The Unresolved truth of the Cosmetics Industry
People are suffering and dying from exposure to harmful cosmetic ingredients that lack regulations. The cosmetic industry has not put any effort into regulating toxic ingredients that are present in makeup, moisturizers, sunscreen, acne products, and other popular products. Cosmetics should be identified as drugs because of the extensive list of dangerous side effects they have on users. There are many different ways drugs can be taken which include absorption through the skin, swallowing, topical ointments, injecting, and spraying. Skincare products are drugs since they are absorbed by the skin and travel deep into the body which can lead to alarming side effects affecting users with allergic reactions and even organ damage.
Cosmetics products such as sunscreen have harmful ingredients that are not regulated and cause health problems. In a study, sunscreen users were tested for the harmful ingredient oxybenzone, a hazardous chemical, which is a common ingredient used in sunscreen products. A reliable source known as the Centers for Disease Control states that “97% of the people tested have oxybenzone present in their urine.” What seemed like an industry producing harmless products just showed how much of an effect these creams, essence, and makeup products have on our bodies well being.
Oxybenzone is a deadly ingredient that should be regulated and considered a drug since it does have an enormous amount of side effects that have already been shown to be hazardous to the human body. The article, “Dermatological and environmental toxicological impact of the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone/benzophenone-3” from the Wiley Online Library discussed the concern that, “Personal care products containing oxybenzone must be raised and compared with the potential negative health and environmental effects.” Sunscreens contain harmful ingredients that have been shown to cause allergies as they were “reported to produce contact and photo contact allergy reactions” according to the Wiley Online Library article. Not only are these products leading to concerning allergic reactions but also have been linked to causing “Hirschsprung’s disease.” This disease has been proven to cause intestine problems that can be life-threatening for children and change the reproductive system in adults. The author Morgan G. Egebers from the article “Beauty is Pain: An Analytical View of the American Beauty Industry and the Effects of Regulation on Consumers” writes how the FDA defines drugs as, “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.” Even though one may not view cosmetics as drugs they are similar because of the ways they affect the body.
When thinking of the definition of a drug, most think about medications, hard drugs, certain types of foods, and alcohol. Cosmetics can fit into some of these subcategories, specifically medication and harmful drugs. All cosmetics can be considered drugs, it just depends on what subcategory they fall into. There are some cosmetics that are used to prevent aging or treat acne just as medications are used to treat illnesses. Cosmetics can also be harmful to your body like some hard drugs, for example, narcotics or opioids, and could cause irreversible side effects. Some of these side effects consist of allergic reactions, chemical burns, hormonal imbalance, and even unrecoverable side effects such as organ damage and skin discoloration. In JAAD’s article called “Regulation of skin lightening agents in the United States and implications for public health,” there is a statement saying there are “Toxic levels of mercury are found in many skin lightening products.” The reason for these high levels of mercury being present in skin lightening products is due to the fact that “skin lightening agents do not undergo any degree of United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) premarket approval.” Unlike drugs which are heavily regulated, cosmetics are easily obtained and can still cause similar health problems.
Both drug stores and higher-end cosmetic companies, such as L’Oreal and NARS respectively, have been reported to contain lead in their products. This exposes consumers to problems such as kidney and brain damage, miscarriages, reproductive problems, and much more. This fact has been vocally expressed to the public for years, yet no regulations have been made. People trust the FDA to regulate foods by making sure they are healthy to consume. For that reason, consumers of cosmetics are trusting the FDA to make regulations on any ingredients that can cause detrimental side effects. In reality, the cosmetic industry is not being regulated by the FDA. Some of the most popular cosmetic companies contain harmful ingredients in their products which shows a lack of transparency to consumers. In the article, “COSMETICS: A Dermatologist Looks to the Future: Promises and Problems’ “Albert M. Kilgman explains how people using these cosmetics have a lack of education with, “No premarketing proof of efficacy or safety is required.” There is a large demographic that these companies market to including children, teens, and adults. Manufacturers are getting away with selling products without testing the side effects they have on the human body. It takes countless products with negative side effects for a consumer to start getting interested in the ingredient list of cosmetics. This shows how the industry cares more about selling its products than the safety of its customers.
