Kimberly OrtizMs. BarrackWriting 10111 December 2017How Safe Are Your Cosmetics? Not many people realize the amount of chemicals they put onto their skins. From daily moisturizers to branded makeup we include them in our daily routine. According to Katherine Harmon,”cosmetics have been around for thousands of years. Ancient Egypt and Roman women famously caked on lead based foundation.(Lead, a metal, can cause nerve, muscle and organ damage.)”(2) Many men and women expose themselves to 168 chemical ingredients on a daily basis not knowing the harmful effects these chemicals do to their bodies. In any event, exposure to harmful chemicals can lead to adverse effects in the body prolonging to certain cancers, which is why consumers should be more informed and educated about their products. It comes as a shock to many consumers when they learn about the ingredients that they are exposing themselves to voluntarily. According to Heather White,”many Americans are surprised to learn that the ingredients in their makeup, shampoo, and body lotion are largely unregulated and, in some cases, harmful to their health.”(1) For example, many consumers that purchase branded cosmetic products remain unknowledgable of the ingredients that’s labeled on the product. It is amazing how we as people, who are precautious about everything else, are not that cautious when it comes to cosmetics as much as we should be. Debevec stated,”Existing evidence also shows that perceptions of the body and physical appearance influence people’s behaviour in their role as consumer.” (2) We,as the consumers, rely too much on these products because we wish to achieve their promising results. Granted if Americans were to gain more knowledge of the product they will make better choices for their skin and health. Makeup not only affects our health, but it also affects our employment. As stated by Christie Wilcox, “Waitresses wearing makeup also earn higher tips from male clientele.”(2) Society has influenced women to wearing makeup by giving those who wear makeup a better tip versus someone who doesn’t wear makeup. Women have been starting to get accustomed to wearing making daily to better their looks because of some judgemental people in this world. Studies show that guys conjecture women who wear makeup as intelligent, secure, interesting, and organized. However, there have been many women, such as Shailene Woodley, who are very intelligent and beautiful women. Attractive individuals earn roughly 20% more than people of average attractiveness. Makeup has even affected the competition in the work field unfairly. Women are now encouraged to wear makeup in order to improve their chances of getting a job. This kind of encouragement unconsciously forces them to not read the ingredients in cosmetics. Products, such as shampoo and soap, are now to be questioned too because of many unfortunate cases. Dianne Feinstein states,”Last year, we heard about WEN shampoo, a product that was causing significant hair loss.” For example, this shampoo has affected many children, including a little girl named Eliana who lost all of her hair due to using this shampoo. However, the worst part is that the company has already received more than 20,000 reports similar to this scenario. Children shouldn’t go through these kind of effects like guinea pigs for any product. Fortunately, the FDA has begun investigating the claims of the victims, but they haven’t determined the leading cause of these horrific, tragic events. They are currently gathering data from the WEN company to solve this situation. Research has been made due to the fact that these incidents that are affecting so many people’s health. EWG’s Skin Deep says,”scientists from the University of Rochester reported that prenatal exposure to phthalates- chemicals found in personal care products and other consumer products-could cause the reproductive organs of male infants to develop abnormally.” Not only do they affect us from the outside, but they are also affecting us internally. The chemicals found in healthcare products can affect children’s hormone systems in a negative way. Studies show that “research have reported associations between exposure to DEP and earlier breast and pubic hair development in girls, and neurobehavioral issues in school age boys.”( ) To avoid such scenarios, consumers should read and understand the products that are being put into these products. Health is society’s number one priority and if unrevised products continue to release, there will soon be an overflow of affected individuals because of cosmetics. According to Nakissa Sadrieh,” The dose, the route of exposure, and the biological susceptibility of individuals are some of the key factors that influence the safety of a specific ingredient in a cosmetic product.”