7 Scary Facts About Your Makeup
In this episode of "Sick, Sad World" (you're welcome for that Daria reference), you know nothing about your makeup. Welcome to the dark side, my fellow 18-shades-of-lipstick-toting, the-cosmetics-counter-is-your-home-away-from-home beauty lovers. (I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.)
1. We don't have any real federal regulations on makeup in the United States.The United States Food & Drug Administration isn't testing cosmetic ingredients because, well, they're not food or drugs. Which means things banned elsewhere (think parabens, which are linked to breast cancer; ethylene oxide, which is a known carcinogen; and octinoxate) are totally A-OK here. In fact, pretty much any chemical can be used as an ingredient. The FDA does monitor cosmetics under the FD&C Act, which basically says as long as they aren't "adulterated" or "misbranded" they're cool to go on the market. (So no poisons, phew.) To put it frankly: In Europe there are 1,373 banned cosmetic chemicals. In the U.S.? Eight.
2. Companies don't have to test their products.
3. 80 percent of ingredients used in personal care products have never been tested for safety.
4. Fragrance can mean pretty much anything.
5. Organic probably doesn't mean what you think it means.There's no true, standard definition for what can be labeled "natural" or "organic," meaning as long as it's not "misleading" in the FDA's eyes, it's passable. There are certain programs—like the "USDA Organic" logo—that work to certify bath and beauty products, but definitions vary from program to program and basically, it's all a little confusing. That body wash with cucumber extract made up of 97% of chemicals? That can be classified organic.
6. "Cruelty-free" and "not tested on animals"?
7. The average woman uses 13 products per day with 515 ingredients.