the role of the FDA in regulating cosmetics is limited

The irrefutable truth about contaminates in our cosmetics is alarming enough as it is. But to give you a lowdown, here we go –

The FDA does not have the legislative power to regulate the cosmetic/skincare industry for safety, other than for a few banned ingredients and dyes. Cosmetic giants have often petitioned the FDA for a trade secret status in order to prevent exposure of what they believe to be unique ingredients in their product and to keep an edge on competition. This means money in the pocket for the makers and promotes lack of ignorance for the consumer.

In the pursuit of revenues, cosmetic manufacturers prefer long product shelf lives for its convenience in distribution and inventory management, even though the preservatives that aid longevity might cause more threatening long-term effects.

Preservatives like Parabens ( butyl, methyl, ethyl, propyl, isopropyl and isobutylpropyl ) are easily absorbed by our skin.

Known as Xenoestrogens, they mimic estrogens and trick the body into responding to them as if they were natural estrogens. They also have been found in human breast tissue.

Other toxic and reactive preservatives are:

Butylated Hydroxyltoluene (BHT), (a carcinogenic) Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), DMDM Hydantoin, Chloromethylisothiazolinone, Isothiazolinone, Methyllisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolone, Benzalkonium Chloride (Toxic)

Credits – excerpts taken from a case study paper submitted at Harvard Law School by Casey Mee Lee Daum in 2006.