When did buying and using beauty products become so complicated and perhaps even scary? It used to be that we’d slather on creams, style our hair, and paint our nails with nary a thought about whether the products were safe. Of course, they were safe, right? Why else would they be on the market?
Sadly, while technology has advanced, so has our risk. Years ago we used to innocently joke about tolerating a little suffering for the sake of beauty. Somehow that has now taken on a whole new meaning. Today it seems to be increasingly challenging to know what is safe and what is not. How far do we push the envelope and how much do we accept questionable ingredients? And, are we overreacting? With all the research I have been doing I can tell you that it is crazy making trying to figure it all out.
Short of moving to the wilderness and forgoing all modern luxuries, how does one deal with the concerns? Let’s look at one area of the beauty industry that has been targeted for using suspected toxic chemicals. You would think the smell alone would tell us something. I’m talking about nail polish. Three key ingredients have been targeted as potentially toxic. They are formaldehyde (a suspected carcinogen), toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP – a hormone disrupter). (We have heard a lot lately about phthalates in children’s toys, so you might recognize the word. Its purpose in nail polish is to make it last longer.)
What many women do not know is that according to the Environmental Working Group, “although nail polishes must be approved by the FDA, laws do not require cosmetics companies to prove that products are safe before putting them on the market.” This leaves it up to individuals to determine what they will and will not put on their bodies. For more information from the EWG about nail polishes and DBP, in particular, go to www.ewg.org.
More and more companies are removing DBP from their polishes but not all are cooperating. The last time I did my nails I took a look at the ingredients. My “Golden Rule” OPI nail polish contains DBP. For more information go to www.safecomestics.org. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has done massive amounts of research and has worked with companies to make products safer and to provide the public with information so we can make an informed decision. Unfortunately, some of the larger, better known companies are refusing to cooperate and have a big part of the market share. We can change that.
How will these missing ingredients affect the results? If you have used or are using any of these products, I would love to hear your feedback.
“I love my palette and am having so much fun with it. I feel it’s much easier now to pick out what to wear!” ”