How to Find Beauty Products Without Toxic Chemicals

In Toxic Beauty, an award-wining documentary film by Phyllis Ellis, skin care products are called the “new cigarettes,” and a Swiss chemist for one of the biggest designer brands in the world admits that the cosmetic industry is destroying women’s cells.

But it’s not just cells the personal care industry is destroying…

Of the tens of thousands of chemicals available for use in the cosmetic industry most aren’t reviewed by a government agency before going to market.  In fact, the industry’s ugliest ingredients – carcinogenic heavy metals, parabens and phthalates, irritants, and allergens – have been linked to a number of health issues, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson by over 15,000 women claim the company’s talc-based baby powder is to blame for ovarian cancer. Trace amounts of asbestos, a well-known cancer causer, has been found in concealer as well as the sparkly makeup marketed to kids at Claire’s. And TEDx has identified more than 200 possible endocrine-disrupting chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products.

So how do consumers find beauty products that don’t contain toxic chemicals?

The Environmental Working Group recently launched a new label (EWG Verified) that certifies cosmetic products that meet stringent ingredient and transparency requirements.

Warning About Skin Toxins Found Inside Soaps, Serums and Concealers

Toxic makeup is nothing new.  Egyptian queens wore black eye makeup that was made of lead, and the Victorians were obsessed with a stylized, pale complexion that could only be achieved with cosmetic products containing mercury, arsenic, and ammonia.

Nor is one product or formulation to blame. It’s when consumers use several personal care products per day, and then reapply those products everyday as part of a beauty routine, that the toxicity exposure adds up.

According to The Guardian, American women use an average of 12 products a day, or 200 chemicals.  Yet, others – like a survey conducted by a beauty retailer in 2016 – found that some women averaged 16 products a day on their faces alone!

Customer Mistrust and Skeptical About Conventional Makeup

What is “natural beauty” or “clean beauty?” In the beauty industry, “all natural” claims are as confusing to most consumers as the food industry’s organic certifications. Today, the cosmetic and personal care industry has over 400 eco-labels, and the varying degree of credibility can be difficult to understand or decipher. The manipulative power of marketing can be just as toxic as the products it promotes.

This is where the EWG Verified label comes in.

“The program is an extension of the group’s work with the Skin Deep database, which for more than a decade has given tens of millions of visitors information on the chemical contents and relative safety of their favorite cosmetics and shampoos.”

In other words, EWV Verified is designed to work as an official label, a green seal of approval that will help consumers make smart and informed choices about the beauty products they buy.

The dangers of toxic beauty products cut more than skin deep, and this precautionary approach is the balm that the industry has long needed.




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