Let’s Talk about Parabens, Phthalates, Safety and EU Cosmetics Standards

When we first began the formulation process with Stowaway, it was extremely important to us to design a cosmetics line that followed the most stringent standards of safety in the cosmetics industry. Unfortunately those standards are rarely found in the United States. Why? The cosmetics industry is largely unregulated in America.  Did you know that only 7 ingredients are banned in the US, while the European Union bans almost 1400 ingredients that goes into cosmetics!  Shocking right? Which is why all Stowaway products are proudly EU compliant. We are holding ourselves to the highest standard in the cosmetics because we know what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it. 


In the 1400 ingredients that are banned, two ingredients have been getting a lot of attention recently and we wanted to give you a little more information on why we refuse to include them in our ingredients. We are Parabens and Phthalate.  We’ve previously wrote a post on Parabens, and you can read it here.  The gist is, parabens are widely used in personal care products as preservatives to extend their shelf life.  Often more than one form of paraben is used in a product with the most common being butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Remember most cosmetics brands are wholesales so they hold inventory that they then sell to say a department store or cosmetics store and THEN it is sold to you. Add in overly large products that you don’t finish and well you can see why preservatives are important to many cosmetics brands. But 2004, a senior lecturer in oncology and researcher in biomolecular sciences at the University of Reading, in England, Phillipa Dabre published a study that detected parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from breast tumour biopsies. Now some folks will point out that correlation is not causation but controversy remains and the EU has remained firm in its precautionary stance on the ingredients. 

And the other chemical, Phthalates, can be found in plastic containers for food and beverages to make the plastic flexible.  And it can also be found in personal care products as a lubricant.  Do we really want a chemical that is used to make plastic in our cosmetics?  We would prefer not to do so. Some dangers that have been associated with phthalates include abnormal sexual development, reproductive birth defects, and premature breast development.  

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