To Your Health
October, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 10)
Cause for Concern
How Safe Are Your Favorite Skin Care Products?
By Christine H. Farlow, DC
Every day, we slather lotions, creams and other products on our bodies in the name of better health and vitality. But have you ever looked at the ingredients in these products? Do you know whether they're safe? Recent studies suggest we should probably be taking a closer look at what's in those bottles.
Manufacturers put pretty labels on packages to make them look fresh, natural and healthy because there's a growing consumer demand for healthy, natural products. More and more manufacturers are claiming their products are all natural and pure with no harmful ingredients. Can you believe what these companies are saying about their products?
A lot of companies want a piece of the natural and organic pie. But not all of these companies are willing to go the distance to create products that are truly all natural with only healthy ingredients. That's unfortunate, particularly for the uninformed consumer who buys them.
How Natural Is Natural?
How do you know who to believe and who not to believe? How do you know who to trust? Until recently, there were no organic standards for cosmetics and personal care products in the U.S. A few companies manufactured their products according to the National Organic Program criteria, the standards for organic food. This was the only way to label their products as "Certified Organic."
Cancer-causing contaminants have been found recently in personal care products claiming to be organic. However, there was not a trace of carcinogen detected in the "Certified Organic" products evaluated. The chemical, 1,4-dioxane, is the contaminant in question, commonly found in many synthetic ingredients frequently used by the cosmetic and personal care product industry.
The study, commissioned by the Organic Consumer's Association, brings to light a serious problem rampant throughout the cosmetic and personal care product industry in the U.S. The industry is unregulated. Manufacturers are not accountable to any regulating body for the quality or safety of the ingredients they use in their products.
It is up to you, the consumer, to make sure the products you buy are safe and healthy to use. This may seem like a daunting, nearly impossible task for the ordinary person, but it's easy if you have the right tools.