Should We Have the Right to Know What’s In Our Beauty Products?

Last Update: October 23, 2023

Here’s a scary exercise: Open up your medicine cabinet or bathroom cupboards, then take a look at the assortment of creams, lotions, washes, toners, and cosmetics stacked up on the shelves.

If you count at least 12 products, you’re on par with what the average American woman puts on every day.

Know what else the average woman puts on every day? More than 168 chemicals.

Shocking, right? Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are just as alarmed as you are. The two senators recently introduced a bill that would give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate ingredients in personal care products.

The bill, which would take effect in 2016 if passed, requires cosmetics companies to give FDA lists of their ingredients to review. The FDA would then have the power to issue recalls of unsafe products and suspend the registration of companies that don’t meet their standards.

Interestingly, the bill would also empower the FDA to investigate the health effects of at least five ingredients every year. The first set of ingredients the senators want the FDA to look into? Diazolidinyl urea, lead acetate, methylene glycol (also known as methanediol or formaldehyde), propyl paraben, and quaternium-15.

If these chemical names sound familiar to you, it’s because some of them are widely known for their questionable side effects. The Environmental Working Group—the advocacy group that helped the senators craft the bill—actually calls out several of these ingredients as hazardous in their Skin Deep database.

Supporters of the bill say it’s crucial for several reasons. Up until now, the safety of cosmetics and personal care products has been left entirely up to the manufacturers.

“From shampoo to lotion, the use of personal care products is widespread, however, there are very few protections in place to ensure their safety,” Feinstein said, according to ABC. And without a degree in chemistry, scrutinizing the labels on the back of your favorite lotions and creams will only get you so far.

That’s why Thrive Market does the legwork for you. Their senior merchandising team screens every personal care product against EWG’s Skin Deep database. If an ingredient doesn’t stand up t won’t be sold on Thrive Market.

Until the FDA has greater oversight of all personal care products, you’ll know you can rely on natural, non-toxic alternatives. Because looking beautiful shouldn’t come at the price of your health.

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Annalise Mantz

Annalise is a foodie, Brussels sprouts lover, grammar nerd, and political pet aficionado.

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