How to Avoid Toxic Chemicals in Makeup

Women and men these days are living longer, fuller lives. According to a report by the World Health Organization, the global average life expectancy at birth has gone up by 5 years just between 2000 and 2015, the biggest leap it says in at least four decades. It is common to find people beyond their retirement age still staying productive. People clearly want to extend their longevity and they don’t want to look old.

Beyond great makeup ideas, the aging population and millennials alike are aggressively craving for more and better options to stay youthful longer. Whether it is a change in lifestyle or a Lamour Skin Cream that they seek, or a combination of both, this frantic affair of wanting to look younger longer is driving the beauty and personal care industry to grow into trillions of dollars by 2025.

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What’s in your makeup?

If you have been following international treaties and relations or, have been keen during your environment and earth science classes, you must have already come across the Stockholm Convention. The body that was formed eventually came up with a list of what came to be known as “The Dirty Dozen,” a list of 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that are harmful to human health and to the environment.

It is to this list that the dirty dozen of cosmetics, personal care and home cleaning products which consumers come into contact with everyday, have been alluded to. The Suzuki Foundation, based in Canada, published a report in 2010 that lists 12 chemicals which it says are toxic. It also estimated that 80 per cent of cosmetics available in stores contained at least one of the chemicals in this list.

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The report has had profound influence in the industry. The noise that it created prompted manufacturers to go back to the drawing table and reformulate their product offerings. You too can start reviewing the products sitting on your dresser and your bathroom. The 12 chemicals are:

1. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA). Used as a preservative in cosmetics, these chemicals have likewise been added to processed foods, even though it is a suspected carcinogen and disrupts normal hormonal functions.

2. Coal tar dyes. Used as colorants in many hair products, these chemicals have been observed to carry heavy metals that hardly degrade and negatively react with the brain.

3. Diethanolamine (DEA). Added to cosmetics as foaming agents and to balance pH levels, DEAs produce the carcinogenic nitrosamines as a by-product.

4. Dibutyl phthalate. These are suspected carcinogens and observed to affect reproduction.

5. Formaldehyde. Another preservative that us a well-known carcinogen and has neurotoxic effects.

6. Parabens. Used as preservatives, parabens disrupt normal hormone control and regulation, and have been linked to the development of breast cancer.

7. Parfum. Common in cosmetics and skincare products, any fragrance can cause asthma, allergies and skin irritation.

8. Polyethylene glycols (PEG). Another one of those chemicals you’re better off without when skilfully trying new makeup ideas, PEGs are feared to be contaminated with a known carcinogen, 1,4-dioxane.

9. Petrolatum. Used in countless moisturizers and lip products, petrolatum can be easily contaminated with hydrocarbons that are carcinogenic.

10. Siloxanes. Observed to cause difficulties and abnormalities associated with reproduction and to interfere with hormone processes, siloxanes are used to maintain product consistency.

11. Sodium laureth sulfate. Used as foaming agents in most facial cleansers and bath soaps, are easily contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a well-known carcinogen.

12. Triclosan. This has been linked to increased antibiotic resistance and hormone related diseases, including breast cancer.

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Can these toxins be avoided?

Yes but, better choices aren’t going to be easy to find. That’s because the natural market for beauty and skincare is only beginning to become marketable.

You can start by observing the following:

• Check that your products are properly labelled.

• Educate yourself more about consumer and product safety. Great resources are available on the web.

• Check that products whether available in stores or exclusively online, like Lamour Skin Cream, have the contact information of its manufacturer on the label in case you encounter side effects.

• Always check manufacturing date and expiration.

• Throw away any opened and used makeup product that has been in your stash for more than three months.

• Keep your cosmetics inside the fridge.

• Always use clean makeup brushes and other tools to avoid contaminating your products.

Related Video:

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Raising your awareness about makeup and safety of use is only the first step in avoiding these 12 toxic chemicals. More have made it to other lists. You should be wary for your own safety and well-being.

About the author

    Lisiana Carter

    Lisiana is a renowned independent researcher and is studying the impact of technology in the beauty industry. She is passionate about beauty, makeup, fashion, fitness, health and skincare industry. She holds a Ph.D. in beauty and has been writing on beauty and skin care related topics from past 10 years. You can follow her at the beauty insiders.

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