Just how safe are your personal care products? That’s the question that is currently being addressed after 200 women based across 40 states of the US, filed a lawsuit against WEN products.
They claim the WEN cleanser and conditioner damaged their hair and skin. This in turn has brought into question the safety of the cosmetics introduced onto the market, drawing in support from a few big name celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow. It has even prompted Senators Susan Collins and Dianne Feinsten, to introduce a new act to clean up the industry.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act
The senators introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act which they are hoping will modernise the way products are regulated. Currently, companies can include basically anything, including carcinogens, into their products without listing them in the ingredients. Carcinogens are substances which are known to be capable of causing cancer.
In an email sent via the Environmental Working Group, Gwyneth Paltrow urged people to convince their senators to support the new legislation. If passed, all ingredients contained within personal care products would need to be safety reviewed. They would need to be FDA approved and any unsafe products would automatically be recalled by the FDA if companies weren’t willing to do it voluntarily.
Case against WEN isn’t new
The latest lawsuit may be the biggest filed against WEN products, but concerns have actually been raised for years. Many consumers have complained about hair loss linked to using WEN products as far back as five years ago. In 2014 smaller lawsuits were also filed against the company, though it isn’t clear how many of them were resolved.
Of course, it isn’t all bad news. The company’s products have far more positive reviews than negative. However, chemicals have different effects on different people.
How worried should you be about your cosmetics?
So just how worried should you be about the cosmetics you use? Well, to be on the safe side it’s recommended you stay away from products that contain:
- Alcohol – Known to dry out the skin
- Pthalates – often found in nail polish
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – a well-known industrial detergent
- Salicylic Acid – can cause various allergies
Of course, companies won’t always list the ingredients above and if they do, they are often disguised as another name.
Overall it’s worth pointing out that both expensive and inexpensive products carry the same level of risks. This recent lawsuit has highlighted that changes do need to be made in the industry and with stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow backing the campaign, it’s sure to drum up significant attention.