How do you know if a skin care product, deodorant or cosmetic is made of "safe" ingredients? The average fragrance cosmetic products tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label according to the Environmental Working Group. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products. The rose-like fragrance in a perfume may be concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer.
We consumers play an important part in making safe cosmetics and skin care products available. We need to make our needs known and the Skin Deep shopping guide is a great help in this!
The use of cosmetics is seldom considered the cause of skin problems or other health conditions. Patients and physicians are often unaware that a cosmetic is responsible for dermatitis but research shows that skin care products, hair preparations (including colors), and facial makeup may be responsible for the majority of skin care reactions.
In Sweden consumer choice has raised awareness of the risks of phthalates and parabens in skin care and cosmetic products. Consumers were advised to enquire whether a skin care product or cosmetic contained phthalates or parabens before making their purchase. Within two years all products containing parabens and phthalates had vanished from health food stores. It took 6 years for the pharmacies to sell products free from parabens and phathalates – but the cosmetic stores are still full of cosmetics containing them so this is of course only a beginning.
The literature provides enough information to enable the production of a safe cosmetic and skin care guide to the informed or selective consumer. It would seem more advantageous if this knowledge could be made available to consumers worldwide by means of content control and product marking. Contact EnviroheatlhMatters if you are intrested in collaborating on a project to mark safe cosmetics and toiletries.