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Are Cosmetic Ingredients Really Absorbed By Our Bodies?

Banging The "Chemicals Cause Cancer" Drum Is Based On Non Science!

It is a constant reality that distorted half truths in regard to our bodies absorbing chemicals at an alarming rate will continue to populate the internet.  However with this latest discovered article linked below, it is basically the same as the next serving a single purpose according to a specific ideology.  We wish to provide the actual evidence to dispel the attempts of the anti-chemical, scientifically challenged bloggers wishing to play up the narrative of "chemical" labels being poison in order to scare and intimidate consumers out of using the cosmetics and skincare products they love.  

The article in question was written by a gal in the UK for the Epoch Times and is the "perfect" example showing the entire premise of the article is pseudo science sensationalized strictly for the purpose of scaring the public.  What is of particular concern to us, is her attempt to make proclamations of fact when she provides not a single link to any research to support her objective.  We are going to remedy this for our customers who want scientific data, not a bunch of hyperbole.

We have read countless arguments, misconstrued facts, skewed data being propagated by many in support of the EWG and CFSC.  Now we see yet again another article that goes beyond the pale of exploiting the phobia of chemicals.  She attempts to remove the premise that once known "SAFE" chemicals in low doses are found to be acceptable in things we consume in our everyday lives, may no longer be the case. 

We have shared within our multiple articles through direct text links to the many studies showing the inaccuracies while always countering with peer reviewed studies where a consensus is formed as to the truth of any research that is conducted.  In the interest of keeping this simple, and we do apologize, but since the details are quite involved in the science, direct links to what we share are provided for further reading on your own.  But please bear with us as we lay out the simple facts.

Let's Take A Look At How This Statement Has No Basis In Reality

In the authors article titled 'Safe' Household Chemicals Combine To Double Cancer Risk she attempts to convey in terms of industry as a whole, whether it be environmental or household products, that they of course are causing cancer and the main focus addressed is Bisphenol A.

However, though the title and article have essentially been entirely regurgitated, you'll notice how the emphasis is placed by using a suggestible image representing makeup, skincare and personal care products!  Sadly, the comment beneath the photo is, "Researchers found that the combination of arsenic and estrogen increased cancer in prostate cells.  Both chemicals are found in makeup."

As in many times past, the study she is referring to in order to make this type of extrapolation has no basis in reality.  We view this as the worst form of overstating, inflating and using convoluted theory of the actual research being performed in this particular study she is pointing to.  There is absolutely nothing that correlates to personal care products!  Here is the synopsis provided directly from the University.

We'll Clear Up The Nonsense Which Only Serves To Confuse

Please understand, we are not defending all chemicals or denying that there aren't many out there that can and do cause harm in our environment and in our bodies, but to try to relate as putting something on our skin because a certain ingredient that is found in our environment whether we breathe it in or ingest it, will somehow cause same, is just irresponsible to spread among the populace.  This requires blood brain barrier penetration which has yet to be conclusively proven happens in the use of cosmetics or personal care products, and quite frankly insults our intelligence. 

Essentially those with this type of agenda are wanting us to take what they ascribe to at face value, hoping that we are not savvy enough to double check the data.  Fortunately, we are fact checkers for our ladies.

FACT: The researchers at Texas Tech University are studying two chemicals Arsenic and chemicals that can mimic estrogen like BPA, that are taken up in our environment, followed by being exposed through ingestion or breathing them in.  No topical contact!

FACT: There is no research in this study involving women or the use of personal care products, makeup or other.  The study revolves entirely around prostate cancer risk when exposed to these two chemicals.  Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic such as what is found in pesticides, and estrogen, both alone and in combination.  Areas of study were smoking, coal mining, coal burning, and water.

FACT: All studies were performed on mice and in-vitro using human prostate epithelial cells (RWPE-1) that were purchased from ATCC and propagated in keratinocyte serum free medium supplemented with human epithelial growth factor and bovine pituitary extract.

FACT: As always the studies showed that in most cases the increased effects in cells were DOSE dependent showing some significance, yet countered with certain types of genes tested were insignificant.  This continued through their different testing to determine which factors show the most significance as it relates to the increase in prostate cancer cells.  Never arriving at absolutes at this point!

FACT: The research is only the beginning to try to learn more about our exposures to chemicals in our environment, yet they concede in discussion that these chemicals are ubiquitous in our environment and we will always be exposed to them in our lifetimes.  Plus to date it is the only study of it's kind and though published in a peer reviewed journal, this study provides novel data on the regulation of genes involved in epigenetic reprogramming that could help in understanding of epigenetic mechanism for As and E2-induced prostate cancer.  Additionally, this finding will serve as the foundation for future studies on the epigenetic basis for environmental carcinogen-induced human cancers.

