Wednesday 13 January 2010

What Chemicals Does Your Make Up Contain

We tend to blindly trust high-end brands. They make us
believe that they are safe perhaps because they are so
expensive, or because this or that celebrity happens to
appear on their advertisement. However, many cosmetics
contain chemicals which could be hazardous to your health.

Even brands that display organic and herbal labels may
include chemicals by simply working around legal
requirements. Reading labels and being informed are
life-saving habits for cosmetics consumers.

Chemicals, the Kind of Damage They Can Do

- Every day cosmetics can contain high-risk chemicals that
you need to be aware of.

- Lipsticks contain the carcinogen Polymethyl Methacrylate,
among others.

- Shampoos contain around 15 chemicals including Sodium
Lauryl Sulphate, Tetrasodium and Propylene Glycol, known to
cause eye damage.

- Even baby shampoo can sometimes include chemicals.

- Make-up favourites like eye shadow, blusher, fake tan and
foundation can contain carcinogens.

- Nail varnish contains Phthalates, linked to fertility
issues and complications in developing babies.

- Chemicals in deodorants and perfumes can trigger lung and
kidney problems while those in body lotion may cause
hormonal disruption.

- However, don't let this put you off buying cosmetics
altogether. There are brands which do not harm, and the
important thing is to educate yourself.

Cosmetics Safety

These tips will help you minimise the potential hazards of
chemicals in cosmetics:

- Use fewer commercial products; instead, turn to your
kitchen cupboard for beauty concoctions. Cucumber, banana,
camomile, olive oil: these are only a few of nature's own
that are beneficial to your skin and hair.

- If you can't do without cosmetics, carry a reminder with
a list of hazardous ingredients in your bag to refer to
when shopping.

- Certain claims are not defined by law - for instance, did
you know that labels stating "fragrance" may be misleading
because they are not required to specify any of the
chemicals used in them? Read labels and check ingredients
against the claims.

Avoid or minimise use of:

- Soaps: They strip the skin of natural oils, increasing
your need for products like moisturisers. Use a mild soap.

- Powders: Powders are often used in baby care. However,
when inhaled regularly they can cause lung damage and
cancer. Use very sparingly.

- Dark hair dyes: They are known to contain coal tar, a
carcinogenic chemical.

- Nail polish: Paint only toenails, in a well-ventilated
room. Avoid using nail polish if you are pregnant.

The importance of being aware and informed cannot be
stressed enough. With a little bit of effort, you can still
use your favourite cosmetics, without the worry of being

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