EWG

Sign up to receive email updates, action alerts, health tips, promotions to support our work and more from EWG. You can opt-out at any time. [Privacy]

 

Cosmetics

Did you know that men and babies are both frequent users of cosmetics? The legal term “cosmetics" actually encompasses a vast array of the personal care products that we use daily, such as toothpaste, body wash and shaving cream, in addition to makeup and perfumes. Men, women and children are all exposed to potentially risky chemicals in cosmetics everyday. On average, women use 12 personal care products a day, exposing themselves to 168 chemical ingredients. Men use on average 6, exposing themselves to 85 unique chemicals daily.

American families assume personal care products are regulated and the chemicals are tested, but they are not. Unfortunately, the personal care products industry remains largely unregulated. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has limited authority to regulate cosmetics, our current laws leave them powerless to screen for chemicals that have been linked to cancer, harm to the reproductive system in both men and women, and severe allergies, among other health effects. 

Americans have waited far too long for cosmetic safety reform. The Personal Care Products Safety Act would reform regulation of personal care products, requiring companies to ensure that their products are safe before marketing them and empowering the FDA with the tools it needs to protect the American public. The American people would be able to rely on the FDA to review the safety of cosmetic ingredients, in the same way that we rely on the FDA to ensure food and drug safety. 

Monday, February 4, 2008

EWG's response to a study appearing today in the journal Pediatrics showing for the first time that infants are exposed to potent reproductive toxins called phthalates from everyday baby products, including shampoo, lotion, and powder.

Read More
News Release
Friday, February 1, 2008

EWG urged the California Air Resources Board to set strict, health-based standards for cleaning products, cosmetics and other consumer goods.

Read More
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

 

 

To the National Research Council
Committee on the Health Risks of Phthalates

Download PDF

December 18, 2007

Read More
Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, November 26, 2007

EWG's comments to FDA regarding its 2007 draft sunscreen rules.

Read More
Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

 

Download this letter and its attachments as a PDF.

September 26, 2007

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D.

Read More
Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

As FDA officials and the cosmetics industry prepared to huddle behind closed doors without input from outside groups to discuss “regulatory obstacles” between countries, Environmental Working Group (EWG) released the results of a new investigation that found literally hundreds of cosmetics sold in the U.S. containing chemicals the industry itself has determined to be unsafe even when used as directed.

Read More
Key Issues:
News Release
Thursday, August 23, 2007

EWG issued the following statement today in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s latest proposed federal safety standards for sunscreens. FDA first announced its intention to implement safety standards for sunscreens 28 years ago. To date, none have been finalized. These new proposed regulations would for the first time put a permanent safety standard in place for UVA protection.

Read More
Key Issues:
News Release
Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sustainlane.com is a user-driven directory of green products and business -- think social bookmarking meets the yellow pages. They've got a series of videos about a community of friends, The Unsustainables. This video about cosmetics is called Skin Deep (hey! clever name!). To find out what's in your personal care products, visit EWG's Skin Deep database.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, July 12, 2007

EWG and East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) researchers analyzed samples of wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. 18 of 19 wastewater samples examined contained at least 1 of 3 unregulated, widely-used hormone disruptors – phthalates, bisphenol A, and triclosan; 2 samples contained all 3 substances. Despite sophisticated wastewater treatment, these chemicals were detected in treated waters discharged into the Bay.

Read More
Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, July 9, 2007

 

Ever wonder about the safety of your imported cosmetics? Last week, the United States and the European Union agreed to trade information on safety of cosmetics. The agreement is planned in hopes of improving trade in cosmetics.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Today EWG released the first-ever, in-depth analysis of the safety and effectiveness of more than 700 name-brand sunscreens Read More
Key Issues:
News Release
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Question: I'm concerned about my 8-month-old daughter coming into contact with phthalates. Should I throw out any plastic toys, or are there some companies that don't use phthalates? Toy companies I've contacted have told me phthalates are harmless. Is this true?

Read More
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, May 21, 2007

Three years ago, EWG launched a unique online consumer database called Skin Deep that assesses and compares the safety of personal care products. To this day, Skin Deep is the only online resource for those wishing to compare safety ratings for various personal care products.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, May 14, 2007

Joanna Gardiner, managing director of Irish cosmetics manufacturer Ovelle Pharmaceuticals posed nude in an internet campaign to promote its chemical-free products. She appears with other nude female and male models to promote that the brand has nothing to hide.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against The Ecology Center and two Michigan pediatricians who stood up in support of banning the dangerous chemical lindane in anti-head-lice shampoos.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, April 27, 2007

Question: Is mineral-based make-up safer for you than make-up bought at drug stores or department stores? Most of the mineral-based make-up contains titanium dioxide and/or silica, and some contain iron of some type. Is this okay for your skin? I am wondering how such make-up is absorbed into the body, too!

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The attire for Project Prom 2007, yesterday's Teens for Safe Cosmetics rally, symbolized the commitment to fight for safe and healthy beauty products. Live music and passionate speeches from the teens and their supporters rang out over San Francisco's Union Square, as rallygoers and passing pedestrians enjoyed free green makeovers on a rare warm and sunny day in the City.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, April 23, 2007

A while ago, it would be unusual for men to go shopping for makeup, and even less likely for them to wear it. That trend is changing now, with an increased percentage of men who decide to “pretty up” by using make up.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, March 26, 2007

Wired.com's Patrick Di Justo gives us the breakdown of 11 different chemicals commonly found in shaving cream, and the functions they each serve. I've reprinted the full text below. To see what's in your shaving cream and how it stacks up to others out there vist EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Womens's shaving creams compared here.

Read More
Key Issues:
EnviroBlog
Blog Post

Pages

Subscribe to Cosmetics