In a 50 billion dollar a year industry, it is safe to say that the business of beauty is nothing to take purely for face value. With stakes this high, the government and big businesses can be more than willing to overlook the ugly side of the beauty industry in order to keep pockets fat. Do you really know what’s in your make-up? Sure we spend every single day of our lives applying it. We know the hue, the brand and the results they help us to achieve. But do you know what’s actually in your make-up that helps us achieve these results? When I stopped to think about my daily routine, I realized there isn’t a moment of the day that I do not have some kind of chemical on my body. That was shocking! When I get into the shower I have fragranced soap, shampoo and conditioners. Once I step out I am applying some sort of moisturizer, deodorant and perfume followed by make-up. So it had me thinking… If I did know exactly what was in these beauty products would I apply them to my face, body and hair on a daily basis? If you knew would you? Here is a List of some of the beauty products we use and the potentially dangerous ingredients they may contain:
Lipstick is known to contain Lead. Lead is a soft, malleable heavy metal. Poisonous like mercury, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead can be linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in women, and delays in puberty onset in girls. Not only found in lipstick alone but also in over 650 cosmetic products including: sunscreens, foundation, nail colors and whitening toothpaste. Despite these facts the leading cosmetic companies and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to stand by the argument that a tiny amount of lead isn’t harmful. According to the Mayo Clinic any amount of lead can be potentially dangerous. With continuous use over a extensive period of time exposure to amounts of lead too low to cause symptoms in the short term may increase your risk of high blood pressure and mental decline in the future. Symptoms may include; pain, fatigue, numbness or tingling of the extremities, muscular weakness, headaches, abdominal pain, memory loss, mood disorders, miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women. (Successhomebiz) You can purchase a lead test kit if you want to know how much if any lead is in your make-up. (Ehow)
Eyeliner & Mascara
Popular drug-store eyeliner & mascara products have shown to contain arsenic, beryllium, mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, laquer and thallium. Companies for the most part with not list mercury on the packaging of products but commonly will list mercury on cosmetic labels under thimerosal or merthiolate. Side effects from these ingredients so close to the eye can be neurological damage, along with many other adverse reactions, all which are irreversible. (dailymail.co.uk)
Talc Magnesium Silicate Hydroxide uses are most commonly known as the primary ingredient in talcum powder (baby powder) and makeup. Mineral oil is found in lotions, makeup removers and liquid foundation. It’s also the main ingredient in baby oil. This oil is derived from petroleum and it coats the skin like a lotion. This film on the skin clogs the pores and the skin cannot rid itself of toxins. Although the FDA has approved talc for use in ingested and topical drug products, the Cancer Prevention Coalition claims Talc found in cosmetics is very dangerous.
Often considered a natural alternative to conventional makeup, mineral-based products often come in the form of powders. The problem with mineral formulated make-up results from the particles of minerals such as mica, which are so tiny they can float through the air and can be inhaled into the lungs. Disturbing to think in contrast that construction workers using spackle and other products containing mica, wear masks to avoid breathing in this chemical. (There hasn’t been any official warning issued for mineral makeup to date, but some experts, such as Pulmonologists, are warning women that lung scarring and damage could result from frequent use). (forbes)
Lotions & Moisturizers
Commonly used parabens are a group of chemical compounds used as an antifungal agent and preservative in a wide variety of cosmetics, as well as preservatives in food and pharmaceuticals. Cosmetics that contain parabens include makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products, underarm deodorants and baby care products, among others. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Yes, parabens are linked to breast cancer. The FDA continues to assert that parabens are safe. However the agency states that they will continue it’s on going investigation.
Breast cancer is high on the list of concerns, not only because of the underarm’s close proximity to breast tissue but because multiple ingredients in deodorants are made up of estrogenic compounds. Estrogenic compounds have the ability to trigger some of the same effects as the body’s own hormone estrogen. Estrogen’s many role’s in the body is to promote the growth of breast tissue. Excess amounts of estrogen could lead to cancerous overgrowth. Aluminum is also used as an antiperspirant to plug sweat ducts but is also estrogenic. Parabens can be found in deodorants as well. Triclosan is a common antibacterial ingredient that, when combined with water, will form chloroform, a probable carcinogen. It is important to research the brand of deodorant you use and the ingredients they contain. (livestrong)
To date, Europe has banned over 1,300 chemicals in cosmetics; while the Food and Drug Administration in America has banned only ten! Though these chemicals are banned in the US it doesn’t prevent other countries from importing prohibited cosmetics for consumer use. (divinecaroline)
Here is a list of the banned chemicals by the FDA:
- Halogenated salicylanilides
- Ethylene chloride
- Prohibited cattle material (tallow and its by-products)
Note: It is not yet 100 percent proven that if you use products containing these ingredients you will get cancer or sick in anyway. Research and studies continue to try and find the long term effects of these ingredients in women over long periods of time. Not every beauty product contains harmful ingredients but many do, including natural claiming products can contain small to large amounts of harmful chemicals. It is important to make sure and do your research when shopping for beauty products.