Beauty is big business. But what most people don't know is the lack of regulation that governs the beauty industry. The last major law that was passed by congress in the beauty industry was back in 1938. Just think of what we have learned since 1938!
So why is a $62 billion industry so under-regulated? Much of it is because manufacturers are asked to self-regulate their ingredients and manufacturing processes. As a result of this, there is a lot left in an area of 'unknown'. If you are looking to make the change toward a more botanical lifestyle, look for manufacturers that are independently owned and in best scenarios, manufacturer their products in-house. Also ask if the manufacturer follows a European Standard of labeling, which restricts the use of over 1,400 ingredients (compared to a US standard, which restricts less than 50 ingredients, and a Canadian standard, which restricts about 600 ingredients)
Products supported by The Lily Collective follow this EU standard of labeling and most manufacture in house AND are family (privately) owned.
Three other areas to watch for include (source beautycounter):
1. “Fragrance” is considered a trade secret, so companies don’t have to disclose what it is. Usually, it is a synthetic concoction that includes phthalates and synthetic musks, which are hormone disruptors, as well as chemicals that are allergens and neurotoxins.
2. Some chemicals are not intentionally added to products but are the result of chemical reactions happening inside the bottle of product (such as formaldehyde in shampoo) or during manufacturing (such as 1,4 dioxane in moisturizers or heavy metals in color cosmetics).
3. When manufacturing companies buy bulk ingredients from ingredient suppliers (aloe vera gel or grapefruit seed extract), they are often getting an already-preserved raw ingredient (aloe vera gel with added phenoxyethanol, or grapefruit seed extract with added methlyparaben). But the end product does not have to list these preservatives, so a product marketed as “preservative-free” or “paraben-free” may contain those chemicals after all.