Is your makeup having a negative impact on your health?
On January 30th, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a world health emergency. Because of this pandemic, you may be taking a closer look at your overall health and wellness. Your time spent at home has probably lead to some deep cleaning, decluttering, or taking any extra steps to make sure your home is as safe and bug free as possible. But have you considered that things in your own home may be causing you harm? What about your beauty routine? Maybe you do a full face of makeup every day or maybe just your eyes and lips. Either way, have you taken the time to read the ingredients and find out exactly what it is you’re putting on your body? Let’s talk about some common ingredients found in non-organic makeup and the risks you may be taking by using them.
PARABENS – What are they?Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in many beauty products, including makeup, lotions, hair care products, toothpaste and more. Even though propylparaben occurs as a natural substance found in many plants and some insects, it is manufactured synthetically for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foods, according to the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal. Synthetic propylparaben and methylparaben are the most common that you may see on a label. Some others are: ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben.
Health risks: Parabens have been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, and developmental and reproductive toxicity, according to the Campaign for safe cosmetics. Parabens are not water soluble and can penetrate the skin. As a result, repeated application of a product or multiple products containing parabens leads to almost continuous exposure.
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ARTIFICIAL DYES – FD&C color pigmentsFD&C Color Pigments are synthetic colors made from coal tar. They’re most commonly found in lipsticks, blushes, and eyeshadow. Coal tar - doesn’t sound very appealing, but what is it?? Coal tar is a thick dark liquid which is a by-product of the production of coke (fuel) and coal gas from coal. Industrially it is a railway tie preservative and used in the surfacing of roads. I’m not sure about you, but I do not want to put the same substance on my skin that is used to surface our roadways!
Health risks: I’ve heard it said that women eat nine pounds of lipstick during their lifetime. If you use lipstick with these pigments, you’re literally ingesting pigment that contains heavy metal salts. Even if you don’t use lipstick, these colors can deposit toxins onto the skin that can cause skin sensitivity and irritation. According to a 2017 article, it is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe for the baby and use during breastfeeding is not typically recommended. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and even death. These chemicals are suspected carcinogens. In a 2004 interview, a previous FDA employee and chemist stated “Now, one of the things about the color additives is many of the chemicals used to make color additives are not the type of thing you’d want to be exposed to yourself.”Want a lipstick you *could* eat? Full disclosure: we haven’t calculated the calories in this.
ARTIFICIAL FRAGRANCE/PARFUMAll other ingredients must be disclosed on the label. However, the FDA states that “If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be “trade secrets.” The fragrance industry is self-regulating. This means that many of these unlisted ingredients haven't been tested for toxicity, either alone or in combination.
Health risks: Many artificial fragrances have been linked to endocrine disruption, are possible carcinogens, and can cause skin irritation. Chemicals used in fragranced products have been linked to reduced sperm count and reproductive problems. The EWG states that fragrances are among the top 5 known allergens.
There are thousands of chemicals and additives that can fall under the blanket term “fragrance” in an ingredient list. Without knowing which ingredients are actually present, the best you can do is avoid them whenever possible.