(WXYZ) – According to a report, more and more people are experiencing unpleasant side effects from using cosmetics. The FDA recently looked into this and found that between 2015 and 2016 the number of such complaints had doubled. The scary reality underlying all of this is that the cosmetics industry is woefully under-regulated, and that means its really up to consumers to police themselves.
Under current law, the FDA cannot order a mandatory recall of a harmful cosmetic, even if it’s known to have some awful chemical in it. Also, manufacturers are not required to share consumer complaints with regulators. So there’s no way of knowing just how many problems the industry has had over the years. Considering we’re talking about a $400 billion dollar industry, that’s concerning.
There are a few things you can do to keep yourself and your family safe when choosing cosmetics.
1. With skin care products, apply a “patch test” to inside of forearm before slathering on wide swaths of the skin.
2. Read all labels carefully. Make sure you know what you’re putting on your body.
3. Go easy when it comes to abrasive products like facial scrubs, or harsh products containing stuff like glycolic acid. Don’t apply to damaged or sunburnt skin.
4. Speak up if you do run into any issues. The FDA keeps a database of such problems, and it wants to hear from people.
Most of the complaints in the database were related to hair care products, followed closely by skin care products. We’re talking about rashes, skin irritation, hair loss…that sort of stuff. But some of the complaints involved more serious ailments like severe allergic reactions and even cancer in some cases.
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