Friday, 7 July 2017
On the safety, or lack thereof, of cosmetics
I was originally going to do a post about analog photography today, and I still will later on.
I wanted to talk about this first because it’s just so important.
I have swatched Urban Decay products in the past.
Every single time I got a bad reaction. The kind of reaction I get from methylparaben and MIT.
My skin first starts to feel like it’s on fire, and then it will literally start to blister, resulting in chemical burns.
Thankfully I have always been able to wipe the stuff off and treat it right away, but had I left it on longer, I would have had burns and now: burn scars.
Urban Decay employees in Belgium claimed, high and low, that their stuff was paraben free.
A while ago, one did admit that they used to use MIT as a paraben replacement. So there you have the reason that I got allergic reactions from it.
Of course, MIT wasn’t listed.
Isn’t that illegal though?
No, sadly it isn’t.
In the EU, companies are only legally bound to list ingredients if they use x-amount in a product. Stay under that amount, even by a micro gram, and you don’t have to list it.
So a company can claim to be paraben free, and in fact contain a bazillion parabens, so to speak.
Companies are also not legally obliged to release MSDS sheets, not even to their employees, which furthers difficulties.
So far, I’ve only encountered ONE company that IMMEDIATELY volunteered, full transparency, their MSDS sheets when I enquired about ingredients and that was Snazaroo.
M.A.C has always been very forthcoming when I enquired about ingredients, pulling out the book with MSDS info or copying from the sheet, also, but they didn’t release a copy of the full sheet to me.
Still, they gave the info, so A+.
Now, the plot thickens.
A while ago, an EU commission voted that due to the fact that MIT is dangerous, it is now forbidden in leave on cosmetics.
Meaning: all make-up.
Meaning that Urban Decay shouldn’t be having any products with MIT in them in circulation at this point.
During the French Sephora sales (which started June 28 2017), I noticed that they had a travel size of the primer potion.
So I figured I’d give it a go, because I see so many YouTubers rave about it (word to the wise: trust your gut, not YouTube).
I figured that since MIT was outlawed and they didn’t use parabens, it’d be fine.
THANKFULLY I had the common sense to swatch it on my arm first.
And it didn’t take long before it felt like someone pressed a red hot poker to my arm.
A copious amount of remover wipes, ice cubes and burn cream later, I managed to JUST avoid chemical burns, but it was a VERY close call.
So either they recalled their products and repackaged them, pretending they are obeying the law.
Or Sephora France is breaking the law by still having products containing MIT in roulation still.
(As a side note, Sephora also sells products without ANY ingredients listed at all, which is definitely against the law, so I wouldn't even be surprised).
In any case, there’s something very dubious going on with Urban Decay products and I don’t like it, not one bit.
It’s not just Urban Decay, this is an ongoing issue with a lot of cosmetics brands.
The ones like M.A.C, Too Faced and Snazaroo, listing all ingredients on their packaging are a vast minority.
The ones that go the extra mile and give MSDS sheets or copy the ingredients from that are even fewer and further between.
The only way to protect consumers at this point, is for the EU (and preferably the entire world) to not only point blank and outright FORBID dangerous components such as MIT and methylparaben, but to also to issue a law that forces companies to list all ingredients they use.
And to have MSDS sheets in all their points of sale, so their sales reps can at all times look them up and give (potential) customers the transparency they deserve.
It’s not just a matter of being correct, it’s not just a matter of trust, it’s a matter of safety.
And just some food for thought.
Ingredients of my primer potion, bought via sephora.fr
Ingredients of primer potion from the US site.
For a paraben free company they list a suspicious amount of parabens don’t you think?
This all said, I am not attacking anyone personally.
If you enjoy using Urban Decay, or any other company that is being iffy with their ingredient listing, by all means, continue to enjoy them.
My post isn’t to attack anyone who uses these brands, it’s to point out that some brands are more than a little dubious and that cosmetics safety is a very real issue that needs to be talked about, and that we need better laws to protect us from corporate malicious intent.
I’m just using Urban Decay as an example as I have hands on experience with them.