Are ‘clean’ cosmetics better for us than other beauty products?
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Some of the ingredients in personal care products are not ideal.
"Clean Beauty" products list supposedly ethical qualities ranging from cruelty-free to fragrance-free to formaldehyde-free. But without regulations to back up the word "clean", the term "clean beauty" could be greenwashed.
People have always believed that beauty products are safe because they could buy them at the store. Yet, additives like long-chain carbons (PFAS), phthalates, and triclosan can disrupt hormones, and formaldehyde found in shampoos and keratin treatments is carcinogenic.
Because these products cannot be assumed safe, it has sparked a movement geared towards getting rid of controversial ingredients in our personal products.
There is no uniform meaning of "clean beauty" and no rules regulating it, which means that one company will define clean beauty differently from another company.
One "clean" foundation product could cause allergies and reproductive toxicity, while another foundation from a "clean beauty" company could receive an EWG stamp of approval for safety. But not all companies disclose everything, and you can only go so far if companies are not transparent about everything.
Various scandals have come to light over the years, but the FDA doesn't have the authority to intervene in personal products. Johnson & Johnson knew for over 40 years that their talc baby powder contained asbestos. If shampoo causes people's hair to fall out, the company doesn't have to share that information.
Any company can call itself "clean." It becomes a question of why anyone cannot simply walk into a store to buy a safe product.
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