There are no federal laws, rules, or even regulations for beauty products besides the FDA’s Cosmetic Labeling Guide which only says what they can and cannot put on the label of the beauty products we use every day. So, we have to be careful when trusting what’s written on those labels. If you are wanting to know every ingredient inside your lipstick or blush or highlighter you simply won’t find it.
Cosmetic companies are not required to list every ingredient on the label through some very tricky loopholes. There are three categories that don’t require ingredients to be listed, they are: fragrance, flavor, and trade secrets. Cosmetic companies can then hide other ingredients inside these categories without our knowledge! There are some listed ingredients however, that are worse than others.
If there is one ingredient to avoid, it’s parabens! Parabens are a preservative chemical that mimic hormones like estrogen, so they can really throw your hormones out of whack. The use of parabens is linked to some cancers. Your skin absorbs them right in so all of those harmful chemicals make their way into your body. If you see parabens listed, put that product right back on the shelf. Thankfully, some products list that they are paraben-free to make our shopping experience a little easier.
If you’ve heard anything about super bugs or antibiotic resistant diseases, you know how careful we need to be as a society. If you’d like to do your part, avoid the ingredient triclosan. It’s most commonly found in antimicrobial soaps but is sometimes found in cosmetics. Triclosan is easy to spot as it’s listed as an active ingredient most of the time. You will also most likely find it in cleansers or products that say they’re “antimicrobial.”
Finally, an ingredient that has been completely banned in the European Union, phthalates. This ingredient is typically found in deodorant, perfume, lotion, and even nail polish. Phthalates contribute to endocrine disruption, birth defects, and increased risk of breast cancer. This ingredient can be tricky to find as it is sometimes labeled as DEP, DBP, or DEHP.
This list can seem overwhelming, and avoiding these chemicals isn’t easy. But, taking the time to research for natural cosmetics is worth it for your health and the health of those you love!