You’ve been poisoned... and it wasn't the butler who did it. That's right, your trusty lipstick. It's been poisoning you everyday and you didn't even know.
Ok, that was slightly dramatic, but not a complete lie. Think about all the people who shower, shampoo, condition, do their makeup, or wear sunscreen everyday. Many consumers have no idea what is really in their products and how harmful or toxic they can be to their skin. I mean...five sunscreens have just been recalled this week.
The cosmetics industry needs to wake up because their reality check has bounced. They are misleading numerous individuals due to not being transparent in the ingredients list in products.
The Cosmetics industry in the US is regulated by itself. That is, the FDA doesn’t have the legal authority to regulate the beauty business. It can't make product recalls happen, but it can make requests. It can collaborate with other institutions to take legal action if it believes a product is contaminated or misbranded, and it does undertake occasional testing, if it has safety concerns. The most contentious issue is ingredient safety, which businesses are supposed to evaluate on their own — which is interesting, given that the FDA website states that companies are not required to show safety or even disclose information.
As a result, any company may name a product "natural" and describe it however they please. Companies don't think twice about slapping that label on because customers respond to it.
Ok, now that I know I've been poisoned, what do I do?? Where do I start?!
Ingredients such as parabens, Dioxane, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, Phenoxyethanol, PEGs, Dimethicone, heavy metals are all reacting to your skin in negative ways and pose many health risks to certain extents.
PFAS: the “Forever chemical”
However, one particular ingredient is really getting the heat. Studies revealed that high levels of fluorine—a sign of PFAS, so-called "forever chemicals" that are used in nonstick frying pans, rugs and countless other consumer products— were discovered in popular cosmetic products. Ahh! You hear that? It's your pores. They're screaming. Your face is not a piece of furniture!
Scientists are still learning about the effects of PFAS exposure on human health, but preliminary data links PFAS exposure to cancer, reproductive harm, and immune system damage.
As a result of this study, lawmakers decided to introduce the “No PFAS in Cosmetics Act” and “Personal Care Products” to the US Senate.
Some of the PFAS may have been accidentally added related to manufacturing errors, but there are many items where the amounts are so high that they had to be put on purpose for reasons like durability or water resistance, which PFAS excel at.
According to research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the greatest PFAS levels were discovered in waterproof mascara (82 percent) and long-lasting lipstick (62 percent).
The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act prohibits the deliberate use of PFAS substances in cosmetics.
The Clean Beauty Effect
If you are worried about PFAS, don't stress! There is something empowering about taking the time to research your purchases and ensuring they align with your personal values. Not only is there the positive ethical and environmental impact of consuming clean, natural, vegan products. But putting in the effort to truly see what you are putting on your face demonstrates the desire to use meaningful products that improve your overall wellbeing! That self-awareness will allow you to connect with the skin and makeup you are using
Many companies like Sephora and Ulta have implemented “Clean” categories to distinguish between the products that have more toxic or harmful chemicals. Even popular skincare influencers such as @lipstickittty, have responded to the recent study on PFAs, advocating for clean beauty.
Buying from a company whose products are safe, non-toxic, and have transparent labeling of ingredients are key to saving your skin. Brands like XOTIQ, whose ingredients include the vitamins & minerals we know we need: Vitamins A, D, and E, plus essential fatty acids, as well as CBD (which takes the place of beeswax), provide transparency. Additionally, Follain, Credo, The Detox Market, Vapour, and Beautycounter are some of a few examples devoted to the movement for clean beauty.
Love yourself and your skin even more by putting in the effort to evaluate what it is really absorbing. It will all be meaningful in the end!