Don't think men use cosmetics? Think again. Aftershave, shampoo and cologne are cosmetics. And just like personal care products marketed to women and kids, men's products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any other government agency. As a result, they often contain chemicals linked to serious health problems. Look, for example, at safety ratings for men's fragrances and aftershaves, including well-known brands Calvin Klein, Burberry and Stetson.
It's perfectly legal for many of the products men use daily to contain chemicals with health risks, chemicals that have never been tested for safety, or chemicals that are not on product labels. Among the troubling products in men's bathrooms:
• Just for Men hair color gel for facial hair contains P-phenylenediamine, which even the industry-funded Cosmetics Ingredient Review board – a panel that's allowed to make safety determinations because the FDA isn't – classifies as a known skin toxicant, but claims is safe for use in cosmetics.
It's time for Congress to empower the FDA to regulate the cosmetics industry so that products marketed to men (and everyone else) are free of unsafe and untested ingredients. We want this $50 billion cosmetics industry to be honest about what's in products, and required to make products safe before they hit store shelves.