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Social Media Star and Attorney Lists Top 10 Beauty Products She Won’t Use Due to Safety Issues and Recalls

A UV lamp being used to dry gel nails

A social media personality and attorney who posts under the handle @thelawyerangela has come up with a list of 10 beauty products she says she will not use because they are named in product defect lawsuits for serious safety concerns. They include everyday products like mascara and dry shampoo that many of us use. The lawsuits and recalls claim some of these products may contain toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.

Here is Angela’s list of the top 10 beauty products she would not use:

  1. Waterproof Mascara

L’Oreal has faced at least two lawsuits, one in New Jersey and another in California, stating that the company fails to disclose to consumers that its popular waterproof mascara products contain Per and Polyflouoroalkyl Substances or PFAS. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), studies of lab animals indicate that PFAS may adversely affect growth and development in addition to reproduction, thyroid function, the immune system, and the liver. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law in October prohibiting the manufacturing, distributing, and selling of textiles and cosmetics containing PFAS starting in 2025.

  1. Dry Shampoo

In November 2022, Valisure, a Connecticut-based lab, tested a random sample of 148 products sold in CVS, Walgreens, and online retailers like Amazon across the country and found that about 70% were positive for benzene. This known carcinogen is linked to leukemia and other blood disorders. Among those that contained the chemical were drug-store brand favorites like Batiste and Not Your Mother’s, as well as other premium brands such as Pureology and Kerastase. Several manufacturers have disputed that assertion. Last year, Unilever recalled more than 1.5 million dry shampoo products because they may contain benzene.

  1. Chemical Hair Straightener

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study that researched 33,000 women across the United States over a decade showed that the rate of uterine cancer was 4.05% in women who used chemical hair straighteners four or more times a year, compared to 1.64% in those who did not use these products. Other studies have also shown that women using these products face a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer because the toxic chemicals are absorbed directly into the scalp.

  1. Spray Sunscreen

Several brands of spray sunscreen products, including popular ones such as Neutrogena, Aveeno, Banana Boat, Coppertone, and CVS Health, were recalled in 2022 because benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, was found in them. Consumer Reports said last year that Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreens had benzene levels ranging from 11.2 to 23.6 ppm, five to 12 times the level advised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sunscreen lotions were not found to have any benzene, which makes them a smarter choice for safety.

  1. Long Lasting Makeup

There is a reason why long-lasting makeup lasts that long. Usually, it’s because companies have added PFAS, which has been linked to a number of serious health effects. PFAS are added to make lotions, cosmetics, and hair products more water-resistant, durable, and spreadable. While your makeup might look good, they come with serious consequences.

  1. Store Makeup Testers

Several studies have found all types of germs in makeup testers in stores. Researchers have found bacteria such as E. coli that cause stomach cramps and diarrhea and could even prove fatal. One study, conducted by Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania found germs in 100% of tested in-store makeup items.

  1. ‘Clean’ Beauty Products

Don’t fall for the descriptor or label when a product is labeled “clean.” Generally, this is meant to describe non-toxic products free from harmful chemicals. However, often there is no evidence to show that these products have been adequately tested.

  1. Neon Eyeshadow

A number of companies have settled class actions in the last couple of years because neon color additives are not FDA-approved for use around the eyes. According to the FDA, eight fluorescent colors are actually approved for cosmetics, but there are limits on how they may be used. And none of them is approved for use around the eyes, which is a very sensitive part of the face.

  1. Eyelash Growth Serum

This product is best not used unless you have consulted with your doctor. Latisse, the only FDA-approved eyelash serum on the market, must be prescribed by a doctor. Other companies are selling these ingredients as over-the-counter products, which could have frightening side effects. Talk to your doctor before considering use.

  1. UV Gel Nails

These gel dryers are essentially tanning beds for the hands and are linked to skin cancer. Dermatologists have warned that gel manicures could cause lasting damage to the nails and potentially heighten the risk of skin cancer. This process calls for three coats of a special type of polish. Each coat is set using UV light, which could have dangerous side effects. Also, these UV light machines are not regulated, so you don’t know how much exposure you are getting.

The revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry amounted to nearly $50 billion in 2022. There is no question that each company getting into this business desperately wants its share of the profit. Manufacturers often fall into the trap of putting profits before the health and safety of consumers. This is never acceptable. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a cosmetic or beauty product or any other type of defective or faulty product, it is important to understand that you have legal rights. Contact a product defect attorney in California to find out if you have a case.

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