It’s a very rare occasion that the FDA will actually ban a cosmetic ingredient (after all, the U.S. has banned only around a dozen cosmetic ingredients, while Europe has banned more than a thousand). So despite years of dialogue and contention around triclosan, a common ingredient used in soaps and other "antibacterial" products, this year’s triclosan ruling to ban the chemical ingredient from soap was a significant event that has some serious long-term implications.

[See related: How to choose safer beauty products

In September, the FDA banned triclosan and 17 other chemicals used in hand and body washes marketed as "antibacterial." Why? Research has linked the ingredient to issues ranging from liver damage to hormone disruption and allergies, while other studies have shown that using soaps with triclosan were no more effective at preventing illness than using regular soap and water.