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Does your hair spray give you a headache? Do you ever wonder what's really inside of your hair and skin care products? If you answered yes to either of these questions then this article is for you. By the way, your hair spray should NEVER give you a headache.
Regulation of Product Ingredients: Does Adequate Regulation Even Exist?
The easiest answer to this question is no. Adequate regulation of hair and skin care products does not exist. Cosmetic companies can get away with putting toxic chemicals in the products we use to wash our bodies and style our hair because there are no laws against it. In fact, the FDA does not examine the ingredients of these products at all. This is a serious issue since scientists have found that the majority of chemicals used in our hair and skin care products are linked to things like cancer, asthma, reproductive issues and brain development problems. Since the FDA is so lenient, many cosmetic companies will create their own set of regulations but they will ensure that following these regulations is not mandatory but simply 'suggested'.
This means that companies can easily get away with putting harmful chemical ingredients in the products we use to wash ourselves. This is extremely disturbing when you take into account that our skin absorbs 60% of whatever we put on it. So why are we putting things on our skin that we wouldn't put in our mouths? The simple answer is that these chemicals have been in use since before we really understood what the effects of these chemicals were. Yet, now that we know that so many of them are harmful, why hasn't regulation changed?
The Problem with Packaging
Another huge problem with this lack of regulation is how cosmetic companies can package their products. The ingredients on packages of hair and skin care products are confusing to say the least. With so many long chemical names, how are you supposed to know what's safe and what isn't? If you do some research you will find that a lot of the ingredients are quite toxic.
Yet did you know that cosmetic companies don't even need to list all the ingredients their products contain? That's right. Cosmetic companies can choose which ingredients they list and which ones they don't. This is completely unfair as it prevents us from making informed decisions on which products we can feel safe and comfortable using.
Tons of mainstream hair and skin care companies will also label their products as 'natural' or 'organic' when they aren't! For example, a shampoo bottle can say it's 'natural' because it contains petroleum based ingredients. This is because 'technically' petroleum comes from the earth, but that doesn't mean it's safe!
Toxic Ingredients Found in Mainstream Hair & Skin Care
Products: A Few Resources
Below are some articles and one video that explain more about the different toxic ingredients found in mainstream skin and hair care products.
The Story of Cosmetics: The Story of Stuff Project
The Solution: CERTIFIED Organic Products
There is a big difference between products that simply say they're 'Natural' or 'Organic' and products that are Certified Organic. Organic Certification comes from third party organizations. This means that a company who is really passionate about only using organic and natural ingredients will pay a non-biased third party organization to double check that everything is indeed organic.
In order for you to distinguish a Certified Organic product from one that just claims to be organic, you need to look for a Certification Seal or logo. Some popular and legitimate Organic Certifications are USDA Certified Organic, Soil Association Organic Standard, and Cosmos Organic. You can find more information about these seals and what they look like here.
At NJ's Organic Hair Salon we only use products that contain Certified Organic ingredients. Our two product lines are by Natulique and Intelligent Nutrients and we love them. Not only are their ingredients safe and amazing for keeping your hair healthy, but they also keep your body and the planet healthy too. Plus they smell fantastic! With all the natural ingredients and essential oils contained in each product, it's like getting a bit of free aromatherapy with every purchase.
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