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Cosmetics

American families assume personal care products on the market today have been tested by the federal government. Unfortunately, the personal care products industry remains largely unregulated. The FDA does not even require safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.  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. The federal law designed to ensure that personal care products are safe has remained largely unchanged since 1938.

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 giving FDA the tools it needs to protect the public.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Consumers are demanding more information about the sun protection products they are using and the chemicals they are putting on their bodies, as evidenced by the overwhelming response to EWG’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens.

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News Release
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Moving to address a gaping void in the nation’s system of consumer protections, Senators Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today (April 16) filed a bill – the “Personal Care Products Safety Act” --  that would create a long-needed bipartisan framework for ensuring that cosmetics ingredients are safe.
 

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, April 16, 2015

A bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would help the federal Food and Drug Administration ensure that cosmetics and other personal care products are safer.

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News Release
Thursday, December 18, 2014

The announcement by global cosmetics giant Revlon that it is removing some long-chain parabens and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from its products is a step in the right direction, EWG Executive Director Heather White said today. 

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News Release
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nearly 3 million of these tiny plastic particles were found per square mile in parts of Lake Erie.  And many of my favorite products were major offenders.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last month (July 28) a committee convened by the National Academy of Sciences confirmed a federal interagency group’s conclusion that styrene, a chemical building block used to produce a wide variety of everyday products, can cause cancer.

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, July 11, 2014

It started with a simple question – how many personal care products do people use every day?

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, May 29, 2014

The California State Assembly has overwhelmingly adopted a proposal to ban the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics products because they contaminate oceans, other waterways and seafood.

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Key Issues:
News Release
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Renee Sharp, research director at the Environmental Working Group said today that the cosmetics industry’s legislative proposal to reform cosmetics law would deprive the federal Food and Drug Administration of the power to keep hazardous substances out of personal care products.

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News Release
Monday, January 6, 2014

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.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

 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.

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News Release
Friday, November 22, 2013

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.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep App is here!  EWG’s popular online consumer guide to more than 78,000 personal care products is now available as an App for the iPhone and Android.

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News Release
Thursday, October 10, 2013

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.

 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, October 3, 2013

“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.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, September 13, 2013

Yesterday marked a major victory for American consumers as mega-retailer Walmart announced a Sustainable Chemistry initiative that takes an important step toward protecting the health and wellness its customers.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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. 

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Video
Monday, July 29, 2013

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.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, May 23, 2013

 

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.

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News Release

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