When you look at all the skin products you use daily, does it happen to be confused and overwhelmed by all those chemical names, one more difficult to pronounce than another? Why so many loopholes in the cosmetic industry? Thought that Health Canada is more restrictive and more careful than other countries, like the USA when approving products? Why do so many skin care products contain potentially harmful ingredients: like sulfates, parabens, Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), Peg’s and other toxic things? What about the environment? Do these toxic elements impact it or not?
In this post we will answer all these questions and much more. As a bonus, you will also get a bunch of tips and tricks that will help you be an informed and smart consumer. You will be able to analyse the labels of all your bathroom products. Know their effects on your health and on the environment. Don’t let the cosmetic industry deceive you and harm your health.
Let’s dig into it.
First, let’s glance into some of the Health Canada regulations related to skin care products. When it is about your safety you can’t really trust the cosmetic industry. The cosmetic regulations contain many loopholes. Unfortunately, many consumers think that just because a product is on a shelf, they are safe to use. The government will protect our health. Many cosmetic manufacturers try to keep their consumers in the dark, so they don’t have any clue about all the ingredients included in their products. As we will see, cosmetics and skin care products are a major source of daily chemical exposure. We are already exposed to an incredible cocktail of toxins since we are born.
Let’s first look to coal tar, used extensively in hair dyes, shampoo and lotion. It’s not just an ingredient, it’s more like a mixture of hundreds of components. As you already know, it’s a by-product of the coal burning process, a human carcinogen and clearly you don’t want it on your hair, or even less on your skin. Despite all the links between coal tar and cancer, Health Canada still considers it only as “restricted ingredients”, and includes some warnings related to eyes and skin irritation while still permits its use. The hotlist with all the prohibited and restricted ingredients formulated by Health Canada is not “exhaustive”. Moreover, it is “the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that the products meet the requirements for the Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetic Regulations”.
There is also a post-market notification, which means that the manufacturer can put a product on the shelf and only 10 days later to notify Health Canada about the ingredients included in their product.
Another loophole in the cosmetic regulations is the way the by-products and manufacturer waste is disclosed, or better said the lack of it. As many people use skin products daily, the amount of these harmful by-products can accumulate and become in time a threat to their health. Individual chemicals are tested and analyzed, but almost never, their cumulative effect on the body, and even less on the environment. The hotlist mentioned above disclosed include almost 2000 ingredients. So, the golden rule when choosing a skin product: look to those international certifications like EcoCert, that clearly protect much more their consumers.
What about the “hypoallergenic” term? Is there any compulsory testing needed in order for a company to prove this claim? Not really. So, what is your solution? Be an informed consumer, read carefully the labels of all the products you buy, including those you use for your skin. Also, look to the most trusted certifications and buy as much as possible environmental friendly products.
Today, let’s look to another quite harmful ingredient found in 95% of all foaming skin products: Sodium lauryl or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). They are breaking down your skin’s moisture barrier, allowing easy access to many other chemicals. Together with other toxins it’s becoming a potent carcinogen. If you want dry skin and premature aging, then you found your perfect ingredient. To learn more read the PubMed study “Quantification of sodium lauryl sulfate penetration into the skin and underlying tissue after topical application–pharmacological and toxicological implications”.
In conclusion, get informed. Read the labels. Choose Ecocert certified product and verify if product is in fact listed as a licenced and certified Organic by Ecocert cosmos organic formulation and packaging is therefore recyclable, Ecocert Cosmos Organic products are a trusted international certification in terms of safety and environmental friendly. Avoid the most harmful ingredients used in cosmetics. Be aware of the loopholes in cosmetic regulations. Don’t let yourself mislead by products labelled “green”, or “non-toxic”, or “healthy”. These are often full of harmful ingredients. Check their organic international recognized certifications. These are difficult to obtain and demand rigorous testing and strict regulations.