None of us would eat toxic ingredients on purpose. That’s because what you put in your body affects what happens inside your body. The same is true for what you put on your body.
Nonetheless, many beauty products are actually quite dangerous. And without knowing it, women continue to use toxic products day in and day out. Keep reading to find out if you’re makeup bag is actually a stash of potentially dangerous beauty products.
If you're in a hurry, here are some products that are completely free of all the dangers we discuss in this article:
Your skin and beauty products
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it absorbs whatever you put on it. You can think of your skin like a second stomach. It literally eats whatever you feed it. But there’s a big difference between your stomach and your skin.
Your stomach has the ability to break down food and metabolize what you put in it. Your skin, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same ability to metabolize all of the skincare and beauty products you use on a daily basis. And if your beauty products contain toxins – and there’s a good chance they do – these toxins can go straight to your bloodstream, where they can wreak havoc throughout the rest of your body.
Yes, even your “natural” products may be toxic
You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “No way! My products are ‘natural.’” But unfortunately, if you purchase beauty products in the United States, these terms have little to no meaning.
That’s because there is practically zero regulation for what goes into cosmetic products. In fact, the US government hasn’t passed a law to regulate cosmetics and their formulas since 1938.
That means the last law regulating what companies can and cannot put inside beauty products was 80 years ago.
And since then, many toxic chemicals have inundated the industry. In fact, in a presentation called, The Ugly Truth About the Beauty Industry, Beauty Counter founder, Gregg Renfrew, said that in Europe over 1,300 toxic ingredients are banned from their formulas.
Words like “herbal”, “natural”, “organic”, “pure” or “botanical” don’t really indicate that you have an herbal, natural, organic, pure or botanical product on your hands.
But in the United States, only 11 of these same toxic substances are banned from American cosmetic products.
That’s why most marketing terms you see on your favorite products actually have zero legal value. Words like “herbal”, “natural”, “organic”, “pure” or “botanical” don’t really indicate that you have an herbal, natural, organic, pure or botanical product on your hands.
But just as these terms on the front of the package don’t really mean much, there are many words hidden in the ingredient list that can and should alarm you.
Beauty product ingredients can be carcinogens, neurotoxins, and reproductive toxins
It’s a scary thought, but unfortunately, the very products that are meant to enhance your natural beauty and keep you looking fresh and clean can potentially cause you a lot of harm.
Let’s examine some of these toxic ingredients and where they’re commonly found:
On the one hand, triclosan seems like a reasonable chemical to add to cosmetic products. After all, it helps to prevent the growth of bacteria.
But while it’s fighting off bacteria, it’s helping to usher in serious health issues like reproductive and thyroid issues.
To avoid triclosan, double-check these types of products: toothpaste, teeth whitening products, shaving products, color cosmetics, deodorants, antiperspirants and antibacterial soaps.
This toxic chemical can lead to minor headaches and cracked skin, but there’s a chance that with consistent exposure, it can lead to reproductive toxicity. Where is toluene found? It shows up in nail polishes and treatments.
A study from UK’s University of Reading found that 99% of breast cancer participants had an accumulation of the chemical, paraben, in their tumors.
What kind of products use paraben? Spray deodorants, facial creams, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, shower washes, and toothpaste.
This toxic heavy metal can cause damage to your nervous system and kidneys. Nonetheless, lead was present in 60 percent of the lipsticks that the FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) examined.
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, these lipsticks came from popular brands, like Revlon, L’Oreal, and Maybelline.
When you think of formaldehyde, we tend to think of lab frogs and other scientific experiments. But turns out that formaldehyde is a common ingredient in hair products, including color, relaxers, as well as shampoo and conditioners.
Why is this a problem? Formaldehyde is internationally classified as a carcinogen.
Dangerous beauty products may be the most common ones
As you can see, toxic chemicals like lead, formaldehyde, parabens, and triclosan are present in a lot of the products you use on a daily basis. Before we even leave the bathroom, we usually use a shampoo, conditioner, several hair products, deodorant, serums, creams, and lotions, and that’s all before adding any makeup.
It’s a bit overwhelming to replace all of your skin and beauty products. But if you want to avoid these chemicals, what should you do?
Here are a few suggestions to avoid dangerous beauty products, or to at least limit your exposure to them.
Do your research:
There’s lots of information out there on what goes into cosmetic products. A good place to start is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Limit how frequently you use certain products:
It’s difficult to stop wearing makeup cold turkey. But consider cutting back on one product, like lipstick. In the meantime, you can look for a natural lip product.
Discover new beauty brands:
You don’t have to forgo makeup. In fact, this is a great opportunity to find new beauty brands that are changing the way women wear makeup. Beauty Counter, for example, strives to be completely transparent about what goes into their products and on your body.
And they offer products for skin care, beauty, as well as for bath and body. Josie Maran is another cool brand that offers luscious products that you and your entire body will love, without putting you at risk for having toxins in and on your body.