Knowledge Is Change
The lack of education given to consumers from the FDA and manufacturers about the side effects of cosmetics causes a lack of transparency regarding consumers’ unregulated products, lack of safety for customized products, and high beauty standards that lead to false advertising. Customized cosmetics are popular, especially since they are presented to consumers as more options and alternatives that can be used in a product. Since consumers can customize products they have the unlimited ability to change ingredients, fragrances, and textures that apply to their desired type of skin and expectations. Buyers may be satisfied with their products and feel safer using them yet in reality there are close to no safety precautions taken. According to the article by Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, “Consumers’ lack of understanding of customized cosmetics made on the spot and implications for regulations and controls,” it says that “safety was not verified previously except in the case that all the products were limited to the combinations previously tested.” Since there are so many variations to create a customized cosmetic product, not all the combinations are tested. This can lead to allergic reactions, breakouts, dry skin, or even lead long-term effects. Lack of public knowledge is what drives the cosmetic industry to cover up all the frightening ingredients they put in cosmetic products.
Customizing cosmetics companies that are advertising as better alternatives, in reality, have the same or even worse safety precautions as other non-customized cosmetics. Curology, a cosmetic company, is known for the personalization of its products by giving customers a questionnaire about their skin. The questionnaire is used to help identify what skin type and skin concern a customer has. The hefty prices of these products have no time to be tested for safety by manufacturers meaning there are no regulations or testing on the active ingredients. Not only are these companies falsely advertising products to be better quality and healthier but influencers or the companies themselves never discuss the truth about cross-contamination of these products. Customized products make customers feel in control of the ingredients based on their answers to the questionnaire. But in reality, there is less control than consumers expect. Most products that these companies sell, especially moisturizers and wash-off products, have the same base ingredients. These customized cosmetics have been beneficial for some, but nightmares for those who might experience allergic reactions, breakouts, and irritated skin. According to Nature’s article “Risk factors influencing contamination of customized cosmetics made on-the-spot,”it says that, “The US FDA states that cosmetics need not be sterile; however, cosmetic products must not be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms.” Pathogenic microorganisms are organisms that can cause diseases. These organisms are found in products, even though there is a regulation preventing them from being used. These organisms have been linked to health problems such as nose, eye, and throat irritations. Customers of these products are in danger without any knowledge of possible contamination and horrific side effects that are a result of a product not being tested for safety.
International cosmetics companies from Europe and Asia have stricter regulations on the ingredients that manufacturers are allowed to use in their cosmetics. Europe is known to have stricter regulations on food and other things on the market. The article “The Regulation of Personalized Cosmetics in the EU” published by MDPI stated that in order to protect consumers from contamination, employees are being trained to operate machinery that is “regularly calibrated and standardized.” When it comes to personalized cosmetics, both Europe and the US are unable to perform safety checks for all the different personalized products. No safety precautions are made to ensure the mixers of active ingredients are safe for humans and will not cause any allergic reactions when combined. The Cosmetic Product Notification Portal is a form of regulation Europe uses for products to be checked before being put on the market. Since consumers are not trying to make a change in the cosmetics industry, manufacturers and the FDA won’t take it upon themselves to change. This will lead to more harmful ingredients being used and the products not being strictly regulated.
Asia has been a top contender in the cosmetic market, yet buyers are still unaware of the harmful ingredients being used. In Korea’s dermatology clinic, there was a survey given to 1,000 patients about their cosmetic knowledge. Out of all the participants, 72% had an education of college or higher. In the Koreamed article, “Knowledge and Behavior Regarding Cosmetics in Koreans Visiting Dermatology Clinics” results from the survey showed that about “79.2% purchased cosmetics without checking ingredients, and 85.7% were unaware of the all-ingredient-labeling regulation.” This may seem surprising since Korea is well-known for being invested in its skincare regimens.
The younger generations today rely on social media and advertisements to educate themselves and see the beauty-enhancing effects of these cosmetics. In the Maiya Devi Girls college in Chitwan, there was a survey given to a total of 70 females. These girls were questioned about their knowledge of cosmetics they use such as makeup, sunscreen, nail polish, and skin lightening creams. The study’s results according to the Journal of Chitwan Medical college article called,“Knowledge regarding adverse effects of selected cosmetic products among higher secondary level girl students, Chitwan” stated that “98.6% got information about cosmetic products from television.” Social media and advertisements seem to be the main reason why young girls purchase cosmetics in the first place. The cosmetic industry for that reason has the freedom to make any claims they desire. Most of the participants had some sort of knowledge about harmful cosmetics that result in irritated skin and even skin cancer. These young girls might know some information about the side effects, however, they continue to use products that are detrimental. Ads for cosmetics pop up on social media platforms, television, and even billboards making them impossible to ignore. Beauty standards are skyrocketing and young girls are willing to do anything to keep up with expectations, even if it costs them their health. This generation more than any other needs to focus on not only educating themselves about the dangers of cosmetics but push the cosmetic industry to make stricter regulations and make safer products.
