Four months ago, I went to Sephora to buy some mascara. Being a makeup junkie, I had accumulated lots of points and was eligible for a free gift. I chose a Laura Mercier set with three products. When I got home, I looked at the ingredients. This wasn't something I did often, but nevertheless-- I noticed that in my new makeup set were some sketchy ingredients (parabens). At the time, I didn't know much about chemicals, but I had heard of parabens and knew to avoid them.
I was so annoyed by this, I decided to write to Laura Mercier and ask them why they use parabens when these chemicals have been linked to breast cancer and hormonal issues. They responded and told me that they were in accordance with all local and international regulations. This piqued my curiosity, so I looked into who is responsible for regulating the cosmetics industry. Turns out, the FDA has little to no regulations in place and the cosmetics industry is essentially self-regulated. What does that mean? It means if Laura Mercier wants to put arsenic in your makeup, technically they can! And the worst part-- they don't even have to tell you about it.
There is very little transparency and so many of these cosmetics companies take advantage of the "fragrance loophole". Do you ever look at your product's label and see the ingredient "fragrance" or "parfum"? One thing to note is that "fragrance" could actually contain dozens of different chemicals. But the company is not obligated to tell you what's in it because they can claim that this mixture is proprietary information (like a secret recipe of sorts). I believe it's my right as a consumer to know exactly what is in my makeup and skincare. Especially when there is a direct correlation between the rise of chemical use over the years and the increasing prevalence of auto immune diseases, reproductive diseases, cancer and more.
Learning this information was eye opening and life changing for me, which is why I have been educating myself as much as possible and sharing this information. I have endometriosis and went 15+ years unknowingly coating my skin in toxic chemicals (which most certainly exacerbated my condition). So, to say I'm upset about it is an understatement. Once consumers start paying attention, and buying cleaner products, the whole industry will change. So, spread the knowledge. The products you put on your body matter just as much as the food you eat.