Beauty products could contain toxins, carcinogens

Personal Care and Safety Act could reform the industry


photo or infographic by Alyssa Beaulac on DALL-E

PRETTY OR POISION? Beauty products are not always safe, and there is not much the government can do about it.

Women have been using products to alter their appearances dating back to before 4000 BCE. Society has made wearing makeup and using all kinds of products the beauty standard, leaving self image and self confidence to rely on unnatural chemicals and toxins.

Over the years there have been so many changes to businesses, but one thing that hasn’t changed in the last 80 years is the regulations about what can and can’t go into self care products. The current law only requires the color additives of cosmetics to have FDA approval. It does not require cosmetic products and ingredients approval before they go on the market.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins have long advocated for the removal of toxins in makeup, lotions and hair products. Because they are not meant for human consumption, the products are not regulated by a federal agency such as the FDA. They are supporting  the Personal Care Products Safety Act., a bipartisan bill addressing necessary reform for the health and beauty industry.

“It is just as essential to regulate the harmful chemicals that are in beauty products as food that we consume,” senior Emily Alexander said. 

Because businesses are not required to test their products for safety before putting them out on the shelves, there are toxic chemicals like asbestos in children’s makeup, and most hair smoothing or straightening products release formaldehyde gas, which can all cause long term health problems.

“I love the polar bears,” freshman Madison Mae Bratton said. “I only ever use plant based and organic products to keep the hash chemicals off my skin and out of the air we breathe.”

There are a lot of products with parabens in them. These chemicals have been linked to diminish fertility, lower thyroid levels and lead to reproductive problems.

“I think that on the products they sell they should have to clarify all the effects the ingredients can cause,” junior Karley Frazier said. “If these chemicals can cause women to not be able to have kids or have their kids born with disabilities they should at least know what is causing it.” 

Using all different types of beauty products are in most women’s everyday routines. Without regulations on what goes in the products, these women are putting chemicals, that could be life threatening, on every single day. 

 “The unnatural chemicals and toxins in certain products that we use can have so many different bad effects,” senior Emma Atkinson said. “All because we want to fit into today’s beauty standard society has set. I feel the beauty standard should be whatever we want as long as we love ourselves and have confidence, that’s for men and women.”