The average adult uses 9 personal care products daily, exposing them to 126 chemicals each day.
Many of these chemicals are toxic but the cosmetics industry does not want you to know this. Just like all the other big industries in the US, the cosmetics industry is all about making big profits (with 50 billion dollars in sales each year) and very little or absolutely nothing about providing you the public with a safe product. Even many people who are very careful about what they eat, may well not be aware of the often toxic ingredients contained in cosmetics.
So how does the cosmetics industry hide information?
- Many companies selling cosmetics and personal care products hide “the ingredients they don't want you to know about” under the label “trade secrets”.
- They make the text on the labels listing the ingredients so small that you would probably need a large magnifying glass to read them.
- Cosmetic companies can tell you anything they want and not be liable for it because they are not required by law to test their products for their claims.
- A cosmetic manufacturer may use any ingredient or raw material and market the final product without government approval.
- Cosmetic companies are not required to give the percentage (%) of any ingredients in their products.
- Cosmetic companies can market a great sounding active ingredient all by itself on the packaging or at the top of the list of the ingredients even if it just forms a small percentage.
How can we protect ourselves and our children ?
In spite of their efforts to hide information, we need to start reading labels. If a product has too many ingredients with lengthy names, avoid it. Go for organic which are much less likely to have toxic chemicals. If you are not sure of an ingredient, google it. When you learn that Europe has banned over 1000 dangerous substances from its cosmetics industry but the US has only got rid of 8, you can see the problem you face.
Thousands of people are suffering the adverse affects from using cosmetic problems without realizing what the cause of their suffering is. This can be in the form of burning sensations, reddening of the skin, pimples or rashes. Others might not suffer from outward signs and symptoms but from actual systemic toxins.
are often the result of people using cosmetics that have been loaded with synthetic and even toxic ingredients. But we might not even know what is toxic and what is not even if we bothered to look at the ingredients on the label. In the last 50 years, tens of thousands of new chemicals have come into use in our every day lives but with them have come toxic effects on our environment and on ourselves.
We all enjoy shampooing our hair or soaking in a bubble bath but behind all that foam is sodium laureth sulfate which has a byproduct (1,4-dioxane) that is a known carcinogen (thought to cause kidney, nerve and respiratory problems). Another ingredient is often formaldehyde. These hazardous chemicals are commonly found in well known over-the-counter-brands and marketed for children and adults alike.
Another skin product many people use is sunscreen. Over 50% of all these lotions contain oxybenzone – a chemical linked to cancer and which can also disrupt estrogen and thyroid hormones. You are much safer avoiding sunscreens by enjoying your 20 minutes or so of sunlight to top up your vitamin D levels each day and then cover up with clothing or stay out of the sun the rest of the time.
Some of the top red lipstick brands still contain lead
This toxin is also found in children's face paints. The list goes on and on...
Cosmetic companies are very adept at putting their products in wonderful eye-catching packaging and then adding the irresistible wording – often downright misleading - and of course the latest trend is to use “green” language to make the product appear natural when the truth is often that there is just a very small percentage of a natural ingredient. The cosmetics industry is one of the least regulated industries in the US and because Americans are very appearance conscious, they just keep on buying, eagerly contributing to the booming cosmetics industry.
The skin is our biggest organ but it can be very sensitive. Even though it tries to act as a barrier, everything we put on our skin, gets absorbed.
We need to pay as much attention to what we apply to our skin as to what we put in our bodies.