The gap between regulations placed in the United States compared to Europe are drastically different. Europe has been shown to have stricter regulations when it comes to not only foods and medications, but cosmetics as well. In the article “Analytical Challenges and Regulatory Requirements for Nasal Drug Products in Europe and the U.S.” on the MDPI website, there are intricate and precise regulations that are placed on the production and testing of nasal sprays and drops. A nasal spray is considered a drug since it is aborted by the skin and has been used therapeutically. Similar to nasal sprays, cosmetics are absorbed through the skin, which would classify them as drugs as well. When producing nasal sprays, Europeans take into consideration the, “droplet size distribution (DSD), plume geometry, spray pattern and shot weights of solution nasal sprays.” These small details are all necessary to make sure a product works accurately and has limited faults. If the United States took more time to regulate its products and use testing, it could lead to fewer allergic regions and fewer long-term health risks for users. On the website Science Direct the article, “COSMETICS: A Dermatologist Looks to the Future: Promises and Problems,” it is stated that there is no “proof of efficacy or safety” in topical products that are said to be anti-aging and can brighten skin. This statement alone explains how America is so developed, yet has no intentions to advance its procedures for safety in order to prevent toxic ingredients.
The legislation allows minimal power for the FDA in regulating skincare ingredients. People check nutritional facts on foods sold in the supermarket even though there are strict restrictions placed by the FDA. Meanwhile, it has been proven, that “thirteen thousand chemicals that are used in cosmetics,” (Egeberg), yet only 10% are tested for safety before being placed on shelves. The majority of cosmetic consumers never check the labels of their products, exposing them to the thousands of chemicals being used. The FDA clearly does not have strict enough regulations for products that most women and men use on a daily basis.
Egeberg, M. G. (2020). Beauty is Pain: An Analytical View of the American Beauty Industry and the Effects of Regulation on Consumers. Redirecting… Retrieved March 5, 2022, from https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/qhlj23&div=17&g_sent=1&casa_token=&collection=journals
DiNardo, J. C., & Downs, C. A. (2017, October 31). Dermatological and environmental … – wiley online library. Wiley Online Library . Retrieved March 5, 2022, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12449
Trows, S., Wuchner, K., Spycher, R., & Steckel, H. (2014, April 11). Analytical challenges and regulatory requirements for nasal drug products in Europe and the U.S. MDPI. Retrieved March 5, 2022, from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12449 ;
Kligman, A. M. (2005, August 15). Cosmetics: A dermatologist looks to the future: Promises and Problems. Dermatologic Clinics. Retrieved March 1, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0733863505702217 ,
Y., Krueger, L. D., &Nguyen, H. P. (2020, December 6). Regulation of skin lightening agents in the United States and implications for public health. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology . Retrieved March 5, 2022, from https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(20)33151-0/fulltext#relatedArticles
Exhaustive feedback offered at:
I like how you included the comparison of things like nasal sprays and skincare products when it comes to testing and regulating. It further strengthens the argument that is being conveyed.
I recognized a few quotation errors within the piece. However, everything else is clear and concise.
I enjoyed reading this simply because I believe that the cosmetic industry is not perfect as well. A lot of women feel the need to wear make up and things like that to feel pretty and these companies will say and sell anything because they know that there are people out there wiling to buy it. You did a very good job at breaking down everything and also added in facts to make your points valid
I was not confused by anything that I read , in fact I learned a lot more than I knew prior to the reading. I was not aware of these big brands especially NARS that there is lead present in their products. I was shocked because I am not into make up but I do wear lipgloss and I get lipgloss specifically from NARS so I am glad that I am aware of what I have been putting on my lips. I am really big on face care and what I mean by that is having a face routine to keep my skin clear. The products I use are recommended by my dermatologist but after reading that I wonder if what I have been using on my face is even safe.
I think the ideas are very well thought out and organized. I enjoyed your topic as I know a lot of what we see online is not always the real deal. Although I do see a few quote and sentence issues here and there with-in the essay. Overall, I enjoyed your argument. 🙂
This article was very interesting to me because I do not have any prior knowledge on the subject. I am now a little more skeptical about the skin care products that I buy after reading your essay. I enjoyed how you gave specific examples and explained the problem clearly.
Besides minor qoutation error, this piece was very well written and thought out precisely.
1. I like that you included exactly which ingredients are harmful and where those ingredients can be found and in which products. I also like how you compared the different types of “drugs” and explained in detail how the FDA can’t always be trusted and how it’s up to you to know what kind of ingredients are harmful and which are not. I like how clear and concise your argument is and that it is easy for the reader to understand and back up your point, because you included how this problem affects everybody, not just those who use a lot of cosmetics
2. I believe it would be important to include ways for the average consumer to know and point out harmful ingredients from good ingredients. I also noticed that your title is Dilemma of Skincare world but you also include other things such as makeup and perfume, maybe you could expand your title to include all cosmetics.
I enjoyed reading this because I found it interesting that 97% of people tested had oxybenzone in their urine, as well as how there are 13000 chemicals with only 10% tested for safety in public use.
