We apply beauty products onto our skin in an effort to look better and smell fresher. But what exactly is the true cost of our vanity? Chances are, once your products go down the drain you don’t stop and think about what could be in them. Or maybe you did when microbeads – the small pieces of plastic in facial scrubs and makeup – made headlines last year.
Now, a new ingredient is coming under fire; 1,4-dioxane. Found in everything from body washes to hand soaps and lotions, the Environmental Protection Agency claims it is a likely carcinogen. But despite that, it’s still found in a shocking 46 per cent of products and brands aren’t even required to list it on the label.
What’s more, it has an EWG (Environmental Working Group) score of 8, 10 being the most toxic. A byproduct of other chemicals used in beauty products 1,4-dioxne can often escape your attention on the list of ingredients. Consumers can try to avoid 1,4-dioxane by avoiding the following ingredients: PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene etc.
As such, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is calling for the ingredient, which he claims causes eye, nose and throat irritation, to be removed from all personal care products in the US. Luckily, Schumer insists that 1,4-dioxane is relatively easy for brands to eradicate noting that “vacuum stripping” is a cost-effective way to remove it from personal care formulations.