• Laurel Contributor

The Skinny on Skin Care

by Carolyn Long

Just how safe are your personal care products? There’s a lot of mystery in the Beauty and Skincare Aisles.

Imagine, it’s your average morning.

You shower, brush your teeth, shave, put on your makeup, off you go! We all do it, and most of us do not realize the damage we could be doing to our bodies.

The average woman uses 12 products on her body daily, which can translate to over 168 chemicals being put onto, and into your body. Our skin is our largest organ and everything we put onto it matters.

The skincare industry in the United States is grossly behind other countries, with the European Union banning just over 1,500 chemicals they will not allow in their skincare products, while the US chimes in with a startling 30.

A law regarding the skincare industry has not been passed in the US since 1938. And while the Food and Drug Administration has the ability to recall foods and medicines that are found harmful to individuals, there is no such recourse where the personal care industry is concerned. There just are no laws.

I know we all have had those moments of standing in the aisle of our favorite store, trying to decipher the lengthy list of ingredients on the back of our favorite products. It’s just mind-boggling, words like sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and methyl-parabens, DBP, and on and on. The skincare industry is one of the places I thought, (as do so many others) is safe, is being monitored.

As long as I’m buying “organic” and “natural” products, I’m making the best decisions for myself and my family, right?

Unfortunately there is still so much room for growth, improvement and regulation in this area.

A new law, The Personal Care Products Safety Act, was introduced this year by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Its intended purpose is to strengthen the laws surrounding personal care products. We trust that our products are safe, and the reality is that they are not. Most of the ingredients we put on our skin, and our children’s skin has never been tested.

How do we change this? We speak out, we write to our elected officials, we vote with our dollars.

I want to live in a world where my children and generations to come don’t have to worry about the ingredients in their products. Don’t you?

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