This morning, Good Morning America did an interesting piece about the lack of regulation in the beauty industry and how the United States government does NOT regulate the safety of all of the shampoos, lotions and makeup that we use on our skin every day.
If you haven’t visited the “learn” section of my site, let me quickly catch you up on some of the scary facts:
- The average woman uses between 8-10 products on her body every single day and those products get absorbed right into her skin.
- The United States hasn’t passed a major federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938!
- Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,400 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products. The U.S. has only partially banned 11 to date.
- There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today and many don’t have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry.
Now back to Good Morning America…
As part of their research, GMA wanted to see if our bodies actually absorb the chemicals in our skin care and cosmetics and they specifically looked at two common chemicals: parabens, which can act as preservatives, and phthalates, controversial chemicals often used to make fragrances last longer. Here’s what happened:
After getting a baseline measurement of the chemicals in ABC News’ correspondent Mary Bruce’s system, for three days, she used only beauty products containing the two chemicals, parabens and phthalates. Then, for five days, she cut them out completely, using only products excluding those chemicals for her daily routine.
ABC News took urine samples at each stage of the experiment and sent them to the California Department of Health for review, then met with University of California-Berkeley researcher Kim Harley for the results.
When Bruce switched to using only products with the chemicals, the level of parabens in her system went off the charts, going up to 386 ug/g, from her baseline of 38 ug/g. The average American woman, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey has 23 ug/g.
When she changed to the low-chemical products, the “levels basically plummeted,” said Harley. “You went down to 6 [ug/g].”
The same thing happened with phthalates, going from her baseline of 87 ug/g, up to 284 ug/g, and back down to 45 ug/g. The average for women is 43 ug/g.
Not only are the results of this test frightening, but what’s even worse is the CDC says the health effects of low-level exposure to these chemicals are “unknown!”
With love, lipstick and lavender,