Cosmetic Concern

By Emily Pantelides - bio | email

(WFLX) - We've all seen what makeup can do on the outside, but what about the inside? One consumer group is alleging toxins from inside makeup are putting teens and young women at risk.

With all the shades and shimmer comes all the self-esteem. "Makes me feel better about myself. I wear it everyday," says one teen.

The teens know all about the makeup magic; however, what they don't know is the danger, some say, lurks under all the looks. "Ingredients in the product are linked to cancer - developmental reproductive toxicity," said Sandy Buchanan of Cleveland.

Buchanan is a board member for the national consumer group called the Environmental Working Group. Their recent results of their 10-year study called 'Body of Burden' claims, of the 20 teen girls tested, 13 were found to have hormone altering cosmetics chemicals in their bodies.

With that the group put out an online danger guide ranking the usual you'd find in a teen's bag from one to 10. Not found in the ingredient list are things, like formaldehyde. "They just keep getting worse. Why would we want to put things like that into makeup that go onto skin and can be absorbed into the bloodstream? Why on earth would we allow chemicals like that to be sold without warning?"

When it comes to cosmetics, no pre-market approval is required by the Food and Drug Administration. We asked the FDA about it.

Their response: "Manufacturers may use any ingredient in the formation of their cosmetic product."

By phone, a spokesperson confirms how it works. "Cosmetic manufacturers are responsible for making sure their products are safe."

Pretty much, the cosmetics companies are their own police. An industry spokesperson and scientist confident in the safety on the shelves says, "There's nothing in it for companies to market products that are harmful.

"The companies I work with everyday have armies of scientists who assess the ingredients."

Therefore, it's the industry's science versus the consumer group's science. And, in the middle, are the makeup users.

To read the complete study, and see what's in your makeup bag, go to the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.