Consistently choosing the cheaper option, an unknown substance not only cost you more money in the long run, but it also affects your health. The Sacrifices: the quality of cosmetics, the integrity of cosmetics, and the safety of cosmetics.
The regulations that guarantee cosmetic products' "safety of use" in the United States haven't been updated since 1938. Therefore, we don't know whether cosmetic ingredients have gone through adequate, if any, safety testing.
So the honor of following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) is the only industry standard in the United States. Suppose you are to manufacture cosmetic products under GMP standards. In that case, written approval of a testing process must be performed and documented, including validated methods, specifications, and certificates of analysis from the source of all raw ingredients to the final formula creation (the product you use).
All ingredients, whether they are chemicals or natural substances, are pretty much defined the same. When humans make a substance, it can be diluted or mixed with many things; this takes it from natural to chemical substances as defined in most languages. Chemical substances are often called 'pure' to set them apart from mixtures. A typical example of a chemical substance is pure water; it has the same properties and the same hydrogen ratio to oxygen, whether isolated from a river or made in a laboratory.
The big difference is the purity and the certification of what it is and what it contains. Let's use an ordinary certification level of one substance that is allowed to be used in a cosmetic product. Produced by Merck Sigma, one of the largest manufacturers in the world, has a food grade.
Quality comes only by testing the GMP manufactured substance. It needs to meet specifications and standards, Ok, but at what level. The purity level you purchase ranges in cost considerably. A biotech standard for a substance has a minimum amount of impurities based on a percentage of heavy metals in the substance. Each substance that has been tested has a chain of custody called a certificate of analysis (CoA) referenced to each batch of the individual ingredients listed on a cosmetic product.
Zinc sulfate heptahydrate (CAS 7446-19-7) 33% 1000 grams is 6.30 USD.
Zinc sulfate heptahydrate (Merck - 31665-1KG) 99.5% pure 1000 grams is 88.30 USD.
Zinc sulfate monohydrate (Merck - 83265-1L-F) 99.9% pure 1000 ml is 148.00 UDS
"The United States is the third-largest consumer of olive oil in the world," said Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center. "While there are many excellent imported and domestic olive oils available, our tests indicate that there are serious quality problems out there."
By law, each cosmetic ingredient must be listed on the packaging in its common name (Latin or chemical name). Each can be individually searched in a database to establish a known safety profile for that product or individual ingredient.
A nonprofit such as EWG's Skin Deep® database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals in personal care products.
Integrity is all about safety. It is defined in its manufacturing methods, standards, quality of the materials used, and scientific analysis evaluation and testing.