We Should Base These Ideals In Reality Not Fallacy

This is the study in a nutshell and we did read the entire abstract as difficult as it is, yet vital for fully understanding the science.  We invite you to view it HERE, whatever suits your needs.  Although it maybe an interesting beginning to learning more, this study has yet to be peer reviewed by their own admission and is a NOVEL study just touching the very tip of this monstrous iceberg, we call scientific research.

It hardly calls for the alarm to be sounded by those that wish to take this further than the reality founded in science.  Plus the reference to well water in the Epoch Times article is also of concern, yet the majority of people except for certain countries listed, are drinking either their bottled waters or treated water provided by their respective city.  The water that was tested the author referenced was in Cornwall, England and it relates to scattered private wells throughout the community.  We have provided the Original study here which explains why and how this can occur.

As we attempt to digest this authors analogies, it was only when we finally reached the sub chapter "Environmental Sources" of the UK authors article that it all made sense.  It smacked of the agenda put forth by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics trying yet again, through this author propagating their same tired mantra.  Essentially using and equating a single prostate cancer study to that of women finding these same chemicals in their makeup.

The huge red flag for us was revealed in the 2nd paragraph right below the sub chapter.  "Other sources of arsenic include rice, non-organic chicken, and makeup.  According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, some top-brand eyeliners, eye-shadows, mascaras, and foundations can be contaminated with arsenic."

If one were to follow this same far reaching logic then it creates an assumption we are eating our cosmetics... really?  Honing in on this one statement to try to further convince us of the dangers of makeup absolutely borders on the absurd.  Why this correlation when the environmental study as it relates to prostate cancer, which was the main focus of her article, now gets totally lost as soon as she tries to make these two areas related? 

It simply amazes us when this campaign or it's proponents will seize on a single research study of a hated ingredient or it's constituents, and then use it to distort reality in order to convince the public "we are doomed" because we use makeup and skincare products.  With this latest publication by Epoch Times this anti-chemical agenda is becoming quite transparent, even any comprehension at this level is also lost on the fact that just about everything in life is chemicals, natural or synthetic.  They are not mutually exclusive!

Furthermore, the CFSC organization has yet to provide peer reviewed research proving that certain individual chemicals solely are the cause for mimicking estrogen in our bodies, let alone doing anything else for that matter, based on what we expose our skins surface to on a daily basis.  Estrogen comes from many sources including foods, and scientists have been unable to fully identify origins of estrogen types found in our bodies.  But as it relates to the NGO's, such as the EWG (Environmental Working Group), it is so much more practical and frankly ingenious to blame the synthetic chemical industry since they would love to ban all synthetic chemicals using pseudo science to do it with.

Just maybe with true science data one could see that through ingestion of estrogens, since this is the actual direct feed to our blood brain barrier, would make more sense and would be the real reason why we can find these in our bodies.  Topical application does not extrapolate same unless we are dealing with nano materials such as hormone patches (a drug), not a skin cream (a cosmetic).  Natural phytoestrogens are found in plants and produce plant-derived xenoestrogens.  Yet in the Texas Tech University study this was also a main component of concern for interfering with the reality, since we don't know conclusively if natural or synthetics are the culprit.  The speculation is still a huge chasm between science and theory.

The National Library Of Medicine / National Institute Of Health (NCBI) has an excellent abstract as to their research on the Pros and Cons of Phytoestrogens.  So again, as in life, there will be checks and balances for living our lives and nothing is black and white, although many try to make it so.  Sadly, in most cases it is presented in a negative context because that is what gets attention and what sells, and is used in marketing jargon to scare a consumer away from a competitors product and to purchase theirs.  Essentially it is about money and controlling the narrative.

As it clearly states not only in the Texas Tech University study, but the American Cancer Society provides perspective on environmental factors and how they relate to cancer showing the majority of these exposures are ubiquitous and we consume them through fruits and vegetables, tap water, smoking, exposure in manufacturing, pollutants, etc.

Don't Allow Confusion To Ensue And Let's Look At The Overall Consensus

The very last thing she states in her Epoch News article is, "Health campaigners recommend limiting exposure to these hormone disruptors by consuming organic food, drinking filtered water, and using natural personal-care and cleaning products."

Okay now let's examine the reality of this statement which shows a lack of understanding in regard to a chemical being ubiquitous and we'll use the claim from the CFSC in Rice for an example.

Arsenic is divided into 2 broad categories: Organic arsenic and inorganic arsenic.  Organic arsenic is essentially harmless and is ubiquitous in our environment.  Inorganic is created through use of different pesticides.  Higher trace levels of inorganic or organic arsenic, depending on where it is grown, are found in brown rice rather than in white rice since white rice is essentially brown rice, stripped.

