The wonderful guys over on treehugger.com brought this to my attention last week after the New York Times produced a piece on “Cosmetic Wars”.

If you haven’t seen this yet, you can read the original here.

Basically, next month the European Union will become “Cruelty Free” as it plans to ban the sale of cosmetic ingredients that have been tested on animals. But wait; please don’t jump around the room in celebration just yet.

Chemicals found in cosmetic ingredients

As the piece in the New York Times goes on to say: “there are still plenty of questionable ingredients in your bubble bath, many of which haven’t been tested by any means at all!”

And unfortunately there is still a long way to go before there is real cause for celebration as countries like China have officially mandated animal testing for cosmetics, which puts UK manufactures in a difficult position, as if they want to enter the Chinese market, their products have to be tested on animals.

Mark Bittman goes on to say:

“No sane person likes the idea of subjecting animals to unnecessary cruelty. But as things stand we’re all being used as guinea pigs in the great test of new product safety. And this matters: the average American woman uses a dozen personal care products daily.”

As we’ve recently discussed on our blog, we are pretty confident that the vast majority of people in the UK and further afield have absolutely no idea what they are putting on their skin on a daily basis.

One particular point that stands out for me is that Mark talks about hair dyes and lipsticks containing lead. Obviously in small amounts, but you really don’t want to be putting this anywhere near your lips, right?

What concerns me is that unless an individual uses a product which then causes an immediate reaction there is no room to claim, or even to report it. I have a feeling that it may take a long time before some of these ingredients found in shampoos or hair dyes cause any visible or internal damage.

You may remember that Asbestos was once claimed (even by the UK government) to be safe to work with - and now kills more than 4,500 people a year. Could we ever see similar headlines from some ingredients found within the cosmetic products we use daily? I’m not sure... however, when we are all being used to test these ingredients, anything could happen.

The piece in the New York Times goes into much greater detail and is well worth taking 5 minutes out of your day to read, as it’s full of some great resources.

Basic Ingredients Check

If you are worried about what you are putting on your skin then we would highly recommend sites such as EWG’s Skin Deep website to help give you piece of mind on brands and ingredients.

We have also published a piece on the subject of harmful ingredients that can be found in some products which may further assist you.

As you should know by now we are completely against animals testing, with none of our products being tested on animals. If you have any questions about any of our ingredients please feel free to contact us.

Alison Claire

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