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The cosmetic industry has learned its lesson well . Based on the chemical composition from its very origins, it has a difficult time facing the current trend that prioritizes the ecological. However, he uses all kinds of weapons to offer an image that is as natural as possible, free of risks.

And the truth is that it is not bad at all . His strategy is helping to make the maligned chemicals go unnoticed as much as possible. Expressions such as “dermatologically tested”, “with natural essences”, “natural”, “with natural extracts”, “not tested on animals”, “without parabens”, “without ammonia” or “without detergents” are misleading expressions that very they often build trust in the uninformed consumer.

Go ahead, it is of little use to trust if in fact those expressions are only part of the truth. Or, what is the same, a half truth . And it is that poorly informed consumers, that is, the majority, we are not quite aware of the importance of being aware of which chemicals are harmful to health.

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  1. Risk components
  2. The ugly strategy of looking for substitutes
  3. Beware of méthylisothiazolinone and phenoxyéthanol

Risk components

Not knowing how to identify those components considered risky (toxic, carcinogenic, irritants, endocrine disruptors, etc.) by alerts from activist groups or by the results of different studies prevents being aware of what is being bought.

The progressive disappearance of parabens causes great confusion in this regard. If, on the one hand, it is perfect to be dispensing with them, on the other it makes you want to say that “Houston, we have a problem.” The reason is simple: the parabens are eliminated but, oh, surprise!

The ugly strategy of looking for substitutes

Free of parabens, quite an achievement, but paradoxically the situation we have is not better, at least in the vast majority of cases. The sad reality prevails and the truth is that we find substitutes that perform a similar function (prevent the development of molds and bacteria) and, in turn, also have undesirable side effects .

Therefore, except for organic cosmetics (which, on the other hand, do not usually shout from the rooftops that they are free of chemicals, since being organic this is presupposed) if the label of a cosmetic clearly announces the absence of parabens, we begin to suspect, because a product “sans paraben” usually hides other synthetic preservatives as harmful as those.

The ignorance that still exists about them for the general public is taken advantage of, the advantage that means that they still do not have bad press to use them as substitutes, so that the announcement of not containing parabens is ambiguous and easily misleading.

Beware of méthylisothiazolinone and phenoxyéthanol

Consumer reaction is key here. First of all, as a general recommendation it is essential to check the list of components of cosmetic products . At first it will be like reading Chinese, but little by little we will become familiar with them and we will learn to identify those who are on the “black lists”.

As soon as we see that a product is “without parabens” or “without” any other component, let’s be careful and look for two words: méthylisothiazolinone and phénoxyéthanol, since both are usually systematically replaced by parabens.

The media campaign carried out by consumer associations and other activist groups against the presence of parabens in cosmetics has had its effect, but the reaction of the industry has not been to veer towards organic cosmetics.

Unsurprisingly, they simply respond to new demands without offering a secure solution. They simply offer another formulation, the one necessary to be able to advertise in large print that it is a “paraben-free” product. It is, in short, an irresponsible reaction, which continues to prioritize business over public health. Of yours and mine. Fortunately, the consumer always has the last word, both when buying and voting.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why distrust cosmetics , we recommend that you enter our Health and Science category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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