The US Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring that food, drugs and other consumer products – including cosmetics – are safe. But you may be surprised to learn that it does not effectively regulate the contents of cosmetics sold in the United States. Therefore, the makeup you wear may contain chemical ingredients that can harm your health.
Common pollutants found in cosmetics range from lead and asbestos to phthalates and more. It can be found in lipstick, powder, perfume, nail polish, lotions, and other beauty products. Health risks associated with this dangerous list of hidden ingredients include cancer, fertility issues, hormonal imbalance, and neurological problems, to name a few.
We surveyed 1,000 Americans to measure their anxiety and knowledge of the toxic dangers of makeup products. The main results reveal:
- 45% of people are concerned about the potential risks of unregulated cosmetics.
- 55% of American women Suppose wrong The Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetic ingredients.
- 1 in 3 people never check cosmetic ingredients.
- 46% of frequent makeup wearers proactively review cosmetic ingredients before purchasing.
In this post, we explore the results and give helpful advice on how to make the safest makeup choices.
Most women are unaware of the FDA’s makeup rules
Americans trust the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to oversee the safety of the products they use every day, including cosmetics. As our survey shows, this confidence led 55% of respondents to mistakenly assume that the organization regulates makeup ingredients. And 59% of men made the same false assumption.
The Food and Drug Administration has regulated the cosmetics industry since the 1930s, but it has not set out any substantive guidelines that manufacturers must follow. As the FDA explained, “Cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, are not required by law to obtain FDA approval before they are brought to market.” In contrast to the Food and Drug Administration’s more detailed oversight of food and drug products, cosmetic manufacturers are not required to share their product formulas or even to register with the Food and Drug Administration. They are left to organize themselves.
Compared to the rest of the world, US regulations for chemicals and contaminants in makeup products are very limited. An analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) identified more than 40 countries that have specific and stringent regulations for ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products. Some have restricted or banned the use of more than 1,400 chemicals in cosmetics. The FDA has also taken similar measures to ban and restrict such chemicals for safety reasons – but only for a total of nine chemicals.
Can Toxic Chemicals in Makeup Really Hurt Me?
How much of an impact can the hidden chemicals in makeup really have on your health? Studies for many years have shown that the skin absorbs cosmetic chemicals, allowing them to enter the bloodstream. Cosmetic products can be inhaled, bringing potential pollutants such as asbestos into the airways and lungs. Lip makeup can also be ingested by repeatedly licking or biting your lips, which delivers chemicals to your stomach and digestive system.
The amount of exposure to any harmful chemical is a major factor in its potential impact on your health. For those who wear makeup frequently, daily use of a variety of products leads to chronic exposure over many years.
Health risks of make-up
Due to the wide spectrum of contaminants that may be present across a variety of makeup products, the list of potential resulting health issues is long. Some common health concerns related to toxic cosmetics include:
- Cancers, such as breast cancer and malignant mesothelioma
- Fertility problems and birth defects
- Neurological problems
- hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid problems
The risks of developing serious health problems like this must be weighed by the level of trust you have in the manufacturers of your favorite makeup products.
33% never check ingredients in makeup
Many people check their food product labels, or what goes in a before buying. But according to our survey results, one in three people never look at new cosmetic ingredients, or what’s going on. employment their bodies. When we break down this response by gender, the numbers turn out to be 20% of women and 49% of men who have never checked makeup labels.
Unsurprisingly, frequent makeup wearers are the most active, with 46% typically reviewing cosmetic ingredients before buying. Knowing what to look for—even for the biggest makeup lover—isn’t easy or straightforward.
How do you spot toxic makeup?
One of the biggest drawbacks to deciphering the risks inherent in makeup labels is that not all ingredients that may actually be harmful are listed.
For example, recent research has revealed that more than half of the popular cosmetics tested contain significant evidence of this Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which is used to increase the durability of makeup and its resistance to water. Almost none of the heavy PFAS products included the chemicals on their ingredient labels. PFAS is known to cause multiple health problems, such as cancer, high cholesterol and a weak immune system.
A common makeup ingredient that you might see on labels but mistakenly assume it’s not risky talc. Talc is often added to cosmetics to help absorb moisture, and can be completely safe. But the risks arise from the potential for talc to be contaminated with asbestos, a microscopic natural fiber that causes cancer and can seriously damage your lungs. Talc and asbestos are mostly naturally occurring minerals that are geologically closely related, resulting in the need to test all talc deposits for asbestos. If manufacturers skip this step, consumers risk developing asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma.
Leadership It is a harmful heavy metal and a naturally occurring impurity that can appear in lipstick and any eye products that contain kohl. High levels of lead can cause anemia, neurological problems, and kidney problems in children. Low-level lead exposure has been shown to cause learning and behavioral problems. Ingredients of cosmetic products marketed to children should be closely examined.
Another cancer-causing ingredient often found in beauty products formaldehyde. This chemical is frequently used in nail polish, nail glue, and eyelash glue, and has been completely banned from cosmetics in Japan and Sweden.
Additional chemical contaminants to look for on cosmetic labels include:
- Triclosan: Often found in body washes and toothpaste
- Phthalates: It is often found in nail polish, perfume, and hairspray
- our end: Often used in moisturizers and soaps
- Toluene: It is often found in nail polish
- jetty: Often found in mascara, lipstick, and eyeliner
How to identify toxic makeup products vs. safe beauty products
Deciphering the list of ingredients in your cosmetics is no easy feat. Chemical names can be confusing, because manufacturers often identify certain chemicals with alternate names. Use these tips to improve your chances of finding safe makeup products.
Don’t trust makeup stickers
Some statements about beauty products should not be trusted. The terms “natural” and “organic” do not guarantee that the product does not contain toxic ingredients and there is no legal capacity to verify its accuracy. Also keep in mind that products labeled “long lasting” or “wear-resistant” may contain PFAS, chemicals known to cause serious health problems.
Trustworthy Resources for Safe Makeup
Many organizations dedicated to making makeup safer for everyone have created valuable online and in-app databases that can help you decipher the health risks hidden in your cosmetic ingredients. Many also give recommendations for non-toxic makeup products.
Wearing makeup is a daily practice for many Americans, yet many believe that the cosmetics they use every day are safe. Being aware of the potential risks of toxic makeup, especially during regular cancer screenings, can make all the difference to a healthy future.
The survey in this post was conducted on YouGov Direct. A thousand US adults aged 18 and over were surveyed on August 11, between 11 a.m. and 5:32 p.m. ET. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity to be nationally representative for adults 18 or older in the United States. The error rate was 4.5% for the total sample.