I had a scary conversation the other day. A friend was telling me about a product she bought, and I asked her to send me a picture of the ingredient label. She told me the ingredients weren’t listed, it was a very generic label, just the name of the product. Cue the alarm bells. I went on their website and found this picture. The label is the most out of compliance label I’ve ever seen.
The FDA has very strict regulations about cosmetic product labeling to protect consumers, just like with food labels. I’m not saying this product is dangerous, but I wouldn’t buy it. My philosophy is, if you’re going to make products, you should make sure you’re complying with the law. If a product isn’t labeled correctly, what else aren’t they following?
A big one for me is preservatives. Some makers are anti-preservative, but sometimes they’re absolutely necessary! Any product made with water or water-like ingredients (like aloe vera or hydrosols) require a preservative because they’re prone to growing mold and bacteria. Contaminated products can cause serious skin conditions, like staphylococcus and hemolytic streptococci. Listing ingredients is also crucial for those who have allergies. Many people have nut allergies; coconut oil and shea butter are two common ingredients derived from nuts. Not knowing they’re in a product could be a big problem for someone who is allergic.
Here’s the list of FDA requirements for cosmetic product labels:
- Name of Product
- Name and place of business
- Net quantity of ingredients (in ounces and grams)
- List of all ingredients in the product, from highest to lowest percentage
- Directions for safe use
- Warnings (if applicable)
If you don’t see this information, start asking questions! If you’re not comfortable with the answers, please walk away! I’m not saying improperly labeled products are necessarily dangerous, but I choose to err on the side of caution. I hope you do too. You can find more information here.