How Much Do You Know About Your Beauty Products?

beauty products cosmetics

We love finding new beauty products all the time—they are part of our everyday lives. But how much do you know about the products you’re buying?

If you’ve been reading my blog, you are probably already familiar with Beautycounter’s mission “to get safer products into the hands of everyone.” Beautycounter selects ingredients very carefully. They make sure not to add any of the 1,5000 harmful ingredients it has banned into their products.

Beautycounter never hides any ingredient their products are made with. All of them are listed on the labels. The company also provides a lot of information about laws and regulations about the beauty industry, and lack there of. Here are some facts that even you may not be aware of, some of which can be found on Beautycounter’s website.

“Beauty Is One of the Least-regulated Consumer Product Categories

The FDA allows brands to sell consumer products with ingredients that are toxic to our bodies. Many chemicals don’t get tested for their effects on our health and the environment, due to the Food and Drug Act and the Cosmetic Regulations.

According to the Suzuki Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting Canada’s people and the environment, Health Canada and Environment Canada lacks data on the health effects of chemicals that are being evaluated.

Canada’s Cosmetic Regulations Are Behind

The EU has banned and restricted 1,400 ingredients used in personal care products, whereas Canada allows about 600 ingredients that can be harmful to your health. However, the list is not enforced as much as it should be, and it has no legal authority. The list only restricts the “direct and intentional use of the chemicals listed in cosmetics,” meaning that those chemicals that are restricted or prohibited are still allowed to be in cosmetics as a “by-product.”

About 12,000 Chemicals Are Used in Cosmetics

90 percent of the 12,000 chemicals have never been tested on how they affect your health in the long run.

A “Fragrance” Contains Hidden Chemicals

When manufacturers use the term “fragrance” in their list of ingredients, they don’t list what chemicals they use to make the fragrance formula because they are protected by the government.

Fake fragrances are made with a combination of 3,000 or more ingredients that can cause allergies and disrupt hormones.

Health Canada Doesn’t Test Cosmetic Ingredients Regularly

Health Canada only runs tests on limited ingredients and their safety in beauty products, only after they are put in stores.

Carcinogenic Ingredients Are in Many Personal Care Products

Shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, lotions and shaving creams, are usually made with Polyethylene glycols (PGEs), an ingredient deserved from petroleum. PGEs can contain by-products such as ethylene glycol and 1,4-dioxane, which are known carcinogens.

Too Much Vitamin A Can Be Bad for You

Many moisturizers and anti-aging products contain retinyl palmitate and retinol (vitamin A), which can be damaging to the skin. This chemical has been found to cause mutations in your cells that can potentially lead to cancer.

Although retinyl does not directly cause cancer, it can cause skin irritations, rashes, and damage to the skin. Since retinol increases the rate at which cells renew, healthy skin sells are revealed. This is why you’ll see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles when using products made with vitamin A. However, since these skin cells are NEW, they are more susceptible to sun damage. As such, retinyl palmitate should not be applied before exposure to direct sunlight because it can make skin more susceptible to damage.

Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Safe

Some cosmetics contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic that are not mentioned on product labels. Although these metals are made naturally by mother nature, they are not necessarily safe for us humans. Such metals are used to color the cosmetic, and can potentially cause cancer, and damage your heart, lungs and kidneys.

(This article first appeared on Huffington Post Canada.)