News Day Tuesday: Cosmetics’ effects may be more than skin deep, study warns

So. I have a confession to make. I don’t like…to smell bad. It’s true. And because I don’t like to smell bad, I do things like take showers. Everyday. With soap. And shampoo. And because my hair is a little crazy (I blame my parents who thought it was a good idea for me to get a few perms, starting when I was 9, but this is a childhood trauma I’d rather not get into right now), I use conditioner. AND, to top it all off, I use lotion. Because I like it better when my skin is nice and soft rather than a rough, dry mess. Plus, did I mention that I don’t like to smell bad?

So you can see how I wasn’t thrilled to learn that a small study recently released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that all 20 of the teenage girls they studied had in their bodies an average of 13 chemicals commonly found in cosmetic products, like soap, shampoo, lotion, and yes, make-up too. Go ahead and read an article about the study.

The study is a bit controversial. The EWG contends that many of the chemicals they found act like hormones, and so would have a potentially greater impact on teenagers, whose bodies are still developing and particularly sensitive to changes in hormone levels. They admit that the levels of chemicals they found in the girls they studied didn’t match what was expected from normal cosmetics use – in other words, there were probably other environmental sources of those chemicals, not just the cosmetics. But the Personal Care Products Council, which represents the cosmetic and personal care products industry, issued a response to the EWG study, saying that the study is flawed and that the scientific research supports the conclusion that their products are safe.

To be fair, just because the study found these chemicals in the teenagers they studied doesn’t mean that they will be harmed by the use of cosmetics containing these chemicals. To justify those conclusions would require a more in-depth study, with a control group that didn’t use cosmetics with these chemicals, and with many more study participants, followed over a much longer period of time to see if the amount of chemicals in their bodies was related at all to their risk of developing health problems later on.

So what do you think? Do you think the warning alarms are premature or justified? Is the EWG study going to change your cosmetics use? Do you think anything should be done about the use of these chemicals in cosmetics that teenagers use? If so, what do you think you can do to bring about that kind of change? Do you think an organization like Teens for Safe Cosmetics can make a difference?

P.S. – Some of you might be wondering, “So what are these chemicals the EWG is making a fuss about?” To answer just that question, the EWG made a guide listing the ingredients and products they recommend that consumers avoid.


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15 Responses to “News Day Tuesday: Cosmetics’ effects may be more than skin deep, study warns”

  1. MarilyneL Says:

    Well, I am not a big fan of cosmethics so I guess I’m not too worried about it. I once saw in a show, a report on the heavy make up used for shows and they had invited Anderson Cooper and tested his level of chemical and I remember it was pretty shocking. Now, we can’t yet affirm that those chemicals are harmful or not, but what I find the worst about it, is that, as normal customers, we trust the product we purchased. We assume that the right tests have been made and that it’s safe to use…and make sure we are not fooled by big companies. Thanks you the article!

  2. Emmy Says:

    I don’t really wear cosmetics, so I don’t feel this issue affects me very much. I used to wear makeup when I was first in high school until I realized that I was covering up my skin and I was starting to feel insecure without makeup on.

    I think whatever you wear on your skin, a little bit of it will eventually diffuse into your skin and bloodstream. (I took a course biomedical transport processes, which involves a lot of diffusion, fluid mechanics, calculus, computer programming and such.) Because your skin is such a good barrier to protect you from the outside environment and the chemical particles that are are trying to get into your skin might be small and diffuse slowly, it still seems reasonable that they will eventually diffuse into your skin if you are wearing products all time.

    I would encourage girls to wear less makeup and to not be afraid of what you look like first thing in the morning. You will still be beautiful. 🙂

  3. G Says:

    Here I thought that by not wearing makeup I was avoiding chemicals haha. Wow *switches body wash* This reminds me of when we were learned about all of the girls in the Baroque era getting mercury poisoning because their makeup was heavily based upon mercury.

  4. Rysa Says:

    I’m not addicted to cosmetic. I mean I use some basic things, and thats not because I don’t like, or they have chemicals.. It’s because I really don’t care. I feel good the way I look without cosmetics. But my sis is only 14 yo and she loves it. She can’t go out without doing anything that include cosmetics. I think she obsessive with that. And really, she doesn’t need that, she’s beautiful.

  5. withlovebyLi Says:

    I’m more concerned about animal products in personal care products instead of chemicals. I’d rather live with a few chemicals in my system and be clean, moisturized and blue-haired than be dirty and chemical-free. There’s more damage in having poor hygiene since the dirt and germs attract/create diseases.

    Until a dozen studies come to the same conclusion, I wouldn’t take this seriously. I say keep personal care products to a minimum–just use the basics–and read the labels listed and you should be fine. If you worry too much, the next thing you know you’ll stop using toothpaste for fear of being poisoned!

  6. taylor nikole Says:

    I don’t ever wear make up…
    that might be because I take about 10 minutes to get ready.
    Most times I just put my hair in a ponytail and put on something comfy 🙂
    (bed head in a ponytail is the best LOL)
    although so many girls that don’t need make up just cake it on..
    its really not necessary….
    interesting blog 🙂

  7. taylor nikole Says:

    I don’t ever wear make up…
    that might be because I take about 10 minutes to get ready.
    Most times I just put my hair in a ponytail and put on something comfy 🙂
    (bed head in a ponytail is the best LOL)
    although so many girls that don’t need make up just cake it on..
    its really not necessary….
    interesting blog 🙂

  8. Emily Says:

    try arbonne!
    its amazing its all natural. my sister is a consultant for it and i love it

  9. Ver0nik21 Says:

    I don’t really wear make up either!
    Well, only some eye liner and lip gloss that’s about it
    coz I don’t really take much time to get readt just like you said TK!! LOL
    So I guess on those two things I’ll have to check if they have chemicals and If they do, well there must be some line of products who doesn’t have chemicals I heard of it…
    Can’t really remember the name.


  10. taylor nikole Says:

    hmmm that is why if i wear make up…
    i wear arbonne…
    its all vegan and natural 🙂
    and makes me happy
    but i rarely use it 🙂

    heheheh yay for not getting read and yay for bedhead!

  11. Ver0nik21 Says:

    I’m up for vegan and natural make up!

    thanx for the advice!
    I’ll check tosee if the Uk has that brand!


  12. skahahoo Says:

    If you can’t find that brand, you can find a list of “Greener Alternatives” here:

  13. Ver0nik21 Says:

    Thanx so much!


    I found the brand over here and a couple more i wanted to check out!!

    Thanx you are so nice 😉

  14. taylor nikole Says:


  15. Ver0nik21 Says:


    that sounded like a commercial


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