7 Things Being Done to Make Your Cosmetic Products Safer

– Do your cosmetic products meet the regulations of your land?

The average woman uses 12 products with 10-12 ingredients on her body everyday. Since our skin soaks up these chemicals, it’s in our best interest to avoid things that could cause cancer, birth defects, developmental delays, and reproductive challenges. Find out how laws in your country are making your cosmetic products safer.

1. The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 – USA

In the US, cosmetics could be regulated much more stringently for safety in the near future. Though The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was just introduced on July 21, 2010, it marks the first time the rules for preventing harmful ingredients from ending up in shampoo bottles have been revised since 1938!


( Photo by La Grande )

The bill hopes to force full ingredient disclosure, phase out cancer, birth-defects, and developmental harm-causing ingredients, provide safer working conditions for people in the cosmetic manufacturing industry, and create a health-based safety standard.

2. FDA Falls Far Short

This is excellent news for the American public. Not only has it been ages since the regulations have been revised, but currently, organizations like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are virtually powerless to prevent harmful chemicals like 1,4-dioxand and parabens from being added to products sold to Americans.


( Photo by stevendepolo)

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics estimates that a full 89% of all ingredients used in cosmetics in the US have never been tested for safety.

3. Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist – Health Canada

Health Canada has developed a very long list – the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist – that includes all of the chemicals and other ingredients they’d like to see minimized or eliminated altogether from cosmetic products and personal care products sold in Canada.


( Photo by RowdyKittens )

This is all well and good, but unfortunately the Hotlist has no regulatory power – it is only meant as a suggestion for manufacturers. So while many companies are voluntarily leaving these ingredients out of their formulations, not all do.

4. Canadian Cosmetic Labeling Laws

While the Hotlist might not have the teeth to make your cosmetics and personal care products safer, the Canadian Consumer Product Safety office has a New Ingredient Labeling Requirement that means as of November 16, 2006, all cosmetic products sold in Canada must list their ingredients.


( Photo by noricum )

Cosmetics, as defined by Health Canada, are things used for “beauty preparation (make-up, perfume, skin cream, nail polish) or a grooming aid (shaving gel, soap & shampoos and deodorants), all cosmetics.”

5. Cosmetics Directive – The Precautionary Approach in the EU

Unlike Canada and the US, the EU has much more control over the chemicals being used to create products for Europeans.


( Photo by Amy Loves Yah)

With over 25 countries included in the EU, the Cosmetic Directive lets EU citizens rest easy knowing that their government is working to protect them by requiring that all products sold in the EU to be free of ingredients that are known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, genetic mutation, or reproductive harm.

6. Regulation of Cosmetics – Australia

Even Australia has stricter laws than some other countries listed here.


( Photo by Melody.loves.you )

Their Regulation of cosmetics has a list of chemicals commonly used in personal care products that they control for the safety of the public. Their labeling requirements are also a little more controlled.

7. Story of Cosmetics

If you want to learn more about safe cosmetic products and how to choose healthier options, regardless of the regulations in your area, check out the Story of Cosmetics – a fun, educational video on how cosmetics are made.



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