Beauty is skin deep, beauty product regulation isn't

The regulation of skincare products varies widely across different countries. While the EU, Japan, Korea, and Canada have stringent regulations in place, the United States falls behind in terms of the number of banned chemicals and approved ingredients. For instance, the EU has banned over 1400-2400 chemicals in cosmetics, a stark contrast to the fewer chemicals banned in the US. Furthermore, while the EU has approved over 25 sunscreen ingredients, the US has only fully approved 2, with 12 pending additional safety data.

An illustrative example is Hydroquinone, a skin-lightening chemical. Countries like South Korea and the EU have prohibited its use due to concerns about cancer and skin irritation. However, in the United States, it remains available over the counter in certain skincare products. Similarly, Triclosan, commonly found in antibacterial soaps, has faced restrictions or bans in some countries due to its potential contribution to antibiotic resistance and environmental harm, yet it continues to be widely used in the US.

Consequently, individuals in the US and Canada may find themselves responsible for ensuring the safety of their skincare products, especially if they have vulnerable individuals such as babies, kids, or those with health issues at home. However, expecting consumers to become experts in chemistry to make informed choices seems unreasonable.

While apps like Yuka offer assistance in identifying safe personal care products, not everyone may find barcode scanning convenient. In light of the health benefits of organic skincare products, the transparency of organic certification procedures, and the ambiguity surrounding the standards of other products, opting for organic skincare becomes a compelling decision.