With unknowing background of oxybenzone before I had searched it on google and what it was, I think it would be helpful to give a small background if what it is, even just a definition. As well as with Hirschsprung’s disease.
I enjoyed reading this because I believe that a lot of women always feel the need to wear make up all the time.
While I’m probably the last person in line on skin care authority, I found this to be informative and liked how you attacked the FDA and name dropped each of the companies. Another thing I really enjoyed is that how you recognize that a drug’s definition is subject to the authority and can change depending on what politician gets paid. This really hit the nail for me considering this draft was coming from a definition standpoint.
My critique would probably have to be that there are a few claims in here and words like “reported” but with no actual data to back it up. This could be boiled down to pacing and trying to fit your argument into the smaller word count. I ran into that problem but you’ve probably got that data off hand and can put it in as your drafts get bigger and longer.
I never realized the effects the cosmetic industry can have on us as humans. I liked the point of about influencers and celebrities promoting these products. We today rely on some of those people and trust their word. When in reality the stuff we may be using is not good for us. Also I liked the point about people relying on the FDA are being misled when it comes to the use cosmetics. FDA doesn’t regulate skin care products even though chemicals are found in there. Making people believe it is all good and well when in reality it’s not.
Some things I noticed were some punctuation errors. It was almost in every paragraph it seemed. Mostly with the quotations.
Great essay schoolcookiemonster! I especially enjoyed that you had a wide variety of sources to argue each point in your essay, and multiple quotes from each. From your reference page, I could tell that these sources are reliable which is a relief. I never heard about any of this information, so it was really interesting finding out how harmful some of the stuff is in products that people I know use daily! I personally don’t use make-up, but after reading this, I will most likely mention to people to be cautious about the products they are using.
The only “problem” I have with your essay is some grammar errors. The two I noticed were a space right after the first quotation when using quotes and an error in sentence structure. For the first example, I believe there is no space right after a quotation mark, and I was thrown off while reading. Like in this sentence from your essay: “In the article,” Analytical Challenges…” there is a space right after your quotation and I think you should remove this. I may be wrong about it being grammatically incorrect, but I believe it is. For the second grammar error, I noticed that in this sentence “According to Joseph C. DiNardo and Craig A. Downs writes more on the statistics that the Centers of Disease Control states,…” this sentence doesn’t make sense to me because it doesn’t flow correctly. I think you had an idea going and then you got mixed up so I would just revise that.
I had enjoyed reading this with all the reasoning that is behind it on an ongoing issue. The issue that I have with this type of writing is that the cause that is being stated in their writing may be something that may be looked at differently by my research and my prior knowledge. Although the skin care industry is a risky business and there needs to be a safe environment for skin care.
Although I do see some grammatical flaws in the sentences but other than that this is well written.
I really think your argument is interesting as it is something that influences most people on a day to day basis. I also really enjoy how you tackle influence of the media in terms of what influences people the most being an uneducational source rather than one based on fact.
Food for thought: You mention that a lot of the ingredients aren’t checked by the FDA, however it is the same story with vitamins. Over the counter vitamins aren’t “FDA approved” so therefore that “vitamin c” that you’re taken may not actually be vitamin c. It may be an interesting case to compare just to show the lack of FDA concern when it comes to marketing of skincare products. Since most skincare products are seen as a health benefit, much like vitamins, and sometimes are even said to contain said vitamins, it may be a fun comparison.
I also feel as though the part where you mention allergy is a very loose argument and as the reader, you lost me at that point. I am allergic to the cold but can’t expect the FDA to not approve frozen foods because it’ll give me an allergic reaction. Nor could I expect them to put a disclaimer on the foods because I am of the minority. I think if going the route of allergy you should focus on the main allergen that causes reactions and specifically research how many people are allergic to it. Meaning something like “65% of all people in the US are allergic to benzophenone-3, however skincare companies choose to ignore this statistic and continue to use benzophenone-3 in their products even though it carries little to no benefit”
I really like the fact that there’s so much writing, but none of it feels like fluff or filler to extend the length of the paper. The content is the content. That’s great. After reading, it also feels like this person knows their sh*t when it comes to this topic. I’d hope they would, but I guess this argument is just taking advantage of my agreeableness. I can’t exactly tell if this argument is just that good or that I am a swayable sheep to any argument that graces my eyes. I’ll go with the former.
