Not every ingredient in beauty products that is applied to the skin is a healthy choice. In fact, a large number of these ingredients are chemical in nature and can cause severe long term damaging affects if their use is not restricted or at least minimized. Here is a look at some top offenders that are commonly found in cosmetics and makeup products.
Typically found in nail polish, polish remover, eyelash glue, and keratin hair straightening treatments, formaldehyde can cause cancer after chronic long term exposure, severe allergic reactions, and skin rashes. Although the health threat is present for everyone, pregnant women should take special care to avoid exposure through manicures and pedicures.
Commonly used in beauty products, fragrance, or parfum, is used to give a fresh scent to the product. Many products from bath soaps to dyes contain fragrances which have phthalate. Some of the ingredients used in fragrance are responsible for triggering allergies or asthma. And there is really no way of knowing for certain what is in the fragrances used in products. To avoid health hazards, it is best to look for fragrance-free products that are also phthalate free.
Skin lighteners, moisturizers, hair dyes, and anti-aging creams all have hydroquinone which is a skin and hair lightener and long term use can affect your health and even cause cancer. To treat brown spots or other skin discoloration issues, choose safer non-toxic cosmetics or DIY homemade beauty recipes.
Lead and Mercury
Lead in lipstick, and mercury in mascara! Avoid both ingredients as they are toxic to us and can cause skin allergic reactions when they are absorbed through the skin. Over time they can accumulate in the body and have long term health effects.
Water-based cosmetics or personal care products like shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, shower gel, lotion, use parabens generously. Parabens are preservatives which when absorbed through skin, are carcinogenic and may lead to cancer. Their toxic effect can cause skin rashes, interfere with hormonal balances and lead to DNA damage. Make all effort to avoid this hazardous ingredient by checking labels carefully and choosing safer products.
Foundations, lipsticks, mascara have numerous petrochemicals including mineral oil, petroleum jelly, propylene glycol and paraffin (used as moisturizers). Using a lot of petroleum-filled products can make skin break out easily because they block the pores. Also the fact that many of these are used in products like gasoline and anti-freeze, makes the thought of applying then on your body absolutely dreadful. Instead, look for non-toxic moisturizers and cosmetics made with plant oils like coconut, shea and jojoba for best results.
Nail polish and other nail care products use phthalate as a plasticizer to prevent cosmetics from cracking and becoming brittle. However, their long term use has been associated with upsetting hormone function in the body. As a safer alternative, look for fragrance free and phthalate free products.
TEA (triethanolamine) and DEA (diethanolamine)
Common ingredients in concealer, mascara, and sunless tanning lotion, these chemicals are carcinogenic and can cause cancer. Carefully check product labels before purchase.
A clear, odorless solvent used in nail polish, toluene can be toxic to kidneys and liver after prolonged use. Once again, read labels thoroughly and avoid products with toluene. You always have the option to look for safer alternatives.
Here are safer products that I recommend. Click here.