According to a recent study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), men’s usage of personal care products has nearly doubled since 2004 and has exposed them to certain potentially dangerous chemicals.
Overall, 12 personal care items with up to 112 chemical compounds are used by the average American adult every day. According to an EWG analysis from 2004, there were previously nine products with 126 different chemical constituents on average.
And the difference in product usage between men and women is closing. According to the report, women now use an average of 13 care products per day, up from 12. On the other hand, the number of goods used daily by men increased from six in 2004 to eleven in 2017: six for body care, one for skin care, one for cosmetics, two for hair care, and one for baby care.
Heavy users are also common. According to the survey, 10% of American adults use more than 25 products daily, including cosmetics, shampoos, moisturizers, deodorants, soaps, and more.
But there’s no need to be alarmed just yet.
According to Homer Swei, senior vice president of healthy living science at EWG, “while the amount of products consumed or used daily has risen, the number of distinctive ingredients has decreased.” “I do believe that it appears that the market has undergone a fundamental transition as a result of the mix of clean beauty, stewardship store initiatives, U.S. state laws, and consumer education. Additionally, I notice a tendency toward healthier ingredients.
According to EWG’s “Skin Deep” database, which analyzes the safety of close to 100,000 personal care products, the majority of the components received green ratings, which is the top rating. Some of the elements did, however, continue to worry the experts.
Based on the 2,200 persons who participated in the study’s survey, researchers discovered that American consumers are exposed to an average of two compounds associated to cancer and two components linked to chemicals that can impair the reproductive and developmental systems every day.
These exposures are typically caused by cosmetics, skin care, and body care products. They contain substances like triethanolamine, parabens, talc, cyclopentasiloxane, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and methylisothiazolinone. They also discovered that an adult’s daily exposure to fragrance compounds averages 15, seven of which are allergens.
“We think of the word scent as an umbrella term that can cover up to 4,000 distinct compounds. And that may also imply that some phthalates are possible scent ingredients. And they are substances that affect hormones,” said Sydney Swanson, an EWG analyst for healthy living research. Consumers can be exposed to any substance that might qualify as a scent since the term doesn’t necessarily need to be mentioned.
The survey found that consumers are more informed nowadays and that 85% of adults have concerns about the safety of product contents.
According to some experts, such as Dr. Raman Madan, a dermatologist at Northwell Health in Huntington, New York, the EWG report could lead to unwarranted consumer fear.
“I believe that a lot of the information about these chemicals and their effects on the body is sometimes exaggerated because, at the end of the day, a lot of these substances are either not absorbed by the body or, if they are, are absorbed in such minute, minute, minute amounts that they really won’t make much of a difference. The other thing is that throughout the day, you are exposed to a wide variety of things, he continued.
“I believe that attempting to ensure that they utilize chemical-free items causes individuals to get really caught up. However, many of these organic products and similar items still include chemicals, according to Madan, who wasn’t engaged in study.
Only a small number of substances are now prohibited from use in personal care products by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, customers are starting to push back.
Johnson & Johnson settled hundreds of lawsuits alleging that its talc products cause cancer for $8.9 billion in June of this year. The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, passed in California in 2020, will restrict 24 chemicals from cosmetic products starting in 2025. New personal care product safety legislation have either been passed or are being considered in states like Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington.
In the interim, corporations are reportedly becoming more transparent about the ingredients in their products. “Transparency tendencies are becoming more prevalent. So I anticipate seeing a lot more components, particularly with regard to scents and allergies, added to the labels, the man stated. Although they are gradually fading, I am nonetheless disappointed by some of the elements that I believe should not be present.