A new EWG analysis of serums and essences, popularized by Korean beauty, or K-Beauty, finds that about 40 percent of the products were formulated with less hazardous ingredients. U.S. sales of K-beauty products have increased by almost 300 percent in the past two years alone.
EWG researchers analyzed 352 products in the Skin Deep database from U.S., European, Korean and other Asian companies, looking at the hazards posed by the ingredients and the price point per fluid ounce. Skin Deep assesses products based on the hazards associated with their ingredients. Consumers often assume that more expensive skin care products are made with healthier ingredients. This is not always the case. Many of the green-scoring products we assessed cost less per fluid ounce than did products with worse scores. Some of the most expensive products – costing as much as $640 per fluid ounce – scored in the red range.
“We analyzed the ingredients used to make the serums and essences based on their hazard scores in Skin Deep,” said Kali Rauhe, an associate database analyst at EWG. “Sixty-six of the products met the strictest criteria for health and transparency, to earn the EWG VERIFIED mark. Five of these EWG VERIFIED products made our Best Bets list, meaning they are less hazardous for you and your wallet.”
EWG researchers found that companies can make a trendy personal care product that also meets the rigorous standards for health and transparency dictated by the EWG VERIFIED program. “We wanted to highlight that product marketing, packaging and cost often have very little to do with the safety of the ingredients used in the product,” said Nneka Leiba, director of EWG’s healthy living science program. “Consumers are drawn to the design and price point without realizing that the information on the front of the package is not vetted by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency governing personal care products. So a company can claim almost anything and use almost any ingredients without penalty because they’re so poorly regulated.”
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