Unheard, Damaging Complaints
Beauty and personal care companies are not legally required to share any consumer complaints with the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regarding side effects caused by their products.
Many cosmetic products contain a long list of potentially dangerous chemical components, some of which have been regulated in other sectors, but are still permitted for use on the human body in the beauty and personal care industry. These synthetic chemical cocktails, often not tested in conjunction with a variety of other beauty products (the average American woman uses 16 different products each day) have been known to cause a variety of skin and health issues.
For example, there is growing consumer concern over 1,4-dioxane, a chemical byproduct that causes kidney and liver damage. While not intentionally added to products, the Environmental Working Group reports that 1,4-dioxane residues are found in over 8,000 personal care products currently on the market. Since beauty companies are not required to report any contamination to the FDA, many unsuspecting people are at risk of causing irreversible damage to their bodies.
One example comes from the company WEN, regarding their Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners. The FDA only began to investigate the viability of the product after receiving 127 direct complaints from consumers. They soon found that the manufacturer had already received over 21,000 complaints, mainly regarding alopecia and scalp irritation, none of which had been reported to the FDA. The product is still being sold in stores despite the ongoing investigation.
Alongside the immense growth of the beauty and personal care market over the past decade, consumer complaints have risen. According to the FDA, the number of consumer complaints, which were released to the public in 2016, has risen by over 300% in the past two years alone.
There is great need for transparency in the beauty and personal care industry. Consumers deserve the right to know what types of chemicals they are putting on their body. This is why many brands are relying on organic ingredients such as neem in their formulations. Useful in almost all types of beauty products, neem is turning into one of the must-have ingredients for natural personal care.