Beautycounter Takes Action in D.C.

This past Tuesday was the 81st anniversary of the passing of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act—the last major legislation governing personal-care products.

The legislation is long overdue of an update, and the good news is that Congress is motivated to create comprehensive cosmetics reform. To help build momentum and continue to educate Members of Congress and their staff on this important issue, members of our HQ and Consultant teams—along with some esteemed members of the clean beauty movement—paid a visit to the Capitol to meet with key Members and hold a Congressional Briefing.

Endocrine-Disruptive Chemicals and You 

In front of an audience of Hill staff, Drs. Ami Zota of George Washington University, Tamarra James-Todd of Harvard, and Leo Trasande of NYU made the connection between endocrine-disruptive chemicals and public health as well as their impacts to the U.S. economy. These chemicals include phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde which are found across consumer goods, including personal-care products. Moreover, certain populations are especially vulnerable to the adverse health effects of these chemicals including children, teens, pregnant women, and people of color. 

For example, 25% of pregnancies today experience one of four complications such as infertility, preterm birth, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.[1] These four outcomes can all be traced to higher exposures to phthalates and BPA, chemicals found in different types of plastics.[2]

Despite the prevalence of endocrine disruptors in everyday life, the panelists noted that there are easy ways to protect ourselves and our families such as refusing receipts which are typically coated with BPA and using cast-iron or stainless-steel cookware rather than non-stick pans. Changes in public policy are also critical to protecting public health as well as saving the U.S. economy billions in lost productivity due to illnesses resulting from exposure to endocrine disruptors.

Beautycounter Consultants Hit the Hill 

Joining the Beautycounter advocacy HQ team in Washington were five Consultants who earned the trip by building their businesses. Audrey Vargas, Jenn Torres, Morgan Rasmussen, Nicole Christensen, and Dawn Parry each hosted one or more Pop-ups this past March with an advocacy focus to earn the opportunity to come to D.C. and meet with their Members of Congress. Beautycounter’s advocacy is built on the collective voices of our more than 40,000 Consultants across North America, and these five women made a significant impact by sharing their personal stories with both Members and staff. 

What’s Next for Cosmetics Reform

Over the past six years, Beautycounter’s on-the-ground advocacy for better beauty laws has resulted in more environmentally friendly sunscreens, safer children’s products, and healthier work environments for salon professionals and customers. This year, we are working on 12 bills with significant impacts on public health. 

In California, the Safer Fragrance bill (SB 574) has passed the Senate floor, and we expect the bill to reach the Assembly floor in August. If passed, the bill would be the first of its kind in the U.S. to require the disclosure of fragrance ingredients. 

At the federal level, Beautycounter continues to work with Senators Feinstein and Collins on moving forward S.726, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. We also expect a similar bipartisan bill to be introduced in the House this year, granting the FDA the ability to better regulate personal-care products. Last year’s passage of the Safer Sunscreen bill in Hawaii is also spurring federal action as H.R. 1834, the Marine Sanctuaries Act, was introduced this year, prohibiting the use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in the 13 national marine sanctuaries across the U.S. and its territories.

Want to be up to speed on #betterbeauty laws? Be sure to follow Beautycounter on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to learn about the latest developments and how you can play a role in advancing our mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone.  

[1] Pre-eclampsia and assisted reproductive technologies: consequences of advanced maternal age, interbirth intervals new partner and smoking habits (Tandberg et al)

[2] Trimester-specific phthalate concentrations and glucose levels among women from a fertility clinic (James-Todd et al)

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