The EU Banned 1328 Chemicals from Cosmetics but the US Banned Only 30

Known human carcinogens in US cosmetics? Luckily our collection is packed with safe and gorgeous alternatives!

Posted on May 3, 2018
Written by: 100% PURE®

How often have you looked at the ingredients label for a skin care or makeup product and was baffled by how to pronounce the crazy long names? They’re usually the names of chemicals that have been mixed together for the formula, and it’s hard to tell what exactly they’re made of straight from the ingredients label, or what they do to you. If you read our recent blog on chemicals to watch out for in makeup, you’ll know that most of the time, they cause way more harm than good. If you weren’t convinced yet, what about the fact that as of 2009, the EU has banned 1328 chemicals from being put into their cosmetics? In contrast, as of 2018, the US has banned only 30. Now if you’re saying to yourself, “no way would the U.S. be that behind,” we totally understand because we did too. Luckily 100% PURE is ahead of the game – we use natural and healthful alternatives to the bad guys that should be busted. Here’s what we’re using instead to help nourish rather than damage your skin.

Talc vs. Rice Powder

We wanted to get a better grasp on what’s going on and why the US isn’t stepping up. Throughout our research we’ve found that the biggest difference between the EU and US is that the EU bans chemicals in a way that is preventative. They begin taking measures to ban a chemical as soon as there is evidence of its harm. The US on the other hand has a higher expectation of evidence showing the harm of the chemical before they put any regulations on it. This obviously can take time and can be difficult to produce, thus limiting their ability to begin shutting its use down before it’s way too late. We at 100% PURE believe that if a chemical shows any amount of harm to people it shouldn’t be used (duh), especially given that cosmetic products come in direct contact with our skin.

 A strong example of how the US fails to take action against toxins in our cosmetics is in the case of talc. Its soft texture and ability to absorb moisture make it a popular ingredient to use in conventional cosmetic products. But these perks come with a huge dangerous downer – talc is often contaminated with asbestos, a substance that has been directed linked to causing cancer and a whole range of lung issues. The EU reacted to this link by adding talc to their no list for cosmetics. However, the US FDA can’t take action against a chemical unless they have “sound scientific data to show that it is harmful under its intended use,” even though they also say that they cannot prove that cosmetics with talc in them are completely sans asbestos! That means you could unknowingly be putting asbestos on your skin right now, but the FDA can’t do anything about it until they obtain proof – in other words, it’ll be way too late.

Coal Tar vs. Fruit Pigments

Coal tar might be the last thing you expect to be in your pretty eyeshadows, but it might be the very thing that gives them their color! Coal tar is often used in synthetic dyes to color makeup, even though it has been tested to be a known human carcinogen. Even Canada joined the EU in banning coal tar from cosmetic ingredients. We can certainly understand why, given the fact that it’s linked to cancer, allergic reactions, and several diseases and disorders. Unfortunately in the US, coal tar dyes are still allowed in your favorite makeup products. Our reaction? Why not use natural fruit pigments to color makeup instead! They provide brilliant color and nourish your skin too, as seen in our natural mascaras pigmented with berries, cocoa, and black tea.

While we all want to perhaps point fingers at the FDA, they themselves complained that they are not allowed much independence when it comes to putting regulations on cosmetics. They note that because there is no requirement for companies to report adverse side effects of products, it limits the FDA’s effectiveness as it slows the process of hearing about chemicals that are hurting people. There’s a lot more in this letter that helps shed light on how they aren’t to be solely blamed and is worth a read. Because of this, you very well may be putting formaldehyde – another known human carcinogen – on yourself while hoping to pretty up your nails. That’s right, formaldehyde can be found in conventional nail polishes! Luckily we opted out of this deadly toxin in our non-toxic nail collection that’s free of the top ten toxic ingredients found in most nail polishes.

So, if not the FDA, who? It appears Congress is partly at fault. Even though they’ve updated the FDA’s ability to regulate other type of products, they haven’t done so for cosmetics since 1938. We think that’s pretty bonkers. If Congress were to update it, companies would be required to register their products with the FDA, thereby allowing them to approve the ingredients for being safe or kick them to the curb if they aren’t. Without this in place, companies can pick and choose whatever chemicals they want in their stuff without anyone keeping an eye on it. You might be thinking to yourself that there are no safety guidelines for cosmetics, but they actually do exist, it’s just that companies aren’t legally bound to adhere to them. Sounds pretty crazy to us.

We could go on about the chemicals the US should be banning (you can read about more of them here!), but unfortunately that list goes on into the hundreds, and we shudder at how long it would take the FDA to test all of them before finally barring them from our beauty products.

Your best bet before the US steps up its game like the EU? Other than furiously reading and Googling every ingredient for every beauty product you come across, you can trust in 100% PURE. Even though regulations in the U.S. aren’t as rigorous as they should be, we made the decision to cut out toxic chemicals like the EU did. We’re always committed to bringing you the purest products and safe natural ingredients without sacrificing gorgeous results. Want to find out more about our unique fruit pigmented® technology? Learn how achiote seeds color our high pigment liquid lipsticks.