Cosmetics

Americans assume personal care products on the market today have been tested or approved by the federal government. However, they are largely unregulated. In fact, it has been more than 80 years since Congress last updated the federal law designed to ensure that personal care products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration does not even require the basic safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.

Although other countries have taken action to protect their citizens from chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm, FDA lacks the basic tools needed to ensure the safety of cosmetics and other personal care products.

Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to change that.

Monday, April 6, 2020

By now you may have seen the effects of repeated handwashing, and they’re not pretty.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, March 30, 2020

Americans are stocking up on hair dye, according to a new report by NPR. The article lists some of Nielsen's data about what Americans were buying the week ending March 21. Sales for hair dye increased by almost 20 percent from last year.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, March 23, 2020

EWG board member Michelle Pfeiffer applauded Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for taking the first serious action towards updating the woefully outdated law governing the cosmetics industry. 

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News Release
Friday, March 13, 2020

This week AspenClean announced nine new cleaning products that meet EWG’s rigorous standards for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency to earn our EWG VERIFIED™ mark.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health today approved landmark cosmetics safety legislation, a significant step toward finally protecting consumers from potentially toxic chemical ingredients in personal care products.

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News Release
Monday, March 9, 2020

Laboratory tests commissioned by the federal Food and Drug Administration of talc-based cosmetics products found the notorious carcinogen asbestos in roughly 20 percent of the samples assessed.

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News Release
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nearly 25,000 Americans are urging federal regulators to require the cosmetics industry to test for the presence of asbestos in cosmetics and to share the results.

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News Release
Friday, February 21, 2020

On Thursday the California Assembly reintroduced the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, A.B. 2762. If passed, the law would ban 12 toxic ingredients, such as mercury and formaldehyde, from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day.

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News Release
Thursday, January 30, 2020

In a breakthrough move, Revlon becomes the first global brand to bring an EWG VERIFIED™ cosmetic product to mass retailers, making affordable clean beauty a reality for millions of discerning consumers. Launched today, Revlon’s PhotoReady Prime Plus™ Perfecting + Smoothing Primer meets EWG’s industry-leading clean beauty standards.

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News Release
Thursday, January 16, 2020

The notorious carcinogen asbestos has been found in a talc-containing eye shadow in a children’s toy makeup kit, according to laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group.

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News Release
Monday, January 13, 2020

Today supporters gathered at the California State Capitol to urge the state Assembly to pass the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, A.B. 495. If passed, the law would ban toxic ingredients like lead, mercury and formaldehyde from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day. The law will face its first key vote on Tuesday.

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News Release
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants on the market. The trend has been led by smaller, boutique brands marketed as “natural,” such as Here + Now, Justin Bieber’s new “gender-neutral” deodorant from Schmidt’s Naturals. But even Dove, one of the longest-established and biggest-selling deodorant brands in the world, launched its 0% Aluminum label this year.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A new report by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, links chemicals commonly used in hair dyes and chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of breast cancer.

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, October 18, 2019

In response to new asbestos detections of Johnson & Johnson’s popular baby powder, EWG today urged Congress to act quickly to require warning labels on products made with talc.

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News Release
Thursday, September 12, 2019

WASHINGTON – Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, issued the following statement on the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.):

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety alert urging consumers to stop using cosmetics from Beauty Plus, after the agency found the deadly carcinogen asbestos in at least four different talc-based products.

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News Release
Monday, August 26, 2019

CVS, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, recently announced it will phase out two common sunscreen ingredients, oxybenzone and octinoxate, from many of its store-brand sun-protection products. CVS cited the changing needs of its customers, concern for marine ecosystems and the desire to stay ahead of state-level chemical bans.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, August 19, 2019

I try to stay up to date on the latest beauty trends, especially when they involve products advertised as “clean” or “nontoxic.” Even before my internship with EWG’s Healthy Living Science team, I knew that claims like “natural,” “nontoxic,” “plant based” and “clean” have no legal basis or standardized definition in the personal care industry.

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, June 28, 2019

The cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane, which contaminates the drinking water of millions of Americans and is found in personal care products and other consumer goods, is “not an unreasonable risk” to the American public or the environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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News Release
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

EWG today applauded House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for demanding new data from the Food and Drug Administration on the safety of imported cosmetics. 

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News and Analysis
Article

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