Beauty Industry Change: California’s New Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act

On September 30th, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom made beauty history by signing Assembly Bill 2762, also known as the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act. The bill was originally introduced by assembly members Al Muratsuchi, Bill Quirk, and Buffy Wicks. California is the first state in the United States to enact a bill that bans 24 toxic ingredients from beauty and cosmetic products, a monumental step for the American beauty industry. “Every day, Californians are exposed to hazardous chemicals hiding in their cosmetics and personal care products. Children, communities of color, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to these ingredients, which are not actively regulated by the federal government,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. The beauty industry remains a very unregulated industry in the United States, but this is a great step in the right direction.

The State of Cosmetic Regulation 

Currently, in the United States, beauty and cosmetic products are monitored by the FDA, but unlike pharmaceutical drugs, cosmetic products do not need to be approved before being sold to the general public. This means that companies can put any ingredients they want in their products, whether they are good for consumers or not. They are also not required to disclose exactly what is in their products or the toxicity of ingredients. That means that there can be dangerous ingredients in any of the products that you find in the drug store, supermarket, mall, or online. Of the

10,000 ingredients used to manufacture personal cosmetics, only 11 have been banned by the FDA.

What the Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act Bans

The ingredients that are banned by the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act are:

  1. formaldehyde
  2. paraformaldehyde
  3. methylene glycol
  4. quaternium 15
  5. mercury
  6. dibutyl and diethylhexyl phthalates
  7. isobutyl and isopropyl parabens
  8. m- and o-phenylenediamine
  9. per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

These ingredients can have extremely harmful effects on human health, such as cancer, organ toxicity, damage to the reproductive system, and birth defects. Many of these ingredients have already been banned from beauty products in the EU, which has banned 1,400 toxic ingredients. Forty other nations around the world have taken steps towards banning toxic ingredients.

The bill will go into effect January 2025, making it illegal for any individual or business to manufacture or sell any cosmetic product that contains any of the banned ingredients in California. California has long been a pioneer when it comes to health and wellness. No one should have to worry about whether or not the personal products they are using are going to give them cancer, imbalance their hormones, or damage their health in any way!


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