The harm these chemicals cause is difficult to detect since problems like cancer and infertility or difficulty with getting pregnant have more than one cause--pollution, genetics, age, etc. What has changed since 1938, among other things, is that the unregulated beauty market doesn't solely affect women anymore; the average person draws from at least 12 products a day. (I liked discussing this when I taught Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, two characters whose bathing habits are related to their boys-will-be-boys freedom. Remember how Tom Sawyer tries to remove his wart?) If you're curious as to what contaminants are in your daily products, go to the Cosmetic Safety Database.
I often reminisce on a conversation I had with a fellow waitress I knew while I was in college in Arkansas. Noticing her healthy glow, I asked her what skin products she used. She responded by saying that she puts her boyfriend's sperm on her face at night. She went on to tell me how sperm can be stored for later use, in the event that one doesn't have fresh product available. We laugh. We think is this for real? Because it's funny that the rest of us are satisfied with oil and small traces of poisons.