More companies than ever are trying to go green or organic to meet the rising demands of beauty product customers. Organic beauty products with fewer chemicals continue to increase and flood the market, and we think more natural beauty products is a great trend to take hold. However, the number of chemicals still used in many beauty products today is eye-popping and a little disturbing. Granted, not all chemicals are harmful or dangerous, but shouldn’t we all take steps to move back toward our roots and create the best cosmetic options possible? Don’t we have an obligation to make make up and beauty products healthy and safe to use for all consumers? Check out these alarming facts about the chemicals used in today’s beauty products, and how many chemicals the average person puts on their skin each day.
Facts About Chemicals in Beauty Products
- There are more than 10,500 different ingredients used in personal care products.
- Global, plant-based pharmaceutical market valued at $19.5 billion in 2008
- Global beauty industry valued at $50 billion in 2010.
- Women use on average 12 products containing 168 ingredients and 515 chemicals every day.
- Men use on average 6 products containing 85 ingredients every day.
- Children are exposed to 61 ingredients every day.
Average Number of Chemicals in Beauty Products
- Hairspray – 11
- Blush – 16
- Foundation – 24
- Deodorant – 15
- Shampoo – 15
- Eye Shadow – 26
- Nail Polish – 31
- Perfume – 250
- Body Lotion – 32
- Fake Tan – 22
- Lipstick – 33
In a Campaign for Safe Cosmetics test of 33 popular lipstick brands, they found that 61% of lipsticks contained lead, with levels up to 0.65 parts per million. The FDA did a follow-up study and found levels up to 7.19 parts per million. 5 of the 10 most contaminated brands are made by L’Oreal. There is no safe level of lead exposure.
Regulation (Or Lack Thereof) of Chemicals in Beauty Products
- FDA has no authority to require companies to test products for safety. FDA does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market.
- FDA has no authority to require recalls of harmful cosmetics. Manufacturers are not required to report cosmetics-related injuries to the agency – they’re supposed to do so voluntarily.
- Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) safety panel has assessed fewer than 20% of cosmetics ingredients, and found only 11 ingredients or chemicals to be unsafe.
- Products labeled “Natural” or “Organic” often contain synthetic chemicals – “organic” products are only required to contain as little as 10% organic ingredients by weight or volume.
- Federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals off the label – nanomaterials, ingredients considered trade secrets, components of fragrance (fragrance may include any of 3,163 different chemicals).