The Dirty Truth About Clean Beauty

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By Brittany Hoedemaker

We talk all the time about what we put into our bodies, but it always astounds me how little time we spend talking about what we put on our bodies. Given that our skin is our largest organ, you would think we’d give it a little more airtime.

Unlike the food we eat, the products we use on our skin are wildly under-regulated. While the UK has banned over 1,000 toxic compounds from cosmetics, the US FDA has only banned eleven.  According to the FDA’s own website, they do “not have the authority to require cosmetic manufacturers to submit their safety data to FDA.”  There is no regulatory oversight on words like “clean,” “natural,” “cruelty free,” or “non-toxic,” so companies often market such proclamations without backing them up. There is also no specification about to whom the product is “non-toxic” – the consumer? The environment? The product factory workers and residents living around the factories?

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