4 Alarming Facts About Skincare And Beauty Products

Dec 30, 2019

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Last updated on March 29th, 2023 at 01:27 pm

The more I learn and research, the more shocked I am at how “not so glamorous” the skincare industry is – and that they are getting away with it.  I have learned so much from Beautycounter and their education on safer skincare.  So I am sharing a few alarming facts about skincare and beauty products.  This information will empower you to make better choices for yourself and your family.

Since making this straightforward change, I have seen the real effects of switching to safer skincare and beauty products on my whole family’s mental, skin, and overall health.  It is a simple but powerful step to improve your quality of life.

Facts and statistics can be so frightening and even intimidating.  Still, they also provide knowledge and some wisdom that we all need to consciously, mindfully, and intentionally make better choices for ourselves and our families – especially our daughters.


4 Alarming facts about skincare and beauty products:

1.  The United States has banned only 30 ingredients from skincare and makeup.  In contrast, the EU has banned more than 1,400 harmful ingredients.

Having lived in Europe for about seven years, this is entirely true.  I loved shopping in European stores because I didn’t have to worry as much about what would be in the products.  For example, it is much easier to find, say, soap or lotion that is fragrance, paraben, and SLS-free in a traditional European store.  On the other hand, I have to go to a health food store in the US to find something similar.

The European Union (EU) and other countries have banned harmful ingredients such as formaldehyde, fragrance, and phthalates.  However, these ingredients are still very present in products in the United States.  Why are these ingredients considered harmful?  Because they are endocrine disruptors, they mimic our hormones and therefore cause imbalances in the body which causes health issues down the road.  We also come in contact with these products daily.

2.  Black, indigenous women of color and teenagers are exposed to more chemicals than the rest of society.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) article confirms that females of color are exposed to more toxic chemicals.  Beautycounter also confirms this and is working hard to change the status quo.  It is known that women and young women from ethnic origins use more products, especially in the hair care and makeup department.  Therefore, they are more exposed to all these toxic chemicals.

Teenage girls are also sadly using beauty products in alarming amounts to keep up with the “standard” set by society.  These toxic chemicals are even more harmful to their bodies and hormones since they are still developing and maturing.

Most people won’t admit (or think about this topic and the fact that it is a significant problem) – but studies have been done to track chemical exposure in teenage girls after switching to safer skincare and makeup alternatives.  To no surprise, the chemical exposure in their bodies dropped significantly.  This simple step does matter.


3.  Companies can legally hide hundreds (and thousands) of chemicals under the trade secret “fragrance.”

Thousands of ingredients can be hidden under the term “fragrance.” Since these are considered trade secrets, the manufacturers are not required to list any harmful ingredients on the labels or on their websites.  Can someone explain to me how it is legal, and how can someone do this in good conscience?  Hundreds and hundreds of toxic ingredients are being developed and created yearly and added to the already long list, so this problem will most likely worsen.

So what is the deal with fragrance?  It can cause a significant disruption in hormones and the brain – especially in a fetus during pregnancy, a newborn baby, or a developing child – and can also cause other health concerns like asthma, respiratory issues, and allergies.

If this is all so overwhelming to you, start here.  Commit to buying fragrance-free products.

4.  Tests found over 287 synthetic chemicals in a newborn’s umbilical cord.

The studies I found are from around 2005-2009, so I am confident it has progressively worsened.  More than 180 of these synthetic chemicals are known or potential carcinogens (cancer-causing) in humans and animals, and 208 of them can cause congenital disabilities or developmental problems (hello, “common” behavioral issues – ADHD, autism, etc.).  Most are toxic to the brain and nervous system.  When babies are in utero, they grow rapidly and quickly, creating new DNA cells.  This is the phase where toxins have the most potential to do much damage.  Therefore, there should be more advocacy and education around preconception prep.

These alarming facts about skincare and beauty products can be pretty frustrating because it is one more thing to add to a long list of to-dos.  Switching to safer products can be overwhelming initially, and all the greenwashing, fancy branding, and big words don’t help.  Just remember that a small step is better than no steps at all.

An excellent place to start is simply switching out products that sit on your skin for most of the day – think deodorant, lotion, foundation, etc.

My favorite safer skincare brands are BeautycounterNeil’s Yard Remedies, and Primally Pure.


Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is for educational purposes only.


Use code “CLEANFORALL20” at checkout to save 20% off your first order at Beautycounter!


Use code “NURTUREMEWILD” at checkout to save 10% off all your orders at Primally Pure!


Use code “NEWNYR20” at checkout to save 20% off your first order at Neil’s Yard Remedies!



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