Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Safe Cosmetic Act of 2010 is Not the Solution

I'm taking a moment to update you all on new proposed cosmetic legislation that will ultimately impact everyone, from large cosmetic companies, to small, green indie manufacturers (like me), to anyone who sells personal care products and cosmetics, to you, the consumer. 

H.R 5786 the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was released yesterday. I've had a chance to read through the document multiple times and have huge concerns and questions with the bill as drafted. The entire bill can be downloaded by clicking the link above. In attempt to share my personal experience and not turn this post into a novel, I'm directing you to check out these posts that summarize and highlight just some of the many issues with the Safe Cosmetic Act of 2010 draft. I urge you to read the bill as well.

Interestingly enough, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CFSC) released The Story Of Cosmetics, a “shockumentary” on cosmetic safety on the very same day this proposed new legislation was released...

This was no coincidence.  

It's time to tell my own personal story, something I have been a bit hesitant to do on Green Skincare Blog up until this point. An important note to all those who support CFSC and the new bill, the signers of the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics Compact were not notified in any way shape or form as to the lobbying and orchestrated release of the CFSC video with the proposed legislation draft.

I know this first hand because my company is still listed as a Compact Signer... even though I have asked multiple times to be removed due to the detrimental direction the Campaign was heading in squashing small businesses, along with the lack of science behind their agenda. I last attended an annual compact meeting at Expo West in March 2009 where I was threatened if I did not update my products in the Skin Deep system, my company would be removed as a Compact Signer. That was 17 months ago. I have not updated my products in their system, and have not been removed from the Compact. I have chosen to register with the FDA Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP) and have always listed our complete ingredient decks on I have sent multiple emails asking to be removed from CFSC completely, the latest sent just last week.

I still have not been removed as a Campaign For Safe Cosmetics Compact Signer. 

Lisa Rodgers, my co-founding partner at and I have directly tried to work with the CFSC. After the proposed Colorado Cosmetic Bill failed, the co-founder of CFSC left multiple comments right here at Green Skincare Blog. Following our online interaction, Lisa and I had a conference call with Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the CFSC, about our concerns with the Campaign and lobbying for legislation that would hurt the small, innovative, natural companies. Stacy commented during our conversation, and in writing on my blog that her "view on Skin Deep is that it is not a perfect system and never can be, because of what it is trying to do -- analyze an entire industry based on available data, which is very limited due to the historic lack of safety regulations for chemicals."

I am still perplexed by the fact that co-founder of CFSC herself is pointing out flaws with the Skin Deep rating system CFSC Compact Signers are required to register their formulas in! I do not want my business associated with an organization lobbying to put me out of business based on fear mongering and lack of science. I support safe cosmetics based on scientific research. CFSC has not shown the science to back their rating system in Skin Deep.  The way this bill is written would impose huge fees on companies big and small which we will all end up seeing when we purchase our daily essentials, from soap to mascara.

So while CFSC is touting support for this bill from their Compact Signers, I must ask:
  • How many other companies are there out there like me who have asked to be removed and the CFSC has not complied? 
  • Why haven't they complied? (I think I know the answer to this one... but what do you think?)
  •  How many of the companies on their signer list have gone out of business and are still listed as compact signers? 
  •  How many are just plain scared to be removed due to the obvious power this “nonprofit” currently has over our government and pending legislation? (if you’re wondering why that’s in quotes, read The Revealing Truth of the Money Trail of EWG)
We all want to make sure the personal care products we use are safe, but do we want our government to create a paperwork nightmare that regulates down to nanoparticles when we don't have the science (ironically from the words of Susan Roll, a founding member of CFSC) to back it? You can listen to Ms. Roll's live statement from the Colorado hearing by clicking the link above. There may be room for improvement in FDA regulations concerning cosmetics, but The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 in it's current form is is not the solution. 

I urge you all to voice your opinion and oppose The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 in it's current draft. If you're interested in learning more about the science behind what's in your skin care products, visit Personal Care Truth.

This bill will not ensure your body is safer. 

It will make the price tag on your personal care and cosmetic products much higher. 

It will squash small businesses paving the way in innovation and green cosmetics right out of the industry.

We need to be vocal, not scared. We need to tell our stories. We need to stand up to the CFSC and make sure they are not using our businesses as "numbers" to show support of this bill. You may feel the impact in your wallets if you don't. No matter how green you consider yourself, we all use personal care products daily. This bill will impact everyone.

Perhaps this post will finally get me removed from the CFSC Compact Signers list?

As I step off my soap box, I have one last thought that has been lingering in the back of my mind for months... why is the government targeting the cosmetic industry? We have a proven track record of safety. What you apply to your body doesn't affect your system in the same way as what you put into your body... if we're concerned about health issues, cancer and safety, shouldn't we be scrutinizing diet, fitness and lifestyle choices... things that are actually scientifically proven to affect health? We have no legislation in place to cover what we eat or our lifestyle choices... why is the target pointed at the cosmetics industry?


  1. Thank you, Kayla, for keeping on top of this. I think many of us are so tired of all the half truths circulating out there - about many things - that, in despair, we bury our heads in the sand, and hope it will all go away.
    Thank you too for all the links and evidence you provide....Lesley

  2. hi Lesley, Thanks for your comments. Yes, we could all bury our heads in the sand, and it could possibly go away (considering it's draft legislation) or it could actually make it's way to a bill that is passed. That is why I am speaking up, along with so many others in the industry. It takes a village to make a change! ~Kristin

  3. Hi Kristen,
    Excellent blogpost. Here's my latest contribution:
    I have written a request to Amy Goodman at Democracy Now asking to revisit this issue with a broader look. I included a link to my blogpost, yours here, several from Kayla and Cindy Jones. I'll keep you posted if she responds.

  4. Hi Marcia, Thanks for your comments. I just left one on your post as well, great job by the way!

    I hope that Democracy Now can take another look at this issue; I was very disappointed with their segment last week, and usually think very highly of the program.


  5. Hi Kristin, great post. I guess the CFSC keeps yours and other companies names just so it can look like they have a following. I wonder how many small companies have asked and not been taken off their list; I hear many say that.

  6. Yes, Cindy I think you are right. I also just received 2 "anonymous" comments that mentioned supporting reps names and were way to specific to be by someone not affiliated directly with the campaign. If you are going to comment, at least own up to who you are and what you stand for. Anonymous comments are not accepted here.