Beauty products a health concern

Photo credit: Maytinee Kramer

 

Maytinee Kramer/Staff Writer

 

We all deserve to look and feel the best we possibly can, which is why we love comparing and contrasting products in hopes of perfecting every step of our regimen. There are seemingly hundreds of sheet masks, thousands of creams and moisturizers and more brands of lipstick than we can remember. Every lotion, shampoo and cosmetic product applied on our skin can soak right into the body – but do we know what’s really in those products?

U.S researchers of the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health research and advocacy organization, report that one in eight of the thousands of ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins and hormone disruptors. For example, not listed on ingredient labels is 4-dioxane, a contaminant linked to cancer found in products that create suds, such as shampoo and liquid soap. Another ingredient is benzophenone, which has also been linked to cancer. It’s used in cosmetics such as lip balm and nail polish to protect the products from UV light.

According to the Environmental Working Group who spoke to About Style, “companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold.” Incomplete or misleading labeling of ingredients, or unsubstantiated promises about a product’s benefits are also allowed.

With the ongoing healthy lifestyle trend, more and more people are becoming conscious of their health and the products they are using. Luckily, with the technology we have today, there is a phone app called “Skin Deep” developed by the EWG, that can help educate consumers on the products they use.

The free app provides a database of 72,000 personal care products, 2,500 brands and 9,000 ingredients. Users are able to scan product barcodes or search goods by name to determine their safety.

The app rates each item based on the hazard-level of each of its ingredients and users can then find out which ingredients are the most harmful. The EWG’s website also provides a database with information on the many products they researched.

Beauty is subjective and personal. In other words, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to our skin, choosing the right products to maintain healthy, nourished skin is important. Though many of the chemicals continue to be widely used, we as consumers always have the option of making the right choice for our overall health. The best thing we can do is read ingredient lists carefully in order to avoid chemicals that are known to be harmful.

Just as we should nourish our bodies with organic food, our skin deserves care with organic beauty products. In addition to being aware of the ingredients in beauty products, consumers should consider using certified-organic skincare products that cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize the skin without using any of the noxious artificial chemicals or additives. It’s always best to feed the skin the good and healthy stuff.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of FIU Student Media Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

About the Author

Maytinee Kramer
Call me May. I’m a senior double majoring in Asian studies and broadcast media and minoring in international relations. I’m a K-pop and Disney junkie, but I also enjoy watching anime and cosplaying. Some of my favorite shows are “Once Upon a Time,” “Supernatural,” and “Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma” while my favorite music artists are 2PM, GOT7, DEAN and Eddy Kim. After college, I hope to work as a news anchor, but I’d eventually like to host a show/segment that focuses on traveling. I am fluent in Thai and currently learning Japanese and Korean.

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