Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top Ten Most Misleading Cosmetic Claims: Second Installment


Which brings us to Number 2 on my list of misleading cosmetic claims: Chemical-free.
First let me reiterate what I have said many times: everything in this world is a chemical, even you, even water. We are all just complicated combinations of chemicals. So that said- no cosmetics are chemical free. When you see this claim you should immediately dismiss the product- it's an outright lie.

Along the same lines as "chemical-free" products, products that have a "Free From:" and a long list of supposedly "bad" chemicals are almost as bad. A good example of a company that does this is Origins. Their "purity" statement says "Our products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin, DEA and animal ingredients. Why is it so important to know all of the things that the are NOT putting in their products instead of telling you what they DO put in their products?
1) Ginger Extract- data shows taking ginger orally has anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic benefits. Applied topically- it's a major skin irritant.
2) Lemon (and all citrus) oils- classified as irritants and potentially phototoxic (cell death with light exposure)
3) Mint- irritant
I could go on and on with the number of irritating essential oils included in the Origins line. Their tagline is using all natural plant oils but not all plant oils are good for your skin! Many are downright bad for it! Besides all of this, after a lot of digging I found an ingredient statement for their Have A Nice Day Supercharged Moisture Sunscreen SPF15 and found that they did indeed use parabens! There is nothing wrong with parabens (they are a much vilified ingredient as I explained in a previous post) but Origins made a specific statement that they DO NOT use them. 

I've also seen products that have a "free from" section a mile long with ingredients that would never be included in that type of product. For example, a facial moisturizer claiming to be free from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). What formulator in their right mind would put a detergent in a lotion?!

I think it is far more important to be aware of what is IN your products than what is not. I can make a preservative free product too. In another month you'll get the added ingredients of bacteria and mold! Enjoy smearing that on your face!