We’ve all seen the advertisements. But, how honest are they? When a product is described as “new and improved”, is it really much different?
I looked at the ingredients in the latest products from the top three cosmetic companies in terms of worldwide sales: L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever. The information was garnered directly from the company’s website or from the product label. Here’s what I learned.
L’Oreal’s recently released Deep Set Wrinkle Repair is supposed to be a new formula. What’s different about it? Nothing, it contains exactly the same ingredients as those that were included in the 2009 formulation. Many of them are on our Blacklist of 101 ingredients to avoid.
The only active ingredients are sunscreens, which cannot repair wrinkles. The ads and the name of the product are misleading.
Even though, the company is aware of research concerning the health hazards associated with cosmetic ingredients, L’Oreal has chosen not to change their formulations. They won’t even stop testing ingredients on animals, despite protests from around the world. Why don’t they change?
It’s obvious. People continue to use their products. They shouldn’t, because the products continue to generate massive profits.
Procter and Gamble
Procter and Gamble are the manufacturers behind Cover Girl and Oil of Olay. They release new products all of the time. Recently they changed their Cover Girl blush formulations or claimed to.
What’s different about the new blushes? Do they contain safer ingredients?
There is no difference. They are using the same old ingredients, almost all of which are health hazards. Talc and mineral oil are known carcinogens. Quartenrium-15 is a formaldehyde-releasing compound. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that causes cancer and a variety of other health problems.
Oil of Olay is something of an exception. It has changed over the years. It’s not as safe as it used to be.
When first introduced, the main ingredient in Oil of Olay was lanolin. Lanolin is fat derived from sheep’s wool. Some people are allergic to lanolin, but research shows that lanolin allergy seems to be related to lanolin hydrolysis, which releases the alcohol fraction of the compound.
Other than the risk of allergic reaction, lanolin is completely safe and non-toxic. Today, Oil of Olay contains a number of toxic ingredients, including acrylamide.
Unilever is the monster corporation behind Pond’s, Vaseline and St. Ives. Dozens of other companies fall under the Unilever umbrella.
Pond’s Classic Cold Cream was created in the early 1900s. The main ingredient was and still is mineral oil. Most consider it an inactive ingredient, but it is on the American Cancer Society’s list of known carcinogens.
Vaseline was discovered in the middle 1800s. It was and still is derived from petroleum. It is not much different from engine grease. With all petroleum products, there is the risk of cancer-causing contaminants.
St Ives products are very troubling, because they are promoted as products containing “ingredients from nature”. That advertisement probably makes people think they are safe. That’s just another con.
St Ives Swiss Formula Fresh20 Body moisturizer for Dry Skin is a con job in several ways. First it bears the label “new”. Yet, there is nothing new about the formula.
Unilever does not have a factory or a research facility in Switzerland. Why it is called a Swiss formula is unclear.
On their website, the company claims that their products do not contain parabens, artificial preservatives known to be endocrine disruptors and suspected of causing numerous health problems. Yet, the package label lists methylparaben as an ingredient.
The company says that instead of using chemically derived additives, they use “naturally-based alternatives”. What exactly they mean by “naturally based” is also unclear.
They might be talking about the preservative DMDM Hydantoin, which is also listed on the label of ingredients. While it was originally isolated from allantoin, a naturally occurring substance, Hydantoin is synthetic. DMDM Hydantoin works as a preservative, because it is a formaldehyde releaser. It is one of the ten most toxic skincare ingredients.
It’s a Skin Care Con Job
As the public learns more about what’s safe and unsafe in skincare products, the monster manufacturers respond by claiming to provide safer alternatives. Yet, they do not change their formulas.
When a consumer tries a product and has a bad reaction or finds that it just doesn’t work as it should, they stop buying it. When sales go down, the companies add “new” or “new and improved” to the label to encourage customers to try it again. Yet, there is usually nothing new about the product.
If you want to stop having the wool pulled over your eyes, the best advice is to stop listening to what the big companies are saying and start looking elsewhere for your skincare products. There are some truly safe, natural and effective products on the market. You just have to know where to find them.
Be sure to read our page on the best natural skin care products. It is frequently updated and contains information on our #1 recommended product line.
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