( ) Companies are trying to put the blame on the consumer whether they use too much of product or just that the individual’s body can’t handle the chemicals. The truth is that the companies are not carefully producing the product because of competition with other companies to come up with a new innovating product that will appeal to consumers. Deadlines also lead to the producers mind to rush with their product which involves them mixing chemicals that they assume will be efficient.The chemicals in everyday products not only affect the consumer, but it also affects the wildlife too. It is affecting our world! The hormone systems of the wildlife are thrown off due to the chemicals that are rinsed down drains and into rivers. Personal care products contain 10,500 unique chemicals, which can be toxic to the reproductive system and toxic to the the wildlife. These toxins can be the reason for some of the species in the wildlife going extinct. According to reports,”makeup, shampoo, skin lotion, nail polish, and other personal care products contain chemical ingredients that lack safety data.” ( ) Because of the lack of safety data, the chemicals can become a threat or poison for the wildlife. The high solubility of personal care products, aquatic organisms are vulnerable to their effects. For example, antidepressants that are found in frogs affect their growth development significantly. Estrogen and other hormones,due to birth control and hormone therapies, that are present in wastewater increase feminization of fish and other aquatic organisms that are exposed to them; in addition, the hormones affect their reproductive rates. Not only do the companies have to be careful affecting the consumer but they also have to be aware the wildlife will be affected too. According to advocacy groups,”Maintain the chemicals of concern are bad news and that current regulations, which have changed little since 1938, are insufficient to protect consumers.” (2) Cosmetics are not FDA approved; however, they are FDA regulated which under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The kinds of products that are under this law are any product that is rubbed, sprinkled, poured, sprayed, or in any way applied onto the human body. According to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors at the Federal Food and Drug Administration, “a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without any approval from FDA.”(1) In addition, the FDA does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with the FDA. The FDA,however, advised manufacturers to use whatever testing that is necessary to ensure the safety of their products and ingredients. Jahagirdar states, “Chemical policy requires chemical manufacturers to test their chemicals before they are released into the market and provide the public with the tools that it needs to protect itself from potential dangerous impacts.”(2) In other words, we should be supplied with an “emergency kit” if anything wrong were to happen while using any cosmetic. However, not many companies follow with that guideline, that can actually be beneficial for the public.Little power is given to the FDA when it comes to cosmetics which makes the cosmetic companies more dominant.Labeling the products of cosmetics is very important and beneficial for the consumer. Majority of the consumer do not know what their products are made up of which can be dangerous because the consumer won’t know if they are allergic to the ingredients. The FDA is only allowed to inspect cosmetic manufacturing facilities to assure cosmetic safety and determine whether cosmetics are misbranded or degraded under the FD Act. If a product is misbranded or in violation of this law, the FDA can take action against it. For example, “The FDA concluded that carmine,an extract from insects used as coloring in some makeup and food, was a common allergen. As a result it ruled that beginning next year carmine must be listed as an ingredient rather than simply as “color added” on cosmetic and food labels.” This is start for labeling ingredients because the consumer should know where their products’ ingredients are coming from. The ingredients should be broken down for the consumer because many of the chemicals are foreign to many users. Animal testing have played a big role,unfortunately, when testing cosmetics for safety. Marian Stanley states, “Some of these are based on high dose animal testing. The exposure that we really see in people -and we have the CDC numbers to back that up-is remarkably low. To us why bother getting rid of highly useful products when there should be no concern.”(2) Cosmetics should be tested on people who are willing to do it knowing that there will be surprising results. Humans are the only ones using the cosmetics, therefore they shouldn’t be tested on animals. Maybe that is why there are some horrible outcomes because we do not have the same anatomy as other animals. Some chemicals might not affect an animal, but it may affect a person in an unimaginable way.In conclusion, cosmetics should be more enforced when testing and combining chemicals before releasing to the public. In addition, the consumer should do some research before purchasing a product. Cosmetics have had a tremendous impact in our lives and the lives of the wildlife. Companies should be more cautious when producing a product that a consumer will rely on and add it to their daily routine. If the cosmetic companies’ intentions are to better our lives with such wonderful products, then they should triple check their work before releasing to the world.