Popular Anti-Aging Products Linked to Breast Cancer by Gia Machlin, October 14 2015, 3 Comments

A new report from the Breast Cancer Fund’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reveals toxic contaminants in L’Oreal’s Garnier and Proctor & Gamble’s CoverGirl brand products.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent products created by top multinational cosmetic companies to an independent laboratory to have them tested for the presence of toxic chemicals. One third of the products tested contained a contaminant linked to cancer known as perfluoroctonoic acid (PFOA).

PFOA (also known as C-8) is a contaminant of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), an ingredient used to create a smooth finish on personal care products and a non-stick surface on some pots and pans. You may also know PTFE as Teflon®.

Teflon® was recently in the news after DuPont, one of the largest chemical companies in the world, was found liable for negligence in the case of a woman who developed kidney cancer after drinking water contaminated with the C-8 chemical used to make Teflon at a plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. She was awarded $1.1 million for negligence as well as $500,000 for emotional distress, according to theintercept.com.

She's the first. More than 3,500 personal injury and wrongful death suits have been filed on behalf of people in West Virginia and Ohio who were exposed to C8 pollution linked to the DuPont plant, according to theintercept.com.

In its report, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics asks "Would you put Teflon on your face?" According to the report, this chemical, with the contaminant PFOA (C-8), is being used in anti-aging products currently on shelves. They include:

  • L’Oréal’s Garnier Ultra-Lift Transformer Anti-age Skin Corrector
  • L’Oréal ‘s Garnier Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizer
  • Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl Advanced Radiance with Olay, Age Defying Pressed Powder

“There’s nothing glamorous about using an anti-aging product that contains a chemical used to coat pans and is also contaminated with a chemical linked to breast cancer,” said Janet Nudelman, director and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

“Sadly, the very demographic most affected by breast cancer is one of the key marketing targets for these products. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is asking both CoverGirl and Garnier to remove chemicals linked to breast cancer from their cosmetic products.”


Until major brands like CoverGirl and Garnier take the initiative to remove toxic chemicals from their products, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recommends taking the following steps:


We can’t just shop our way out of this problem. In order for safe cosmetics to be widely available and affordable for everyone, we must pass laws that shift the entire industry to nontoxic ingredients and safer production.

Ask Congress to give the FDA the authority and resources it needs to ensure the safety of cosmetics and to require full disclosure of ingredients so consumers can make informed choices. Take action now.


Tell cosmetics companies that you want them to fully disclose the ingredients in the products they make—including contaminants such as PFOA and the chemicals that are hiding under the term “fragrance.” Find out how here.


Read the full report from the Breast Cancer Fund’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics here:

ANTI-AGING SECRETS EXPOSED Chemical Linked to Breast Cancer in Skin Care.

Editor's Note: At EcoPlum, we carry safe cosmetics, bath and body products, including Zosimos Repair Elixir Night Serum ($30). It’s natural and uniquely combines amazing ingredients to improve any complexion's appearance due to unwanted damage.

Ingredients: Citrullus Vulgaris (Watermelon) Seed Oil; Organic Rose Hips Seed Oil; Helianthus Sunnuu (Sunflower) Lecithin; Manuka Oil; Squalene; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin.

To stay up to date on this campaign and others, visit our EcoAction page.