Product Transparency

Did you know that the law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market? Let that sink in for a moment. Scary isn't it?

Transparency when choosing skincare products is critical. Don't be fooled by all natural and organic claims. Since there are no FDA regulations, manufacturers can and do make false claims. Unless the ingredients in a formula are certified by an independent lab analysis, there is no guarantee of what is in the product. For example, many products that claim to be "gluten free" may actually contain gluten particles, because they are made in facilities where gluten products are processed. This is a big problem within the skincare industry.

Sure, companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. However, neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA. In fact, the FDA is not even authorized to order recalls on cosmetics. Not very comforting if you ask me.

Also, claims of what a serum, cream, etc. can do for a consumer in many cases, under the FDA Cosmetic Act, have established they are actually drugs because of the wording. The descriptions are, according to the FDA, intended for the use of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. Is the clerk at your local drug store, or the receptionist at your massage parlor really qualified to give you advice on products that are technically drugs?

The FDA is sending strong warning letters to major cosmetic companies regarding claims on their labels and websites. The FDA also certifies plants where cosmetics are made. This is a voluntary program. Wouldn't you find comfort in knowing that the products you purchase are made in a facility that is clean and stores all ingredients correctly so the are free of contaminates? You should.

To learn more about the FDA's role in cosmetics, visit I also recommend checking out an organization called MADE SAFE. MADE SAFE is America’s first nontoxic seal for products we use every day, from baby to personal care to household and beyond. We certify that products you use on your body, with your family, and in your home are made with safe ingredients not known or suspected to harm human health. Visit them online at at

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