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Arabian goggles aside, I was thinking in particular of the nasty things women put on their faces in the pursuit of beauty. Because it is more chemistry than I care to explain, I’ll leave off ranting about all the harsh anal bleaches, lead in lipstick and glycols and just stick to the organic compounds. What kind of gross things are in your face cream? Well here is a short list:
1) placenta Another anti-aging treatment, injectable as well as topical. Also part of the “ayurveda” bandwagon claiming superior benefits for the user.
2) animal protein Ah- remember the days when companies used to brag that their products were more packed with animal bits than the next one? These are obtained by boiling or rendering skins, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. Seems relatively benign compared to some of the toxic chemicals used.
3) ground up rooster combs Products that contain “hyaluronic acid” tout their ability to plump up wrinkles from deep under the skin. This acid is derived from processing the combs of roosters, like poor Frisbie (see gratuitous photo of my lovely cock at left)
4) Ground up female beetles (70,000 cochineal beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye which is used in coloring lipstick to lollipops)
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has no authority to require pre-market safety assessment as it does with drugs, so cosmetics are among the least-regulated products on the market. The FDA does not review – nor does it have the authority to regulate – what goes into cosmetics before they are marketed for salon use and consumer use. In fact, 89 percent of all ingredients in cosmetics have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.
Ironically, most consumers believe the U.S. government regulates the cosmetics industry the same way it regulates food and drugs sold in this country to make sure they’re safe. The truth is, no one’s minding the store when it comes to shampoo, skin moisturizers, baby products, lipstick or any other personal care product.
From the FDA website:
“FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency …. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives.”
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), the industry’s self-policing safety panel, falls far short of compensating for the lack of FDA oversight. According to its Web site, the CIR “thoroughly reviews and assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased, and expert manner, and publishes the results in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.”
Yet in its more than 30-year history, the CIR has reviewed the safety of only 11 percent of the ingredients used to formulate personal care products, and through June of 2008 has found only nine ingredients to be unsafe for use in cosmetics.This panel operates in a vacuum of guidance from FDA when it comes to the safety of personal care products. Words on labels like “natural,” “safe” and “pure” have no definition in law and no relationship to the hazard inside the packaging. Acceptable levels of risk are entirely at this panel’s discretion.”
We all know how corporations aren’t really interested in anything but their bottom line. Unless consumers like you and me threaten to boycott a dangerous product things are not going to change. Since there really is no watchdog agency, very little regulation has been going on except the industry’s own.
Independent consumer groups DO exist that monitor the chemicals in these products, because well- the government doesn’t or can’t and the industries will do whatever they can get away with.
Skin Deep names and rates products according to how free of dangerous chemicals they are.
This site lists chemicals and their toxic effects, as well as the type of products they are used in.
If you want to really find out what else (and worse) things are in your cosmetic products, (cream, aftershave, shampoo, etc) watch this film!
If you want to lose all faith in the decency and intelligence of the consumers that demand (and deserve) such products, watch THIS film!