Survey reveals women still in dark about ingredients used in cosmetics products

By Pooja Kondhia

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care products, Cosmetics, Personal care products council

A study of Oregonian women has found the majority of participants are not fully aware of the ingredients used in their daily cosmetics products.

The study conducted by the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) and Metro, a regional government body, surveyed 1008 women from the Portland State University (PSU) finding that most had little to no knowledge of the cosmetics products they used daily.

Despite the high usage of cosmetics and personal care products, as part of the survey, 63 percent of the women said they did not know all they needed to know about ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products.

Not in the know

Also, 45 percent said they did not think “the government adequately regulates personal care products​”, with an additional 20 percent stating they “don’t know​”.

Oregonians have the right to know whether the shampoo, sunscreen and lipstick they buy contains ingredients linked to cancer and other health risks​,” said Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis, program director for environmental health at OEC.

The report revealed that on average these women all aged between 17 – 30 years old, used at least 10 different products per day comprising shampoos, moisturizers and color cosmetics.

Almost six in ten participants used a moisturizer daily, whilst four in ten used shampoo daily. Skin care sales in the US are forecast to increase five percent between 2010-15, according to Euromonitor.

Color cosmetics such as foundation, mascara and lipstick were also found to be used daily by around a third of the women, 31 percent, 39 percent and 29 percent respectively. Likewise, color cosmetics in the US are also expected to grow by six percent between 2010-15.

Attempts to provide greater transparency

The regulations and safety measures governing the cosmetics and personal care industry have been under great scrutiny and in an attempt to shed light on the matter, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) has been trying to provide consumers with greater transparency of cosmetics formulations.

In one of his last interviews before retiring, former-chief scientist for the PCPC, John Bailey, PhD​ elaborated on the role the PCPC plays in attempting to give consumers greater clarity about cosmetics and ingredients used.

What we have been trying to do is counter the misinformation by providing scientifically-based and proven information about ingredient safety​,” said Bailey.

The PCPC also have a website dedicated to safety of cosmetic ingredients commonly used in products sold in the U.S.

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