Behind the Beauty Counter: What's Really in Your Makeup?

ABC News' congressional correspondent Mary Bruce discusses a new bill that could make the U.S. government regulate the chemicals in cosmetics.
4:20 | 12/08/16

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Transcript for Behind the Beauty Counter: What's Really in Your Makeup?
Did you all notice there's an empty cookie plate here? Michael's plate -- That wasn't my plate. And this one too. We both -- Give me that. Okay, okay. We're back now with our behind the beauty counter series. American also spend more than $60 billion on cosmetics this year and for the first time in nearly 80 years the industry could face increased scrutiny by the government. ABC's congressional correspondent Mary Bruce went behind the scenes. You took one for the team. We did. Good morning, robin. You might think the government regulates all the chemicals in those lotion, creams and sprays that we all use, but it doesn't but now a new bill would give the fda more teeth and it's gaining traction so this morning we're putting my makeup bag to the test to see how much of these chemicals our bodies may be soaking in. Every morning Ali uses over a dozen beauty products. Containing countless chemicals. I don't really think about the products that I use in my bathroom. Reporter: Almost none of them regulated. Only 11 chemicals have ever been regulated by the fda for use in cosmetics. And believe it or not, no safety tests are required before beauty products hit store shelves. Now lawmakers and celebrities are hoping to change that. With legislation that would require the fda to evaluate the safety of at least five chemicals a year and give the fda the power to recall dangerous products. It has the endorsement of nearly two dozen beauty brands and stars like Gwyneth paltrow who says consumers deserve to know the products they use every day are safe. "Gma" wanted to see if our bodies are actually absorbing the chemicals that we're slathering on so we put my medicine cabinet to the test. We looked at two common chemicals, paraben, a preserve and phthalates and the CDC says the health effects of low level exposure from these are unknown. After getting a baseline measurement of the chemicals in nye system for three days I only used products containing these and for five days I cut them out completely. Using only low chemical products for my daily routine. Four days, no chemicals. Now it's time for the last test. We took samples at each stage of the experiment. Let's go and sent them to the California department of health for review. Then met up with university of california-berkeley researcher Kim Harley for my results. Show how do I do? You went up to 386. When I switched to using products with the chemicals the level of parabens went off the charts. You had a tenfold increase in. When I changed. He plummeted. You went down to 6. To 6. Same story with the phthalates. Look at that spike. The personal care products council tell us families can feel confident they are protected. Manufacturers use the best science and latest available research to ensure safety before products hit store shelves. We check back with Ali to give her bathroom a chemical checkup. Look for fragrance. Look for products that have shorter ingredient lists and fewer chemicals that have names that you can actually pronounce. That would be a good start. Now, if you are concerned about the chemicals that may be in your system from all of these products, the good news as my own tests shows is just a few small changes, pretty big impact in a short amount of time. Do we know what effect those chemicals have on the body. The big question here is simply the unknown. The government says they don't really know the full impact of all of these chemicals and why you're seeing so many calls for the government to get involved. There is a product I've used from beauty counter. They have a list of chemicals that they will absolutely not use so there are company that is are aware of this. A lot are trying to take out the guessing work and help candlelight vigils figure out what's in them but still the best method is to turn around that bottle, squint, look at that long ingredient list. You're young. You don't have to squint. I'm the one that has to squint. Am I right? Yes, put on the glasses. ING looking good and you can get more information on our website, Michael.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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