The Ugly Side of Beauty
The lack of regulations on the beauty industry rears its ugly head when you start to question the ingredients in your skincare products.
Do you know what all of the ingredients are?
Do you know the purpose of the ingredients?
Does the ingredient benefit you or the product?
Are there any harmful risks?
Are any of the ingredients toxic or carcinogenic?
Many people believe that the personal care products they use are safe because they have to meet FDA regulations. Unfortunately, this is not true. bizarrely The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to access, monitor or regulate skincare products. Under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives. The FDA defines cosmetics as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.”
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) prohibits
- Labels that do not include all required information
- Conspicuous or misleading required information on labels
- Misleading containers regarding composition and fill weight
- Color additives not regulated under section 721 of the FD&C Act
- Packaging or labeling that is not in compliance with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970
- Marketing of adulterated or misbranded cosmetics in interstate commerce.
Failure to provide material facts in a product can also be considered misbranded under the FD&C Act. This means that labels must have directions and warning statements to ensure safe use of the product. How ironic that the FDA wants to warn us not to put sunblock in our eyes, but yet allows carcinogenic chemicals that are easily absorbed into the skin like Oxybenzone in sunblock. The beauty industry is not so pretty when you take a closer look.
Unlike the food industry, the cosmetics industry is allowed to use thousands of synthetic toxic chemicals which are easily absorbed by the skin – many of which are known carcinogens and are banned in other countries. The cumulative, long-term effects of these chemicals are still unknown.
The SEAL’s the DEAL
Only the USDA Certified Organic Seal can guarantee that a finished product is a truly Certified Organic. The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) has created strict regulations that ensure products meet the USDA organic standards. The NOP prohibits the use of harmful toxins such as aluminum, EDTA, GMOs, nanoparticles, petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic colors or fragrances, propylene glycol, or Triclosan. However, there are no regulations to inform the public on how to interpret the aggressive advertising from companies who are taking advantage of the consumer’s desire to purchase a more natural and healthy product.
There are strict regulations for using the USDA Certified Organic Seal; however, there are limited regulations for simply using the word organic in a product’s name, label or description. Unfortunately, this creates confusion for consumers. For example, you may see a label that reads “Organic Shea Butter Lip Balm.” The Shea Butter may indeed be organic, while the rest of the ingredients are not and may contain harmful chemicals such as parabens or BHT. Without all of the ingredients being Certified Organic, the lip balm cannot truly be a Certified Organic product.
The certification process is conducted by an independent USDA accredited agency. The accredited agency actually does the certifying process in compliance with the USDA regulations.
THE LONG PROCESS
To shed some light on why so many companies only use the words organic or natural without displaying the USDA organic seal that proves their claims, here is a brief overview of what it actually takes to have a certified organic skincare product.
- Manufacturers must be certified and undergo inspections to meet all NOP manufacturing requirements. They must keep an active log book and agree to random inspections.
- All layout and labeling information must be completed, submitted and approved before going to print, ensuring both the label and product are in compliance with NOP regulations.
- The skincare product formula must only contain allowed ingredients. This may sound rather simple, but it is not. There is a reason why skin care companies use chemicals. For example: For a body lotion to remain the same consistency in extreme weather conditions, stabilizers and synthetic chemicals are used to maintain its texture and consistency.
- All formulas must be documented, calculated, and submitted to USDA Certifying Agency to prove organic percentage in accordance with which NOP category the product is in.
- Every supplier for every ingredient that is used or could ever be used must be submitted to the USDA Certifying Agency assuring their ingredients are compliant.
- These suppliers must have their own individual documentation stating how the product is produced and what organic content their ingredient holds.
- This process has to be repeated for every single product undergoing certification.
At first, this may not seem all that hard, but this process requires an extreme amount of effort, dedication, and commitment to have a single certified organic product, let alone an entire line of Certified Organic skincare. Due to the costly challenges of meeting these requirements, there are only a handful of U.S. companies offering an entire line of Certified Organic skincare products. Conscious Choice is proud to be one of them.
Thank you for making a Conscious Choice for you,
our planet and our future generations. -Conscious Choice