Does anyone actually read the ingredient labels on cosmetics and personal care products? There are so many of them and they are all so difficult to pronounce. You’d need a chemist to help you decipher how every one of those chemicals is derived, what they do, and the danger they pose.
Don’t think there’s any danger? Remember when asbestos was discovered in Claire’s eyeshadows marketed to kids? Or when Johnson & Johnson paid out billions of dollars to people who were stricken with cancer as a result of using the company’s Baby Powder and other products that contained talc? If you think that the FDA or any other regulatory agency is making sure that the products you and your kids are using are safe, you’ve got another thing coming!
Unless a chemical used in beauty products is proven to cause harm to human health (and according to the American Cancer Society, this is very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to prove, so why would anyone want to spend the time and money to do so in such a deregulated industry?), it is classified as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.” This classification is upheld by the FDA at which point it’s caveat emptor, or buyer beware.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The most important things you can (and MUST) do are:
- Educate yourself about the risks of the most harmful ingredients (I’ve compiled the worst 20 below)
- Read the ingredient labels on every product you buy (including food, personal care and cleaning products), and
- Choose products that do not contain harmful chemicals.