Take a moment and mentally replay your daily personal care routine: soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, foundation, mascara.
The list goes on and on.
That’s normal. If you’re an average American woman, you use at least a dozen different products every day without blinking. But we’re becoming increasingly aware that certain ingredients in these products could harm our health and beauty.
This awareness is reflected on store shelves. Beauty product labels used to advertise what they contained, but many now tout what they don’t. A quick glance down the cosmetics aisle and your brain will register terms like BPA-, phthalate- and paraben-free. But what do these chemicals actually mean to our health and beauty?
In the US, over 10,000 industrial chemicals are used as ingredients in personal care products. Most occur in low levels that are considered safe – but they aren’t tested for safety with long-term use before they hit stores. The FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors flat-out states that “a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from the FDA.”
Most of the worry is placed on ingredients that act as endocrine disruptors.