True Beauty: Cosmetics Companies Ban Chemicals, Disclose Ingredients
Natural cosmetics, free of the most harmful chemicals, are the fastest growing segment of the $50 billion cosmetics industry, according to a report released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The report—the culmination of a seven-year effort to raise the bar for safer personal care products—states that 321 cosmetics companies have removed chemicals banned by health agencies outside the United States and are fully disclosing product ingredients. That’s positively pioneering in the cosmetics industry. An additional 111 companies made significant progress toward those goals.
“These companies have truly broken the mold,” says Janet Nudelman, program director of the Breast Cancer Fund, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “They are leading the cosmetics industry toward safety, showing it’s possible to make products with full transparency and without using hazardous chemicals.”
More than 1,500 companies have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics since its inception in 2004, and researchers at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database developed tools for tracking each company’s compliance. By fulfilling the compact’s goals, 321 companies achieved “Champion” status. An additional 111 companies were named “Innovators” for getting close.
The Champions are demonstrating best practices by:
- Making effective products without using ingredients prohibited for use in cosmetics in other countries.
- Disclosing all ingredients, including those that make up “fragrance.”
- Working with nonprofit health groups to increase market demand for safe, sustainable products and practices.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics will continue to advocate for safe, healthy products by working with companies in the new Safe Cosmetics Business Network and by working with voters and Congressional leaders to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act, which will update cosmetics regulations—dating to 1938–that fail to protect health.
“The Campaign wants to underscore that in the absence of adequate government oversight of cosmetics to ensure their safety and full ingredient disclosure, consumers must remain vigilant about researching product safety and asking companies questions about ingredients and transparency,” the report states. “As always, we recommend that consumers read ingredient labels, avoid undisclosed ‘fragrance’ and other proprietary ingredients, and check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, the world’s largest personal care product safety guide, for scores on particular products and companies to determine the safest choices.”
For more information: www.safecosmetics.org/businessnetwork.
As companies rush to meet consumer demand, natural cosmetics free of the most harmful chemicals are more readily available.