Now for the bad. I’m not sure if this is a meaningful critique or if it’s too different from my style of writing, but I don’t like the “transition paragraphs” I see. It seems that in between all of the big paragraphs, there are a couple of small ones that seem to serve as transition points between two large paragraphs. If I did it, I’d just put the transition points in the big paragraphs themselves. Take that as you will. Either that’s a meaningful critique of this writing, or I’m just mentioning something that differs from my (perfect) writing style and why I don’t like it personally.
I thought that this was a great start for a research paper. I think that the general explanation of the problem is well thought out and I felt informed after reading. My main issue with this paper is in the first paragraph, when you talk about the chemicals in makeup. You wrote a name of some chemical that I don’t know anything about, and implied that it is bad. If you changed it into showing how it is bad and wrote some negative side effects of it, I think that would serve as a great attention grabber for your readers.
I really like how the essay was interesting, and kept us engaged. However, I think that there are too many references in each paragraph, because it really clouds what you are saying, and it just feels like a few paragraphs of references.
I overall love your choice of this topic and can’t wait to read your final essay. I feel skin care is trying to adversities the benefits their product offers but fails to include their downfalls. Same goes with hair care, certain shampoos and conditioners have been discontinued due to their chemicals that cause hair loss or hair thinning, but do not include these dangers within their branding. There is skin care in the world that is natural or chemical free and some what harmless, but these products have prices that don’t convince the average costumer to purchase, they would rather go for lower priced items. Also there is has been scandals with johnson and johnson the company that makes products for babies, that have caused issues, if interested I recommended you read about that company you might find something very interesting. I feel that you overall have a strong argument, can’t wait to learn more. Maybe its time to rethink the skincare and sunscreen I use.
However I do feel that your use of words does get confusing to the average reader. As I am some what familiar with this topic but I am not as knowledge as you and the sources you used. I recommend breaking it down for someone that is learning this for the first time and explaining certain things in depth more. I found myself looking up certain diseases or chemicals you mention because I didn’t know that they were or what the chemicals did. Add definitions to these terms to save your reader time from looking up these terms that may be brand new and unheard to them.
Lastly I considered the possibility that these products may not cause problems immediately but in the long term of things. Consider the idea a new foundation is released and everyone loves it for years and is a great hit in the makeup industry, but in 40 years down the line people who used this foundation have developed skin cancer or severe eczema, but their was no way to know this would happen in short time.
My praise is that I think you chose an interesting topic in which you can create a strong argument. I liked how you made comparisons from skin care to drugs to support your argument. For example, when you mentioned, “Drugs can be absorbed by the skin…skincare products are also absorbed into the skin.” For the critique part I would say I was having some trouble understanding/following the (in text) citations. I was just confused by the placement of the “” and some phases at a few points. Also it would have been helpful to have a little more specifics. For example, what is Hirschsprung’s disease? Overall, I was able to learn a few things. I am somehow surprised and expected that some skin care items can and are doing harm.
I noticed that the author wasn’t as specific when explaining the differences to europe and america. I feel like they could have elaborated more instead of jumping to the intricate drop section.
The sentences were not cohesive, and just didn’t really lead into each other, but instead jumped around until it eventually got to the point which was still unclear.
They were not specific enough in their point, it wasn’t clear whether they were comparing or just saying in general so it was hard to get the point.
“The skincare industry” sentence and then the one following after would have been good if they went on to talk about the difference between the United states and Europe DSD.
Some of the sentences are just misplaced/ need more explanation behind them. like
the nasal spray sentence. It kind of feels like a filler sentence instead of to back up their point
I really liked the section about intricate drops.
I really liked the last section, it was a good sentence to have to make a point if it
This is substantially better overall since your revisions, Cookie. Your claims are bolder and clearer. You dither less and drive home points with rigor. Your Introduction lays out the essential argument and guides the reader toward the conclusion.
Your introduction is too long by a few sentences. Oxy deserves a paragraph of its own, so break it there. Add a line of transition to let readers know this is the first example of a drug that most readers will not have imagined would penetrate the body or cause damage.
The weak claim here is:
Does oxybenzone CONTAIN a hazardous chemical, or it by itself a hazardous chemical? And if it is, why does it need to be LINKED to “containing hazardous chemicals”? And finally, how could a hazardous chemical NOT be detrimental?
There may be other instances of that sort of vagueness remaining, but I need to know from you how much more you want to work on this argument as we proceed to the causal and rebuttal arguments. Let me know, and ask specific questions to guide me, please.
Thank you for the feedback I definitely want to still work on this essay a bit more to really polish it up and make my point come across throughout the entire essay. I’m thinking of using this week to do some revisions since I do have some more time.
Good, Cookie. Do you need further guidance from me at the moment?
