Cosmetic products are, by law, safe to use. The safety laws controlling cosmetic products are extremely stringent and each product must fully comply before it is made available to use. We will not get cancer from using cosmetic products, and we can be confident of this fact because the lengthy cosmetic safety assessment process must specifically exclude any cancer-causing potential.
Is there a chance that I will get cancer from using cosmetic products? No!
Cosmetic products are used in all of our daily routines, everything from looking good to maintaining good hygiene and keeping skin and teeth in a healthy condition. It is therefore extremely important that great care is taken to ensure that no harm comes from their use. It takes whole teams of scientists years to create a new cosmetic or personal care product. Finally, an experienced and qualified safety assessor must review the product and all its ingredients to check how it has been manufactured and consider who is likely to use the product, how it will be used and how often before they personally sign a legally-required assessment to say the product is safe for people to use.
Can cosmetic ingredients cause cancer?
All ingredients must be safe to use and ingredients are regularly reviewed for safety by independent scientists. If an ingredient was found to be unsafe or to cause cancer as it is used in a cosmetic product, it would be banned for use.
The safety assessment is a very in-depth process and the cosmetics laws clearly set out what needs to be included within the safety report. One part of this process is carefully assessing the scientific information on carcinogenicity (cancer-causing potential) and making sure there is no chance that any of the ingredients can cause cancer when used in the cosmetic product.
This is achieved without the need to test either the finished product or its ingredients on animals. Testing cosmetic products or their ingredients on animals is banned in the UK and EU.
Scare stories in the media
Cosmetic products are safe for use. However, we have all previously seen alarmist stories in the media and online, questioning the safety of cosmetic products, which can be worrying to read. . The vast majority of these stories are either old items that are routinely re-circulated, despite being widely debunked, or refer to studies that just don't relate to real-life use, or have been discredited by other credible experts. Always seek out the scientific facts from a credible source before you take an article at face value. For example, Cancer Research UK has a very helpful website that looks at stories in the media and reports on cancer controversies. Cosmetic products are safe to use.