Afterglow Cosmetics lashes out over ingredients regulation
Afterglow refers to evidence from the National Institute of
Occupational Safety and Health, which says that over 900 chemicals
commonly available in cosmetics contain toxic substances that are
potentially dangerous to health.
Likewise, the company also points to research indicating that of the
20,000 off-the-shelf cosmetic products currently for sale in the US,
over 80 per cent are said to contain one or more ingredients that have
caused 'adverse' reactions in humans or animals in the past.
The company is tapping into a consumer drive for natural cosmetic
products that is being driven by fears over a lack of regulation in the
market for chemical- or synthetic-based products, together with an
increased interest in the perceived safety of natural-based products.
This trend is having a big effect on spending patterns. While the
cosmetics and toiletries sectors is expected to grow by around 1 per
cent a year through 2009, Euromonitor draws on figures from TNS Media
Intelligence/CRM, which predict that the annual growth rate for natural
and organic skin care, hair care and color cosmetics markets in the US
to be around 9 per cent between 2003 and 2008, increasing in value from
$3.9 billion to $5.8 billion.
"Most of the large cosmetic and personal-care companies will tell
you not to worry. They agree that there are many chemicals in their
products, but say that the quantities are small and will not affect
you," said an Aflterglow spokesperson.
However, the company refers to this as a 'sugar coated public
relations response', referring to the fact that medical science has
proven that exposure to small amounts of these chemicals over a time
can often lead to consequences.
The company refers specifically to trans-dermal patches, often used
to help individuals give up smoking. Although only very small amounts
of drug are used in such patches, they nevertheless prove to be a
highly effective delivery vehicle.
Given the effectiveness of such patches and the fact that still
little is known about the effects of the petroleum- and synthetic-based
cosmetic and petroleium products when rubbed onto the skin and hair,
Afterglow believes this leaves room for concern.
Scientific evidence has pointed to the fact that many of these
chemicals contain toxins that effect reproduction, are carcinogenic or
are severe allergens. Afterglow points out the irony that many
individuals use personal care products to address skin issues, when in
fact they can actually cause problems.
Many of the leading personal care players say that comprehensive
research and development programs ensure the safety of all personal
care ingredients and formulations and stand by their claims that the
levels of toxins are so small it is almost impossible for them to have
any bearing on human health.
Undoubtedly both camps are set to fight a long battle.