Cosmetics

Americans assume personal care products on the market today have been tested or approved by the federal government. However, they are largely unregulated. In fact, it has been more than 80 years since Congress last updated the federal law designed to ensure that personal care products are safe. The Food and Drug Administration does not even require the basic safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used.

Although other countries have taken action to protect their citizens from chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm, FDA lacks the basic tools needed to ensure the safety of cosmetics and other personal care products.

Now a bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to change that.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The notorious carcinogen asbestos has been found in a talc-containing eye shadow in a children’s toy makeup kit, according to laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group.

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News Release
Monday, January 13, 2020

Today supporters gathered at the California State Capitol to urge the state Assembly to pass the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, A.B. 495. If passed, the law would ban toxic ingredients like lead, mercury and formaldehyde from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day. The law will face its first key vote on Tuesday.

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News Release
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants on the market. The trend has been led by smaller, boutique brands marketed as “natural,” such as Here + Now, Justin Bieber’s new “gender-neutral” deodorant from Schmidt’s Naturals. But even Dove, one of the longest-established and biggest-selling deodorant brands in the world, launched its 0% Aluminum label this year.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A new report by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, links chemicals commonly used in hair dyes and chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of breast cancer.

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, October 18, 2019

In response to new asbestos detections of Johnson & Johnson’s popular baby powder, EWG today urged Congress to act quickly to require warning labels on products made with talc.

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News Release
Thursday, September 12, 2019

WASHINGTON – Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, issued the following statement on the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019 by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.):

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety alert urging consumers to stop using cosmetics from Beauty Plus, after the agency found the deadly carcinogen asbestos in at least four different talc-based products.

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News Release
Monday, August 26, 2019

CVS, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, recently announced it will phase out two common sunscreen ingredients, oxybenzone and octinoxate, from many of its store-brand sun-protection products. CVS cited the changing needs of its customers, concern for marine ecosystems and the desire to stay ahead of state-level chemical bans.

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, August 19, 2019

I try to stay up to date on the latest beauty trends, especially when they involve products advertised as “clean” or “nontoxic.” Even before my internship with EWG’s Healthy Living Science team, I knew that claims like “natural,” “nontoxic,” “plant based” and “clean” have no legal basis or standardized definition in the personal care industry.

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, June 28, 2019

The cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane, which contaminates the drinking water of millions of Americans and is found in personal care products and other consumer goods, is “not an unreasonable risk” to the American public or the environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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News Release
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

EWG today applauded House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for demanding new data from the Food and Drug Administration on the safety of imported cosmetics. 

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, June 7, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration has once again found talc-based cosmetics marketed to teens contain asbestos.

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News Release
Thursday, May 23, 2019

EWG board member Michelle Pfeiffer met with federal lawmakers today to urge them to support bipartisan legislation to reform a woefully outdated law governing the cosmetics industry. 

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News Release
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Today EWG released its 13th Annual Guide to Sunscreens, which rates the safety and efficacy of more than 1300 SPF products, including sunscreens, daily moisturizers and lip balms with SPF values. EWG researchers found that two-thirds of sunscreen products still offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients, like oxybenzone.

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News Release
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

More than 40 nations have banned or restricted more than 1,400 chemicals in cosmetics and other personal care products. So why are chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm still turning up in cosmetics sold in California?

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News and Analysis
Article
Monday, April 8, 2019

Today Michelle Pfeiffer launched Henry Rose, a new collection of five distinct scents that meets the Environmental Working Group’s rigorous criteria for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency. This is the first fine fragrance line to earn the EWG VERIFIED™ mark.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

More than ever, Americans want to know everything about our food, cosmetics, cleaners and other everyday products we bring into our homes.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, March 21, 2019

U.S. regulation of chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics is falling behind the rest of the world, according to an EWG analysis.

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a confusing and deceptive decision today about the notorious carcinogen formaldehyde: Under the guise of taking action, the decision likely will have the effect of delaying further restrictions on its use, said EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Landmark legislation introduced today would ban the use in cosmetics sold in California of 20 highly toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm or hormone disruption.

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News Release

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