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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The EWG VERIFIED™ program now features 833 top-rated personal care and cosmetics products, allowing consumers to quickly spot items that meet stringent ingredient and transparency requirements.
 

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News Release
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Today the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth sued the Food and Drug Administration for its failure to protect the public from dangers associated with popular hair straightening treatments.
 

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News Release
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Every day, people apply cosmetics and other personal care products to their skin and hair. The average American woman uses 12 personal care products a day, exposing herself to 168 different chemicals. The average man uses six products a day, containing 85 unique chemical ingredients.

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

In a growing market for Black cosmetics, Black women nonetheless have limited choices for products that score low in potentially harmful ingredients, an EWG analysis of more than 1,100 products found. Because black women appear to buy and use more personal care products, the limited options could mean they are being exposed to more potentially hazardous chemicals.
 

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News Release
Friday, December 2, 2016

Heading into the holiday season, there was some good news out of the EPA. The agency listed the first batch of toxic chemicals it will tackle, which includes asbestos. Also this week, EWG took part in a forum to discuss how Congress and the Trump administration will shape the next farm bill.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

 EWG’s Skin Deep® adds more than 1,000 products marketed to Black women

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, November 4, 2016

This week, EWG joined forces with our colleagues at Waterkeeper Alliance again to show how industrial animal farms can wreak havoc on public health and the environment. Through startling aerial imagery, the report documents a number of factory farms along North Carolina’s floodplain that were swamped by Hurricane Matthew, exposing local waterways to a deluge of animal waste from swine and poultry barns, and brimming manure pits.

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Energy
Article
Friday, October 28, 2016

It’s another busy week at EWG. Here’s some news you can use from this week.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Looking for organic cosmetics? Lots of companies add the word “organic” to cosmetics and other personal care products.

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cosmetics and other personal care product companies make questionable organic claims on thousands of products, a new EWG analysis shows. 

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News and Analysis
Article
Friday, October 14, 2016

In June, Congress passed sweeping legislation to update the way chemicals are used in consumer and industrial products. The new law aims to review old chemicals that are already in the marketplace and review new chemicals entering the marketplace.

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News and Analysis
Article
Thursday, September 22, 2016

The cosmetics industry has grown dramatically since 1938, when Congress last enacted cosmetics legislation. While most chemicals in cosmetics pose little or no risk, some chemicals have been linked to serious health problems, including chemicals that disrupt the hormone system.
 

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Key Issues:
Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

EWG Vice President of Government Affairs Scott Faber said that draft cosmetics legislation released today by Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., will help make regulation of cosmetics and personal care products a Congressional priority.
 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, September 12, 2016

When you’re trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle, diet and exercise tend to get most of the attention. But there’s another critical step to living healthier: reducing your intake of toxic chemicals.
 

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act, S.1014, which would modernize federal oversight of personal care products. The bill offers common sense reforms that were carefully negotiated among numerous stakeholders, including industry, public health and consumer organizations. This bill has garnered support from industry leaders as well as influential health and consumer organizations.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

 

Dear Mary Kay:

I urge Mary Kay to join cosmetic industry leaders – including L’Oreal, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and many others – in support S.1014, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

EWG first reported last December that more than 17,000 users of WEN cleansing conditioners had complained to the manufacturer about losing some or all of their hair after using the products.

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News and Analysis
Article
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shoppers can quickly and easily identify cosmetics and personal care items that meet EWG’s strictest health and transparency standards with the EWG VERIFIED™ mark. The program now features 252 products.  It covers cosmetics, including foundations, blushes, eye shadows, eye liners, lipsticks and lip glosses; skin care products such as lotions and moisturizers; shampoos and soaps; and many more.

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News Release
Friday, June 10, 2016

A study of pregnant Brooklyn women led by the SUNY Downstate Medical Center links triclosan, an antibacterial agent common in personal care products, with preterm births and smaller newborns.

 

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News and Analysis
Article
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Right now, you can go online and buy GK Hair Taming System with Juvexin® “Curly” or “Resistant” products. You can do this although these products are only intended for use by salon professionals. Even more troublingly, you can make your purchase even though the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter months ago informing the company that its products are so risky, they’re illegal.

 

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News and Analysis
Article

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