Know Your Products: FDA studies uncover toxic mercury levels in cosmetics

What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.

Many people think of skin as a barrier, protecting your insides from the harsh environment and any dangers it contains. While this is true, your skin is much more porous than you think.

People often fail to realize that your skin is the largest organ on your body. Every day, substances are constantly diffusing in and out of your body through the skin. This means that whatever you put on your skin, from makeup and lotion to sunscreen and lip balm, gets absorbed into your body. This is usually a non-issue as most of the ingredients in these products are harmless and are easily filtered out of your body. But, there are many ingredients that can cause harm, an issue that was recently highlighted by the FDA’s mercury testing in cosmetics products.

Mercury is a human toxicant that, although it occurs naturally throughout the earth, is very harmful to humans in high enough quantities. Mercury poisoning dates back centuries. One of the first exposures to mercury poisoning was in the hat industry, where the fumes from animal pelts, preserved with mercury, induced significant neurological damage causing hat makers to go crazy (hence the name “mad hatter”). Now that a lot of research has been conducted and many studies published, most consumers know that mercury is dangerous. However, you would be surprised how many products still contain it.

Many cosmetics products have recently come under fire after it was found that they contain illegal levels of mercury. “According to the FDA, more than 35 products tested over the years have been found to contain levels of mercury beyond the one part per million (ppm) maximum standard for cosmetic products. The Minnesota Department of Health(MDH), for instance, tested 27 skin products recently and discovered that 11 of them had levels of mercury far higher than one ppm”. While many of these products were imported, this still raises the underlying issue of knowing what you are putting on, and therefore in, your body.

This same issue is rampant throughout the hair care industry. Almost everything you put in your hair ends up on your scalp and countless hair products contain ingredients that have been proven to cause adverse effects. Unfortunately, insufficient knowledge and understanding cause people to continue to purchase them. Even more suspiring are the customers who know the immense risks and still they choose to use these dangerous products. Ultimately I guess this is our societies fault, as such immense pressure is put on beauty. But, I have good news for you. You no longer have to sacrifice your health to look your best. Use Me products contain natural, organic ingredients, are 99% vegan (the exception is our Curl Up and Shine Creme, which contains lanolin from a no-kill sheep farm), Sulfate and Paraben Free, come in a BPA-free bottle, are made in the USA, and, most importantly, THEY WORK! Our stylists and customers can feel safe when using our products while achieving looks they never thought possible.

Check out and purchase our products at your nearest Use Me partner salon or online at

For a list of the mercury-containing products tested click below:


Refill, Reuse, Repeat


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