PFAS aren’t a new concern. According to the FDA, they are purposefully added to cosmetic products, to condition skin and change texture and consistency. To prevent a consumer’s exposure to PFAS, companies must list the ingredients on the product label in descending order of concentration. Here are some of the most common examples of cosmetic products that contain PFAS:
PFAS is an acronym for polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are found in many everyday products. These chemicals are found in stain-resistant coatings, such as Teflon, as well as in drinking water. When the chemicals come in contact with other substances, they can leach PFAS into the environment. PFAS is most commonly found in liquid lipsticks and eyeliners, though some foundations and concealers may also contain PFAS.
PFAS is found in all human blood, but scientists have not yet found a way to find out how much of this chemical is in people’s bodies. Several studies, however, have found that dozens of cosmetics contain PFAS in their ingredients, including lipsticks. These chemicals are often touted as waterproof, spreadable, and long-lasting, and they increase absorption into the skin. Until the Toxic-Free Beauty Act passes, the chemicals are still present in cosmetics.
According to a recent study by the University of Notre Dame, nearly half of cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada contain PFAS. The highest levels were found in mascara, waterproof mascara, and liquid foundation. While scientists do not know how PFAS affect human health, increasing evidence points to its detrimental effects on the reproductive system and cancer. The American Chemical Society has begun to regulate cosmetics for PFAS, and the researchers’ findings have sparked a public health debate.
The study authors did test dozens of cosmetic products, but they did not reveal which ones used PFAS. As a result, the Guardian has been unable to confirm whether any particular brand contains PFAS. If you suspect a lipstick or other product contains PFAS, you can conduct a simple test to find out. Simply paint a paper with a small swatch of a cosmetic and see if any of the samples contain the compound.
PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl substances) are synthetic chemicals that have been added to cosmetics in an attempt to improve their water resistance and durability. Common names for PFAS are polytetrafluoroethylene, perfluorooctyl triethoxysilane, perfluorodecalin, and perfluorohexane. They should be listed on the label, in descending order of concentration.
Fluorine, a component of PFAS, was detected in 231 cosmetic products. Foundations containing PFAS contained high amounts of fluorine. Foundations, lip products, and waterproof mascara were the most likely to contain high levels of fluorine. PFAS products are water resistant, so they’re often used in long-lasting cosmetics like eyeliner and lip gloss. However, these ingredients aren’t always listed on the labels, and it’s unclear whether they pose a health risk to consumers.
PFAS are added to cosmetics to make them more water-resistant, longer-lasting, and more spreadable. Until recently, scientists hadn’t studied PFAS’ presence in North American cosmetics. That’s probably because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency that regulates these products, is notoriously hands-off. So, researchers from the University of Notre Dame tested 200 cosmetics from North America. Interestingly, half of them contained high levels of PFAS. This is especially true for mascaras and colored lipsticks.
According to a proposed class-action lawsuit, L’Oreal’s Waterproof Mascara Products contain PFAS, a chemical known to be highly toxic to humans. A 39-page lawsuit reveals that several of L’Oreal’s waterproof mascaras contain detectable levels of the chemical. PFAS is not regulated by the federal government, but is common in cosmetics because of its oil and water-resistant properties. However, the presence of PFAS has recently led companies to label products free of the chemical, as “clean beauty” brands.
According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the chemicals used in waterproof makeup and lip products are highly toxic to human health. They are also used to give products water-resistance and a long-lasting effect. In fact, the research revealed that PFAS are present in over half of the samples, including waterproof mascaras. Those that were tested contained very high levels of PFAS, and there were even more cases in which the ingredient was not listed at all.
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame found that many commonly-used cosmetics, including liquid foundation, concealer, blush, and lipsticks, contain PFAS. In fact, a recent study showed that 63 percent of the waterproof mascaras, liquid lipsticks, and eye products tested contained PFAS. Of these, only one Canadian product had a PFAS ingredient listed on its label. These findings are alarming because PFAS is not only harmful to humans, but it can be dangerous for infants.
The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act was introduced to the U.S. House and Senate on June 15, 2018. The bill would direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to propose a rule banning the intentional addition of PFAS to cosmetic products. But while it is encouraging to see lawmakers taking action on this issue, we should remain vigilant. Our skin’s health is our highest priority, and PFAS-free makeup is the best way to protect our bodies.
PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) are synthetic chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products. These chemicals are found in a wide range of products, including shampoo, nail polish, hair styling products, shaving cream, and more. The CDC found that nearly 97 percent of American adults have PFAS in their blood. Known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS accumulate in the body and are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Currently, scientists do not know exactly how PFAS may affect our health.
Although the risk of PFAS in cosmetics is unknown, it has been found that people may be exposed to them through their skin and other body tissues. PFAS can enter the bloodstream through lipstick, tear ducts, and skin. Additionally, many consumers use these products on a daily basis, so their exposure goes well beyond the typical cosmetics routine. Therefore, if you suspect that your hair products contain PFAS, you must act quickly. There is a time limit for filing a lawsuit against a company that contains PFAS.
Recent research shows that PFAS are ubiquitous in our daily lives, and nearly half of all cosmetics sold in the U.S. and Canada contain them. Specifically, lipstick, foundation, and mascara contain the highest amounts of PFAS. Even though scientists are only beginning to understand the long-term effects of high PFAS exposure, evidence continues to mount. For now, the Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding products with PFAS ingredients, and looking for products that don’t use long-lasting, waterproof formulas.
In a study conducted by EWG, scientists identified 13 PFAS chemicals in more than 200 products from 28 brands. Some were even made by the Teflon company. These chemicals are often added to cosmetics for oil or water-repellent properties. In addition, many products are designed to be water and oil-resistant. Using PFAS chemicals in these products also makes them waterproof, making them ideal for waterproof mascaras and eyeliners.