The Doctors Health Investigator, Liz Vaccariello, explains how to spot hidden ingredients in beauty products.
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How to Spot Hidden Ingredients in Beauty Products
Female: Ingredients to watch out for, if you’re concerned about fragrance, there are hundreds of ingredients in that one word, fragrance and we don’t know, nobody tests it on what’s on fragrance. DMDM is formaldehyde, its short for formaldehyde. And one of my mascaras had DMDM in it, so I’m going to throw this one out and find one that doesn’t have formaldehyde in it, so I should go with this whole thing with the idea of pair down, take breaks from your makeup and read labels. So it’s not buyer beware as much as its buyer be aware.
Male: I want to take the stands really quickly here; I don’t always trust the FDA. In our country you have to prove something is harmful before it goes off the shelf. In Europe you have to prove something is safe before it goes on the shelf. I have a big problem if the burden of proof is to prove unequivocally that it causes cancer and birth defects and then oh my gosh, I’ve been using this for ten years, we used to get pregnant with the DES Lisa and what happened to that? Right, but you have to prove it first.
Female: Sometimes it takes time and that’s why a lot of drugs goes both ways because a lot of times in our country we’re saying that things are out in Europe before they’re out here and they found out in Europe that they’re not safe and that’s why it takes so long here. It goes both ways.
Male: And I understand that. I think the issue that I have is saying that just because it’s in a product and the FDA says it’s okay to be in the product that does not mean its safe.
Female: No, you have to use your own mind.
Male: And as a consumer we can say I look at the ingredients list but when I look at the ingredients list, I went through every single product I have last night. Every single one has about 20 words I can't pronounce and I went to medical school. I consider myself a nerdy scientist.
Female: But you don’t want to frighten people from being able to live, I mean I’ve said, I would see someday up a tree in a sack and you might be healthy that way but you also wouldn’t be living a life.
Male: Here’s the bottom line, you’re both right. I’ve poured over the research and there is not definitive research that these cosmetics are dangerous and there is not definitive research they’re absolutely safe. So it’s up to the consumer to read labels and the environmental working group has a wonderful website. It’s called Skin Deep and you can put anyone of your products and they will tell you what ingredients are in there so you can inform yourself.
Female: And I think that’s brilliant, we did have a chemist and a doctor on the tape to say that they’re completely harmless. The council for personal care products says the environmental working group’s claims are baseless. I think that database you mentioned is a good starting point.
Female: You can try organic, all organic, there are new lines out there everyday.
Male: Women don’t have a stub way in lipstick right?
Female: They don’t.
Male: And after learning, you don’t eat too neither my friend.