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Make-up and body care products have been linked to allergic reactions, birth defects, and even cancer. Here's what you need to know.

Suzanne Anich of Minneapolis, MN, has a morning routine similar to that of many women. She shampoos and conditions her hair with products that contain “natural ingredients,” according to the labels. She brushes her teeth, then washes her face with an upscale facial wash with the word “purity” emblazoned across the jar. Then, she applies an anti-aging moisturizer and what she calls a “low-maintenance” selection of makeup.
Suzanne was surprised to find out that nearly all of the personal care products she uses on her face and body contain ingredients suspected of causing cancer; potential neuro-, liver-, and immunotoxins; and suspected hormone disruptors that could cause birth defects in any children she might bear in the future.
“I’m shocked that the US government allows these products to be put on store shelves,” Suzanne says. “I’ll be throwing out most of my make-up and starting over. It’s too bad, because the stuff I used seemed to work well—too bad the people who make them don’t seem to care about their customers’ well-being.”
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find products that won’t endanger your health—and companies that do care about their customers’ well-being. Here’s what you need to know about the personal care products you may be using and what your alternatives are.
Regulated or Not?
Like Suzanne, many consumers may be surprised to learn that the US federal government doesn’t require health studies or pre-market testing on personal care products. Manufacturers are free to put just about anything they want into cosmetics—a far-reaching category used by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include everything from make-up and deodorant to lotions and mouthwashes.
Instead, the safety (or not) of the ingredients in these products is looked into almost exclusively by a manufacturer-controlled safety committee called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel. Consequently, “89 percent of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, nor any other publicly accountable institution,” says the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG). “The absence of government oversight for this $35 billion industry leads to companies routinely marketing products with ingredients that are poorly studied, not studied at all, or worse, known to pose potentially serious health risks.”
For example, EWG found ingredients certified by the US government as “known or probable carcinogens” in one of every 120 cosmetic products on the market, including shampoos, lotions, make up foundations, and lip balm. What this adds up to, says the group, is that “one of every 13 women
and one of every 23 men are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.”
Also of particular concern are the inclusion of phthalates—a group of industrial chemicals linked to birth defects that are used in many cosmetic products, from nail polish to deodorant. Phthalates are not listed as ingredients on product labels; they can only be detected through laboratory analysis. In April of this year, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC)—a coalition of environmental, social justice, and consumer groups—learned that the FDA has completed a study on the safety of phthalates in cosmetics but is refusing to release its findings. According to preliminary information uncovered by the CSC, two-thirds of health and beauty products analyzed by the FDA late last year contained phthalates. Two of the most toxic phthalates, DBP and DEHP, have been banned from cosmetics products sold in the European Union (EU) but remain unregulated in the US. In response to the FDA’s refusal to publicly release this information, Friends of the Earth, a founding member of the CSC, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the study.
Another class of chemicals that’s gotten some press recently is parabens, short for “para hydroxybenzoate.” These preservatives are widely used in cosmetics, particularly nail polish. Recent studies have implicated parabens as being associated with breast cancer, though more testing is needed.
Though there isn’t always definitive evidence that a given chemical can cause adverse health affects, the fact that so few have been studied for safety is of significant concern. Plus, there’s the effect over time of all these chemicals we’re applying to our bodies to consider. The average person’s morning routine puts him/her into contact with over 100 chemicals before breakfast, according to Aubrey Hampton and Susan Hussey, founder and vice-president of marketing, respectively, of Aubrey Organics. The cumulative effect of all of the chemicals in these products can add up over time, and no one truly knows what the results are.

Facial Detoxification

The nature's way to detoxification. The Collagen Purifying Mask can manage to remove dirt and pore blocking substances from skin pores, enable them to breath naturally once more.

Cleanse, smooth, firm up and rejuvenate skins and complextion.

Wash face with Pearl Cleansing Cream.
Add one scope of Collagen Purifying Powder into bowl and mixed evenly with 4 pumps of Harmonic Solution.
Spread the solution mixture on face, avoiding eyes and facial hair.
Layer the Fiber Paper Mask onto face and add another layer of solution mixture on top of the mask.
Leave the mask on for 15 minutes or until dry.
Peel the mask and wash face with clean water.

1. Collagen Purifying Powder (30g)
2. Harmonic Solution (100ml)
3. Pearl Cleansing Cream (50ml)
4. Fiber Paper Mask (30 pcs)
5. Brush
6. Bowl

The Healthy Foundation

The Natural Radiant Cream contains natural pearl powder which gives a shimmering and healthy glow to the face.

Natural Radiant Cream is a foundation for make-up and it also adds an extra brightening effect to the face.

Disperse a generous volume and apply onto face evenly.


Refill Pack

Fiber Paper Mask act as the foundation for Collagen Purifying Mask, allowing the Collagen Purifying Powder and dirt to stick on it and be removed after a session of Collagen Purifying Mask.

After applying an even layer of Collagen Purifying Powder-Harmonic Solution mixture on face, apply the paper on the face and then apply another layer of Collagen Purifying Powder-Harmonic Solution mixture. Gently remove from face after dry.

10 sets