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Cosmetics might make people look more attractive, but the ingredients in many personal care products do not add up to a very pretty picture, according to a new video by Annie Leonard, a proponent of sustainability and creator of The Story of Stuff about the life-cycle of material goods.

Leonard’s message: the cosmetics industry is unregulated. The Federal Drug Administration doesn’t test the safety of personal care products. It doesn’t even require that all of the ingredients be listed on the label. And that can make for cosmetics that can have some pretty nasty ingredients, she says.

Chemicals in certain lipsticks, sunscreens and even baby shampoos are sometimes linked to cancer, learning disabilities, asthma, allergies, and even hormone disruptions, studies have shown. A 2008 study from the Environmental Working Group found that adolescent girls were contaminated with chemicals like phthalates, parabens, musks and triclosan that are all linked to cancer and hormone disruption. Early research suggests that teens are especially vulnerable to even low levels of hormones because their bodies are already undergoing complex hormonal changes of puberty and early adulthood.

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