The Truth About Cosmetics and Your Health
Cosmetics are comprised of a combination of different chemical substances extracted from natural sources or synthesized ones. They may include pigments, preservatives, binders, moisturizers, colorants and additives. Most cosmeceuticals that are commercially available are in the form of cosmetics, which are applied to the skin and used to fade scars, spots, wrinkles and stretch marks. These cosmetic products also help to alleviate fine lines, and nourish and revive aging skin. Some cosmetics, including some of the most well-known brands, can be purchased over the counter and do not need a prescription, while others must be prescribed by a physician or dermatologist.
Cosmetics can be divided into two major categories based on the ingredients they contain. There are those that are made with natural ingredients that are not considered controversial, such as mineral oil, which is derived from the kernels of a coconut. Others, such as paraben-free makeup, are considered controversial and are often regulated by federal and state laws. The ingredients in cosmetics that fall into this second category, that is not regulated by law, can potentially cause allergic reactions and should only be used by those with specific allergies or sensitivities xem them.
An ingredient is listed as “natural” when it is actually a synthetic compound, chemical or synthetic substance. To determine whether an ingredient is safe, it is required that cosmetics companies provide the FDA with information about the percentage of a specific ingredient in a product that is naturally present, the concentration used, and the manner in which it is used. Cosmetics manufacturers are required to submit the ingredient label to the FDA on a yearly basis for the purpose of product safety reporting.
Cosmetics companies are required to test their cosmetic products for both acute and chronic toxicity, and to submit them for listing on the Cosmetic Ingredient Fact Sheet (CFS). However, cosmetics are not required to meet the same stringent requirements as medications. One reason is that cosmetics are not regarded as drugs, thus the CFS does not require them to be tested for the presence of toxic chemicals. Another reason is that cosmetics are considered to be consumer products, and therefore the testing for chemicals is not considered mandatory.
There is some good news, however. The U.S. FDA and European Union began collaborating in 2021 to address the issue of cosmetics chemical hazards. Through the European Union, cosmetic companies will have to list all of their ingredients on the label, and only a small percentage of these ingredients will need to be tested for toxins and carcinogens. While this is a step in the right direction, there are still many chemicals and ingredients in U.S. cosmetics products that haven’t been tested for safety or effectiveness.
When it comes to cosmetics, the bottom line is that you really don’t know what you are buying. While most companies claim that their products are “natural” and “safe”, nothing could be farther from the truth. By using common sense and paying attention to the warning labels on the packaging, you can easily avoid a disastrous allergic reaction. But if you do decide to use an item, remember that natural and therapeutic effect creams should be used cautiously.