Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Top 20 Cosmetics Brands of Concern

When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

— Wingspread Statement

on the Precautionary Principle

January 1998.
All my adult life, I have been plagued by a streak of the girly-girl in myself. I was trained and love to apply makeup, use hair care product, and love to pamper myself in spa like products.
I loved going to Macy's cosmetic counters, especially Lancome, to get creamy foundations, wonderful lip shades, and spicy and floral fragrances. The more I read about what is in those products, especially Lancome, I feel betrayed. It would be one thing if the chemicals that went into these products were the only way to accomplish beauty and they were upfront as to the risks/benefits, but they aren't and there are products out there who accomplish beauty without all the junk. Lancome is owned by L'Oreal, which also owns Garnier, Ralph Lauren, Redkin, Maybelline, Biolage by Matrix, Giorgio Armani, Biotherm, Dermablend, and Amplify by Matrix, all have moderate to strong concerns in regards to their ingredients.
Just this last Saturday night, I went to a Spa Night held by our local mother's group. There were two companies their doing facials and makeovers, Mary Kay and Beauticontrol. These are companies that depend on women who sell from out of their homes. Mary Kay and Beauticontrol are like Avon in that respect, and do a lot of work trying to convey how empowering they are to women. Mary Kay unfortunately doesn't make their ingredients public and have fought legislation in California that would make public ingredients they use for the benefit of women consumers. A lot of Avon products are full of questionable chemicals and do not rate well on EWG.ORG. According to Avon, they are phasing out dibutyl phthalates from its product line, but still they are still using parabens.
80% of Revlon products have been tested and recieved a 7.2 out of 10 in carcinogenic ingredients. Their permanent haircolor rated a 9.6 and contains both known and suspected carcinogens.
Estee Lauder has announced that they will reformulate its Clinique and MAC nail polishes to remove phthlates, but their products still contain parabens in their makeup and mascara.
Beauticontrol doesn't make their ingredients public on their website, and you have to go through a representative to be able to look at the ingredients on the label.
The Body Shop uses Polycyclic Musks or PCMs, which are fragrance components that they will phase out by 2010. They should have phased out phthalates in existing products last year in 2006. The Body Shop uses parabens.
Top Ingredients of concern include: Mercury, Thimerosal, Lead Acetate, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Petroleum Distellates, Ethylacrylate, Coal Tar, Dibutyl Phthalate, Selenium Sulfide, Dimethylamine, Zirconium Silicate, Acrylamide, Phenylphenol, D&C Blue 6, Ext D&C Green 1, Ext D&C Red 1, FD&C Red 3, Lidocaine, Hydroxyanisole, BHA, Lithium Carbonate, Dimethyl Sulfoxide, Iodine, Phenacetin, Phenolphthalein, Progesterone, Aluminum Zirconium tetraclorohydrex complex, anhydrous, Ferric Ammonium citrate, 2 Amino 4 nitrophenol, Brucine, Acid Blue 3, Acid Yellow 3, Pigment Blue 15, Naphazoline hydrochloride, Diphenhydamine HCL, Lidocaine HDL, Litsea Citrata (Verbana) oil, HC Blue 2.
Then there are the parabens: Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, and Proplyparaben. They have been long thought to be safe because of their low toxicity profile and their supposedly long history of safe use. Parabens are thought to be rapidly absorbed, metabolized, and excreted. People do worry that parabens can have estrogenic activity and have been found in samples of breast tumors.
Phthalates are in more than 70% of health and beauty products. They are found in Chanel, Christain Dior, L'Oreal, Wella, and many other brands. Products that have tested positive for phthalates may not be labelled to that effect. Phthlate exposure is pervasive and comes from many sources.
The list below comes from EWG.ORG list of Top 20 Brands of Concern in regards of how much ingredients of concern are in these products. It is disturbing that the worst of the worst is a product that is targeting women of color, Dark & Lovely from L'Oreal.
Dark & Lovely L’Oreal




Banana Boat

Te Tao

Back to Basics

Ultima II

Estee Lauder


Sally Hansen/Cornsilk

B. Kamins





Elizabeth Arden



Color Me Beautiful
The Cosmetics industry is dominated by 10 large companies, which accounts for the use of nearly one in seven of the 75,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States. The FDA bans or restricts only nine of those substances. Many ingredients are exempt from labelling requirements because the product formulas are protected as proprietary. In 2005, the European Union banned more than 1000 chemicals for use in cosmetics.
500 Companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Companies that sign promise to replace hazardous materials with safer alternatives within three years. They do this by conducting an inventory of potential chemicals of concern to determine toxicity to living things, their persistance in the environment, their ability to increase in concentration in the food chain, their contamination of our bodies, or qualities they possess that pose hazards including carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, sensitizers, mutagens, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins, and neurotoxins. The goal is to develop an aggressive substitution plan and timeline to move to safer materials, prioritizing for substitution those compounds internationally recognized as most toxic. In addition, they will provide for an ongoing review of safer materials and chemicals as effective, cost-competitive alternatives availability and work with upstream suppliers to provide toxicity data on chemicals in products.
Avon, Mary Kay, Estee Lauder, Proctor & Gamble are companies who have not signed on. Some of the 500 companies who have signed on and provide products of less concern are: Burt's Bees, Keys Soap, Perfect Organics, GratefulBody, Suki Pure Skin Care, Garden of Eve, Terressentials, Trillium Organics, J.P Durga, Lily Organics, Terra Firma Organics, Aubrey Organics, California Baby, Dr. Bronner's, Giovanni Hair Care Products, Telbari, A Wild Soap Bar Soaps, Weleda, Osea, Aromababy, and Clearly Natural Soaps.
Products of least concern that are made by companies who have signed the compact include: Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap , Crystal Body Stick Deodorant , Simplers Botanical Company Acne Aid, Aunt Ann's Garden Soap, Natural by Nature Bar Soap - Lavender with Aloe, Lover's Choice Amazing Hot Massage Kit, Cocoon Organic Body and Hair Wash, Marie Veronique Serumdipity, Aroma Rx Lavender Hydrosol, Peacekeeper Lip Paint and Nail Paint, Viva-Drops Lubricant Eye Drops, Farah D Lip Balms, UV Natural Chemical Free sunscreen-fragrance free-nontint, Gifts of the Goddess Body Butters, Scenter of the Mind Soaps, Honeybee Gardens,Aura Cacia Organic Skin Oils, Pangea Organics hand & body lotions, Theratears eye lubricants, Pomegranate Body Shea and Salt Body Glow Lavender Calm, and Farmaesthetics Deep Lavender Rub and Nourishing Herbal Cream.

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