Ingredient Safety

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Subject: Ingredient Safety

What? There are strong federal safety requirements for cosmetic and personal care products sold in the U.S. Product ingredient safety is important because skincare products don’t have to be approved by the FDA so it is important to do your own research about the different ingredients. Some ingredients that are known to cause skin irritation and possible cancers are parabens, propylene glycol, diethanolamine (DEA), triethnolamine (TEA), and polyethylene glycol. Some ingredients are known endocrine issues such as oxybenzone, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates and diethylene glycol

Why? (History) Skin-care products can contain many chemicals. Some of these can be harmful in large quantities. An example is triclosan. It is a skin irritant and is used to kill bacteria in soaps, deodorants and other skincare products. Product safety is important because a lot of skincare products have chemicals in them to kill bacteria but could also be harmful to certain people. Chemical additives are used to improve cosmetics appearance, application, and performance. They are also preservatives to stop the growth of bacteria and mold. These additives are permitted because it is thought (and studied) that in small amounts they do not cause harm.

How does it relate to the skin? Some chemicals are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Companies are changing their formulas of skin care products to be safer and more environmentally friendly. Essential oils can absorb through the skin into the bloodstream.. Some essential oils are helpful and contain anti-inflammatory. Some can cause allergic reactions. Every cosmetic you use contains a fair amount of ingredients, from preservatives to cleansers, and fragrances. Chemists that formulate products are aware that molecule size can determine what can pass through the skin layers. They should also know what enzymes in the body can neutralize some chemicals that do not penetrate. Cosmetics are not rigorously regulated by the FDA because they are applied on the skin and are to remain there. The more ingredients that enter the body through the skin the closer they are to (drugs) which are strictly regulated.

Where does it typically occur? It occurs with skincare products. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are used for sun protection. They protect against UV rays. Some ingredients play a part in maintaining the quality and the safety of products. They help extend the life of the product. The FDA requires products to be labelled correctly to be able to see what is in it and whether or not the ingredients are harmful to people. Skin care products are not regulated by the FDA. The preservatives in products used to kill bacteria can be harmful to a person in large doses.

When? (Implications) When consumers use ingredients in any product safety is a concern. Skincare and cosmetics can legally contain harmful ingredients. The FDA does regulate labeling, color pigments and also sees that products are not misleading or labeled incorrectly.. Under the authority of the Fair Packaging and Label Act, the FDA requires an ingredient statement on cosmetic products sold at the retail level to customers. Ingredient labels can tell you what is in the product you are using but how these ingredients may be affecting you is hard to determine. Cosmetics companies should be in compliance with FDA and EPA rules and laws.

Who benefits from this? Anyone who uses skin products benefits from safety in product formulations. It is also very important to buy cosmetics and skin care items from reputable product lines. Products do have an expiration date. Products like sunscreens become ineffective after their expiration date. Anyone that has allergic reactions to some substances can benefit from the ingredient label. Cosmetic products benefit from labels because they might have had an allergic reaction after using a product. They can look for the ingredients that may have caused a reaction. The FDA and EPA can provide results of testing done on products that may be a problem for consumers. Estheticians benefit because we are in contact with these products if not skin contact then through inhalation.

What causes this? Products that have safe ingredients. A person uses different products containing many ingredients each day. Fragrance ingredients are also regulated as cosmetics as well as perfume and cologne. The product labels tell you what ingredients are in the products. The lower down the list an ingredient is the smaller the quantity of it is used. There are some ingredients in cosmetics that are known to be toxic to people but as long as they are in small enough quantities that are said to be safe they are allowed to be used. The level of being allergic to a particular ingredient differs from person to person. There are skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis that compromise the skin barrier and make the skin more reactive. Ingredient labels can tell you what is in the product you are using but how these ingredients may be affecting you is hard to determine. Cosmetics companies want to remain in compliance with FDA and EPA rules and laws.

How? Solutions (Machines/Mechanical Benefits) As skincare machines have advanced over the years product ingredients are able to penetrate to deeper layers of the skin. For example a massage oil intended to lubricate the skin is a cosmetic. But if claims are made that massage oil relieves aches or relaxes muscles other than lubricate the skin it’s a drug. There are different factors that determine how certain ingredients penetrate the skin and absorbed. Molecule size, abrasions on the skin (shaved skin, microneedling condition of the skin); oil soluble ingredients penetrate the skin better than water soluble.

How? Solutions (Non Mechanical) Even though labeling and ingredients are regulated by the FDA, there are still ingredients used that may be harmful in certain levels used in our cosmetics and skincare. Even those that are considered safe ingredients can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people. There are certain products that offer solutions and say they can do things like relieve pain and stress such as massage gels and creams. There are ingredients in sunscreens that reflect the sun’s rays. There are many methods to help products penetrate the skin. Some of these are molecule size and pH. If they do get absorbed in small quantities the body has its own filtering system (the kidneys) to remove them from the body.

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