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

Mac and Cheese in bowl
July 13, 2017
Press Release
Laboratory testing, commissioned by the Ecology Center, of 10 varieties of macaroni and cheese products has revealed phthalates, a toxic hormone-disrupting class of chemicals, in the cheese powders of all the boxed macaroni and cheese tested.
June 29, 2017
News
Our Healthy Stuff team tested 60 pet food cans and discovered toxic chemicals hiding in the linings. BPA and PVC were both commonly found, both of which are harmful once leached into the food. We want better for our beloved pets; they deserve it.
June 29, 2017
Press Release
In our recent study, we discovered toxic BPA in the lining of canned pet food. Let's tell manufacturers of pet food to clean up their act and stop using toxic chemicals in their cans.
May 30, 2017
News
"We want affordable, non-toxic car seats!" This is the call of our new campaign, the Car Seat Detox Challenge. After the recent release of the first car seat made without flame retardant additives that still meets flammability standards—we are asking all manufacturers to detox.
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.