4 Chemicals in Beauty Products You’re Better Off Doing Without

Chemicals in beauty products seem to be a mainstay today. They’re widely accepted because women apparently want to look great at all costs. However, maybe its time to question their efficacy and usefulness! Why would manufacturers intentionally add toxic ingredients that are harmful to their customers anyway?

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When I was a young lass, I never worried about what was IN a product. If everyone was using it, I got on the band wagon - without giving it a second thought. Herein lies the problem. When products are applied to the skin, some of the ingredients are absorbed into the deep layers of the dermis, then eventually filter into the bloodstream. Use enough of them and they can become problematic over time. That’s why it’s best to do without toxic ingredients. Chemicals in beauty products just aren’t necessary and should be avoided – however, you need to know what you’re looking for.

Here’s a list of some of the worst chemicals in beauty products on the market today. Just don’t use them and you’ll be way ahead of the crowd. There’s a strong push today to get chemicals out of the beauty industry. Until they’re removed, boycott products that are known offenders. If no one’s buying them, it sends a strong message to manufacturers to clean up their act!

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4 Chemicals in Beauty Products You’re Better Off Doing Without

  • A recent FDA investigation found imported skin creams contain toxic levels of mercury and other heavy metals. These products are mainly skin lightening creams purchased at Latino, Asian, or Middle Eastern markets. These include (but aren’t limited to) Stillman’s skin bleach cream, Diana skin lightening formula, and numerous products with labels in Chinese, Hindi, and other languages.

    To tell if a product contains mercury, look for mercury on the list of ingredients. It might be listed as mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric, or mercurio. If ingredients aren’t listed OR if they’re in a foreign language you can’t understand, don’t buy them – simple as that. Symptoms of mercury poisoning include memory problems, irritability, tremors, and changes in hearing or vision. The creams were found in seven states and several cases of serious mercury poisoning have been reported.

    *Note: I find it interesting that the FDA doesn’t want you to use mercury on your face but it’s perfectly fine to put it in your mouth as amalgams? Hmm...

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  • When I was growing up, we heard all sorts of rumors about whale blubber being in lipstick. Then lead became the focus which was reportedly an urban legend. Well, guess what? The FDA recently tested hundreds of lipsticks following an investigation by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Two back-to-back FDA investigations found lead in 100 percent of the lipsticks tested – with levels topping 7.19 PPM (parts per million).

    When you consider that there’s no safe level for lead in any beauty product, why is it even in there? Then consider that the FDA finally concluded that if lipsticks were used properly, there was no danger. In other words, it’s OK for manufacturers to put chemicals in beauty products as long as you use them the right way? So I suppose we should never lick our lips, kiss anyone, or eat food whilst wearing lipstick, right?

    Sources for the lead found in lipsticks were popular brands like L’Oreal, Revlon, Avon, and Cover Girl, Dior, M.A.C. and even the “natural” brand of Burt’s Bees. I for one, would like to know why lead is necessary in the first place and what shades are most likely to contain them! That would be a start!

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  • Many keratin hair straighteners contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen – despite many claims of being formaldehyde-free formulas. The levels found were fairly low and shouldn’t pose a risk IF straighteners are only used a couple times yearly. However, women who use them more frequently AND the stylists who use the products are at a much greater risk. Moderation is surely the key!

    *Interestingly though, if formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, why is it OK for formaldehyde to be added to vaccines that go into the body and are dispersed in the blood stream?

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  • Mineral makeup is often touted as a safe and natural option for foundation makeup. And it is generally safe. The problem occurs when micro-particles of mica are dispersed into the air and then inhaled into the lungs. Especially when you consider that construction workers (who use spackle and other mica-containing products), generally wear face masks to avoid lung transfer. At present, there are no warnings issued for their use, but pulmonologists suggest that frequent use could result in lung damage. It may be prudent to open a window to circulate the air when you're using them.

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  • Ask anyone whose gotten conjunctivitis how they got it and the answer is typically always the same! Old mascara! According to an Optometry study, bacteria that are naturally present in the eyes can be transferred into the mascara via the wand. Researchers found bacterial microbes present in 33 percent of the mascara’s that were tested.

    The biggest issue however, comes from keeping mascara too long. Mascara contains preservatives that prevent bacteria from breeding for up to three months. After that, you’re risking your eye health. (Note however, that the Optometry study tested mascara samples that were less than three months old.) Bacteria’s found were staph, strep, and fungus – none of which you want to place near your eyes!

    One of the main issues for mascara seems to be heat. Once heated, bacteria can multiply quickly. So keep mascara in a cool place, replace after a few months, and stop at two coats. Why? Because multiple layers can plug oil glands along the edges of the eyelids, causing a sty to form. That's not good either.

    Of course, this list is only the top four chemicals found in beauty products! (You can’t count bacteria as a chemical but it’s still serious). There are many others! If you read ingredients regularly and cannot distinguish what an ingredient is, it might be prudent NOT to buy that product! The real danger is from chemicals in beauty products that go directly onto the skin, are not washed off, and enter the bloodstream. At least makeup is removed!

    I highly suggest that women think through their purchases and switch over to products that don’t contain toxins. There are many ways to look beautiful without using chemicals in beauty products! You just have to expand your options and look around! Just because you’ve been using a product a long time, doesn’t mean it’s a good product! In fact, it’s actually better to change things up from time to time – and give your skin and other appendages a well deserved break.

    Related Pages on Site

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