It’s no news to us that many of our beauty and personal care products may not necessarily be the safest. Unless we’re using specifically natural and organic skin care and cosmetics (which can be pricey), it’s possible that looming in that 99 percent unpronounceable ingredient list are irritants, toxins, and even carcinogens.
Two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, are hoping to change this, and have proposed a new bill that will call for new regulations in the industry. The Personal Care Products Safety Act serves to “amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safety of cosmetics.”
The new bill would basically give the FDA much more control over how safe our beauty products are; this is important to note, being that now, the FDA doesn’t even approve cosmetics before they go to market, except for color additives. The only regulation they have, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, prohibits “adulterated or misbranded” cosmetics from being sold. Even product recalls on hazardous chemicals are simply “voluntary,” which is pretty scary.
The lengthy proposal covers topics such as the review of ingredients and non-functional constituents, animal testing alternatives, and good manufacturing practices. According to The Cut, if it’s passed, it would require the FDA to evaluate at least five ingredients per year for safety, allow them to order recalls of questionable products, and would require complete ingredient list information to be available on packaging and online for all products (which we hope would solve the mystery of what “fragrance” really means).
Feinstein told The Cut, “From shampoo to lotion everyone—women, men, children—uses personal-care products every day. Despite the universal use of these products, none of their ingredients have been independently evaluated for safety. This puts consumers’ health at risk and we urgently need to update the nearly 80-year-old safety rules.” They also reported that though the bill was just introduced yesterday, they already have support from some of the biggest cosmetic and personal care corporations, from Estée Lauder and L’Oréal to Johnson & Johnson and Unilever.
Even with major players in the industry on board, the bill still needs to pass in order for changes to take place. We're crossing our fingers.