Natural beauty products are often more expensive than chemical based beauty products. When times are tight it can be tempting to select the cheaper option. Even if you’re flush with money, you want to spend it wisely. It's important to decide whether natural beauty products are a necessity or a luxury.
We put cosmetics on our skin every day. The skin absorbs everything it comes into contact with. Many cosmetics contain skin penetrating agents that make it easier for the rest of the ingredients in the formula to be absorbed by the body. Some of these skin penetrating agents are so strong that they can facilitate the entry of chemicals into the bloodstream. The health risk is high when those chemicals are toxic, being applied routinely and being deeply absorbed by the body.
Many cosmetic chemicals are harmful to your health. There are numerous scientific studies and reputable journalistic sources that support this fact. While the government has removed a few of the known offenders, there are many more known carcinogens still being used routinely by mainstream cosmetics companies in the United States.
Cosmetics are one of the least regulated products on the market in the United States. Formaldehyde, mercury, asbestos, lead, phthalates, parabens, triclosan and toluene are all commonly found in cosmetics. Sometimes you can read an ingredient label and think it sounds safe, but many toxic substances are simply listed as “fragrances”.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is the US law that regulates cosmetics. It hasn’t changed since it was written in 1938. While other countries have banned thousands of toxic chemicals from cosmetics, the United States has only banned eleven. Attempts were made to rewrite the act in 2011 and 2018, but the new drafts were never enacted.
As you can see, the United State’s cosmetic industry is a mostly unregulated economic environment. The consumer cannot rely on the government for protection, they must arm themselves with knowledge and make careful decisions. Most mainstream brands of cosmetics sold by major retailers in the United States contain toxic ingredients.
There are several organizations that track the toxic ingredients in cosmetics. They report on current legislation, cosmetic brands that use toxins and the individual ingredients that are dangerous. These organizations can help you stay informed and make wise choices. EWG.org and SafeCosmetics.org are both excellent resources.
The easiest way to make sure you are buying safe cosmetics is to limit your purchases to brands that you can trust. Buy from small companies who are dedicated to using natural ingredients. The companies you do business with should list all of their ingredients for each of their products. Beware of any company that lists vague ingredients such as “fragrances”.
Natural beauty products may be more expensive, but they won’t poison your body. Looking years younger is of no use if you also die years younger than you should have. A little research goes a long way. We recommend viewing the documentary Toxic Beauty (https://www.whitepinepictures.com/toxic-beauty) for an eye-opening overview of the effects of toxic chemicals in cosmetics.