Beauty balm and complexion corrector creams may expose users to fewer toxic chemicals than the moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen regimens they are designed to replace, says a new analysis by Environmental Working Group (EWG).
A consumer using a beauty balm or complexion corrector—a product that is an all-in-one primer, sunscreen, moisturizer and tone evener—would typically be exposed to an average of 40 chemical ingredients. Someone using three separate products—foundation, moisturizer and sunscreen—would be exposed to an average of 70 chemical ingredients, EWG’s report shows.
Checking products against Skin Deep, EWG’s cosmetics safety database, researchers found the average number of ingredients recognized as hazardous dropped from three to one when the user shifted from a three-product regimen to a single beauty balm or complexion corrector.
"On average, you can reduce your exposure to cosmetic chemical ingredients by nearly half by using one of these products, instead of the usual trifecta of moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen," said Nneka Leiba, EWG deputy research director.
EWG advises consumers to do their homework before choosing a product because some beauty balm and complexion correctors contain ingredients of concern. Some contain hazardous ingredients such as vitamin A and oxybenzone commonly found in sunscreen products.
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to test products for safety before they go to market. Nor does the agency review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they are sold.
“As with all cosmetics products on the market, you simply can’t trust the FDA to ensure that those products are truly safe and effective," Leiba said.
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