Dirty secrets of the cosmetic industry – exposed!


Why be an informed consumer?

• To not be fooled by green-washing and slick marketing
• To protect your family from toxic chemicals disguised as ‘natural’ ingredients
• To create a better world through consumer power

“Never doubt that a small  group of committed people can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has!”

Margaret Mead

What is ‘natural’?

Truly NaturalГрязные_секреты_косметической_промышл

NO chemical reaction



Food grade

Naturally Derived / Synthesised


Involves a chemical process

e.g. Cocoamide DEA (coconut)

Some processing aids and impurities in cosmetic chemicals are linked to asthma, learning disabilities, infertility, birth defects and cancer.


What is ‘organic’?

An ecological and sustainable farm management system


· promotes biodiversity                                                                      
· enhances soil fertility                                                                       
· prevents topsoil erosion                                                                  
· protects groundwater                                                                       
· conserves energy                                                                                
· protects our next generation
– genetic engineering
– pesticides
– synthetic fertilisers
– antibiotics
– growth hormones


Greenwashing – don’t believe the hype!


Companies mislead consumers by listing botanical extracts, or ‘aqueous infusions’ (which are just weak teas) at the top of the ingredient list.

Hiding the synthetic surfactant ingredients that make up the core of the product further down the list.

The substantial water component of the herbal mixture as organic is incorrectly counted as ‘organic’, which is prohibited under International Organic Standards.  This practice artificially inflates the organic content in order to make a deceptive 70% organic claim.

Common ‘greenwashed’ ingredients

Manufacturers often list the source of the chemical to lull consumers into a false sense of security about the ‘naturalness’,  ‘purity’ and ‘safety’ of their ingredients.

What manufacturer says: INCI name and (source)‏

cocomidopropyl betaine (coconut oil)

olefin sulfonate (coconut oil)

disodium cocoamphodiacetate (coconut oil)

The practice of listing cosmetic ingredients by their trade name is an intentionally deceptive practice to mislead the consumer. 

Lurking dangers in the cosmetic industry

Consumers believe that ‘if it’s on the market, it can’t hurt me.’ And this belief is sometimes wrong.”

– Director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors (FDA 1998)‏

Known and probable human carcinogens in cosmetics

One-third of all products contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens.

Impurities of concern in personal care products

Nearly 70% of all products contain ingredients that can be contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and other health problems.

Unassessed ingredients

89 % of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, or any other publicly accountable institution.

Toxic impurities in personal care products 

  • Nearly 70% of all products assessed contain ingredients that can be contaminated with impurities.
  • Many impurities readily penetrate human skin.
  • 55% of all products assessed contain “penetration enhancers”.
  • 50 products contain both penetration enhancers and known or probable human carcinogens.

How do you protect yourself?

  • Don’t fall for ‘natural’ claims
  • Don’t fall for ‘organic’ claims  without a logo
  • Read ingredients lists!


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