July 12, 2012 by Cassy
So everyone knows that cosmetics (that includes color AND skin care products) are not regulated by FDA. However, there are several ingredients that FDA does regulate over. It’s good to know that you should NEVER, EVER see these ingredients in your cosmetic products:
- Bithionol – may cause photo-contact sensitization.
- Chlorofluorocarbon propellants (fully halogenated chlorofluoroalkanes)
- Chloroform – animal carcinogenicity and likely hazard to human health.
- Halogenated salicylanilides (di-, tri-, metabromsalan and tetrachlorosalicylanilide) – may cause photocontact sensitization.
- Methylene chloride – animal carcinogenicity and likely hazard to human health.
- Vinyl chloride – carcinogenicity
- Zirconium-containing complexes – toxic effect on lungs, including the formation of granulomas.
- Prohibited cattle materials – to protect against BSE (mad cow disease)
So while you may not see those in the products, the following selected ingredients are not controlled by FDA and many companies still use these in their formula. It’s good to educate yourself on these ingredients, and even if there are no official statements regarding its effect on the body, I personally think it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Parabens – Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetic products. There are studies that link its use to cancer, but FDA has not issue any statements confirming nor denying the linkage.
- Phthalates – The principal phthalates used in cosmetic products are dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), and diethylphthalate (DEP). They are used primarily at concentrations of less than 10% as plasticizers in products such as nail polishes (to reduce cracking by making them less brittle) and hair sprays (to help avoid stiffness by allowing them to form a flexible film on the hair) and as solvents and perfume fixatives in various other products. However, the regulations do not require the listing of the individual fragrance ingredients; therefore, the consumer will not be able to determine from the ingredient declaration if phthalates are present in a fragrance. Again, studies link to toxicity by exposure are deem as insufficient by FDA. Therefore, you may still see this ingredient in many products.
- Hexachlorophene – Can still be used if there are no other preservative is as effective, even though it’s causing toxic effect and has the ability to penetrate human skin.
- Mercury compounds – Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic manifestations. The use of mercury compounds as cosmetic ingredients is limited to eye area cosmetics.