California Assembly Bill 495: The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act
California law on cosmetic safety mirrors the inadequate federal law. It does not give state regulators enough authority to ensure that cosmetics sold to Californians are safe. What authority the law does provide to regulators is rarely used. When state agencies investigate harmful cosmetics, the results are limited and the products often remain on the market.
AB 495, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, will explicitly prohibit the use of the 20 of the most harmful chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics today. These “Toxic Twenty” ingredients include asbestos, lead, mercury, formaldehyde, toluene, triclosan, carbon black, some of the most toxic parabens and phthalates, and the fluorinated compounds known as PFAS.
The bill will also strengthen enforcement authority and ensure that when violations are found, regulators notify the attorney general, who will then take legal action.
Keep Up With All of EWG's Latest Cosmetics News and Analysis
EWG’s New Year’s resolution for cosmetic manufacturers: shed bad actor ingredients that disrupt the hormone system, cause allergies and may accelerate skin cancer.Read More
How did I spend my summer? I hung around department store makeup aisles, looking for the much talked about “miracle” makeup, BB and CC creams. You should have seen the looks I got as I dabbed the testers on my arm – mind you, I’m a 40-year-old man wearing cargo shorts and a ratty T-shirt.Read More
A new analysis by Environmental Working Group of 100 BB (beauty balm) and CC (color corrector or complexion corrector) creams concludes that they may expose users to fewer toxic chemicals than the moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen they are designed to replace.Read More
EWG has long sounded the alarm that the FDA does not subject cosmetics to similar premarket reviews for efficacy and safety. After you’ve read a few ads for anti-aging creams, you might be asking yourself, are these supposed miracle creams cosmetics or drugs? When do regulators insist on testing? Is there sufficient FDA oversight for anti-aging products? The answer may give you worry lines.Read More
At EWG, we know how much you care about the safety of personal care products. Over the next several weeks we will delve deeper into some of the crucial issues surrounding these products. EWG's investigative series, "Exposing the Cosmetics Cover-Up," will take on a wide range of topics that should be on the minds of everyone who uses a personal care product. As EWG has long known — and as leading medical specialists recently underscored -- many cosmetics and personal care products contain potentially toxic ingredients. Major cosmetics companies have not publicly committed themselves to removing harmful ingredients. We'll look at deceptive claims made by some popular anti-aging products. And we'll help you sort out cosmetics safety facts from myths.
“Skin Perfector.” “Balance, brighten, renew and protect.” “Anti-aging.”
The ads sound too good to be true. BB (stands for beauty balm) and CC (stands for color corrector or complexion corrector) creams claim to be all-in-one moisturizer, concealer, foundation and sometimes sunscreen.Read More
Looking for the right bug repellent for yourself and your family? EWG's Director of Research Renee Sharp and colleague Ashley McCormack give some helpful tips on ways to choose.Read More
Savvy consumers know that cosmetics do not have to be tested and proved safe before making it onto store shelves. Consumer protections for personal care products are outdated and broken, so shoppers must do their own legwork to ensure that the products they buy are safe – by reading labels and using resources such as EWG’s Skin Deep database.Read More
The Canadian government has proposed sunscreen rules much stronger than those governing U.S. sunscreens. Because numerous companies are major players in both the Canadian and United States markets, if Canada’s planned rules take effect, they could prompt welcome changes in sunscreens sold in the U.S.Read More
We need safe cosmetics reform now!
Mercury in mascara? Lead in lipstick? Scientific studies have shown that many common personal care products contain dangerous chemicals. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database evaluates nearly 80,000 personal care products and close to 10,000 ingredients in these consumer products.Read More
You asked for it, and we’re building it: a mobile shopping app for EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.Read More
Allergies are an increasingly serious health issue for millions of Americans, especially children. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the number of American children and teenagers reported to suffer skin allergies increased from 5.2 million reported cases between 1997 and 1999 to nearly 9.3 million between 2009 and 2011. Another 12.6 million children and teens were estimated to suffer from respiratory allergies in 2009 to 2011, according to the CDC.Read More
Ever looked at the labels on your shampoos, moisturizers and cosmetics? Do you really know what chemicals you're putting on your body? EWG scientist Nneka Leiba explains some helpful tips on what to watch out for before you buy.
As a child, one of my least favorite activities was getting my hair styled. It required a lot of time and patience -- two things I had in short supply.Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently (Sept. 7) warned Lancôme to stop making grand claims for several of its anti-aging products -- claims that would require the agency to approve them before the products could be sold to consumers.Read More
This week marked a huge victory for consumers. Johnson & Johnson, global manufacturer of such well known health and personal care products as Johnson's Baby Shampoo, unveiled plans to reformulate many of its adult cosmetic and toiletry products to remove potentially toxic or cancer-causing ingredients.Read More