The lack of government regulations in skin care industry is one of the most surprising facts even for the most developed economy of the world, the USA. When you look into its skin care and cosmetic industry you will find that skin care products are being manufactured without any legal control on it.
Most people assume that some government agency like FDA might be regulating the ingredients to be used by the cosmetic manufacturers. But, in fact, there is a very limited control on the manufacturers to use whatever they produce in the name of skin care products.
Brief information in this regard is provided in this write-up to help you in protecting yourself from such unregulated products as manufacturers will go on using whatever they want in their skin care products unless some strict law is imposed on them.
What does FDA do?
Surprisingly, the FDA does very little to ensure the safety of the users of these skin care and other cosmetic products even though it is their responsibility to control cosmetic industry in U.S. According to US law:
The FDA is not authorised to provide pre-market approval to the cosmetic products and their ingredients except the colour additives used in them. In other words it can be said that cosmetic companies need not get any approval from FDA before launching their products in the market unlike drug industry where the FDA approval is must before selling its products publicly.
Even cosmetic producers need not submit the formulation of their products for the oversight of the FDA before selling them in the market. In this way, cosmetics including skin care products have become one of the least controlled products in the market all over the world.
There is no institution in the U.S., accountable to the public, to evaluate the safety of the most of the ingredients used in the cosmetics. Even the FDA is not authorised to regulate cosmetic companies to conduct studies to assess the pre-market safety of the ingredients used by them in their cosmetic products. The FDA can also not compel the cosmetic manufacturers to report about the injuries caused by their products. The submission of such reports is entirely voluntary in the U.S.
In order to change this situation, U.S. Congress will have to change the law set by Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel in 1976. This penal was formed to establish the safety of the ingredients used in all types of cosmetic products. With the intention of reviewing and assessing the safety data of the ingredients a toxicologist, a dermatologist, an industry scientist and a consumer representative were included in this panel. But how effectively this panel checks the safety level of all the ingredients is the main question to be considered at this stage.
But, unluckily, there is no specific description of the work to be done by the CIR. According to the information collected in this regard by June 2008, this panel has reviewed the safety level of only 11% ingredients used in cosmetic industry and found only nine of them to be unsafe during its history of over 30 years. The panel also has not reviewed the effect of various types of chemicals used in personal care products by using them in the long term. Various studies have found it as one of the serious oversights.
Dangers of the chemical combinations used in cosmetics
According to the report submitted by the researchers of Texas Tech University in 2013, two chemicals, which if used together can cause cancer, were used in cosmetics, even with their low safety level for humans. The study has shown that the combination of these two chemicals can cause prostate cancer. They treated people using the personal care products containing estrogens and arsenic (and their combinations), certified by Environmental Protection Agency to have safe ingredients, for the cancer of prostate cells. It has been proved through this study that the combination of these two chemicals is twice more harmful than they are used alone.
Thus, through these studies, it is revealed that several skin care products are harmful to humans due to the chemical combinations used in them. Along with the lack of regulations, there is also a lack of research on the combination of the chemicals used in the cosmetic products by their producers.