Most of us love experimenting with and wearing makeup and some of us would never dream of going without it, but how much do you really know about the makeup that you put on your skin. After all, you use it daily with barely a second thought, but we’d be willing to bet that you never really think much about what’s in it or how it’s made. Surprisingly, there is very little regulation of makeup products, especially in the United States. Despite the fact we put makeup on our skin, our lips, and near our eyes, because makeup is not food and it’s not a drug, makeup manufacturers are left to self-regulate their own products. So, if that leaves wondering just how much you can trust the makeup industry, read these ten facts about makeup that you have probably never thought about, but that you really do need to know.
1. The word “Organic” means very little
Although you will find makeup that is labelled organic, there are actually no clearly defined rules about what organic makeup should be. There are some programs, such as the USDA organic logo scheme that has defined what is required to be able to call a product organic, but in general, so long as the claim is not grossly misleading, any product can be labelled as being organic.
2. The makeup industry is one of ten largest industries in the world
The big makeup brands are worldwide businesses and they make millions of dollars a year from the lipsticks, foundations and mascaras that you buy. The makeup industry as a whole is worth something like $200 billion a year, which makes it one of the largest industries in the world.
3. Most of the ingredients in makeup have never been tested on humans
Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, the makeup industry is largely unregulated and there are no rules about testing cosmetics. It is estimated that 80 percent of the ingredients used in makeup products have never been subjected to proper clinical trials.
4. Fragrance can mean anything that smells
The word fragrance sounds kind of natural, but fragrance can mean anything at all. While you may think that fragrance means something natural, like extract of rose petals, it could also be something that someone has concocted in a lab with chemicals.
5. You will probably spend $15,000 dollars on makeup
Here’s a fact that you probably don’t want to think too much about. An average woman will spend approximately $15,000 on makeup products alone in the course of her lifetime. Don’t forget, that includes all the years that you never wore makeup at all.
6. Cruelty-free has no definition
Cruelty-free is another term that is often used on makeup products that has no real meaning. What one person might think is cruel and unnecessary, another person might think is perfectly reasonable, so buying a cruelty-free product guarantees nothing at all. There isn’t even a firm definition for what “not tested on animals” means.
7. It is illegal to wear makeup in Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Ok, so this one’s not exactly earth shattering news for most people, but we thought it was interesting! There is an old law in Morrisville, Pennsylvania that has never been repealed that states that women need a permit to wear makeup. Not surprisingly, the law is never enforced these days, but that law does still exist.
8. 900 million lipsticks are sold every year
There are more than 900 million lipsticks sold in the world every single year. To put that in perspective, that would be three lipsticks for every single man, woman, and child in the United States, every year.
9. There is no federal regulation of makeup in the United States
Food and drugs are heavily regulated in the United States by The United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA), but there is no similar regulation of cosmetics. Makeup just seems to fall between the cracks in US regulation and that’s why there are many potentially dangerous ingredients that are allowed in US makeup products that have been banned outright in Europe.
10. It might be safer to eat some makeup products than put them on your skin
Chemicals that are contained in makeup get absorbed by your skin and, in some cases; the absorption rate is faster than if you were to eat the product. This led Samuel Epstein, MD to state in his book Toxic Beauty that it would be safer to eat some makeup products than it would be to wear them on your skin.
Do you know other interesting facts about makeup?
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