Cleaner Cosmetics

Our skin, the largest organ of the human body, protects us in many ways. Amazingly, it is also porous, allowing the body's waste to be eliminated and allowing substances to be absorbed.

 

Regulation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the cosmetic industry, which includes all bath and body care products, such as shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, cologne, perfume, etc.

According to the FDA, "With the exception of colors and certain prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may use essentially any raw material in a product and market it without prior FDA approval." (FDA, 2005) Of the over 10,000 ingredients used in cosmetics, the FDA has prohibited 8 ingredients and allows restricted use of 3 ingredients. By comparison, for cosmetic products, the European Union prohibits the use of over 1,300 ingredients classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction and restricts approximately 60 ingredients.

 

How to Read a Cosmetic Labels

Federal Law requires all cosmetic labels to list ingredients in descending order of amounts. The good news: if we are educated consumers we can select only healthy products that meet our own personal standards. Need help knowing what to look for?

The guides below will help you read labels so you can better protect your family. Learn what ingredients to avoid in both personal care and cosmetic products. We also have a list of ingredients that we recommend you avoid, products they are commonly found in, and alternatives that are safer for your family and for the planet. 

Published on January 31, 2017

News

May 9, 2017
Press Release
Ecology Center, in collaboration with four national partner organizations, today issued a challenge to leading car seat manufacturers to develop and produce car seats without the use of toxic chemicals that can have harmful effects on children’s health.
April 27, 2017
News
Hopefully, you had some time to get out into nature this past Earth Day and have some fun. But, why stop there? We need our Earth to be healthy every day. Therefore, we challenge you to find an activity that will have lasting meaning and make a pledge.
March 30, 2017
News
On March 8th, advocates, health professionals, lead-abatement contractors, and other citizen-lobbyists connected to discuss the real hazards of lead lurking in and around Michigan homes.
February 27, 2017
News
The Breathe Free Detroit campaign is asking the public to speak out against the air-polluting giant trash incinerator in Detroit. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is hearing public comments until March 8th. Speak out. Help us fight for clean air.
February 27, 2017
News
The Ecology Center and its Michigan Renewable Schools program is evaluating evidence-based connections between improved student performance and health with strategic clean energy investments in our K-12 school facilities: better lighting, ventilation, exterior building shell, etc
January 30, 2017
News
The FDA says the risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to antibacterial soaps. A new rule goes into effect this September. Find out what their concerns are and what to do in the meantime.

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