If you are purchasing personal care products in the United States, it is important to become educated about ingredients. Label Literacy is taking ownership of your health.
The FDA does little to protect you and merely enforces the laws that Congress set. You may be surprised to find that the FDA only has 11 ingredients on their banned or restricted list. Compare that to over 1300 ingredients the European Union regulation, called Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical (REACH), has restricted for use in consumer personal care and cosmetics.
- California passed a law in 2005 that requires manufacturers to list ingredients, but does not specifically ban or regulate them.
- In 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced a bill called the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It requires that the FDA research 5 new ingredients a year and restrict them as necessary. Even if it does get passed, it would take the FDA 260+ years to catch up with European regulation.
- Grocery stores like Natural Grocers and Whole Foods Market put skin care standards in place where none existed. They have committed to not carry products, that have ingredients listed as one of their unacceptable ingredients
- Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group have been working tirelessly to expose and rate how hazardous these ingredients are.
INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
Our goal is help you learn about what you put on your body in your daily grooming routine. We recommend that you look for and avoid these common ingredients when possible:
Aluminum or alcloxa
Aluminium Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly
BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole)
Ceteareth 2 – 100
Ceteareth 5 – 20
Formaldehyde & dormaldehyde donors
Hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils
PEG-10 Sunflower Glycerides
PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate
PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate
PEG-20 glyceryl triisostearate
PEG-35 castor oil
PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil
PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate
PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric glycerides
PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate
PEG/PPG-120/10 Trimethylolpropane Trioleate
DBP (Dibutyl phthalate)
Phthalic Acid(s) see artificial fragrances)
Vote with your pocketbook every time you make a purchase and tell manufacturers what you want in your products. Companies look at purchasing trends, if you buy it they will make more if it — for good or for bad. Send them a message they will hear, your money spent on products you believe in.
I WANT TO LEARN MORE:
The primary purpose of the California Safe Cosmetics Program (CSCP) is to collect information on hazardous and potentially hazardous ingredients in cosmetic products sold in California and to make this information available to the public.
- Background: Many different chemicals are used in making cosmetics. Consumer and worker advocacy groups are concerned because some cosmetic products contain chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, or developmental birth defects, or damage to the reproductive system. Those who work with cosmetics – including barbers, hair stylists, and skin care, body care and nail salon workers – may be more vulnerable to the adverse health effects posed by these products because they handle greater quantities of cosmetics with greater frequency.
- The Law: The California Safe Cosmetics Act (PDF) (“the Act”) was signed into law in 2005. For all cosmetic products sold in California, the Act requires the manufacturer, packer, and/or distributor named on the product label to provide to the CSCP a list of all cosmetic products that contain any ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer or developmental or other reproductive harm.
- Learn More: CA Safe Cosmetics – Harmful Ingredient Data Base
Safe Cosmetics – CHEMICALS OF CONCERN:
Learn about a few of the top ingredients and contaminants to avoid, based on the science linking each to adverse health impacts, and the types of products they’re found in. To learn more about how chemicals impact your health and where they come from, check out the Health & Science section. A growing body of hazard-based evidence suggests connections to long-term health concerns like cancer and reproductive problems – Chemicals of Concern
Environmental Working Group – SKIN DEEP:
Smarter Choices, Healthier Living is their credo. They are working tirelessly to expose the hazards of all ingredients known to be used in beauty, grooming and skin care. Download their mobile app to become educated in the ingredients that make up your daily grooming ritual – Skin Deep