The FDA has weighed in on rice food products and has done testing, and the European Food Safety Authority, the United Nations Codex Alimentarious Commission and China’s Food Safety Commission are trying to establish limits for inorganic arsenic in foods, including rice.  China has a maximum level for total arsenic in rice of 0.4 microgram per kilogram.  Note this is addressing ONLY foodstuffs!

Plants accumulate organic arsenic because it protects them from harmful micro-organisms, especially fungi.  Rice isn’t unique in this.  “All plants pick up arsenic,” states John M. Duxbury, PhD, a professor of soil science and international agriculture at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. “Concentrations in leaves of plants are much higher than in grains of plants.  Thus, leafy vegetables can contain higher levels of arsenic than rice, especially when they are grown on arsenic-contaminated soils."

So the statement of fact is: although they are measuring arsenic levels in food products reflected in these statements, the reminder is, ingestion is not the same as topical application in any context.  This is especially true when our skin acts as an impermeable barrier to things in our environment.  Plus through critical thinking we must acknowledge all food, including our healthy, leafy greens contain some measure of this contaminant making consumption literally impossible to avoid.  The fact remains, the many proven health benefits we get from consuming fruits and vegetables watered and grown in any soil can far outweigh trace amounts of any contaminant found within the plant itself.  Yet isn't it interesting, there is no declaration of war against foods or an attempt to ban any of these within the food industry despite the contaminants found in an otherwise healthy diet?

This Is The Final Time We Will Revisit This Issue

We will continue to keep tabs on articles and legislation that attempt to stretch the facts or convolute the science but it will no longer be our primary focus dealing with the naysayers of our industry.  Going forward we really wish to focus on the positive aspects of creating wonderful, safe products for our ladies, and continue to recognize the cosmetic and skincare industry has been and will always be the safest for consumers, bar none. 

This article analysis referenced for our customers represents the proof of the negative campaigning promoted by NGO's based solely on spreading disinformation to achieve an unscientific anti-chemical agenda. 

This Epoch Times piece clearly goes beyond reporting when trying to string an environmental agenda together with a safe cosmetics campaign.  Both completely different areas in consumption of contaminants, yet it does create one piece of "sensationalism" all for piquing ones real fear to chemicals.  It is not the right thing to do and it attempts to negate the true research since it gets lost in the blinding rhetoric.

This is clearly what the author truly believes since she wrote it.  However, based on her recommendation of using natural products, and for those that believe in the inaccurate analogy presented, she and others should be well advised of the fact that all natural products have less testing performed for safety and allergens than their synthetic counterparts.  The ingredients used even after a level of purification, may still include trace elements of all the contaminants someone might be worried about.

Plants are grown in soil, they take up rain or irrigation water and as it has been stated repeatedly throughout these links we provided, organic arsenic is there and will always be there in our foods and water until the end of time.  So unless one plans to starve themselves or waste away from thirst, this is the inconvenient truth, whether we care to believe it or not.

We also vote for consumer freedom and getting at the truth in research.  We will continue to advise everyone to check and double check the resources to gain a perspective of what the true agenda is of the person writing any "anti-chemical" article.  We don't recommend ever taking things at face value!

We love our favorites that address many concerns and highly recommend for further reading.  The Center For Consumer Freedom in regard to NGO's.  Another great piece written by the Media Monitor with the assistance of the Society of Toxicology, on how the media continually overstates risk.  This article really drives the science home and written by the well respected Journal of Toxicology of the NCBI states quite clearly that the parent company EWG of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has got it wrong.

This is the final piece written by Dana Joel Gattuso, who is Director of the Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs at the National Center for Public Policy Research.  In her article she explains articulately what we have been facing for many years including proposed regulation through legislation.  On it's face it has created acrimony and confusion within our industry, and this story will provide insight and hopefully restore sanity and clarify the agenda behind it.  The True Story of Cosmetics addresses the ongoing smear campaign against our industry by Organizations such as the Environmental Working Group and it's sister organization the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

We sincerely hope we have provided plenty of substantive science to correct much of the junk science floating across the internet, including correction of the original inflated article in the Epoch Times.  Science is vital and we must get it right instead of buying into pseudo science attempting to negate the truth provided in peer reviewed research.  Corroboration will and always be the way of weeding out the false narrative.

Related Topics: 

Are Topical Skin Penetration Enhancers Safe?

Is Boron Nitride Safe In Mineral Makeup Products?

Is Titanium Dioxide Safe In Mineral Makeup & Sunscreens?

Are Your Mineral Makeup & Skincare Products "Chemical" Free?


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