California’s Fight for Clean Beauty Standards through the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act
What is clean beauty? It is a non-toxic relationship between you and your beauty regimen—makeup, skincare, hair and body products free of harmful ingredients such as parabens, harsh chemicals and preservatives.
We have entered a new beauty era, which has revolutionized into something bigger and deeper than achieving healthy, glowy skin. There is a connection between health and beauty, but we are just now discovering the risk of exposure to these toxins from advocates who were cognizant of the health cost and are taking the next steps to raise the clean beauty standard.
The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), an influential voice in the beauty industry and an advocate who fights for cleaner and safer beauty products is modernizing government policies for our shift to a clean-conscious society. They teamed up with other like-minded institutions such as Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Cal PIRG and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and created Assembly Bill 2762, the State of California’s Toxic-free Cosmetics Act.
According to EWG, this bill would explicitly prohibit the use of 12 of the most harmful chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics today. These “Toxic Twelve” ingredients include mercury, three types of formaldehyde, some of the most toxic parabens and phthalates, and the fluorinated compounds known as PFAS.
Recently, the bill was successfully moved forward in the law-making process. If approved, it will be effective starting January 1, 2022, stating that a cosmetic is considered adulterated if certain toxic ingredients are added to the formula.
The specified ingredients include:
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Diethylhexyl phthalate
- Methylene glycol
- m-Phenylenediamine and its salts
- o-Phenylenediamine and its salts
- The following long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their salts: perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS); perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA); perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA); and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).
The fight for clean beauty in California doesn’t stop here as PCPC with other affiliates are working on another bill to prohibit California’s list of toxic ingredients in beauty products on a global scale in countries like Europe.
Even long before “clean beauty” became a buzzword, an aggregate of nonprofits and advocates were already seeking change in government law concerning the lack of transparency beauty professionals have with their consumers. It started in 2005, where California became the first state to pass state legislation governing the safety and reporting of cosmetic ingredients through the The California Safe Cosmetics Act.
According to the California Safe Cosmetics Program, the law, formerly known as bill AB 2775, requires manufacturers to provide to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) a list of all cosmetic products that contain any ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer or developmental or other reproductive harm. It was introduced by Assembly Member Ash Kalra supported by PCPC, the California Chamber of Commerce and Unilever.
This is very good news that global leaders like PCPC and other supporting organizations are bringing these issues to our attention. They have made it their duty to investigate toxins that are in our beauty and personal care products so we can be aware of what we are actually exposing ourselves to. So, thank you to all who are driving our clean beauty agenda and making a change in the beauty industry — these are steps to cleaner beauty and we’re here for it!