In an effort to gain collective insight on potential side effects from cosmetics, the National Register of Adverse Effects from Cosmetic Products was born in Norway in 2008. Its new report contains notifications, mostly from pharmacists, recorded from 2008 to 2010, which researchers hope will encourage more reports and help them assess which products they should warn against.
Permanent hair dye topped the list in terms of severe reactions (most likely allergy related) ranging from redness, blistering and itching of the scalp and face to eczema and swelling on the forehead and around the eyes. According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which created the register in collaboration with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to collect this type of information, other cosmetic products that have been receiving notifications of adverse symptoms included moisturizers, sunscreens and cleansers.
We think this is a step in the right direction to encourage more disclosure about bad experiences with cosmetics. The more you bring up your experiences with your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist, the more likely they are to shed light on harmful qualities of cosmetic products in registers like this one. How many of us have had minor reactions to skin creams or cleansers and kept it to ourselves? Speak up!
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