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You are what you...

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We’ve heard it before “you are what you eat” and we know that what we put into our bodies impacts our health, our sleep, and our overall wellbeing. What we may not think about are the thousands of other chemicals we expose ourselves to every single day in the form of body care products, makeup, and fragrances. Humans have long history of accidentally poisoning themselves for the sake of looking good, but I think most of us assume in the age of antibacterial soap and organic toilet paper that we can easily avoid most harmful chemicals.

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), their regulation over the cosmetic industry is very different. Besides color additives, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA approval. Cosmetic manufacturers are responsible for certifying the safety of their own products, but there are no laws or FDA regulations that require any type of specific testing and cosmetic companies do not have to share their safety information with the FDA. In fact, the United States has not passed a law regulating the cosmetic industry since 1938. Fragrances do not have to list their ingredients because they are considered “trade secrets” and not subject to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

There are many websites that can help guide you through the world of safe beauty care products and companies like Beauty Counter provide highly regulated quality items. Data is all around us and we can use it to make informed decisions about what we buy. So the next time you buy shampoo, read the label, look up the ingredients, and decide what products work best for you.