Despite the fact that I obsessively read {and google} ingredient labels on food packages, until about a year ago, I never even considered reading the ingredients on the back of my makeup products. I mean why should I? It is not like I will recognize any of the words. What’s the worst thing that could really be in it? The government regulates that stuff. Plus it’s not like I’m eating it, right? WRONG. Wrong. So wrong.

Fun Fact: The last piece of regulation concerning the personal care industry, was passed in 1938. It was one page. The beauty industry is effectively unregulated so companies are basically free to do whatever they want with zero government oversight. This creates two problems.

  • No regulation around ingredients. Products that we use daily (mascara, face wash, shampoo, et al.) become packed with toxic ingredients, including known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
  • No regulation around false advertising. Companies can use whatever adjective they want- natural, eco, green, etc- no matter what the ingredients are because the words have no enforceable definition. 

You might be thinking, “why should I care that it is unregulated? It’s not like I’m eating the stuff.” Products you put on your skin are absorbed. If you don’t believe that, consider that topical medications, like estrogen creams, are just as effective as the pill alternative.

The scary part is that the average woman uses 12 personal care products a day, exposing her to over 168 unique chemicals. These chemicals include known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. 

Carcinogens: Substance that causes cancer. Substances that the beauty industry can legally put into your beauty products.

Endocrine Disruptors: Chemicals that have the ability to mimic the body’s hormones (think paragons, chemical sunscreens).  They impersonate our own hormones and thus alter the production levels of our hormones and the way they behave. Endocrine disruptors have been linked to severe, long-term health damage, including reproductive issues, birth defects, metabolic problems, and cancer.

There is so much more to say on the issue, but instead of scaring you with all the awful things in your products, I want to encourage you to make your next beauty purchase a clean one. What product that you put on your skin are you about to run out of? Switch it for a clean beauty product!

THE GOOD NEWS: Switching to clean beauty is easier than ever! There are amazing online stores dedicated to curating only the cleanest and best quality beauty products- CAP Beauty, The Detox Market, Beauty Counter . Even Sephora has a clean beauty section online now. If you don’t want to shop at any of these stores, consider checking out EWG’s Skin Deep database before your next purchase. It is an incredible tool that allows you to search any product you currently have and see a break down and explanation of the ingredients and even gives a clean score to easily identify whether it is safe to use.

I just ordered RMS Un Cover-up and ILIA mascara. Anyone tried them? Tell me your favorite clean beauty products!