If you are like me you would be a little disturbed by the CNN Headline “Skin products tainted with mercury”. According to CNN the Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that products tainted with mercury have been found in at least seven states. There is some frustration expressed online about the fact that the FDA does not provide a listed of the products that were found to be contaminated. As many of you know, mercury is highly toxic and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can cause damage to the brain and kidneys when you are exposed to high levels.
The FDA does not name the products but do give some very good advice, which is read the label. Federal law required ingredients to be listed on all drugs or cosmetics. If there is no label then do not use the product. According to the CNN article they recommend that “consumers should look for mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric, mercurio or mercury.” Of course, I do not know why a company or manufacturer would knowingly include mercury in a product label. At least it makes the point that you really must read the label if you want to avoid tainted products.
Another way to avoid these kinds of tainted products is to do your research on the products and the company that makes them before you use the product yourself. A company that has quality and a goal of avoiding impurities will talk about it on their website. Quality can be seen by the research the company does to make sure their products are safe and actually work as claimed.
Finding a company that stands by its products and tests for quality can be difficult. However, when you start looking you may be surprised at what you find. There are so many products on the market that have zero research behind them. Products that contain ingredients that cannot do anything related to what the product is used for.
My favorite example is skin care products that contain collagen. The collagen molecule is too large to pass through your skin. Therefore smearing it on your skin hoping that it will help is pointless. Yet it is very easy to find collagen skin care products. What you want is products that naturally promotes the growth of collagen within your skin and not products that contain collagen. When you do the research you will find that there are many such substances that do promote the growth of collagen. What you want is a skin care product that uses these kinds of natural ingredients.
We all have our favorites companies and brands based on our own research, but if you are like most people including myself then you may have assumed that if they sell it at the drug store or grocery store then it must be safe and have good quality. However, this is just not true. My collagen example shows that including ingredients that do not hurt you but also do not help you is perfectly legal and done all the time. Look for the research. If the company will not share what research was done to test the effectiveness of their products, then go find new products and a better company.
In conclusion, if you want to avoid skin care products tainted with mercury you just need to follow some simple steps. Read the label so you know what is going into your products. If you do not know what is in your products you are asking for trouble. In addition you need to know and trust the company that makes the products you are using. Do they stand for quality and do the research? Can you find the research? Not finding the research is as bad as not finding the label of ingredients. If it is not there then do not use the products.