One thing does truly need your attention when you’re ready for a final polish. Your Quotation Marks are all over the place, making it very hard to understand what’s being quoted and what’s the title of an article. WordPress doesn’t make things easy, but the time spent will be worthwhile.
I added more clarification when it came to my arguments and fixed the quotations and punctuation throughout the essay.
After reading the essay over I did notice a lot of repetitive sentences so I got rid of them and put more purposeful sentences to take their place.
P1. People are suffering
—You’ve done a really good job of getting to the point and laying out your case, Cookie. It makes your thesis, that cosmetics are drugs, very clear.
P2. Cosmetics products such as sunscreen
—Just one thing about this evidence, Cookie. I know it’s a pain in the ass, but what if 97% of EVERYBODY has oxybenzone in their urine whether they use sunscreen or not? I’ll bet there’s an explanation in your source that compares that 97% to a “background” number like 2% of the general population has oxy in their blood.
P3. Oxybenzone is a deadly ingredient
—Grammar Note: You can’t have an “amount of side effects” since side effects can be counted, but you can have “an enormous NUMBER of side effects.”
—In that quote from Wiley, there’s a dubious phrase “must be raised”? It doesn’t make sense. Is it in the original?
—That’s a compelling description of Hirshsprung’s!
—Egebers doesn’t “write HOW the FDA”; she “reports THAT the FDA defines . . . .”
—You need a stronger counter-definition than that, Cookie. How about
P4. When thinking of the definition
—This is an excellent claim, but drop the “There are.”
—You’re on a roll. Excellent, but get rid of the 2nd person language:
—Get rid of another “there is”:
—Get rid of “the reason is due to”:
Several of those improvements can be implemented elsewhere in your work, Cookie. Do a “find” function in your browser for “there is” and for “because” and “due to” and “it is” and “. This” and see whether, when you use these words and phrases, your sentences suffer.
P5. Both drug stores and higher-end cosmetic companies,
—Your paragraph is too long. Does it contain JUST ONE, or maybe TWO main ideas?
—This paragraph starts THREE sentences with “This.” Almost always, such a weak opening indicates you haven’t said what you should have in the previous sentence.
—THOUGHT SO. This is where your new paragraph should begin:
People trust the FDA to regulate foods by making sure they are healthy to consume.
—Your second sentence isn’t logical. People trust the FDA to regulate food, and they ONLY THINK it regulates cosmetics under the DRUG category. But they don’t.
—Your Kilgman evidence is strong, but it sounds like you’re blaming the consumers (they have a lack of education). Kilgman clearly blames the cosmetics industry which is not REQUIRED to show “premarketing proof of efficacy or safety.” is required.”
—You can UN-blame the public and excuse their not-knowing by blaming the lack of regulation. Why SHOULDN’T cosmetics be proven harmless?
P6. (or the new P7) The gap between regulations
—Your first sentence is too neutral. You could replace it with a clear claim that Europe DOES A BETTER JOB OF PROTECTING its cosmetics consumers than the US.
—It might help to identify a nasal spray as “something seemingly innocuous.” The hidden dangers of sprays that we think of as “water vapor” are JUST the sort of thing that needs regulation.
—You keep saying “aborted through the skin” instead of “absorbed through the skin.”
—A nasal spray ISN’T considered a drug by the FDA (that’s your point), but it SHOULD BE in Cookie-World according to Cookie’s Counterintuitive Definition!
—Your last three sentences use “it could lead to,” and “it is stated,” and “there is no,” and “. This statement.” Can you improve these sentences?
P7 (or the new P8) The legislation allows
—Your citation sentence has some problems. 1) we don’t use the parenthetical cite technique, 2) the word that in the quote spoils the grammar of the sentence, 3) the grammar of the two parts (before and after the parenthesis) don’t match. How about:
The solutions are simple.
I’m SOOO impressed with your dedication to the feedback/revision process, Cookie! I hope it’s been a rewarding educational experience and NOT ONLY a pain in the ass. Your work gets better with every draft, and if the lessons are sinking in, ALL your writing will benefit in future from the practice you’re getting here critically reading your own work, finding problems, and making your sentences better.
If you make further revisions, it’s probably time to end the feedback cycle here and just regrade as your work improves. I’ve regraded it just now, and you can earn another regrade if you make improvements based on this round of feedback.
It is worth noting that the out of the 10% of those thousands of chemicals, there is a portion of which that is tested on animals by these industry giants. The FDA would go about it more humanely.
This was a very good definition rewrite, I loved the comparisons made between drugs and the skincare companies.
My critique goes as far as clarification on the difference between here and other countries.