Janet, you are right. The cosmetic industry is an example of an unregulated industry "gone wild". Another consideration beyond the inclusion of animal by-products in cosmetics, is the use of unregulated chemicals, many of which that could be linked to cancer, organ damage, developmental disorders or a myriad of other health problems. Manufacturers are not required to prove that a product is safe. I myself have a lipstick wearing habit, born from my rebellious Catholic high school days when I would hike up my skirt and wear red lipstick to show defiance to the nuns. Some of those habits are with me today, such as the wearing of red toenail polish which I felt allowed me to be a little bit of an "outrageous older woman". That was the case until I started learning of the effects, only recently, of phthalates which is used to reduce brittleness in nail products, to soften a large amount of cosmetics as well as plastics. Testing done on rodents has shown a speeding up of the growth of breast cancer cells and other deformities. In Puerto Rico, there has been an epidemic of premature breast development that has not been explained. however, in testing girls (as young as two), who have premature breast development have been found to have much higher phthalates in their blood (Colon, 2000). Now, the use of such a product may not harm the individual user, but the effect of body burden on those who are exposed to such chemicals remains unknown.
A good website (there are many) is the Environmental Working Group Science Review: Are Common Chemical Ingredients in Cosmetics Posing Risks to Human Health? (available on line at: http://www.ewg.org/cosmetics)