautycounter doesn’t use any of the 1,400 chemicals banned in the EU which adds to a little bit over 1,500 ingredients they NEVER use in their products. To make up for those missing, harmful ingredients, over 80% of their products feature natural and plant-derived ingredients. And in the few cases when they have to use a synthetic ingredient, they make sure it’s below 1%. The fact that their products are also efficient, explains all the positive Beauty Counter reviewswe see.
Also, Beautycounter is a member of the Safe Cosmetics Business Network and they are also a certified B Corporation. This means that they put a huge emphasis on solving social and environmental issues and if you are buying their products, you’re not only taking care of your personal health but in a way, you contribute to this agenda too.
The Good News
The reason why the FDA hasn’t done anything about the harmful ingredients is that they simply don’t have the authority to take actions. However, more and more leading beauty brands are going natural. The truth is that many companies try to give the FDA more authority and help future regulations and we may finally be closer to making this official. Actually, there are several pieces of legislation that are currently pending and one of them is a proposal to give the FDA the same power over cosmetics that it has over medical devices and drugs.
We can only hope for the best but let’s stay positive. Until then, make sure you are always using natural beauty products!