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Toxic Cosmetics: Are your beauty products dangerous?

(WBNG) — Many of the products we use every day on our skin and hair have chemicals and toxins that could be dangerous to our health.

Currently, only 11 chemicals are banned from personal care products and according to the Environmental Working Group, it’s been 80 years since a cosmetics bill was passed in the United States.

Stacia Spearbeck runs a natural beauty care company in Apalachin called Dueling Capricorns. She started making her own soaps, lotions, deodorants and other products once she found out what was actually in many of the items you buy at the store.

“I was very shocked with the makeup,” said Spearbeck. “Makeup contains many chemicals, many dyes.”

Dermatologist Colleen Crandall of Southern Tier Dermatology said there are even toxins like lead, formaldehyde and other irritants, but companies make them tricky to spot or don’t even list them on the labels at all.

“The problem is if you look in the inactive ingredients, it won’t say formaldehyde because the formaldehyde releasers have very long names like quaternium-15 and a patient that has a sensitivity to formaldehyde wont recognize that it’s a formaldehyde releaser,” said Crandall.

Crandall said it’s frustrating as a dermatologist.

“In an FDA prescription everything has to be listed in cosmeceuticals though that’s supposed to be true, but nobody’s regulating them like the FDA is.”

She sees patients come into her office every day with reactions to many personal care products.

“And the places we’re usually putting these products are our neck, our eyelids, our face which is the thinnest skin on our body so it’s the first place for a person to develop a reaction,” Crandall told 12 News.

Take the ingredient “Fragrance” for example. “It seems super innocent,” Crandall said, but that one listed ingredient can actually contain thousands of chemicals. “Fragrance makes us smell good, it makes everything smell prettier, but a large percentage of the population has a reaction to fragrance.”

It’s why Spearbeck makes her own products — so she knows exactly what’s in them. “I’ve seen the difference. I know how I feel better now I know how my body feels better now I don’t have as many outbreaks or ailments or as much adult acne as I used to so there’s many many benefits. I wouldn’t go back,” she said.

While that may not be the solution for everyone, Crandall said transparency is an issue when it comes to cosmetics.  “When you think you’re putting something on your skin that’s good for it or your hair or your nails or anything you can get over the counter nobody’s really done studies.”

Dueling Capricorn’s Farm is located at 2389 Pennsylvania Avenue in Apalachin.

Chloe Vincente

Chloe Vincente is an Evening News Anchor at 12 News.

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