Why It’s Time to Start Reading the Labels on Your Beauty Products

We all have our favorite brands. By the time you’re in your 20s, you already have at least one go-to brand if not a handful. Our favorite mascara makes our eyes pop and our favorite red lipstick makes us feel like Marilyn Monroe or Taylor Swift. We’re never going to give them up. They’re a part of our lifestyle and we love them too much. But unfortunately, it may be time to reassess our favorites as they might be harming us. How could they, you ask? Shouldn’t the government have banned toxic ingredients from products you use on a daily basis? The U.S. has banned only 11 ingredients and compare that to the E.U.’s 1,300-plus ingredients. The last time they passed a federal law to regulate ingredients was 1938. Yes, 77 years ago. Now that the beauty industry is worth over $200 BILLION dollars, shouldn’t it be more regulated? Ladies, it’s time to start reading our labels. (If your product doesn’t have a label, search for your product on ewg.org to find out if it’s hazardous to your health.)

If you’re thinking it’s going to be too hard to replace your favorites, you still have plenty of options. There are dozens of makeup brands that go the vegan or organic route. One of our favorites is BeautyCounter as they have taken their company to the next level by banning over 1,500 ingredients so you are guaranteed safe products for your whole family.

While you may always hear “pending FDA approval” and then feel assured once it is approved, the FDA has absolutely no authority over your skincare or cosmetics. Cosmetic companies are allowed to use almost any raw material without government approval, with the exception of color additives and any ingredient classified as a drug. While the ingredients are considered “safe” in tiny doses, the concern comes with use over time and it’s effect on allergies, cancer, and more.

One common ingredient we skincare lovers need to watch out for is methyl cellosolve. It’s frequently used in anti-aging creams, moisturizers, and serums. According to the EWG, it’s a neurotoxin that causes DNA mutation and is sometimes not even listed on labels. It’s been banned in Canada and restricted in the U.S. Another ingredient to look out for is Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as it is used commonly as a preservative in moisturizers, shaving creams, fragrances, and lipsticks. It is linked to endocrine disruption and cancer. Finally, an ingredient commonly used in embalming fluids and one that is highly flammable, formaldehyde. This is actually used as a preservative, which I’m sure it does a great job at but it’s not something we should ingest...while we’re still breathing. For a full list of ingredients banned in the E.U., click here

Fortunately, with sites like Pinterest, DIY beauty treatments are becoming as normal as ever before. You can easily make your own moisturizing masks, lotions, and even eye creams. But for those of you who prefer to leave it to the professionals, we assure you that all of our subscribers will only receive safe products from the brands we choose

~Brianne Nemiroff

Brianne Nemiroff is the Online Managing Editor for Viva Glam Magazine, @vivaglammag. She loves fashion, beauty, entertainment, and lifestyle. She loves all-natural and organic beauty and skincare brands. Brianne is a force to be reckoned with in the industry. She can be found sharing her story on Instagram at @briannemiroff.