How many ingredients can be used to make cosmetics and personal care products?
No one really knows because manufacturers do not need to disclose this information. In 2000, the FDA stated that of 10,500 possible ingredients that could go into making cosmetics only, 11% have actually been reviewed for safety and few have been banned on the basis of safety concerns.
The same ingredients that are banned in Europe because they may increase the risk of skin allergies, reproductive problems, and/or cause a greater risk of cancer, are allowed in the U.S. in cosmetics and skin care products used by people every day.
When the Environmental Working Group conducted a study on teen girls’ exposure to chemicals in cosmetics, they tested 20 girls and detected 16 different chemicals in their bodies – including phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and synthetic fragrance chemicals called musks. Many of these chemicals have been associated with endocrine disruption.
How can it be that makeup and many other beauty products contain questionable ingredients, endocrine-disrupting chemicals and potentially cancer-causing impurities? The cosmetics industry receives virtually no oversight from the Food and Drug Administration, which means that companies can add to their products any ingredient they want. Efforts are underway to ensure that we have legislation that protects consumers from potentially unsafe personal care products and products with undisclosed ingredients.
NTR is arming you with the information to petition for safer products, shop for alternative beauty products, find out what ingredients to avoid, and make your own beauty products with our recipes.
Skin is your largest organ (bigger than your heart and liver).
Your skin is tough but it's not armor and what we apply to our bodies, even in small amounts, can get absorbed through our skin, hair, and nails. While not necessarily life-threatening in small doses, think about how often and how much of an exposure you have over the course of your life - that's a chemical exposure worthy of being concerned about. Here are some non toxic tips to treat your body right.
If you apply chemicals to your skin, especially body parts you shave, pluck or wax, the toxins may enter your bloodstream. It is just as important to use organic body care products, as it is to eat healthy, pesticide-free foods.
Buy certified organic products or products with identifiably safe ingredients, and simplify your beauty routine. Invest in a few great pieces that will last you in the long run and make sure they are certified as safe. Certifications really vary but USDA organic certification is the best in America, many others can be considered quite misleading, as in some cases only 10% of ingredients need to be organic to be labeled "organic".
Any substance labeled "fragrance" in the US can be comprised of many substances that are toxic.
The fragrance industry is self regulated and due to trade-secret laws companies do not have to list ingredients on their labels. The problem with fragrance is that it often contains phthalates, which are used to keep the scent lingering for a long time. After you worry about Phthalates that have been linked to various cancers there are lab tests showing that perfumes have tens to hundreds of neurotoxins, synthetics linked to cancer and even animal secretions.