Kim, H. W., Seok, Y. S., Lee, H. G., Song, M. K., & Rhee, M. S. (2021, June 29). Consumers’ lack of understanding of customized cosmetics made on the spot and implications for regulations and controls. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. Retrieved March 27, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230021001197
Kim, H. W., Seok, Y. S., Cho, T. J., & Rhee, M. S. (2020, January 31). Risk factors influencing contamination of customized cosmetics made on-the-spot: Evidence from the National Pilot Project for Public Health. Nature News. Retrieved April 1, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-57978-9
Eixarch, H., Wyness, L., & Sibanda, M. (2019, May 5). The regulation of personalized cosmetics in the EU. MDPI. Retrieved April 1, 2022, from https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/6/2/29
Cho, S., Oh, S., Kim, N. I., Ro, Y. S., Kim, J. S., Park, Y. M., Park, C. W., Lee, W. J., Kim, D. K., Lee, D. W., & Lee, S. J. (2017, March 24). Knowledge and behavior regarding cosmetics in Koreans visiting dermatology clinics. Annals of Dermatology. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://synapse.koreamed.org/articles/1095840
Shrestha, R., & Shakya, J. (2017, February 2). Knowledge regarding adverse effects of selected cosmetic products among higher secondary level girl students, Chitwan. Journal of Chitwan Medical College. Retrieved April 2, 2022, from https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/JCMC/article/view/16685
I’m impressed that you’ve settled on a Causal Argument early, Cookie, and I’m eager to help. I hope what follows will qualify as assistance, not interference.
1. I’m surprised that you feel the need to focus your attention on the “customized cosmetics” niche of the skin care industry, but, if you do, you probably won’t need to make a lot of broad claims about the health hazards of the industry at large.
2. I had no idea there WAS a customized cosmetics industry, so I had to do a little very casual (CASual, meaning informal, not CAUsal, as in CAUse and effect 🙂 ) research of my own.
3. I started by taking a look at a company called PROVEN (as seen on Shark Tank). Here’s their link.
4. It’s a little odd, but not terribly surprising that the company promotes a “Computational Physicist” as their authority. The company makes no claims about her understanding of the efficacy or safety of ingredients, except as someone who used her “computer science background” to analyze “effectiveness.” Notice there’s no mention of safety in that description.
5. The company makes not a single “safety” claim that I can see.
6. The company bases its massive claim for the “effectiveness” of its product on a SINGLE STUDY of 33 volunteers over 28 days. That’s it. The results were “self-reported” by the volunteers who took a survey. One dropped out because of an allergic reaction, so her results are not included.
7. Decide for yourself if they’ve PROVEN their effectiveness claim with this study.
8. Want to see the unimpressive BEFORE and AFTER photos for yourself? You can. I bet if I swapped them, you couldn’t distinguish them one from the other. The url doesn’t want to make a good link, so copy and paste this into your browser, OR just click the word test at the bottom of PROVEN’s web page.
9. I notice you’re basing your objection to “customized cosmetics” on the fact that giving consumers the chance to select their own ingredients will result in untested combinations of ingredients. And that might certainly be true.
10. But in a case like PROVEN, customers just describe their skin and environment and are given a formulation. (There probably are no more than a dozen.)
11. The danger at PROVEN is simpler to declare. They make NO CLAIM AT ALL regarding safety. They list their ingredients on the website, which is admirable. But many are inscrutable to me, at least. And they never say they’ve been proven safe or even tested for safety.
12. The website mentions (cleverly but probably misleadingly) that the products are made in an FDA-approved lab, which does not mean the products have FDA approval. Undoubtedly they DO NOT. Otherwise, the company would be sure to say so.
To review the Causal elements of your argument as I understand them:
—The US government does not define skincare products as drugs.
—The FDA regulates only Food and Drugs.
—The government has no jurisdiction to regulate skincare products.
—Cosmetic buyers incorrectly assume that the government regulates the safety of cosmetics.
—Cosmetic manufacturers wish to PROMOTE their products as safe.
—They use terms like TESTED and PROVEN and SCIENTIFIC and EVIDENCE-BASED to give the impression that products are safe.
—Skincare manufacturers are not legally obligated to test or prove their products’ safety.
—Gullible customers believe they’re applying safe products to their bodies.
Skincare customers use untested, perhaps unsafe products on their skin.
Does that about cover it, Cookie?
Looks like an A B C D E F G H causes I argument to me. 🙂
Yes, I agree that my argument is A,B,C,D since it does give multiple examples of a causal argument. I will change that when introducing my argument.
One quick method for guiding your reader to the “right” conclusions is to introduce each paragraph with a clear signal about its . . . CONCLUSIONS.
Lots of readers will scan your first sentences to see 1) if the article is worth reading, 2) if the paragraph is worth reading.
Suppose they did that with your essay.
1. The lack of education given to consumers from the FDA and manufacturers’ on the side effects of cosmetics causes a lack of transparency regarding consumers’ unregulated products.
2. Curology is known for the personalization of its products by giving customers a questionnaire to help identify what skin type and skin concern a customer has.
3. Most customers of cosmetics view international products as more effective and regulated.
4. In Korea’s dermatology clinic there was a survey on cosmetic knowledge given to patients who came to the clinic.
5. In the Maiya Devi Girls college in Chitwan there was a survey given to a total of 70 females 34 were juniors and 36 were seniors.
Would such readers have a clue about your argument?
Before you do anything else, decide what one sentence would best summarize the essential content of each paragraph, and make that sentence the first sentence of your paragraph.
Let me know when you’ve done that and we will proceed.
I do see how starting off with a strong first sentence is crucial to keep the reader wanting to read more about my argument and get a straightforward idea of what my argument is about.
Rewrites are tough, and the longer we live with our early drafts, the more reasonable and inevitable they sound.
I made a lot of changes to my essay to make it more clear as well as adding hyperlinks to the titles of the articles to make it easier to access my sources.
I find this much easier to follow, Cookie. I get the impression you’ve made your primary claims for each paragraph more directly, more persuasively, and earlier in each paragraph than in your earlier draft(s). I appreciate your commitment to the Feedback and Revision process. I have re-graded your post.
Thank you. I also figured out what was wrong with my quotes and fixed in the essay and will also due so in my other essays.