Quick disclaimer: We are patently against fearmongering, so don't anyone start panicking. That being said, when you look at some of the ingredients used in cosmetics and body-care products, it raises some serious questions of the "How is that even possible?" variety. Well, here's how: The cosmetics industry is self-policed, operating with very little regulatory oversight. As such, it is free to use just about anything it wants in its products, no matter how bizarre (or gross, or dangerous).
As the FDA literature states: "With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may, on his own responsibility, use essentially any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without approval."
Read that last bit again, and then click "Next" above to start reading the list.
This is a series inspired by No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, a book by GOOD's features editor Siobhan O'Connor and her co-author Alexandra Spunt.
Read more on their blog
Illustrations by Brianna Harden