I have recently been enlightened to some facts about the hair care and beauty industry's safety and regulatory laws that have blown my mind.
I typically enjoy keeping it positive. Writing about ways to make you feel more beautiful and to look your best is a passion and I prefer to keep it happy and positive. But, I’ve been educating myself about the ingredients that go into some of the products that I love so dearly and have really been shocked at some of what I’ve learned. I really don’t like to be an alarmist, but I would feel like I’ve done all my readers a major disservice if I chose not to share some of the facts that really made me think; Wait, What??!!
There have been many studies that indicate that serious health issues like cancer, asthma, hormonal and infertility issues (among many others) are on the rise. Many of these can be attributed (in some part) to our ongoing, daily exposure to toxic chemicals. This sounds like a very obvious stat and even as I write it I’m imagining “toxic chemicals” as some insidious bubbling green toxic waste resulting in imminent horrific death or potential superpowers (see the Joker from Batman). So you can imagine my reaction when I learned that the toxins that I’m referring to are in products I put on my body on a daily basis. These toxins are in a shocking number to everyday beauty products, everything from sunscreen and lip stick to shampoo and cleansers.
There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market and the vast majority aren’t required to go through any safety testing whatsoever!! This is particularly true of chemicals meant for the beauty industry. The Food and Drug Administration (the agency that regulates cosmetics in the United States) allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful in the products we put on our bodies and on our kids’ bodies every single day, day after day, and to make their own judgments about safety. It’s so antiquated it’s mind blowing!! How’s this stat... the US has NOT passed a major federal regulatory law for the personal care industry since (wait for it)... 1938!!!!! You read that correctly, Nineteen-freaking-Thirty-Eight.
It takes less than 30 seconds for chemicals to enter your bloodstream once they touch your skin. So everything that you put on your body goes in your body almost immedately. That's why it's so important to really understand what's in the products that you use on a daily basis. The idea that I'm unknowingly, purposly putting possibly toxic chemicals on myself and my family literally keeps me up at night. And realizing that I didn't even know I was doing so makes me feel like I've had the wool pulled over my eyes.
Additionally, over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 30 to date. I'm not the best with math...but this seems like an irresponsible gap in my humble opinion.
These are just a few of the “Wait, What!!” facts that I’ve come across and I don’t want to freak everyone out. I’ll be back with some additional educational not so fun facts, but please do begin to take an interest in what you’re putting on your body, be aware of the possible consequences and choose to support those brands that have your health as well as your beauty in mind. We have influence and we deserve better.