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Are your Cosmetics Toxic?

toxic cosmetics

Are your Cosmetics Toxic?

When women put on their lipstick to enhance the colour of their lips and pat their powdered foundation onto their face they don’t think of the ingredients that go into their products. Throughout history women never thought of their health when they applied make up. In Roman times women would rub white powder which was made from lead onto their face. This resulted in them contracting lead poisoning. During the 15th century until the 20th century in Europe the upper class people stayed indoors which kept their skin pale. Whereas the lower class people worked outside and developed a tan. This encouraged European people to put white powder on their skin to look more aristocratic. White lead paint was often used and this contained arsenic, which killed many people.

In the early twentieth century African Americans put skin bleaching products made from hydroquinone onto their skin to whiten it. Hydroquinone suppresses the production of melanin in the skin. This caused extreme dermatitis. Before the 1970’s foundation and lipstick for Black women didn’t exist because make up was only created for pale skin. In the early 1970’s make up companies began to make foundation and powders for darker skin.

Chemicals found in our cosmetics in the 21st century

Acetone is found in Nail polish and nail polish remover, it is a solvent made to make paint remover. It is an irritant to the nose, throat, eyes and lungs. Continuous use of it can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle or cause kidney damage.
Diazolidinyl urea is a cosmetic preservative which releases a harmful chemical called formaldehyde. It is an allergenic and skin irritant and it can contribute to asthma and even cancer if used in large amounts. Formaldehyde is mainly found in nail polish, polish remover, building materials and pesticides. Parabens have a xenoestrogenic effect when they enter the cells. The neurotransmitters in the brain interpret these parabens as oestrogen which results in health problems arising in the body.

Chemicals called Benzyl dimenthyl steraryl ammonium chloride are used in body tramadol rx purchase lotions, hair products and lipsticks. This can cause dermatitis. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is used in shaving gel and other masculine products. This is associated with eye and lung irritation, hormonal problems and has other carcinogenic effects. A solvent called Buylene glcol is put into foundation, concealer, mascara, eye creams and moisturisers. It causes decreased activity of the brain and nervous system.

Coal tar is used in antidandruff hair products and hair dyes. It can increase photosensitivity which can increase your risk of sunburn. It is best to avoid sun exposure for about 24 hours after using the product, or if you do go out, wear a hat and cover up.

The water soluble preservative Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC) is found in moisturiser, most makeup, hair products and shaving foams. This product can lower fertility and may damage the liver and gastrointestinal tract if it is used frequently.

Now in the 21st century we are still using harmful chemicals in our cosmetics. Is it that we have grown accustomed to using our products and we don’t know of an alternative? Or is it simply because natural beauty products are just too expensive? I worked in a health store and during that time I tried numerous naturally based hair products and moisturisers. I discovered that the natural hair products didn’t have the same desired effect as the chemical based ones. My hair felt drier after using them. However I found that the natural moisturisers worked well, although they were expensive. Now I use coconut oil as both a body moisturiser and a conditioning treatment for my dry hair. It smells divine and it rehydrates my skin and hair. I use a natural lavender based deodorant and it works very well. I would love if there was an alternative for foundation, lipstick and other make up products but until one is discovered, I will continue to wear these products, which may or may not jeopardise my health.

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