As I’ve learned more and more about the unsafe products we put on our bodies and the lack of regulation in the beauty and skincare industry, the more and more surprised I am at how much of the horrible ingredients are continued to be used without the general consumer’s (moms, daughters, friends, grandmothers, etc) knowledge. Did you know that many color cosmetics contain heavy metals? Yes, heavy metals. These heavy metals are contaminants that tag along with both mineral and synthetic ingredients used to impart color. The biggest culprit is the heavy metal you’ve heard about the most. It was removed from gasoline and house paint in the 1970s, which was a great victory for public health: As lead levels in our bodies went down, kids’ IQs went up and violent crime dropped. Currently, the FDA does not have limits for heavy metal contaminants in color cosmetics and companies are not required to test for them. Shockingly, this means that companies with high levels of metals are not breaking the law.
As many of you know, I work for a company called Beautycounter, and we test every single batch of every single product to ensure that heavy metal levels are undetectable. We needed to define our own allowable limits of heavy metal levels in order to institute a standard that would be mindful of consumers’ health and keep this issue front and center for suppliers, formulators, and ourselves. We wanted these levels to be as health-conscious and protective as possible—but not so strict that they were unattainable and therefore would prevent us from bringing our color cosmetics to market. This is unprecedented in the cosmetics industry.
I am so passionate about the work I do for Beautycounter because I feel like I can truly make a difference in the lives of others by first educating about safer beauty and skincare products, and then by helping get those products into the hands of others. Think about the types of things you are putting on your face as you get ready each morning and switch to safer!