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The Dirty Truth About Your Cosmetics
Beauty & Fashion

The Dirty Truth About Your Cosmetics

Back in the day, before having kids, I used to think that everything sold in the stores was highly regulated and 100% safe. I mean, doesn't the FDA have our back?! I never even thought to read an ingredient label. Reading the book called “No More Dirty Looks” was a mind blowing experience and a definite game changer for me. 

I am here today to talk about the personal care and cosmetics industry and show you how to become an empowered consumer who is able to confidently purchase safer products for you and your whole family! 

First, let's talk about the FDA. The FDA doesn't regulate the products sold in stores...unless it has certain colorants and/or is considered an over the counter drug like sunscreen. 

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 has only been updated once ever since it became law and the chapter covering cosmetics is very short! In fact, it is less than 2 pages long to be exact! Two pages barely covers how to safely use a hair dryer these days - how can it ensure cosmetics are safe?

The cosmetics industry is self policing through the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel, which is made up of people from the cosmetic industry, and they have declared only 11 (!) ingredients to be harmful and decided that these should not be used in products. That's quite low considering the EU has banned more than 1,300 ingredients! Pretty scary, right? And by the way, these include products that are sold for babies.

Speaking of chemicals, the US EPA reviews an average of 1,700 new compounds that the chemical industry is seeking to introduce and they approve about 90% of the new compounds without restrictions. But aren't they required to test these chemicals, you ask? Well, the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act only requires that the chemical compounds are tested for any ill effects before approval if there is evidence of potential harm. 

Throughout my journey, I met skeptical people who say they are fine using whatever is sold and that the green beauty industry is just fear mongering. Honestly, I totally understand the skepticism. Most people think that the amount we absorb through the skin is very low; but I would politely disagree. There are many different ways we absorb the toxic ingredients. For example, we breathe them in through sprays and powders, ingest them through our lips with lipstick, lipgloss and lip balm and of course through our skin, which by the way, is the largest organ of our body! 

What some people also don't realize is that a lot of these chemicals, which are not really tested for safety, can bioaccumulate in our bodies and that can add up over time. A lot of these ingredients are endocrine disruptors causing havoc on the balance of your hormones which can lead to hormonal acne. 

There are ingredients in anti-aging products that can actually fasten up aging (chemical sunscreens are a big offender) and you don't want to waste your money on something that is actually sabotaging your goals! I am all for embracing aging but we can all age gracefully ;) Personally, I am actually letting my hair just go gray because I don't have the time to maintain my roots and there is no truly toxin free hair dye. 

I am not here to create a panic. I am here to promote awareness. 

I think it's time for us to become more conscious consumers and show these big corporations that are only covering the bare bottom line that we deserve better! 

As women, you need to know that we are exposed to almost 168 different chemicals each day. As women, we need to get empowered to only bring home products that are nourishing to us and our families! As women, we need to realize that we have the power to create change! 

Stay empowered! :) 

Fatima Pagtakhan

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