I am one of those people who usually checks the label on things that I buy and I advise others to do the same. I usually follow my own advice; however, just like everyone else, sometimes when I am shopping in a hurry, I will pick an item up and drop it into my cart without checking it out. That was the situation a few days ago when I was shopping at my local drugstore.
My granddaughter is a registered nurse and works at a local nursing home. She had recently asked me if I had any small, inexpensive, unused items (possibly something I had received for Christmas and didn't want) that I would donate to be used as prizes in some of the games that the residents play at the nursing home. With that thought in mind, I was keeping an eye open for something I might purchase and donate. I noticed a shelf with cosmetic items and one of those things was a pretty tube labeled "Body Cream." It was a very pretty tube, white with some green on it and some very pretty purple flowers. It was eye-catching. I didn't recognize the brand name, but the words on the front said "Deep moisturizing, Soothes and Softens, Aloe Vera, Extra Healing Ultra-Rich Formula." That all sounded good and my thoughts were that a tube of lotion would be something that could be used and enjoyed by a nursing home patient. So I dropped one in my cart and went on with my shopping.
As I was emptying shopping bags at home and putting things away, I pulled out the tube of body cream, turned it over and started reading the label. The first thing I saw was the words "Made in Turkey."
I prefer to buy things that are made in the USA, but in this day and age finding things made by our own people here in the United States is very difficult. I am very particular about where the food I eat comes from, although I know there are things in some of our food that we can't identify and have no idea where those things are made.
I am also very particular about where the food and treats I give my pets come from, as I know of dogs lost after eating treats made in another country.
The statement "Made in the USA" is very important to me.
I then began reading the list of ingredients in this body cream. The 11th ingredient listed was "Methylchloroisothiazolinone" and the 12th was "Methylisothiazolinone." If you look closely, you will see that they are spelled differently. I can barely pronounce them and would certainly hate to see them come up in a spelling contest! I was intrigued by them and so I went to the internet to check them out. To make it easier, they are referred to as MIT and CMIT. Both chemicals inhibit bacterial growth in cosmetics on their own, but they are most commonly used as a mixture in products. They are widely used preservatives found in liquid cosmetics and personal care products, including shampoo, conditioners, hair color, body wash, lotion, sunscreen, mascara, shaving cream, baby lotion, baby shampoo, hairspray, makeup remover, liquid soap and detergents. The use of these chemicals causes high health concerns including irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. They have been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity. There are great concerns for the factory workers where these chemicals are made and currently there are no guidelines in place by the National institute for Occupational Safety and Health. They are two of the most predominate contact allergens found in cosmetic products.
I then checked out a well-known brand name lotion that was in my bathroom cupboard. The label on it stated it was made in the USA, dermatologist tested and the chemicals MIT and CMIT are not found in the ingredients. I have to admit that one of the reasons I chose that tube of body cream was because it cost less than the brand name ones that I was familiar with. There is an old saying that goes "you get what you pay for," and that is usually true! If something is priced cheaper, there is usually a reason! Foreign countries do not have to follow the rules and regulations that people in our country must abide by. Read the labels on products you buy, and know what you are buying and who made it. Just because it is distributed by a company in the USA does not mean it was made here. Needless to say, I won't be donating that tube of "body cream" to the nursing home! It went into my wastebasket -- lesson learned!