Lancôme promises that Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate will “Recapture the skin you were born to have.” Estee Lauder boasts their Advanced Night Repair will allow you to “Wake up beautiful – Everyday.” But what these cosmetics companies aren’t telling customers is what they are filling the jars with to give them that lovely, fresh-faced glow, and luscious locks they are all searching for. Lets face it, we live in a society where we are in a perpetual race to find the next best thing when it comes to beauty products. Preserving our youthful appearance has no price and the cosmetics companies know that. The problem is, very few of us are taking the time to question what we are putting on our skin, nails, and/or hair.
In the United States, the Federal Drug Administration does not monitor what ingredients are used in cosmetics. In fact, the United States allows cosmetics companies to use many of the products other nations have long since banned. The European Union has banned over 1,300 ingredients whereas the United States has banned only 10. What’s scarier is that there are chemicals in our cosmetics that are known to cause allergies, immunotoxicities, developmental & reproductive toxicity, and cancer. Yes, I said it, CANCER. Brazilian Keratin treatments are loaded with Formaldehyde, you know that liquid they use to embalm dead bodies? Sadly, these chemicals aren’t limited to products for adults. A number of skin care products marketed for babies as “Soothing” and “Fragrance Free” have a slew of chemicals known to cause cancer.
Genifique contains PEG-20, PEG-60, and Fragrance. Compounds with the syllables PEG are linked to cancer due to the fact that they need to be mixed with ethylene oxide-which happens to be a mammary carcinogen. Estee Lauder also has questionable chemicals in their products, Advanced Night Repair alone has five chemicals linked to a variety of health problems ranging from organ toxicity to cancer – PEG-75, Retinyl Palmitate, BHT, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, and BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane.
What might be most disturbing is Estee Lauder puts chemicals in their products known to cause cancer yet they have been in the forefront of breast cancer research. Millions of dollars have been raised through the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Research Foundation. If that doesn’t scream “dirty strategic target marketing” I don’t know what does.
So what can you do to make smart choices when it comes to beauty products? It’s simple, there are various free apps and websites that provide information on what products are safe. Think Dirty and Skin Deep are two great applications you can get on your smartphone that will allow you to scan barcodes or search their databases to find out if your beauty products are really safe. If your product is not in the database you can submit the information so they can update their data. You can also visit SafeCosmetics.org to read up on the newest scientific findings. If you are disturbed by the fact that Estee Lauder is using dangerous chemicals in their products voice your opinion, sign the petition and help make a difference.
We all want to look and feel our best but it is about time we think about what we are doing to our bodies. What good is healthy eating and exercise if we are dousing our hair with embalming fluid and rubbing cancer causing chemicals on our crows feet?