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Game On: Top 10 Best & Worst Beauty Brands

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Game On: Top 10 Best & Worst Beauty Brands

Jessica Assaf

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It's Friday and I have no class today, so I decided to dedicate the day to a little experiment. I took the "Top 10 Beauty Brands" according to Forbes Magazine, and then I found each company's highest-scoring (most harmful) product on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database. The EWG developed Skin Deep to increase public awareness of the ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products. After extensive scientific research, they have rated thousands of products from 0-10, 0 being the safest possible and 10 being the most toxic. It remains the best and most extensive resource for learning about this issue. I want to share the highest-scoring products from the "Top 10 Beauty Brands" with you so we can start to think about WHY these companies are so powerful, and WHAT we can do to improve cosmetic safety. What I hope you realize is that the only reason why these companies are the "Top 10 Beauty Brands" is because we buy their products over and over againWE hand them the power with every dollar we spend on the products they produce with the ingredients they choose. The inherent truth in all of this is that when we buy a product, we are essentially saying that we whole-heartedly agree with the way the brand does business. It is our loyalty that is allowing them to continue to grow and dominate the industry. So, that means that WE are actually themost powerful players in this beauty game. If we stop buying from these companies until they meet our demands, they will have to respond. And they will either say, "Sorry, we like using toxic chemicals!" or, more likely, "Okay, we will find safer alternatives so you keep buying our products." I don't know about you, but I say, #GAMEON!

Forbes Top 10 Beauty Brands:

1. OLAY

Owned by Procter & Gamble, 2012 Brand value: $11.8 billion 

Highest-scoring product: Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths

Ingredients:Petrolatum, PEG 100, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cyclodextrin, Butylene Glycol, PEG 14M, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape Seed Extract), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Fragrance, Polyquaternium 10, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ma/Diisobutylene Copolymer, Silica, BHT, Sodium Laurate

Health concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology 

2. AVON

2012 Brand value: $7.9 billion

Highest-scoring product: Avon Ideal Flawless BB Beauty Balm Cream

Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Trifluoromethyl C1-4 Alkyl Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Polysilicone-11, Quaternium-90, Bentonite, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Stearic Acid, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Undecylenate, Ethyl Undecylenate, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triethoxysiloxyethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Propylene Carbonate, Hexylene Glycol, Calcium PCA, Zinc PCA, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Methicone, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Saccharomyces Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces Zinc Ferment, Saccharomyces Malachite Ferment, Saccharomyces Tourmaline Ferment. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides

Health concerns: cancer, allergies & immunotoxicity, contamination, irritation (eyes, skin, lungs,) occupational hazards, persistence and bioaccumulation, biochemical or cellular level changes, organ system toxicity, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity

*Note: this was literally the only product from this company on Skin Deep

3. L'OREAL

2012 Brand value: $7.7 billion

Highest-scoring product: L'Oreal Professional Texture Expert Volume Elevation Volumizing Serum-Gel

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), VP/VA Copolymer, AMP Acrylates Allyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Ceteareth 25, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Fragrance, Methyl Gluceth 20, Methylparaben, Acrylates/Beheneth 25 Methacrylate Copolymer, DMDM Hydantoin, Limonene, Ethylparaben, Potassium Sorbate, Triethanolamine, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Linalool, Wheat Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Oleth 10, Benzophenone 4, Disodium Cocoamphodipropianate, Benzyl Alcohol, Citral, Octylacrylamide/Acrylates/Butylaminoethyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Polyquaternium 10

Health concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology 

4. NEUTROGENA

2012 Brand value: $6.2 billion

Highest-scoring product: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends Natural Radiance Bronzer

Ingredients: Talc, Cornstarch (Zea Mays), Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecanol Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Panthenol, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid (A Preservative), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, May Contain (+/-):, Titanium Dioxide, Red 6, Ultramarines, Iron Oxide, Red 30 (CI 73360)

Health concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology 

5. NIVEA

2012 Brand value: $5.6 billion

Highest-scoring product: Nivea for Men Protective Moisturizer

Ingredients: Octinoxate, Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Titanium DioxideInactive, Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denatured, Distarch Phosphate, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Creatine, 1 Methylhydantoin 2 Imide, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, EDTA (Ethylenediamine-Tetra-Acetic Acid), Alumina, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Health Concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, neurotoxicity  

Note: It was hard to choose because Nivea has so many bad products to choose from

6. LANCOME

Owned by L'Oreal2012 Brand value: $5.1 billion

Highest-scoring product: Lancome BB Cream 

Ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, Titanium Dioxide 5.8%, Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl Laurate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Pentylene Glycol, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Triethanolamine, Silica, Alumina, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Sulfate, Alcohol Denat., Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tristearin, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Panthenol, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Butylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance, Linalool, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate

Health Concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, neurotoxicity  

*Note: this was literally the only product from this company

7. DOVE

2012 Brand value: $5 billion

Highest-scoring product: Dove Hair Therapy, Nourishing Oil Care Detangler 

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Trisiloxane, SD Alcohol 40 B, Cyclopentasiloxane, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Diazolidinyl Urea, Benzophenone 4, Methylparaben, Magnesium Sulfate, Propylparaben, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Citric Acid, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Red 33 (CI 17200)

Health Concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, neurotoxicity  

8. ESTEE LAUDER 

2012 Brand value: $3.7 billion

Highest-scoring product: Estee Lauder Beautiful Eau de Parfum Spray

Ingredients: Alcohol Denat, Beautiful Perfume, Water, Triethyl Citrate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxyaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxycitronellal, Evernia Prunastri Extract (Oakmoss), Hexyl Cinnamal, Eugenol, Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Farnesol, Coumarin, Isoeugenol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Amyl Cinnamal, Citral, Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Red 17 (CI 26100)

Health Concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, neurotoxicity  

Note: ESTEE LAUDER has multiple products with a score of 10 

9. BIORE

2012 Brand value: $3.3 billion

Highest-scoring product: Biore Acne Clearing Scrub

Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 1% (Acne Treatment), Water, Laureth 4 Carboxylic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Alumina, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sorbitol, Synthetic Wax, Microcrystalline Wax, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Xantham Gum, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Menthol, Polyquaternium 39, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 30, Talc, Methylisothiazolinone

Health Concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, neurotoxicity  

Note: Check out Biore's other shitty products

10. SHISEIDO 

2012 Brand value: $2.9 billion

Highest-scoring product: Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream

Ingredients: Ensulizole 2%, Octinoxate 7.4%, Titanium Dioxide 7.2% Water, Dimethicone, Sd Alcohol 40-B, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Silica, Xylitol, Peg-6, Peg-32, Peg/Ppg-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Thiotaurine, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Arginine Hcl, Ononis Spinosa Root Extract, Sodium Pca, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Ppg-17, Aluminum Hydroxide, Aminomethyl Propanol, Aluminum Distearate, Isostearic Acid, Stearic Acid, Trisodium Edta, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Alumina, Polysilicone-2, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polybutylene Glycol/Ppg-9/1 Copolymer, Bht, Syzygium Jambos Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

Health Concerns: cancer, developmental & reproductive toxicity, allergies & immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption, multiple additive exposure sources, contamination, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs,) organ system toxicity, occupational hazards, biochemical or cellular changes, enhanced skin absorption, data gaps, ecotoxicology, neurotoxicity  

*Note: this was literally the only product from this company on Skin Deep. 

Well, that's how it is. But it doesn't have to be this way. How many of you use a product on this list? Take a photo and tag #BEAUTYBULLSHIT or #GAMEOVER and I will personally find you a better, safer alternative!